NBC Texas station asks: Will acceptance of gays be the “downfall of America?”

October 27, 2010 at 3:50 pm 72 comments

by Andy Kelley
New Media Organizer, Courage Campaign

This is outrageous.

I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t watched it myself: An NBC station in Texas actually asked their members “Do you think this country’s acceptance of homosexuality could lead to it’s downfall?” But that’s exactly what happened today both online and on the air on KETK-NBC in East Texas:

This story comes in as our post that an Arkansas School Board Member has called for LGBT youth to commit suicide is still breaking news.

What is more, the station’s website continues to display the footage of this segment as if it were nothing out of the ordinary. Cordially remarking that their viewers were asked to “bend the ear” of the segment host, as if it had been a story discussing the relative cuteness of kittens.

I find it both outrageous and disheartening that NBC, the network that brought us such forward thinking and inclusive shows as “Will and Grace,” would stand for this sort of anti-gay nonsense from one of its affiliates. In that though, at least, I am not alone.

Already there are efforts being organized on Facebook, seeking to stop this NBC station from continuing to spread this type of anti-gay “news.”

It’s disconcerting that amidst the progress and positivity of the “It Gets Better” Project, that there would be such huge setback on our airwaves, and by our elected officials. A crystal clear reminder that though the road ahead will get better, it is up to each of us to continue to hold those in positions of power accountable.

UPDATE BY ANDY: October 28, 2010:

The radio station which originally produced this Talkback segment has issued an apology, will NBC Universal follow? Further updates will be part of our new post here.

Entry filed under: Right-wing, Videos.

WWMD: What would Maggie do?… Arkansas school board member calls for LGBT kids to commit suicide The best of the worst: 24 hours of NOM “Judge Bus” lowlights in the heartland

72 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alan E.  |  October 27, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I heard the whole thing earlier today, and it’s just ridiculous the amount of ignorance.

    Reply
    • 2. Ann S.  |  October 27, 2010 at 4:03 pm

      What a horrible story for so many reasons. Among them, the dizzying and repetitive video montage.

      Reply
    • 3. Kathleen  |  October 27, 2010 at 4:07 pm

      The level of ignorance is mind numbing.

      Reply
  • 4. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  October 27, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Will catch up later. In a Feed Equality BOD meeting.

    Reply
    • 5. Wine Country Lurker Grrl  |  October 27, 2010 at 3:56 pm

      Checking the box.

      Too speechless to have anything else to say….

      Reply
    • 6. Rhie  |  October 27, 2010 at 4:43 pm

      The MOD BOD Squad! But not in mesh shorts…

      Reply
  • 7. Ronnie  |  October 27, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    If it was not the downfall of every other country in the modern world then it will not be the downfall here…sorry to bust your bubble Texas….take a reality pill…It’s homophobia that will be the downfall of America…nobody decent & good wants to be affiliated w/a bigot….when is Texas going to rescind their connection to the union…so that we can put together a search & rescue for our LGBT & Heterosexual Brother’s & Sisters?…<3…Ronnie

    Reply
    • 8. Mark  |  October 27, 2010 at 9:43 pm

      I sais it before, and I’ll say it again…I do not think the other 49 states would complain if we gave Texas back to Mexico.

      Reply
      • 9. the lone ranger  |  October 28, 2010 at 8:52 am

        I’m sure Mexico would be too embarrassed to take TX back.

        Reply
  • 10. yayponies  |  October 27, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    I hate the world. So very, very much.

    Reply
    • 11. Cat  |  October 27, 2010 at 4:29 pm

      That’s understandable, but it’s possible to find a smaller part of the world that is actually quite nice, despite all the idiots out there. I hope you can find that part and make it your own…

      Reply
      • 12. Ray in MA  |  October 27, 2010 at 5:11 pm

        Yes, for many of us, we have to keep our smalll part of the world in check in order to cope. It’s that which will give us all the power to be.

        Reply
  • 13. Jim  |  October 27, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Do you think this country’s acceptance of bad punctuation could lead to it’s downfall?

