GLAAD Demands Radio Outlets Rescind Airtime to Anti-American Westboro Baptist Church in the Wake of Tucson Shootings

GLAAD, Thousands of Americans Urge Media to Pay Tribute to Victims and Keep Hate Off the Airwaves

Rich Ferraro
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011
ferraro@glaad.org

January 13, 2011

 

New York, NY, January 13, 2011 The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today called on the nationally syndicated Mike Gallagher Show, KXXT-AM in Tolleson, Arizona, and CFNY-FM, 102.1 "The Edge" in Toronto to rescind their offers to reward the Westboro Baptist Church with airtime.

The radio outlets agreed to host the Westboro Baptist Church after it announced plans to picket the funeral of Christina Taylor Green, the nine-year-old girl tragically killed last weekend in Tucson. The group also called off additional plans to picket the funeral of U.S. District Judge John Roll after the Mike Gallagher Show, a nationally syndicated radio show reaching millions, offered the group a platform to, according to a Westboro spokesperson, "communicate its message with as wide an audience as possible."

According to The Los Angeles Times, the group had made no decisions about whether it would picket the four other victims' funerals.

"The promotion of the Westboro Baptist Church's hateful vitriol has no place on our airwaves or at the funerals of these victims," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios.

"While countless media outlets around the country are properly paying tribute to the fallen, these radio outlets have decided to cave to blackmail tactics and reward one of our nation's most anti-American groups," Barrios continued. "Such action only incentivizes groups like Westboro with an opportunity to broadcast their hate to millions."

For more than 20 years, the Westboro Baptist Church has cynically and maliciously exploited the suffering of countless brave and patriotic American families by protesting the funerals of innocent victims and fallen heroes. Westboro Baptist Church has held up signs at the funerals of fallen soldiers, saying "Thank God for IEDs," "Pray for More Dead Soldiers" and "God Killed Your Son." Before the families of victims of September 11th, they held up signs saying "Thank God for 9/11" and "God Hates America." Westboro has picketed the funerals of hate crime victims with placards reading "God Wants Your Son Dead" and "God Hates Fags."

This week Westboro has reacted to the tragedy in Tucson with messages like "God Sent the Shooter."

This morning, GLAAD launched an online action for concerned community members and allies to send e-mails to the media outlets. The action had over 1,500 participants as of this morning. For more information: www.glaad.org/nowestboro.

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