WOOD-TV May Air Anti-Gay Paid Program on “the Radical Homosexual Agenda”

WOOD TV 8 May Air An Anti-Gay Program Produced By The American Family Association

According to reports in the Grand Rapids Press and online, WOOD-TV is considering airing a paid program produced by the American Family Association that purports to expose “the radical homosexual agenda” and “its impact on the family, the nation, and religious freedom.”

The special–titled “Speechless”–was originally supposed to air on WOOD TV an hour before President Barack Obama’s news conference Monday. However, the program was pulled because the station believed that it was not the appropriate lead-in to the news conference. WOOD TV 8’s General Manager released a statement saying:

“The scheduling of the show slipped through our filters…

We don’t pre-judge people’s ideas or opinions…

However, we have restrictions on controversial programming and key time periods. We are willing to sell a paid program time period during traditional paid program times. We have offered them Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009 from 2-3 p.m. We have not heard if they have accepted that time period. If the show airs, we will have disclaimers at the beginning and end of the show stating that these are not the opinions or views of this station.”

WOOD TV is clearly intending to run the program–lets not forget that it will make them money–thereby ignoring the anti-gay nature of the program. Critics have pointed to the American Family Association’s history of anti-gay activism as well as inaccurate claims made in the film as reasons for the station not to air it.

Colette Beighly of Grand Valley State University’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center called the program “irresponsible programming” in The Grand Rapids Press stating:

“If an organization came into Grand Rapids and wanted to air biased programming slamming the Asian community, West Michigan would send a message that that puts Asians brothers and sisters at risk.”

Organizing to Stop the Program

A Facebook group been created to organize against the program and people are being encouraged to contact WOOD TV 8:

“Please contact WOOD TV8 to let them know this kind of irresponsible broadcasting is biased, unprofessional and leads to hate violence against the gay community.

Last year, hate violence against the LGBT community in Michigan increased 133%. Join us in standing up against homophobia and saying “NO!” to hate in our state.

Contact WOOD TV8:

Craig Cole, Program Director WOOD TV8

616-456-8888

woodtv@woodtv.com, newsrm@woodtv.com”

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Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org

4 thoughts on “WOOD-TV May Air Anti-Gay Paid Program on “the Radical Homosexual Agenda””

  1. Sadly, their sister station in Traverse City, TV 7&4 DID air this program on Feb 7 at 7PM. Unfortunately, I have come to expect this sort of thing up here in the north woods, their payment for airing it apparently came first, before they even considered the content of the message. I wrote an email to the station manager but as expected, I got no reply and sadly I never really expected one. My hope is they got slammed with emails such as mine and will use better judgment next time.

  2. @David:

    Do you happen to know how much was paid to air the program? I’m really interested in knowing.

    Also, with the fact that HRC stepped in and issued an action alert on this, hopefully the show won’t be aired in any additional markets.

  3. I don’t have friends on the inside at 7&4 however they aired their standard disclaimer just prior to airing the program: “this is a paid advertisement…the views expressed are not necessarily those of TV7&4 or it’s employees etc.” They covered their bu**s as required but still failed to consider the content and the time slot.

    I’d have to bet that in this part of the state where the economy is just plain rotten, they were paid a decent sum by the AFA to air it, especially in the 7pm time slot which is traditionally Wheel of Fortune up here and that show is RARELY preempted. This was also aired a few days before the HRC or any other GLBT organization made any mention of it on their blogs or web sites, of course now it’s all over them due to the action in GR. This isn’t a new program, it’s been available on the AFA (American Family Association) web site and on YouTube for well over a year.

    TV 7&4 is closely tied to WOOD TV in Grand Rapids, in fact some of the reporters in GR got their start up here and moved to the bigger market in GR. I’d consider it a boot camp for WOOD TV and NBC, not unlike other smaller markets. I would not be at all surprised if 7&4 was used as a test market for this program perhaps to gauge response before it was to be aired in GR. Of course, that’s pure speculation and has no basis in fact. I’m not in a position to know.

    There has been no reaction to any of this in the local papers or on various blogs I follow in the Traverse City area either so this market either didn’t see it, agrees with the message, or doesn’t care. I suspect the later two.

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