    Reply
    • 14. Ann S.  |  October 27, 2010 at 4:40 pm

      Jim, that’s far more likely!

      Reply
    • 15. Rhie  |  October 27, 2010 at 4:44 pm

      *snicker* Yes, yes I think you are right.

      Reply
  • 16. Ed  |  October 27, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    As horrible as it is to see and hear this from an NBC affiliate and then to read the awful words of a School board member in Arkansas, I really believe we are seeing the bitter end of their losing the war. I have to believe, and after reading the comments on the NBC web site, a majority of Americans will want to disassociate with this kind of hate and ignorance as fast as they can. Only the dumbest and uneducated among us would want to be in that group. I know people are hurt when they hear it, but I see it as a good thing. From a PR or political standpoint, you couldn’t ask for your opposition to behave in a more self destructive manner.

    Reply
    • 17. Cat  |  October 27, 2010 at 4:53 pm

      That’s an upbeat way of looking at it. I like it!

      You can also file this under the “Common household item may kill all your children! Are you in danger? Find out more when we come back!” tag. Clearly sensational stuff that is designed to retain viewers, nothing else.

      Reply
    • 18. JonT  |  October 27, 2010 at 4:57 pm

      I agree. As their hate mongering becomes more and more outside the mainstream, their shrill, panicked voices get louder and louder.

      If anything, theocracy gaining a foothold would be the downfall of America.

      Good riddance to them I say. The world will be a nicer place without them.

      Reply
    • 19. Straight Ally #3008  |  October 27, 2010 at 4:58 pm

      Indeed, the professional bigots are ratcheting up the rhetoric because they know they’re going to lose, and they think this is the way they can prolong the fight (i.e. every penny of donations) as long as possible.

      Reply
    • 20. Lawrence  |  October 27, 2010 at 6:30 pm

      I agree with Ed, but I am also surprised that we should be surprised or disappointed that there are setbacks. Equality for LGBT is a major social fight in our lifetimes and there are very serious groups of people, in Mormon leadership, catholic leadership, right wing political teams, who have spent many tens of millions of dollars and tied careers and political fortunes to hating the gay. These people are not going to magically disappear. They have to be fought every day in every way – in the courts, ballot box, politics and most importantly by changing the individual opinions of ordinary people who are easily swayed by the purchased rhetoric (observably in prop 8 and the many initiatives in other states).

      Which brings us to Ed’s point – it is better that the hate and unreasonableness of anti-gay forces is being pushed into the open where the light can be shone on it and the battle fought. So let’s not be disappointed – let’s respond and show the falsehoods now revealed. Hard work, but this is going to get nastier so be prepared.

      Reply
  • 21. Sagesse  |  October 27, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    It’s Texas. I’ve met lots of nice Texans over the years, but their political public face on this issue is neanderthal.

    Reply
    • 22. Lodi Gal  |  October 27, 2010 at 5:20 pm

      What you said. Explains everything. Texas, first in executions, last in health care, drive thru liquor stores on every corner.

      Reply
    • 23. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  October 27, 2010 at 5:59 pm

      Where is Ann Richards when you need her? Anybody know any good resurrection professionals?

      Reply
      • 24. Anonygrl  |  October 27, 2010 at 6:32 pm

        Lovely, funny woman. I liked her very much the two times I got to work with her. I was quite saddened to hear of her passing.

        Reply
      • 25. Joe  |  October 27, 2010 at 8:30 pm

        Anita Blake, she’s pretty highly recommended. Though we would first need to find the guys from Inkheart to read her out.

        Reply
        • 26. Anonygrl  |  October 28, 2010 at 8:59 am

          LOL

          Reply
  • 27. AndrewPDX  |  October 27, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Can we ask that news station to now run a poll asking: “Do you think this country’s acceptance of homophobia could lead to it’s downfall?”

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
    Andrew

    Reply
    • 28. Ray in MA  |  October 27, 2010 at 5:21 pm

      Don’t you mean?:

      “Do you think this country’s acceptance of homophobia will contribute to the advancement of society?”

