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Mother Jones: OkCupid Push Against Mozilla CEO Looking More Like a PR Stunt Than a Protest

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Brendan Eich recently resigned as CEO of Mozilla after OkCupid drew attention to a donation he made in favor of California's Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage ballot initiative. 

Now the magazine Mother Jones has uncovered that the CEO of OkCupid, Sam Yagan, has himself previously donated money to a cause unfriendly to gay rights.

According to Mother Jones, in 2004 Yagan donated $500 to Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah), who served in Congress until 2007 and consistently voted against gay-friendly legislation and in favor of bills that weren't. Cannon supported a constitutional amendment to define marriage and legislation to prohibit homsexuals from adopting.

Mother Jones would maybe like to give the Utah Republican, and Yagan, some benefit of the doubt:

It's possible that Cannon's opinions have shifted, or maybe his votes were more politics than ideology; a tactic by the Mormon Rep. to satisfy his Utah constituency. It's also quite possible that Yagan's politics have changed since 2004: He donated to Barack Obama's campaign in 2007 and 2008. Perhaps even Firefox's Eich has rethought LGBT equality since his 2008 donation. But OkCupid didn't include any such nuance in its take-down of Firefox. Combine that with the fact that the company helped force out one tech CEO for something its own CEO also did, and its action last week starts to look more like a PR stunt than an impassioned act of protest.

Who needs nuance when you can play the game of outrage

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  1. “maybe his votes were more politics than ideology; a tactic by the Mormon Rep. to satisfy his Utah constituency.”

    Why does MJ think this would be a defense for (according to them) voting against gays? That he didn’t mean it and was only promoting the H8 for political advantage?

    It’s almost as if they need to hold this argument in reserve to defend Democrats who lie about their positions.

    1. Or to put it more bluntly, they know that Democrats whom they support are basing their votes on the need to fool their constitutions, and MJ is totally OK with it.

    2. Say, didn’t the president oppose–nah, that can’t be right.

    3. You are reading a lot into that, they list a bunch of things that could be mitigating but then lower the boom anyway.

      1. Donating money to a candidate who opposes gay marriage is bad. Actually being a candidate who opposed gay marriage is good.

  2. My spider senses tell me that there was something more at play here than a desire to further gay rights. Particularly when I read that major gay rights organizations neither supported the boycott nor called for Eich ‘s resignation. Add in that OKCupid competes in the online dating market against the liked of ChristianMingle and the publicity stunt theory looks credible.

  3. I could not possibly care less.

    1. You cared enough to post that you do not care, so it is possible for you to care less.

  4. It is difficult to posit a perfect equivalency between donating to a specific direct democracy issue and supporting a candidate (you can argue you support the candidate for other reasons.

    On the other hand, if OKCupid is going to go over the political history of a CEO of another organization with such a fine tooth comb to justify a blacklisting, then it is fair for it to be turned on them as well.

    Discipline the damn squirrels!

  5. I hope this teaches everyone a valuable lesson about giving money to political campaigns.

  6. He donated to Barack Obama’s campaign in 2007 and 2008.

    How would that mean his politics changed on this particular issue, seeing as how Obama publicly opposed gay marriage at the time as well?

    1. So how many of us thought the exact same thing when reading that sentence?

      1. Don’t Presidents have their own PACs that contribute to candidates? It has to be the case that one of Obama’s has contributed to a Democrat that opposed gay marriage in 2008.

        1. Well, yes. They contributed to his campaign.

          1. Well, yes, but Obama’s ‘opposition’ to gay marriage really only amounted to saying something when asked about gay marriage. I bet his pacs gave money to a Democrat who actually voted the way Cannon did a few times.

            1. Obama’s ‘opposition’ to gay marriage really only amounted to saying something when asked about gay marriage

              Whoooosh go the goalposts.

              1. Ah, so that is what I saw receding over the horizon!

            2. Yeah, good point. A sitting president of the US being on the negative side of ambivalent to gay marriage is nothing. Even when he publicly expresses it. A guy contributing $1000 privately, now that is a big, big thing.

              Obama could be caught with child porn and you’d excuse it somehow.

