Sign The Guestbook
View The Guestbook
Archived Guestbook
Submit An Article
Staff List
Privacy Policy



Weekly Features
Letter from New York
Mathew Tombers is the President of Intermat, Inc., a consulting practice that specializes in the intersection of media, technology and marketing. For two years, he produced the Emmys on the Web and supervised web related activities for the Academy, including for the 50th Anniversary year of the Emmy Awards. In addition to its consulting engagements, Intermat recently sold METEOR’S TALE, an unpublished novel by Michael O’Rourke, to Animal Planet for development as a television movie. Visit his web site at

Dancing Faster Than Ever?

If you are a resident of New York City, there is an ad running on local television that is priceless. It features Ed Koch, an almost archetypical New Yorker, a Republican, and a former Mayor of the city. He has, unlike this current crop of Republicans, a sense of humor.

The city, or the Republican Committee, is utilizing him to encourage New Yorkers to be friendly and helpful to Delegates to the Republican Convention as they descend upon New York.

This week, however, I realized the commercials were in very, very heavy rotation. I couldn?t turn on local television without seeing former Mayor Koch encouraging all of us to be nice to his fellow Republicans. Their frequency amazed me and then I realized that, of course, they would be frequent. This is a Democratic City, historically filled with antipathy towards Republicans.

I know a number of people who intended to demonstrate against them while they were here. However, many people I know who intended to protest are now planning to ignore the Republicans and have their own party.

The sense of urgency for making a public statement against the Republican Party is waning. Most people are sensing, suddenly, that this sitting President is vulnerable and defeat-able. No one really thought that a few months ago. People who despised President George W. Bush thought there was nothing that really could be done to stop the Republican juggernaut.

That's changed.

The dour and sour visages of the Republican Administration now seem dour and sour not because of the seriousness of the global situation but because they sense the free ride they thought they got when Bush became President is now on the line.

Bush chose not to go to visit the NAACP. Kerry was present and impressive. Bush has seemed a bit thick tongued in his reasoning about not going.

Indeed, if something could be said about the change in the last few weeks it is this: the eloquent and easy voices of the Republicans, the smooth and confident voices that have dominated the political scene for the last few years have become: thick tongued. The voices of everyone connected with this administration now sound awkward, a bit strident, defensive and very, very annoyed.

I have never identified with anyone whose last name was Reagan but I suddenly find myself quite taken with Ron Reagan. The son of the most revered Republican since Eisenhower is speaking to the Democratic Convention. While I am sure he will confine his comments to stem cell research, the very fact he is speaking there, and with the blessing of his mother, is phenomenal and I applaud him. And her.

The Republicans don't want to hear from stem cell research.

The Senate has blocked an amendment to ban gay marriage. That it did shocked me. And filled me with hope. The subject of gay marriage has been a bit abstract even to me. It became less abstract when Tripp was in the emergency room and I wanted to check him on him. A very stern lady, who looked very conservative, challenged me as I asked to be admitted through security. Are you family, she asked.

I am his partner, I responded. My heart skipped beats, wondering if I would have problems. I was in Hudson, not New York City. But when I said that, she smiled and pressed the button that opened the security doors.

Then I knew why it was important that gay marriage be part of the national conversation. However we come to resolution about that issue, I want that resolution to be absolutely clear that I am not barred by lack of legality from caring for the person who is most important to me.

My immediate and very practical response was to get us to an attorney and make sure our paperwork protected both of us.

Tripp's illness personalized my dispute with the Republican Party. It seems to want to prevent me from acknowledging all that is best about my life.

Mayor Koch, you need to dance faster.

***In Memoriam***

Last Friday I received a phone call from John Cadwell, a television executive and producer whom I have known, on and off, for the last dozen years. He had worked for the BBC and Sunbow in distribution. He produced a documentary mini-series for Bravo. He was negotiating a deal with LOGO and asked my input on some issues he was dealing with around that. On Monday I got an e-mail saying he had passed away unexpectedly on Fire Island, where he was on holiday. John was originally from Wisconsin but was, to me, a quintessential New Yorker. I had been out of touch with him for a number of years but reconnected with him several months ago at Real Screen in D.C. We had talked several times since then. I was looking forward to him being a more active part of my life. I want to acknowledge his passing. He was relatively young; there was much left he would have given.