On Friday, Glenn described the resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich as “an American nightmare.” Eich’s resignation followed several weeks of public outcry over a $1,000 donation he made in support of California’s Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot proposition defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.
The online dating site OkCupid led the charge against Eich, posting a letter on its homepage that painted Eich as anti-gay and encouraged Mozilla Firefox users to switch to a different browser. When Eich resigned last Thursday, OkCupid cheered the ousting:
“We are pleased that OkCupid’s boycott has brought tremendous awareness to the critical matter of equal rights for all individuals and partnerships,” the company wrote in a statement.
In a bizarre twist, it now appears as though OkCupid may have been a little quick to judge. According to Uncrunched, OkCupid’s co-founder and CEO Sam Yagan made a $500 donation to Congressman Chris Cannon (R-UT) in 2004. Cannon, who openly opposed same-sex marriage, voted against a ban on sexual-orientation based job discrimination, and voted for prohibition of gay adoptions, reportedly earned a 0% rating from the pro-abortion group NARAL Pro Choice America.
On radio this morning, Glenn, Pat and Stu discussed the potential black eye this could be for the dating site. After all, by OkCupid’s own ridiculous standard, Yagan should step down. Furthermore, Glenn continues to find himself aligned with strange bedfellows as Mother Jones once again took a balanced approach to its coverage.
“We have to give kudos to Mother Jones today because… they decided: Well, if we’re going to do witch hunts, let’s look at OkCupid,” Glenn explained. “And the CEO of OkCupid, the guy who led the campaign against the [Mozilla] CEO, also has given money. He gave money to Chris Cannon, a candidate who was… against gay marriage… So Mother Jones is like, ‘Well, what about the CEO of OkCupid? What kind of hater is he? Should we fire him now?’”
In an article published Monday, Mother Jones’ Hannah Levintova writes:
Of course, it’s been a decade since Yagan’s donation to Cannon, and a decade or more since many of Cannon’s votes on gay rights. 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.
Regardless of how Yagan feels about gay marriage now, Glenn explained why there should be legitimate concerns about his leadership.
“Here’s the thing: If I were a shareholder in OkCupid, I wouldn’t want this guy to be the CEO for legitimate reasons,” Glenn said. “The guy is so reckless and such a hypocrite… What is the motivation there? He’s put the whole company in jeopardy.”
“So did you actually believe what you said that OkCupid is all about love? Or did you just see that as a convenient way to make your company look like you’re all about love, but you don’t really care,” Glenn asked. “All this game playing is done. There are no secrets anymore, gang.”