      2. *raises hand*

    2. You are right. The only possible course of action is immediate termination and a minimum of 2 years in a re-education camp.

      When he can prove he is fully rehabilitated, he will be eligible to rejoin society.

  7. It’s sort of like the Cultural Revolution sans the participation of the government, but the left is in that kind of mood. You just point ’em in the right direction, make the right accusations, wind ’em up, and let ’em go.

    Freedom is Slavery.

    Conformity is Diversity.

    Tolerance is Intolerance.

    When you hear the left claim that Obama is a moderate, it shows you how far they’re willing to go. The only thing they hate more than capitalists is Christians, and they hate the individual rights of their adversaries like vicious dogs hate their leashes.

    1. Do you have the same thoughts about the many religious employers who have fired people for coming out as gay or in support of gay rights?

      1. So this guy has worked for Mozilla since it was Netscape and just now, after they got a letter from an outside company, his beliefs became intolerable in the workplace? I look forward to the discovery in THAT lawsuit.

      2. Do you have a problem with it being illegal to fire someone for supporting homosexual causes but legal to fire someone for supporting the traditional structure of marriage?

        Which is what we currently developing into.

        1. Employers and employees should be free to disassociate from each other for whatever reasons, but I am pointing out to those outraged by this case that there are many cases of employers firing people for being gay and/or supporting gay rights.

          1. The people who went after Eich are also supporting making that illegal. The people complaining about what happened to Eich are not calling for a law against it. I would not make either illegal, though I would discourage such things unless it directly affected their ability to do the job.

            So, do you actually have a point here?

            1. I already said my point: I am pointing out to those outraged by this case that there are many cases of employers firing people for being gay and/or supporting gay rights. Many people are being selective in their outrage here.

              1. Most of them on the left.

              2. there are many cases of employers firing people for being gay and/or supporting gay rights.

                Boy, I could sure use a linky on that one. Especially all those people fired for supporting gay rights outside of the office.

            2. “The people complaining about what happened to Eich are not calling for a law against it.”

              Maybe not here, but I think that’s a bit of a hasty generalization. Many people ignorantly think this violates the First Amendment, and others are in favor of this being protected against by (religious-based) anti-discrimination law

              1. I don’t think there’s “many”, maybe some. It is more a recognition of a concerted effort to turn a mainstream position into something beyond the pale.

          2. “Employers and employees should be free to disassociate from each other for whatever reasons, but I am pointing out to those outraged by this case that there are many cases of employers firing people for being gay and/or supporting gay rights.”

            I’m not saying people shouldn’t be allowed to do this; I’m saying that intolerance is intolerance even when the people you don’t tolerate are capitalists or Christians.

            I would also point out that most non-libertarians don’t appreciate the distinction between government action and free people making these choices for themselves. To most non-libertarians, that’s a distinction without a difference–otherwise, more of them would be proud libertarians.

            Regardless I’m not about to pretend that intolerance is tolerance–just because the government wasn’t involved.

            You think I’m supposed to pretend that railroading people for their religious or political beliefs is an example of tolerance because firing people because they’re gay is intolerant?

            Does not even kinda compute.

            1. I can’t believe I finally got a comment through!

          3. Really? Name one in the last 20 years?

      3. Do you have the same thoughts about the many religious employers who have fired people for coming out as gay or in support of gay rights?

        Citation needed

        1. Google Jeffrey Neilsen, Michael Griffin, and Mike Moroski for starters.

    2. The worst excesses of the Cultural Revolution did not directly involve government. The government just stood back and did nothing. The Maoist mobs were not government agents.

      Perhaps because most people have grown up in modern America, which is just about the most tolerant society in history, a lot of people seem to have forgotten that a society doesn’t need government help or coercion to do horrible things and be oppressive. Sure, the government can help but it is not necessary.

  8. Curiously, none of the usual suspects among my FB acquaintances want to play with this story. Its almost like they are waiting for a new consensus to emerge so they can parrot that and feel pure, clean and unconflicted again.

    1. I offered congrats to Mother Jones in the morning links for exposing the hypocrites at OKCupid AND Hobby Lobby.

      Going after both Teams is commendable.

