Although he originally said it was "insulting" to suggest that he was attempting to promote Michelle Shocked with a coordinated media effort across three of his publications, S.F. Newspaper Company President Todd Vogt has now been outed by the Bay Area Reporter. In emails obtained by the noted LGBT paper (which Vogt is in the process of acquiring 49% stake in), Vogt told Shocked, "I will pimp the hell out of the show in all 3 papers."
The emails were part of negotiations between Vogt, his staff and Shocked as they worked out deals for advertising, the free concert and an exclusive interview. An insider not involved with the deals provided the emails to media outlets late Wednesday, but Vogt confirmed yesterday that the emails were his. In an update to Wednesday's story, the Bay Area Reporter shows that Vogt has lied at nearly every turn as he attempted to do damage control this week.
The first email in the chain reportedly reveals that an S.F. Examiner advertising rep reached out to Shocked first — just days after she went on an odd, anti-gay rant onstage at Yoshi's. From the B.A.R.:
"This would be a great opportunity for you to reach our Audience," the [Examiner] ad rep said, adding that he'd read she'd apologized that day.
After several exchanges between Shocked and the Examiner staffer, Vogt sent Shocked a message. He proposed she buy an ad in the Pride guide and that she come to San Francisco to play a free show in June.
On Tuesday, Vogt told CBS5's Joe Vazquez that Shocked had initially reached out to his company to buy ad space in the Weekly's annual Pride Guide and that he strongly refused her offer. According to this email exchange, the President of a company that owns three of the San Francisco's major print publications flat out lied to a reporter for another major local news outlet.
Although it appears that Vogt never offered to pay Ms. Shocked for the concert, he did offer to cover the costs of the venue and Shocked's trip to San Francisco.
Earlier this week Vogt also insisted that the timing of the free concert scheduled for June 30th "coincidentally" worked for a venue in Shocked's schedule — another lie refuted by the newspaper man's email exchange with the singer.
"To get the most bang for the buck," Shocked wrote, "let's settle on June 30 for a couple of reasons: 1. SF Pride 2. SF Pride 3. SF Pride." To which Vogt replied on June 10th, "I love the plan for June 30 for all 3 reasons you listed."
In his defense of this shitshow, which has become more about Vogt's mismanagement rather than Shocked's perceived homophobia, Vogt offered some words of contrition. "Hindsight is 20/20," he said, and he could see how the email exchange could be misconstrued or taken out of context. What cannot be misconstrued here, however, is how Vogt's own words reveal his inability to get his a story straight, even when faced with hard evidence. "It would be incredibly hypocritical," Vogt explained, "to say, 'that's not what I meant.' " But, as he told the B.A.R.: that's not what he meant.
Vogt still maintains that the purpose of the concert was not for publicity, "but I can see exactly how it looks."
Like the concert, the interview with S.F. Weekly has been cancelled. In an email Wednesday, Shocked told Vogt that music editor Ian Port's "failure to procure an interview was deliberate and intentional." Earlier in the week Shocked said on Twitter that she denied Port's request to tape the interview and that Port declined to do the interview online via Twitter. (Which wouldn't make for a very interesting cover story interview, to be honest.)
Perhaps feeling played by her "pimp," Shocked went on: "You are welcome to use [the cancelled interview] to justify any political or economic pressures that have beset you to retract our agreement. I promise it will only be my opinion of you that is lowered, and it wasn't very high to begin with." We're told there will still be a Michelle Shocked story in the Weekly, but we will have to wait until next Wednesday's paper to see what form it takes.
At no point in the email exchange does either party mention using the concert as a venue for a mea culpa, but according to Vogt an apology was discussed in a FaceTime chat between Ms. Shocked and himself. Shocked's request to put the concert offer in writing set off the Vogt's June 7th "pimp the hell out of the show" email.
Finally, it looks like the Weekly won't be the only outlet talking Michelle Shocked next week. There were some rumblings on Twitter Friday morning that ABC7's Dan Noyes would be putting her on the evening news:
Previously: Michelle Shocked Show Cancelled, S.F. Examiner President Apologizes
S.F. Examiner President Talks Free Michelle Shocked Concert
Michelle Shocked To Promote Herself With Free Concert During Pride, S.F. Examiner Op-Ed
All Todd Vogt, Michelle Shocked coverage on SFist