Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Let's Do A Gay Nevada Tourism Story Without Any Gay American Tourists!

I've got a lot to do today to prep for tonight's show and to finish up a long-overdue NYT piece, but I needed to address this.

There's a woefully incomplete piece by Richard Lake in the Review-Journal today that addresses the loss of income to the state caused by the ban on gay marriage. Gee, I wonder where they got THAT idea from? Except that a lot is missing from this story, including comments from, say, anybody in the resort industry or the local gay community, any acknowledgment that almost every major hotel-casino performs non-legal same-sex weddings these days and aggressively advertises same (he made it sound like a gay-friendly chapel is rare) or any discussion of how that industry is making a play for the gay California honeymoon market.

Oh, and Lake errs in saying that American gay couples can go to Massachusetts to wed; the Bay State has a 1913 law on its books that for four years has been used to ban out-of-state gay couples from doing so. That may change, actually, this week, as the state's Senate already reversed it and the House is debating it today.

That's what you get for writing a piece about gay rights in Nevada without speaking to any gay Nevadans. Hell, Lake didn't quote any gay Americans or gay activists at all! The entire backbone of this story was a pair of lesbians who were entirely, completely irrelevant to the discussion of what Nevada is missing out on by having chosen to "protect the sanctity of marriage" that Nevada has been so adept at protecting for all these years. Why irrelevant? They're from Canada. They had absolutely no intention of coming to Vegas for a wedding. They can get married anywhere in their own country. They decided to do it here because one caught Tina's bouquet. Those aren't the people that would bring big money to the tourism market here were same-sex marriages legal.

No, the big money that Vegas is losing is from couples in U.S. states where they cannot legally wed. Those folks are flocking to California to do it but might have flocked to Vegas if Vegas were ahead of the curve. I doubt highly that Canadians, capable of having weddings in their own cities with their families and friends and nobody having to travel much are heading to California. It's not logical.

Bad piece. Missed opportunity. End of screed.

One more important R-J note, though: This was the second day this week without a stand-alone Living section. The entertainment news took up two pages that are normally devoted to Nevada and western U.S. news, the advice columns and puzzles are in the Business section. And the comics have always been a moving target, so they don't matter so much. Before this week, Saturday was the only day that had no separate Living Section. I suspect the Wednesday Living section on food will endure, but clearly the newspaper is shrinking before our very eyes. No word on layoffs, though. Yet.


MrsVJW said...

Even in college... back 10 years ago... my journalism professors were talking about the growing costs of newsprint paper and how it was going to impact the industry. Might have been nice if more than possible future reporters were listening....

I do have some love for the RJ as a non-resident who only visits the website... but that article did totally miss it all. Total fluff. The big issues are making it legal in the state and pony-ing up the money to fight the first couple of legal fights about it vs. the revenue it would bring in. Pbbbbt.

Anonymous said...

MrsVJW - by "listening," what would you have suggested -- that they choose another profession? Just wondering. It's not like journalism students can do much about how newsrooms are run.

MrsVJW said...

I wasn't suggesting journalists should have chosen another profession... I was suggesting that others in the media - mainly the number crunchers and people deciding what a publication should be doing in the next 5 years - should have been planning much further ahead.