Great moments in broadcasting: mom’s hate-filled RSVP was a hoax

This story got a lot of attention on social media earlier in the week. The image above, and the shock and outrage it inspired, cropped up again and again on my Facebook feed a few days ago.

Well, what do you know? Turns out it wasn’t true: 

The alleged homophobic note sent by a mother in response to a birthday invite from two gay dads was apparently all just a hoax concocted by a local New York radio station.

Earlier this week, the story of two gay dads from Baldwin, N.Y., went viral after Long Island’s K-98.3 publicized a supposedly bigoted note from the mother of a boy invited to their daughter’s birthday party. The note read: “Tommy will NOT attend. I do not believe in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your ‘lifestyle.’ I’m sorry Sophia has to grow up this way. If you have an issue or need to speak to me: [number erased].”

The note was posted to the station’s Facebook page Wednesday. Readers expressed their disgust and offered support to the same-sex parents. It was shared across the Internet and covered by the media.

Now, the entire incident has been revealed as a hoax drummed up by K-98.3’s Steve Harper and his “Morning Show” co-host, Leeana. The two posted an apology note on the station’s website Friday.

“This story was, in fact, totally fictitious, and created by the two of us. This was done without the knowledge of K-98.3 management or ownership,” they wrote. “We were attempting to spur a healthy discourse on a highly passionate topic, but we made a mistake by misleading our listeners into thinking that this specific situation actually existed.”

“We are very sorry that we perpetuated this falsehood, even after it was clear that it had taken on a ‘life of its own,'” they concluded. “We deeply apologize for violating your trust, and we will work hard to regain that trust.”

You can read more at the link. 

I would suggest that a very good way for these people to “regain that trust” would be to resign before you’re fired. There is no other way.

One of the tragedies of stories like this—and this isn’t the first fraud like this that’s been revealed—is that it draws attention away from true horror stories like this one, which also moved today:

A mob attacked gay people in a neighborhood in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, dragging young men from their homes, beating them with nail-studded clubs and whips, and shouting that they were “cleansing the community” of gays, several Nigerian activists and a witness said Saturday.

I’m not sure what the perpetrators of the hoax above were trying to prove—except, perhaps, that if you can’t make a valid point with reason and clear thinking, and want to press an agenda, just go ahead and make crap up.

Hasn’t anyone learned? Haven’t you been paying attention?  It never works

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