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Texas NBC Affiliate Apologizes for Re-Airing Segment Surveying Listeners About Whether Gays are Destroying America

Yesterday I posted the hideous segment from KETK, an NBC affiliate in Tyler, Texas, which re-aired a segment from KTBB radio surveying listeners about whether gays were destroying America. Listen to it HERE.

Texas_gays KTBB radio posted this apology on its site today:

The Talkback question that aired on KTBB Radio and was simulcast on KETK NBC 56 television in Tyler on Wednesday, October 27 was unfortunate in its wording and unfortunate in the perception that it created among a large number of thoughtful individuals. The question, “Will the acceptance of homosexuality lead to the fall of America?” is poorly worded at best and inappropriate altogether at worst. For that, we apologize.

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.

Paul L. Gleiser, President
KTBB Radio

GLAAD also followed up with the station, which is attempting to make amends in various ways. KETK has removed the piece form its website, and will also air an upcoming interview with Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns, who has become something of an anti-bullying icon in Texas and around the country after his statement to the City Council in Fort Worth. KETK General Manager Dave Tillery is considering appearing on-air to apologize, and the station is rethinking how they repackage the KTBB content.

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  1. When did Fred Phelps buy a radio station?

    Posted by: Big Gay Jason | Oct 28, 2010 8:41:48 PM

  2. "The proper role, if any, for openly gay individuals in the military"

    Piss poor apology

    Posted by: Richie | Oct 28, 2010 8:57:51 PM

  3. I'm done with these non-apologies. It's simply not good enough. There aren't any "oops, sowwees" for antisemitism and racism; people get fired. And it's not a mistake--this was intentional.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 28, 2010 9:01:45 PM

  4. And the attempt to make this about "context" and "phrasing" plays right into the accidental spin...which is bullshit. Racism, homophobia and sexism...bigotries are almost NEVER accidental. Not today...any man who uses the 'n' word to refer to blacks is making a very conscious decision.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 28, 2010 9:05:55 PM

  5. What is so ugly about this, is that the station is now trying to position it as "reasonable people may disagree," and that it's ok to "disagree" in a discussion about OUR CIVIL RIGHTS. Substitute the word "homosexuality" in this context with any other minority class and I don't think there would be any "discussion" at all. This is not political speech, it's pandering and fear-mongering to the lowest common denominator.

    Posted by: bluedogJ | Oct 28, 2010 9:08:03 PM

  6. "For the offense that was taken, we sincerely apologize," is not the same as "for the mistake that we made, we sincerely apologize." Mr. Gleiser has not really apologized.

    Posted by: gregory king | Oct 28, 2010 9:21:41 PM

  7. I don't see any apology from the NBC affiliate, just some lame nonsense from the radio station.

    Posted by: justiceontherocks | Oct 28, 2010 9:25:01 PM

  8. Yeah, the headline is misleading. The "apology" (if you can call it that) is from KTBB, not the NBC affiliate KETK.

    Posted by: JJ | Oct 28, 2010 9:37:32 PM

  9. The real giveaway line is this one:

    "...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."

    Bullsh*t. This station is not only pushing a specific far-right agenda, they're using very old tactics.

    It's the old "go to gay pride parades in a big city like New York or LA, film the most extreme whacko in a costume, and then go back and pretend to your audience that that was what the entire parade was about" (rarely do they actually show the tame gay pride parades that occur in most communities smaller than the biggest cities which tend to have modestly dressed folks in nice T-shirts peacefully marching and maybe carrying signs).

    You can bet they won't have cameras on events like Mardi Gras parades fretting about straight women showing their tits for beads and straights in all sorts of scanty costumes groping each other.

    It would be akin to them shooting images of the most inappropriately dressed African-American men they could find at Freaknik in Atlanta and doing a "debate" about "are blacks out of control" (though who knows, this hateful station sounds like they wouldn't be above such a thing).

    "Reasonable debate" my *ss.

    They're using the oldest tricks in the book, and they expect us to think they're sincerely apologizing. They can go to hell.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Oct 28, 2010 9:40:05 PM

  10. @BlueDogJ

    But there were extensive discussions.

    Just as nasty, in fact, as what they are throwing at LGBT folks today.

    Go back into the congressional record, or hansard in the Commonwealth countries, and look up all the vile comments - uttered by perfectly respectable politicians - about various minority groups before they secured their civil rights. The Irish are naturally violent and boorish. Italians are swarthy half-breeds. Jews are kidnapping children for blood sacrifices. Women shouldn't vote because they are too emotional and irrational. Blacks shouldn't be allowed to serve in the military because they would destroy morale and unit cohesion (sounds familiar?). Asians breed like rabbits and are carriers of disease. Catholics are conspiring with the Vatican to overthrow the government.

