Dan Savage

Dan Savage’s social media campaign, “It Gets Better,” has sparked thousands of supportive videos in an effort to eradicate bullying of gay teenagers. The effort has now won Savage a prestigious Webby Award, with the sex advice columnist at The Stranger honored last night in New York.

“What Dan Savage has done is redefine the very notion of what it means to be an activist journalist,” said radio host Ira Glass in his opening remarks about Savage.

As is customary in the Webby Awards, winners are limited to 5-word acceptance speeches.

Savage took direct aim at comedian Tracy Morgan whose anti-gay remarks during a stand-up routine in Nashville recently sparked outrage and led to the Saturday Night Live actor issuing a public apology.

In his appearance on stage, Savage also targeted former U.S. Senator and presidential hopeful Rick Santorum by wearing a shirt with the message “Google Santorum.” That’s a Web joke, devised to ridicule the beliefs of the conservative politician.


Previously on GeekWire: Dan Savage, Starbucks honored for ‘digital disruption’ by UW program

Comments

  • Anonymous

    Also loved this line from Ira Glass: “You can tell that something is really amazing when even the Google Chrome commercial about it makes you want to cry.”

  • Anonymous

    Also loved this line from Ira Glass: “You can tell that something is really amazing when even the Google Chrome commercial about it makes you want to cry.”

  • Guest

    Congratulations to Mr. Savage in his battle to defeat Messrs. Santorum and Tracy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Warren/655572493 Jason Warren

    And in other news, a tech media site veered dangerously close today to alienating half of the readership with off-topic issues on which reasonable people can strenuously disagree.

    • http://www.jrotech.com/ Jeff Rodenburg

      What, exactly, did Geekwire do here? The only thing I read was an article about a local journalist who won a Webby award.

      • johnhcook

        Thanks Jeff. Not sure I can say it much better than that. I thought it was newsworthy that a Seattle journalist — engaged in one of the most successful social media efforts we’ve seen in some time — was honored at one of the most prominent technology award ceremonies in the country. 

        Had it been Dale Chihuly or Mayor McGinn or Matt Hasselbeck or someone else from Seattle winning the Special Achievement Award at the Webbys, I am sure we would have covered that too. 

        Furthermore, Jason, I don’t think it is “off-topic” to point out pioneering work people are doing in social media nor do I agree that the issue of bullying gay teenagers, or bullying in general, is one that alienates our readers.

        • http://blog.CascadeSoft.net @CascadeRam

          The original commenter doesn’t seem to understand the tech community or Seattle when he says that the post came “dangerously close today to alienating half of the readership with
          off-topic issues on which reasonable people can strenuously disagree.”

          That said, I do think that some readers may be alienated and so I’m glad that you reported this news and defended it.
          Every good journalist is going to offend and alienate some people.
          The worst thing a journalist/editor could do is to give in to the bullying and suppress news reports.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Warren/655572493 Jason Warren

          The reason I said this looks off topic is that the essence of the story is ‘Seattle sex columnist wins award for gay rights advocacy’. I can understand your thinking that the fact it’s a Webby award makes it a tech article. 
          Lots of interesting and notable things that come from outside the tech industry play out in the news on the web. I’m sure you work hard to focus on the tech angles, and exercise your judgement as to what’s really tech-worthy news. For me, the tech angle is a little too meta in this piece for it to be true tech news, and the headline, quote, and last two paragraphs don’t exactly put the focus on the nuts and bolts on the application of technology that earned this ‘web’ award – you chose to report the overtly political themes. 

    • Guest

      Jason,

      On behalf of all Seattle men I apologise that we have offended you. Perhaps you would be happier reading tech news from places that are more genteel towards homophobia and Republicanism.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Warren/655572493 Jason Warren

        I’ve been reading John’s work for more than 7 years. As a member of the reader community is it not reasonable to ask to keep the focus on the technology in the articles that bring us here?

        • Guest

          It is reasonable to so ask. It is also reasonable for John to refuse your request. Using technology to defeat hate is worthy of commendation, and to recognize such a use is a newsable event. To oppose such a recognition of such a use is to share the views of the reprehensible men against whom Mr. Savage fights with technology.

  • Karen

    Dan Savage has broken new ground.  Thank you for posting this video.  What a pleasure to see him win this award after so many years of journalism service in the Pacific NW.  

  • anonymous

    I find it ironic that Dan Savage, in the process of receiving an award for an anti-bullying campaign, can’t help but highlight his own pro-bullying efforts.

    • Guest

      Not bullying, Ann. This is fighting against hate. Bullying is when a man attacks a man who doesn’t deserve it.

      • anonymous

        Oh, but it is pro-bullying.  He mercilessly led his followers on a campaign of utter and personal destruction rather than debate the issues.  It’s an entirely emotional driven response, imo.

        • Guest

          What’s to debate? Mr. Santorum opposes homosexuality. That’s no more “debatable” than is opposition to being black or female or 6 feet tall. Mr. Santorum is in no way the victim here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregpiper Greg Piper

    Dan Savage’s campaign against Rick Santorum at the very least is in bad taste.  To turn somebody’s surname into vulgar slang (and it’s hard to think of anything more vulgar than the new meaning of “santorum”) goes beyond strenuous disagreement with that person’s politics, even something as personal as sexuality.  If a conservative pundit were to, say, start using “Pelosi” to mean some kind of feminine discharge, they would be roundly criticized, forced to make a public apology, and probably go on hiatus from whatever outlet (let’s say Fox News) pays them.  Not so for Savage – he gets a pass because he’s a liberal attacking a conservative and already writes a crude (but amusing) sex column.  I’m sure Santorum (the human) is a big boy who can handle the jeers, but it’s not something we should applaud.

  • Jeremiah Lewis

    So Dan Savage gets applauded for being an “activist journalist” while Breitbart gets “savaged.” No awards for consistency.

Job Listings on GeekWork

Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.