Asking viewers to weigh in on a current event is pretty standard practice among local television stations. Want to know what people think about an increase in sales tax? You'll find reporters out in the street asking passersby. How about the new logo for a local sports team? Yup, people weigh in on that too.
Want to know whether people think homosexuality will cause the downfall of the United States and will fuel the apocalypse?
Well, come on. No television station would stoop so low to ask their viewers that kind of question. Right?
If only. Check out KETK, the NBC-affiliate in Tyler, Texas, which ran a story yesterday on the news that the Obama administration has appointed more LGBT people to positions in the federal government than any other President in history. And in the context of that news story, they asked their viewers to call in and answer this question: "Do you think this country's acceptance of homosexuality could lead to it's downfall?"
There's no excuse for a question like this, especially from a mainstream news channel like an NBC-affiliate. Send KETK a message that you demand better stories than this, and hope that in the future they won't stoop to legitimizing the position that one's sexual orientation could lead to our nation's downfall.
The very premise of this question is so flawed and hurtful, that it only serves to foster and encourage the type of homophobia that keeps alive and well violence toward the gay community. Indeed, the fact that several of your viewers were carried live on air saying that gay people would destroy the country is shameful. I expect so much more from your news channel.
Please don't let stories like this fly again. You owe it to your more rational and moderate viewers to apologize, and to pledge to do better in covering stories about sensitive political topics.
Thanks for your time.