Larry Mantle |

Corporations can now come fully out of the political closet, but at a potentially high price




That seems the likely lesson Target and Best Buy learned after making large donations to a political consortium created to support pro-business candidates for office.  One of those candidates was Minnesota’s GOP candidate for governor, a man who critics say has consistently worked against gay and lesbian civil rights.

What’s ironic is that Target has had a reputation for being gay-friendly.  That was pointed out by a Beverly Hills caller to AirTalk on Friday morning.  He described himself as a businessman who’s sold products to Target, frequently visited its Twin Cities headquarters, and talked with numerous gay employees about how positive the environment is there.  The caller also said he’s gay, and very unhappy about the boycott launched against the company.

One of the things I really enjoy about hosting a program with the strength and range of listeners we have, is how much more nuanced the world is than how it’s depicted in most media.  We see how strong supporters of gay rights can be focused on the same goals, but completely disagree on tactics. 

That’s true with most issues, whether we’re talking about the Disneyland employee who sees it as her right to wear a hijab while working as a restaurant hostess, or a flight attendant who takes a crying baby from the mother who just slapped the child.

Some listeners might see these issues involving regular individuals as less important than what Congress or the state legislature is doing.  To me, these day-to-day stories that evoke our strong emotional and intellectual responses speak even more strongly to how we work out our daily lives.

I really appreciate how many terrific online and phone contributions we’re getting to these listener debates.  It’s clear whether the issue is gay rights, religious vs. employer freedom in the workplace, or how to handle what you think is abuse of a child, we care about these issues because they speak to our values.

I’ll be on vacation with my family in New Mexico during this week.  I look forward to talking with you again on August 30th.