Time magazine's Rita Healy has a profile this week on Tim Gill, who made a fortune with Quark desktop software and now heads the Gill Foundation, a major moneybag on the gay left. Time doesn't use the word "left" or "liberal" in the entire article. Instead, Gill is favorably cast as fighting for justice and equality: "Impatient with the lack of gay rights progress this past decade, Gill is pushing hard to end injustice and inequality by the end of the next decade."
Healy reports that this gay mogul has been a powerful backer of Democrats. His foundation "has invested $110 million nationwide in gay causes over the past decade. The Gill Action Fund threw $15 million into a dozen states during the 2006 midterm elections, targeting 70 politicians regarded as unhelpful to gay causes: 50 went down." Gill helped elect Democratic Sen. Ken Salazar in Colorado. Healy explained "The money is not always filtered through political parties, although much goes to Democrats. Almost all goes to tax-exempt 527 political organizations." None of them are apparently to be described as "liberal" groups.
Healy began by noting that Gill is number four on Out magazine's new list of the 50 most powerful gays and lesbians in America. New York magazine is huffing again on behalf of the gay left, arguing that gay journalists shouldn't be skulking around in "the closet." They're pointing fingers at allegedly gay CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, placed on the cover of Out magazine. The Out list includes a pile of entertainment and news media names, including the "gay mafia" at the New York Times.
1. David Geffen
2. Anderson Cooper
3. Ellen DeGeneres
4. Tim Gill
5. Barney Frank
6. Rosie O’Donnell
7. The New York Times Gay Mafia: Richard Berke, Ben Brantley, Frank Bruni, Stuart Elliott, Adam Nagourney, Stefano Tonchi, and Eric Wilson
8. Marc Jacobs
9. Andrew Tobias [formerly a columnist with Time]
10. Brian Graden [MTV executive that oversees the gay Logo channel]
Time's Gill profile reminds me of a philanthropist contrast we found ten years ago in the May 1997 edition of our MediaWatch newsletter. George Soros (mentioned in the new Gill profile) was merely a "philanthropist" in Time's eyes, while conservative funder Richard Mellon Scaife was a "conservative agitator."
The April 21 issue of Time magazine featured its list of the "25 Most Influential" people of 1997. According to Time, if you're a millionaire and you help conservatives, you're contributing to the breakdown of society. If you're a billionaire who gives solely to liberal causes, you're seen as a savior.
On one page Time profiled Richard Scaife, whom the magazine labeled a "Conservative Agitator." His bio began: "If conservative thinkers like Bill Bennett and Paul Weyrich are the brainpower behind the resurgent American right, the horsepower comes from Richard Mellon Scaife. For close to four decades, the 64-year-old Pennsylvanian has used his millions to back anti-liberal ideas and their proponents." Later, Time added: "He controls the Sarah Scaife Foundation, which helps subsidize rabidly anti-Clinton magazines as well as conservative social-policy projects."
If Scaife is considered a "conservative agitator," it would follow that George Soros would be tagged a "liberal agitator," but Time's subhead labeled him a "philanthropist." Soros' bio read: "And he has been stirring controversy by directing his dollars to an array of hot-button political causes tied to his personal ideal of an 'open society' and by writing an iconoclastic critique of free-market capitalism." Among the projects promoted by this "philanthropist," Time noted: "$1 million to help pass initiatives in California and Arizona last year that legalized medicinal use of marijuana," and "$50 million for a fund to help legal immigrants" overcome welfare reform.
Gill also wasn't pictured in spooky black-and-white like a horror-movie villain.