Host Garth Maier wants to know:
"Will the acceptance of homosexuality be the fall of America?"
Listeners were invited to call-in and respond, as well as answer "Yes" or "No" on an online survey being conducted by the station. (It looks as though the KTBB Talkback question changes everyday, so please note that this question may no longer appear on the station's Web site after tomorrow morning's broadcast.)
KETK, the NBC affiliate in Tyler, TX, gave further validity to this outrageous and potentially harmful question by re-airing the KTBB segment - in its entirety - on this morning's newscast.
Apparently three things prompted Maier to ask the question in the first place:
1. A report issued by the White House highlighting the diversity of President Obama's administration (which Maier and KETK re-phrase: "Obama administration boasts [emphasis added] largest number of gay appointees."
2. President Obama's video message to victims of anti-LGBT bullying as part of the "It Gets Better" project.
3. A recent 'study' that claims the number of teenagers with same-sex partners has doubled since 2002.
GLAAD is appalled that any reputable news organization would even think to invite debate on such a preposterous question, the language of which exhibits the rhetoric used regularly by anti-gay extremists.
News outlets have the obligation to use their airwaves responsibly - and certainly in a way that would not ever cause harm to a segment of the population (i.e. LGBT youth and others struggling with self-acceptance) that is vulnerable to the messages they see in the media. Especially in hindsight of recent suicides across the country, all the result of bullying based on one's actual or perceived sexual orientation, news outlets - now more than ever - must report fairly and responsibly.
GLAAD has received several incident reports today in response to the KTBB and KETK segments. We wanted to let you know that we are aware. We share your concern and are in the process of taking action against both stations.