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NCSF Media Activity Report - 2007

September 2007 to August 2008

The NCSF Media Committee reviews, edits, and refines the documents that NCSF distributes. The media committee is chaired by Susan Wright, spokesperson for NCSF, and consists of Levi Halberstadt, Keith Richie, Lisa Vandever, Lolita Wolf, and Howie Z.

Over the past year, Susan gave five media trainings including one for the board of a national event, and one at the annual CP meeting for CP reps and Atlanta community members. Four groups requested her services as spoksperson for their event, and she reviewed their Web sites for media "triggers".
In total, Susan received 85 requests in all via email and phone calls. These numbers are about the same as last year's, except for a drop in the number of inquiries:
  • 33 Interviews
  • 30 Incident Response Requests
  • 22 Inquiries
33 Interviews
Among others, Susan gave interviews to reporters with the following publications: Bay Area Reporter, Star Ledger, ABC News, WABC Radio, Globe & Mail, Portfolio Magazine, 1010 Wins, and The Colbert Report. A few examples:
  • Interview with Jeff Bercovici of Portfolio Magazine regarding the NY Post's sensationalized coverage of the Canadian man who went into a coma at the Nutcracker in New York.
  • Interview with Carly Weeks of Globe & Mail regarding the incident itself.
  • Interview with writer in Brisbane Australia regarding the proliferation of BDSM groups at universities.
  • Interview with David Shoetz of ABC News about Hunt Club of Brevard swingers, and an accidental bondage death case.
  • Interview with Lisa Rose of the Star Ledger regarding Floating World's "Torture and Interrogation" workshop featuring techniques used at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.
  • Interview with Curtis Sliwa on WABC Radio about the Star Ledger article.
  • X-Biz reporters continue to contact NCSF about a variety of issues, helping to feature BDSM and swing issues in adult entertainment coverage.
  • Several interviews were also given to Judy Dutton who is writing a book for Random House.
30 Incident Response Requests
The biggest media incident of the year involved the wide-spread national media attacks on Folsom Street Fair orchestrated by religious political extremist groups who denounced Miller for sponsoring the Fair. NCSF broadcast an Action Alert to help. Miller remains a sponsor of the fair.
On a more local level, recently the BerkMontNews ran an article quoting the borough president who outed and denounced the private Kissabal parties for swingers at the American House Hotel (these parties don't include any sexual activities). Susan was quoted in the BerkMontNews follow-up article questioning the validity of an elected official trying to stop adults from meeting together at a bar. The mayor stated that the town needed to attract business, not run it off. The borough president resigned the next week amid the controversy. The Kissabal parties continue on as planned. A few other examples:
  • Community Boardmember Goldman attacked the NY Leather Weekend, claiming the NY Leather Weekend streetfair doesn't belong in the West Village.
  • A man lost his church music job because he was photographed with a man on a leash at the Gay Pride Parade.
  • A nonprofit BDSM club was seeking media help while obtaining an adult entertainment license.
  • A club needed help writing letters to local officials regarding city health code and sex regulations.
  • The Cherry Pit, a swing club in Duncanville, Texas, that is now operating as a not-for-profit in a residential neighborhood consulted with both Susan and Legal Director John.
  • Guy Baldwin was attacked by religious political extremist groups when he was given a leather leadership award by NGLTF's Creating Change.
  • A hotel tried to break a contract with a fetish conference. With NCSF's help, the event went off as planned.
  • In three separate incidents caused by dangerous insiders, community members who feared being outed to the media requested help.
21 Inquiries
Reuters Insight Community Experts contacted Susan to join as a sexuality expert, and after submitting her credentials and application, Reuters is now referring her as an expert. The Hawaii Health Department requested statistics of BDSM practitioners. Plus there was an inquiry about how to go about removing Sexual Sadism, Sexual Masochism, and Fetishism from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistic Manual IV-TR.
NCSF Actions Alerts
Two Action Alerts were broadcast over the past year: NCSF urged community members to write to the Task Force and thank them for recognizing Guy Baldwin with their Leather Leadership Award at Creating Change. NCSF also called for letters of support for Folsom Street Fair to be sent to Miller Brewing thanking them for being a sponsor of the Fair. Miller remains a sponsor of the Fair for this year.
Press Releases
A total of eight press releases were also broadcast over the past year which included much more detailed information about what NCSF does for the community:
  • NCSF 10th Anniversary Historical Retrospective: The Coalition Partner Perspective
  • Coalition Partners Celebrate a Year of Success at NCSF's Annual Meeting
  • NCSF Welcomes New Executive Director
  • NCSF's Education Outreach Program (EOP) welcomes a new Coordinator
  • Nominate ITCR: The Foundation of NCSF for's Charity Giveaway!
  • NCSF 10th Anniversary pins now for sale!
  • Volunteer for NCSF!
  • Stand Up and Be Counted! Participate in the Survey of Violence & Discrimination Against Sexual Minorities
NCSF is here to help you - the SM, swing and polyamory communities. If you have a problem with the media because of your sexual expression, please call NCSF for assistance. You can visit our Web site on or call our media hotline at 917-848-6544.
Please support NCSF in our effort to change the political, legal, and social environment in the United States. We are committed to making a difference. Join NCSF as a member or please hold a fund raiser and donate to NCSF!
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Consent Counts: We're Making a Difference

  • Completed Federal and State Legal Research
  • Developed Educational Programs and Outreach Materials
  • Built Alliances With Sexual Freedom Advocacy Groups

About Consent Counts

NCSF is leading a major national campaign—Consent Counts—to change the laws and police practices that our communities now endure, and to establish that consent is available as a defense in criminal BDSM prosecutions.

  • BDSM is prosecuted as assault in the U.S., even when it is consensual.
  • No state or appellate court has allowed consent as a defense to assault in BDSM cases.
  • Consent Counts is a nationwide project to decriminalize consensual BDSM.
Program Goals:
Consent Counts
is a nationwide project to decriminalize consensual BDSM through education, advocacy, legal actions and lobbying.


Judy Guerin
Director, Consent Counts 
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