      1. I agree. I just find it funny that certain people of my acquaintance develop such strong opinions on the third day of a story, but on the first, they are dead quiet.

      2. Re: Peter Caca,

        I offered congrats to Mother Jones in the morning links for exposing the hypocrites at OKCupid AND Hobby Lobby.

        What action by Hobby Lobby was shown to be hypocritical?

        1. They invest in companies producing abortion drugs.

          1. It is one of those bizarre “gotcha” examples of hypocrisy. Like the difference between support a candidate versus a referendum issue, the investments made by Hobby Lobby’s retirement accounts in those pharmaceutical firms has to do with them being good financial investments, not what specific products they make.

            It is a silly point beneath a serious analysis of the issue whether the federal government can compel someone to provide specific services they consider immoral to be involved with.

          2. The person managing their investment portfolio did. I would liken it to you invest in drones and bombs used to kill Pakistani and Yemeni children with your taxes.

            You murderer!

            1. Hobby Lobby says that if they contract with a insurer to provide coverage for employees as a benefit to their employees, and part of what they offer the employer is certain contraceptives, that they will be committing an awful sin. But they contract with someone to invest their employees retirement funds as a benefit to employees, and part of what they invest in are companies making abortion drugs. Seems pretty analogous.

              1. That the owners of Hobby Lobby think that providing abortificants involves them too directly in an immoral act, while their financial advisors invest the retirement funds in pharmaceuticals companies that may make such products insulate them sufficiently from the immoral act, who are you or Mother Jones to gainsay them on that?

                How does that justify the government compelling them to offer those abortificants as part of their insurance plan?

              2. Re: Bo Cara Esq.,

                Hobby Lobby says that if they contract with a insurer to provide coverage for employees as a benefit to their employees, and part of what they offer the employer is certain contraceptives, that they will be committing an awful sin.

                Aw, you make it sound so wonderful, so full of lollipops and sunshine!

                No, Bo. What Hobby Lobby is saying is that the government has no business COMPELLING Hobby Lobby to buy insurance that offers a list of contraceptives that includes some which HB finds objectionable. The retirement funds of their employees is THEIR money, not Hobby Lobby’s. You can’t conflate the two issues and neither can Mother Jones.

                1. You can’t conflate the two issues and neither can Mother Jones.

                  Well, no. Not unless you’re a mendacious son of a … oh. I see the issue now.

          3. They invest in companies producing abortion drugs.

            This, as it is expressed, is false. Hobby Lobby isn’t investing its funds in those companies.

            Rather, it offers to its employees a number of options for investing the employee’s money. The analogy here is to an employee using their own money to buy birth control. Which I don’t believe Hobby Lobby has ever objected to.

  9. I seriously could not give a flying crap about this whole business. Other than the fact that Firefox is a shit browser. And OKC is an awesome dating site.

    1. I bailed on OKC over the lynch mob. Why trust them w/ my personal info when they behave like that?

      1. Just select that you’re into women OR men and they’ll guard your data with their life, right?

        1. Then I’m risking political retribution over global warming, obamacare, or some other damn thing.

      2. I deactivated my account about a year or so after meeting The Squeeze (whom I met via OKC).

        Awwwwwwww…

  10. It’s also quite possible that Yagan’s politics have changed since 2004: He donated to Barack Obama’s campaign in 2007 and 2008.

    A vote for Barack Obama in ’07 and ’08 was not a vote for gay marriage. But leave it to the great minds over at Mother Jones to conveniently revise history. It reminds of the 1984 concept that “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia”

    “We’ve always been anti-gay marriage pro-gay marriage.”

    1. That is a bit much, as Mickey says supra ‘you can argue you support the candidate for other reasons.’

      1. So why use a donation to Obama in 07 or 08 as a reference for proving Yagan’s stance on gay marriage has ‘evolved’?

        And lest we forget that at the time of the ’08 election, the gay rights crowd was vociferously supporting Obama as the great bringer of equality, despite his position on the issue. As far as the Democratic base is concerned, Obama has been all things at all times.

        1. That does not make any sense unless the writer is suggesting it was an open secret that only the rubes were unaware of.