    After savaging the minority in question, they used the "reasonable people may disagree" canard too. And if that fails to sufficiently silence the opposition, then they go to the free speech excuse and accuse their critics of being unpatriotic. There's nothing new here. Same old evil and hatred masquerading as civilized debate.

    Posted by: John | Oct 28, 2010 10:05:47 PM

  11. As offensive as this is, it is just a tiny town in Texas. Shouldn't be a surprise at the sentiments there. Houston, the 4th largest city in the country, has an openly gay mayor with a partner and they raise several adopted kids together. Please don't lump all of Texas together. Texas is the second largest economy in the nation and the 15th largest in the world.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Oct 28, 2010 10:12:50 PM

  12. It's Tyler, Texas. Every single person I know from Tyler is gay. Dallas is packed with evacuees. It's no secret that the loudest protesters are the most likely to be found using a "wide stance" in a restroom. They are all self-loathing homophobes.

    Posted by: Its in the Water | Oct 28, 2010 11:15:50 PM

  13. And not a word was said about the pandering done by the TV anchors and the radio host? The radio host was so breathlessly asking if President Obama had appointed too many gay folks to positions in the White House, I wasn't sure he wouldn't have a case of the vapors before he finished. The TV anchors seemed to not understand there is a world outside Texas where gays are accepted and valued. Is it too late to return Texas to Mexico and get a refund?

    Posted by: mad1026 | Oct 29, 2010 12:36:50 AM

  14. There is nothing reasonable about the extraordinarily silly notion that gays are somehow going to contribute to America's downfall. We are a small minority, and nothing we do---even if it were a goal---will ever have a massive impact on the economy, our global image, our ability to protect ourselves from foreign attack, or anything else that could be construed as a "downfall."

    The question is inherently bigoted and will only promote incendiary responses from idiots. That is not true journalism. It's tabloid BS with a very intentional nasty edge.

    Posted by: Paul R | Oct 29, 2010 12:52:19 AM

  15. "As offensive as this is, it is just a tiny town in Texas. Shouldn't be a surprise at the sentiments there."

    Posted by: Brian in Texas

    As someone in that small Texas town I am amazed that you just did what you asked others not to do. You are part of the problem, as is KTBB, perpetuating stereotypes. Most people in the Tyler area do not take this guy (the radio personality in question) seriously, he is a small minded idiot, much like Brian.

    Posted by: Joe in Small Texas town | Oct 29, 2010 7:57:04 AM

  16. The fact that NBC Universal, as the parent company of this station, hasn't taken a stance on this, is reprehensible. As so many have said, if the question was "Do you think African-Americans will destroy our country" or "Do you think Jews will destroy our country" this would have been over by now. But people are too busy pandering to threats of boycott made by religious groups and wingnut organizations like Focus on the Family and NOM to stand up for basic human rights. It is so exhausting to have stuff like this come out on a daily basis. The federal government is all too happy to have gay people pay taxes, but we're not equal citizens in the eyes of human rights. I call bulls--t.

    Posted by: Larry | Oct 29, 2010 8:37:27 AM

  17. This isn't limited to a small radio station in Texas. The State of CA. voted against equal rights for gays as well.

    Posted by: Gollors | Oct 29, 2010 8:42:24 AM

  18. He apologies to anyone who "took" offense? But he's evidently not sorry his ignorant redneck hate speech caused offense.

    Oh, well, it's Texas -- where Creationism is science.

    Posted by: Wimsy | Oct 29, 2010 10:19:38 AM

  19. "...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."

    They're absolutely right. Let's have no more hetero hand-holding in public. It's offensive, nauseating, and I shouldn't have to look at it!

    Posted by: Wimsy | Oct 29, 2010 10:24:52 AM

  20. Pity they also didn't ask if the Jews controll the media & the Jewish bankers the world?

    Posted by: von lmo | Oct 29, 2010 12:09:10 PM

  21. Oh their real upset about all the publicity this has received. Their crying all the way to the bank.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 29, 2010 12:18:14 PM

  22. Boy am I glad I moved out of Tyler a few months ago, I shudder to think how my friends reacted to this utter Trash.

    Posted by: Ryon Auberjonois | Oct 29, 2010 12:53:22 PM

  23. This guy, Paul L. Gleiser, is on the Board of Directors - and was a former Board President - for the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Texas!!!

    I think the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Texas should be called and emailed regarding such a leader in a movement impacting youth development!!

    Posted by: Jeff Brown | Oct 29, 2010 1:07:04 PM

  24. We need to evacuate the flamers from Tyler now! Who will pilot the chopper?

    Posted by: Sheeple | Oct 29, 2010 8:10:52 PM

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