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PRI's 'To The Point': More Homophobic Rantings In Wake Of Penn State Scandal

OlneyOn yesterday's To The Point, the PRI news and analysis show, host Warren Olney intended to discuss two subjects: The Penn state scandal and LGBT parents. The discussion featured, among other guests, The Arkansas Family Council's Jerry Cox, who used his time at the mic to press-gang the Penn State tragedy into a morality tale about the dangers of LGBT adoptions.

His reasoning seems to be something like this (and this is really a guess, since Cox very seldom says exactly what he means): Jerry Sandusky, the Penn Stage defensive coach who allegedly raped an unknown number of boys over an unknown number of years, is gay. Sandusky also acted as a foster-parent to a number of children. Ergo, it's dangerous for LGBT-folk to adopt. Said Cox [as transcribed by Gawker]:

The gold standard is that the best place for a child to grow up is in a stable home with a loving mother and father. Our position is that if the state is going to take children into custody, it ought to put children in the best homes possible...These children have been damaged, and need a stable home more than any child out there. What does the research and common sense show? You're going to put them in a home with a loving mother and father.

I find it interesting that we talk about the Penn State situation, and then when we talk about people who claim to have these rights to adopt or foster; in both cases, the children's rights get put in second place. If you give the rights to the adults, the children will be compromised.

Of course, Sandusky isn't gay. He was what somebody like Cox might call a man's man. Married, two kids, involved in athletics, successful, founder of a massive charity. In fact, for most of his life Sandusky seemed like precisely the kind of person Cox would want to adopt children. This was the idea that To The Point's Warren Olney tried to articulate, but he bungled it. Said Olney to Cox [again, via Gawker]:

Shouldn't we reexamine attitudes towards allowing homosexuals access to children, seeing as how ‘macho' Sandusky wound up defying stereotypes and raped them anyway?

Maybe it was Olney's use of the word "we" that muddied the situation, or perhaps his use of Cox's preferred term, "homosexuals." (Those two word choices make it possible to read his statement as suggesting that he and public radiofolk ought to reevaluate their pro-gay propensities.) Or maybe it's his suggestion that the Penn State tragedy and LGBT adoption have anything to do with each other at all.

In any event, GLAAD didn't much like the timbre of the show, and this morning published a press release calling for NPR to clarify its stance. Apparently, Olney had already apologized to an interlocutor at GLAAD. Olney's statement reads:

We apologize for any confusion about today’s “To the Point,” which dealt with both the Penn State child-sex scandal and the issue of same-sex couples as foster or adoptive parents.  The connection we intended to make was this: a suspected pedophile backed by a powerful institution was allowed to have foster children, while same-sex couples, who can provide loving families, are often denied that opportunity.  We'll air listener comments and further discussion on Monday's program.

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  1. i listen to that show almost daily. I am glad i did not hear it or i would have gotten in an auto accident with my emotions.

    i find it interesting that "they" always link gay and pedophilic behavior. We all know that there is no connection. What the media should be exploring is the psychodynamics of pedophilic behavior and the cause. It has nothing to do with gay behavior.

    Posted by: al | Nov 12, 2011 8:06:55 PM

  2. Isn't PRI just the for-profit production company for a lot of public radio shows, mostly local/state public radio? NPR is more the public affairs and news side of public radio.

    Posted by: anon | Nov 12, 2011 11:27:16 PM

  3. If you WILLINGLY put your penis in a male's butthole, you are, at least, a little gay.

    Posted by: Me To | Nov 12, 2011 11:45:58 PM

  4. I'm so beyond listening to NPR and their faux "even-handedness." They seem incapable of recognizing just how much they've hurt the truth in so many ways, not just with this story. I stopped tuning in a long time ago.

    Posted by: Kyle Michel Sullivan | Nov 13, 2011 12:13:47 AM

  5. Caliban- Actually Penn State is very accepting of GLBT people and GLBT students. They have a very intense anti-discrimation policy when it comes to hate crimes and harassment of GLBT people.

    They are one of the top universities for LGBT students and many colleges and universities try to emulate their LGBT programs for students and the community there.

    Just look what happened to Penn State basetball coach Rene Portland when she said how then closeted Lesbian player Jennifer Harris was lesbian, Portland was fired immediately.

    Kiwi-Paterno is not to blame and he did not protect a child rapist. Paterno told the Penn State board of trustees and University President and Board of Trustees and University President could have taken legal action and they did not do anything.

    McQuay also is to blame since he witnessed the rape and yet did not do anything to stop it at the time; but it sounds as though he was in shock over it.

    People actually have been very angry that the University board of trustees and University President.

    Posted by: Voice of Reason | Nov 14, 2011 4:33:29 AM

  6. It's funny that the discussion of restricting adoptions or repressed sexuality never comes up when we hear about men molesting little girls, and women molesting little boys. Maybe because these predators sexual orientation has nothing to do with their desire to have sex with children. Men who molest little boys are not homosexuals, the vast majority of them have never had sex with another man. Their desire isn't to have sex with adult men, it's to have sex with little boys, which is the whole point.

    Posted by: cadence | Nov 14, 2011 8:30:06 AM

  7. Voice Of Reason, I disagree with you that Paterno bears no responsibility. While he may be blameless according to the law, he had direct knowledge that Sandusky was a serial child sex abuser, in fact a rapist of children since they are both legally and cognitively unable to give consent. Since there had been a previous event in the Penn State showers Paterno and others also knew it was a pattern of behavior AND that through his charity and foster children in his home Sandusky had constant daily contact with children.

    And what did they do about it? They told him not to bring children to the Penn State campus anymore, which basically boils down to "keep it elsewhere." Then they continued working with him for years afterward with the knowledge his crime had gone unreported.

    Sorry, but even if no charges are filed against Paterno, McQueary, or any of the other Penn State officials they were accessories after the fact. They bear at least some culpability for the crimes Sandusky committed after the unambiguous rape of a child was witnessed by McQueary, which went unreported. If they weren't lionized public figures in the sports world they likely would be charged for their guilty knowledge.

    Posted by: Caliban | Nov 14, 2011 12:00:44 PM

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