      Reply
  • 29. Ray in MA  |  October 27, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    My first impression of this was ‘what an A.H .afiilliate station!’ but they did reveal both sides of the coin in responses… yet one of the moderators said “Lots of good ressponses!” NO, some good reponses and many IGNORANT responses is more accurate…

    and the off site moderator was off base in many of his comments…

    it may be a good thing in that it causes a lot of people to THINK logicallly instead of condeming us on an unfounded whim!

    Reply
  • 30. Ray in MA  |  October 27, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Call in an give them your 2 cents!!! I will.

    Reply
  • 31. JonT  |  October 27, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Heh, it’s worth reading the comments on that NBC site :)

    Here’s one of several I thought was on the mark:

    This is that LIBERAL, MAINSTREAM MEDIA that’s always complained about?

    It’s clear who owns this NBC affiliate… Right wing Christo-Fascists. KETK probably still has separate whites and coloreds water fountains. What’s your question for tomorrow… “Will bringing back lynching solve the welfare problem?”

    Really, the comments are overwhelmingly negative of that station, and the reporter who wrtoe that ‘story’.

    Warms my heart :)

    Reply
  • 32. graciesdaddy  |  October 27, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    I’m with Sagesse: It’s Texas… expect nothing less.

    Meanwhile, over at KETK’s comments page on their story http://www.ketknbc.com/news/talkback/obama-administration-boasts-largest-number-of-gay-appointees#comment-28520 The public — at least, the Internet public — are LAMBASTING them for the question! You may have to dig for it, but I like the one that says, What are you trying to do? make Texas look worse than Mississippi?” Reminds me of “Granny Ann” Richards’s comment about the legislature cutting funding for Texas schools: “We’re gonna be Mississippi with good roads!”

    Reply
  • 34. Ahab  |  October 27, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Gays won’t be the downfall of America, but homophobes and bigots certainly will be.

    Reply
  • 35. Carpool Cookie  |  October 27, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    That looks like a rather cheesy station, doesn’t it? I expect news anchors to be more polished, and dressed up. Also… no camera work. Maybe it’s not like that everywhere?

    Reply
    • 36. Carpool Cookie  |  October 27, 2010 at 5:40 pm

      Notice I’ve avoided the topic, and am suddenly just focused on the aesthetics!

      Reply
  • 37. Phil L  |  October 27, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    I’m so embarrassed to have shared (and to still share, as when I moved I opted to keep it attached to my mobile phone) an area code with these people.

    Ugh!

    Reply
  • 38. Mackenzie  |  October 27, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    while I found this very offensive, some of the idiots that called in did make me laugh. It as too much to handle. Where some people pull there logic from astounds me.

    Reply
  • 39. Nat  |  October 27, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    I think that this country not understanding the difference between it’s (with an apostrophe) and its (no apostrophe) will lead to its downfall.

    Reply
    • 40. Marlene  |  October 27, 2010 at 7:10 pm

      Go to the topic discussion, Nat… there are a number of comments slamming whomever wrote the headline.

      Reply
    • 41. Rhie  |  October 27, 2010 at 8:37 pm

      Heh. Seriously, I think that is just a symptom of the larger problem of education not being valued. The educated are called “elite” like it is a bad thing. That is very, very troubling.

      Reply
      • 42. BK  |  October 27, 2010 at 11:42 pm

        No kidding.

        Reply
      • 43. JonT  |  October 27, 2010 at 11:54 pm

        That’s because educated people are a threat to them.

        Knowledge really is power. And given the chance, knowledge will always defeat ignorance and superstition. It scares the crap out them, which is why they try so hard to undermine it at every opportunity.

        Putting people like these knuckle draggers in charge would be the real downfall of America.

        Reply
  • 44. Ron  |  October 27, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    The ignorance and cluelessness of the worst of those rednecks reminded me of Bush. Yeah, what else do you expect from Texas?

    Reply
  • 45. Ginger  |  October 27, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I’m appalled by the question, obviously, but honestly I don’t think the same people responsible for greenlighting Will and Grace are also policing the local news every day for hundreds of affiliate stations across all of America.

    Don’t get me wrong, we should pressure NBC and judge the company for its response, but I don’t think we can blame the corporation for the initial question itself.

