An NBC television affiliate in Texas
has apologized for airing a radio station's segment asking listeners
if acceptance of gay people will be “the fall of America.”
Gay rights groups the Courage Campaign
and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said
they were appalled by the question.
KTBB radio host Garth Maier asked
listeners on Wednesday: “Will the acceptance of homosexuality be
the fall of America?”
Tyler-based NBC affiliate KETK devoted
8 minutes of its news program to air portions of the radio segment.
In making his case, Maier noted that
the Obama administration has appointed a record number of openly gay
the president recorded a video message to troubled gay teens
considering suicide as part of the It Gets Better campaign, and
claims by a recent survey that 10 percent of teenagers are openly
gay. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)
On Friday, both stations issued
apologies for asking the question.
KTBB Radio President Paul L. Gleiser
called the question “poorly worded at best and inappropriate
altogether at worst” in his apology.
“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,” Gleiser
said in a statement posted at the station's website.
General Manager Dave Tillery appeared on-camera to issue his apology.
“We have discussed these comments
with KTBB and agree that the question was poorly worded,” Tillery
said. “For that, they have apologized. And since the question
also appeared on our air, we are sorry for any offense that was