Main | Thursday, October 28, 2010

Texas NBC Station Apologizes For Homophobic Viewer Call-In Segment

Calling it "poorly worded at best and inappropriate altogether at worst," the general manager of the Texas NBC affiliate that broadcast yesterday's "Will homosexuals bring about America's destruction?" segment has issued an apology. The story became national news after being posted here on JMG thanks to a tip from a reader in Texas. CORRECTION: The below apology is from the manager of the radio station whose program was simulcast on the television station referenced further down in this post.
There are many issues surrounding homosexuality that are fair game for discussion in the media and in opinion journalism. The proper role, if any, for openly gay individuals in the military, the legitimacy of same-sex marriages and the public behavior by some individuals at gay and lesbian events held outdoors in public view are among topics about which reasonable people may disagree. These and other topics surrounding homosexuality are topics that talk radio hosts and opinion journalists may legitimately pose to their respective audiences.

With that said, the way our Talkback question was posed might be seen as asking, “Do homosexuals, by their very existence, threaten to bring down America?” We believe that such a question, posed in such a manner, is likely to generate more heat than light. I understand how those who either heard, or heard about, KTBB’s Talkback question on Wednesday might have been offended. For the offense that was taken, we sincerely apologize.
GLAAD has gotten involved and convinced the station to remove the offending clip from their site. (My mirror of the clip remains on YouTube.) Additionally GLAAD is working to have Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns appear on the station to talk about homophobia in the media. GLAAD reports that the above-mentioned station manager will go on-air to denounce the piece.
General Manager Dave Tillery has also responded to our request that he appear on-camera to speak on behalf of the station. Dave realizes how important it is that the station acknowledge in front of their viewers what they’ve acknowledged to GLAAD over the phone – that a segment like Wednesday’s has no place on the airwaves of a reputable news organization. Furthermore, Dave plans to acknowledge the potential harm that could be caused by Wednesday’s report and will commit, on behalf of the station, to being more careful in the future. Lastly, KETK is rethinking how they will repackage KTBB Talkback content for future newscasts. KETK General Manager Dave Tillery shared with GLAAD that he will be meeting tomorrow with Paul Gleiser, KTBB’s owner/general manager.
This story isn't over yet, but we've seen quick movement in the right direction thanks to GLAAD and to the readership of this blog who deluged the right parties with complaints.

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