    Reply
  • 46. Ginger  |  October 27, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Also, before we hate too hard on Texas, remember the Ft. Worth councilmen who stood up last week and was given a standing ovation after his It Gets Better speech? ‘

    There are bigots everywhere. When I think of Texas, I think of not only Tyler, but also the thriving gay community in Dallas that I was a part of in college, and the supportive gay community that I grew with in Austin in my high school.

    I figured y’all would be better at stereotypes than that.

    Reply
  • 47. Marlene  |  October 27, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    What I love is the station’s slogan: “News you won’t see anywhere else!”.

    That’s true, ’cause if this piece of crap aired on any other station in the US, the station would be so flooded with calls, the phone system would melt!

    Reply
    • 48. allen  |  October 27, 2010 at 7:17 pm

      They may be getting an assault of calls. I called the number and it just kept ringing and ringing and ringing until it just disconnected.

      I live in CA by the way.

      Reply
  • 49. Cassie  |  October 27, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    How many times are they going to show the same clips!?!? For heaven’s sake. You’d think they’d be able to find different footage or just show the people talking. Geez! And the male anchor can’t talk to save his life at the beginning. Guess what I’m thinking? CLOSETED GAY MAN!!!!!! Hahaha…just kidding. :)

    Reply
  • 50. Sagesse  |  October 27, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    First of two

    White House sets ‘don’t ask’ strategy session

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/joshgerstein/1010/White_House_sets_dont_ask_strategy_session.html

    Reply
  • 51. Sagesse  |  October 27, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    This trip is going to be a roller coaster ride.

    Obama drops in on ‘don’t ask’ strategy meeting

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/joshgerstein/1010/Obama_drops_in_on_dont_ask_strategy_meeting.html

    Reply
  • 52. Bob  |  October 27, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    better pull those strings to make that repeal both doable, and DURABLE ramp up the pressure sweat it out get it done

    Reply
  • 53. Jonathan H  |  October 27, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Right, let me see if I’ve got this straight. They don’t understand why people are spending so much time talking about ten percent of the population, but they also don’t understand why nobody is talking about how many gay people Obama’s appointed. I’m a little puzzled by someone who makes a big deal about being the only ones talking about it, and then complains that there’s so much talk about it.

    Also, I never heard exactly how accepting gays would cause the “downfall of America”. Really not seeing a cause and effect there, and nobody seems to want to explain it to me. Weird people.

    Reply
  • 54. allen  |  October 27, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Just sent the following email to NBC. Just typed what was on my mind.
    “Subject: KETK-NBC
    NBC network,

    I had just seen your news program and felt like writing in about a piece that I felt was very insulting and very inappropriate.

    The question of the day was essentially “Do you believe gays will be the cause of USA’s immanent demise?”

    The whole question is disgraceful right down to how it was worded, and it certainly isn’t becoming of NBC to promote such slander and discrimination. Believe it or not, people’s lives are effected by hateful dialog your network is spewing. Next time your network puts this kind of filth out on the airwaves, just think of vulnerable LGBT kids who are just trying to live their lives and understand their world. What will they think after seeing a “wholesome family” segment like that? NBC Executives down to the local level should be ashamed to see this was allowed to broadcast.

    Sincerely,
    Allen”

    Reply
    • 55. NetAmigo  |  October 27, 2010 at 8:00 pm

      Alan’s email is good. The program appeals to people’s prejudices and does it for the ratings. They should be trying to educate the public rather than playing on their prejudices. The program is total filth.

      Reply
  • 56. Sagesse  |  October 27, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Thought provoking.

    Outing homophobia’s deadly consequences

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/oct/26/gay-rights-homophobia-discrimination

    Reply
  • 57. Slade  |  October 27, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    I know this is off-topic, but I’m a Graphic Design student at the Academy of Art University and we have an assignment to create a mood board and logo for any Non-Profit Organization of our choosing. For the “mood board” we are told to make a collage of imagery and items that reflect that particular organization.