          1. Obama’s opposition to gay marriage was essentially saying ‘I believe marriage is between a man and a woman’ when asked about it. Due to other stances he took he was seen generally to be a supporter of gay rights to many, so that is probably why they mentioned that.

            1. “Obama’s opposition to gay marriage was essentially saying ‘I believe marriage is between a man and a woman’..”

              The only thing one can reasonably posit from Eich’s contribution to the Prop 8 campaign was that, at minimum, he believed the same thing. OKCupid held that to be unacceptably bigoted. By that standard, Obama was also bigoted until he officially “evolved”.

              1. No, he gave money to an actual campaign on a live referendum. That can be seen as much more significant than merely saying ‘I oppose gay marriage.’

                1. All the Prop 8 amendment was doing was codifying marriage as being between a man and a woman. If it is more significant then Obama’s stance was empty rhetoric.

                  1. It is the difference between saying ‘I support X’ and working to get a law passed about X.

            2. What ‘other stances’?

              Gay marriage WAS the gay issue in 07-08.

            3. Due to other stances he took he was seen generally to be a supporter of gay rights to many, so that is probably why they mentioned that.

              What other stances? Opposing gay lynch mobs is hardly a sign of one being a supporter of “gay rights”.

      2. Look, up in the thread. It’s a turd. It’s a wang. It’s…SUPRAMAN!

        1. With a hearty “RES ISPA LOQUITOR!” he takes to the skies!

          “By Nunc Pro Tunc, this thread needs me!”

  11. A stunt that led to a man losing his job.

    Everyone involved in this stupidity is evil.

    That this happened around the time before Obama’s personal rainbow evolution is even more retarded.

    Did I sat they’re evil? Make that, retarded.

    1. I go with evil on this one. It’s a bad, bad thing that is happening. Not sure what can be done about it.

  12. Combine that with the fact that the company [OkCupid] helped force out one tech CEO for something its own CEO also did, and its action last week starts to look more like a PR stunt than an impassioned act of protest.

    Or a vendetta against Brendan Eich. I do not believe any of this is a coincidence:

    “Mitchell Baker, the executive chairwoman of Mozilla Foundation, who escorted Eich out, said in her statement: ‘Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.’ ”

    When a person comes up with such convoluted doubletalk to justify his or her action, you know there’s an agenda behind the action. Brendan was railroaded by Baker or someone else in Mozilla, with the help of “OkCupid”.

    1. Maybe. Or maybe Baker is an idiot crap weasel who was totally terrified of the backlash such that he would do anything to avoid it and couldn’t even speak rationally when justifying his actions?

      You may be right. I, however, suspect you over estimate the cleverness of the typical corporate creature like Baker.

      1. “…such that SHE would do anything…” Mitchell is a she, not a he.

    2. wouldnt surprise me

  13. Props to Mother Jones for reporting this, but they didn’t “uncover” it. The Daily Caller reported on Yagan’s donation to Cannon days earlier.

  14. Does OkCupid block users fron California since they actually voted for prop 8?

    1. I mean wouldn’t it make sense to veto the state of California?

  15. Donating money to politicians is just paying the protection money, if you’re a businessman; paying the mob its “due” isn’t anything to do with liking the idea of organized crime, just acknowledging the reality that if you don’t pay, they can fuck you up.

    I don’t think we can discern a businessman’s politics by who he donates to.

  16. A PR stunt? Something tells me if something similar were to happen only the individual harmed was one of their friends, or a MJ writer, they’d see all of this a little differently than a PR stunt.

    You can almost “hear” the objections now – it stifles free speech, it’s MOB rule against people for their beliefs, etc, etc, etc.

    But since it was just some CEO who was obviously evil due to one single donation – it’s nothing more than a PR stunt.

    1. The term “chilling effect” is rather conspicuous by its absence on the left about this, isn’t it?

  17. The First Amendment is all about the government not preventing people from speaking about any issue. This isn’t a First Amendment issue. But, it doesn’t make it any less evil. So, it isn’t the government doing what they can to prevent people from speaking, so what? It is still wrong to do this.

    Anything that stops the free expressions of people is really wrong. It is Taliban-esque. And, that is not hyperbole.

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