    I was wanting to do something focusing on Marriage Equality and I was wondering if anyone had some good photos of happy same-sex couples and equal marriages that I could use for this mood board. I was also wondering if P8TT would be considered a “Non-Profit” or if it’d be better to go with an organization like Courage Campaign?

    Thanks for all the help everyone :) I will definitely share the work here when I’m done!

    Reply
    • 58. Jonathan H  |  October 27, 2010 at 8:24 pm

      This might run into some copyright issues, depending on what you’re actually doing with the work, but it does have some excellent large high resolution photos.

      Reply
      • 59. Slade  |  October 28, 2010 at 10:42 am

        Thank you! I could shoot them for approval, but since its just a mood board/Collage for inspiration and not going anywhere as anything (such as a poster, brochure, etc. just a mood board for inspiration of my own) I don’t think there will be much issue. However I can message them to be sure.

        Thanks for the resource :)

        Reply
    • 60. Rhie  |  October 27, 2010 at 8:47 pm

      I know that http://www.feedequality.org is a non-profit. There are pictures on the website and a few I think at the Facebook. Search Feed Equality at Facebook to find it.

      Reply
  • 61. Lora  |  October 27, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    I can’t even understand most of those idiots in those phone calls. Do they even teach proper grammer in Texas??

    Reply
  • 62. Joe  |  October 27, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    OH MY GOD the number of gay teens in this country has DOUBLED in just 8 years. That means by 2042 160% of our youth will be gay. *gasp*

    I think the important word they are overlooking is Openly. Surely there weren’t as many people in this country 8 or even 80 years ago that were gay as there are today, but this country has come far enough that people aren’t ashamed of who they are any more. Maybe Bush appointed just as many gay people to government positions as Obama but all (or most) were in hiding.

    Reply
    • 63. Joe  |  October 27, 2010 at 8:34 pm

      Okay, I need to proof read more. Weren’t was supposed to be were darn iPad autocorrect must a hit another key.

      Reply
    • 64. Leo  |  October 27, 2010 at 9:43 pm

      It’s not even the number of gay teens. It’s the number of teens who have ever had a same-sex partner.

      Reply
    • 65. Toastygrrl  |  October 28, 2010 at 6:46 am

      Well, like Turd Blossom, for instance- the biggest, shiniest closet case I’ve ever seen. And who was the closet queen that kept letting Jeff Gannon AKA Jim Guckert into the White House press briefings?

      Reply
    • 66. Anonygrl  |  October 28, 2010 at 9:06 am

      There were probably just as many homosexuals then as now… percentage wise and considering population growth, I mean. But the key here is OPENLY, you are right. And hey, if 10% of teens today have gay partners (a figure I question, but will work with here for the sake of the humor) then that means that the old “facts” that the anti-gay movement keep trying to push (“only 2% of the population is gay…”, “no one can know as a teen that they are gay…”) are obviously wrong. Hmmm. Interesting.

      To steal a concept from Spider Robinson… if a poet is someone who creates poetry, then God is an iron, don’t you think?

      Reply
  • 67. Michael  |  October 27, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    This is crazy. If they used any other minority, it would cause such an uproar they would have to apoligize.

    Reply
  • 68. Ed  |  October 28, 2010 at 7:36 am

    It appears you must register to view the poll and responses now. Is anyone registered who can tell us if it is still up on the site? Something tells me it’s gone

    Reply
    • 69. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  October 28, 2010 at 9:00 am

      Does not appear on the site any longer…can’t even find it archived.

      Reply
  • 70. Jim Kane  |  October 28, 2010 at 7:59 am

    First, let me say not all Texas is like this. But Tyler is considered backwards by even Texas standards. It is kind of like our Arkham Asylum. But obviously we need up the medication in the water supply and take away their TV privileges.

    Reply
  • […] we reported yesterday, an NBC Texas affiliate, KETK, aired an outrageous and offensive segment yesterday asking viewer to […]

    Reply
  • 72. CeeVee  |  October 28, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    This may be been posted earlier, but as I have just now seen this video, I can’t help to think about all of the impressionable teenagers and young adults who had to see this crap on the evening news. Disgusting example of “news” coverage.

    Reply

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