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Radio Frauds Get Their Due For ‘Completely Fabricated’ Homophobic Birthday Party Mom

by David Badash on February 17, 2014

in News

Post image for Radio Frauds Get Their Due For ‘Completely Fabricated’ Homophobic Birthday Party Mom

Two Long Island, NY radio hosts who posted to Facebook a note purportedly by a virulently homophobic mother refusing to allow her son to attend a young girl’s birthday party have gotten their due. The WKJY Morning Show team of Steve and Leeana have been suspended after the station was alerted that the entire story had been made up.

Steve and Leeana told listeners about a mother who responded to a birthday party invitation from two gay dads for their seven-year old daughter by writing an ugly note and including her telephone number. The fake mother, whom the team named “Beth,” even “said” listeners could call her, after supposedly writing her number on the invite.

“You’re invited to Sophia’s 7th Birthday Party,” the invitation read.

“Tommy will NOT attend,” the mother wrote on the invitation. “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 call *** ****,” “Tommy’s” mother, “Beth,” supposedly wrote.

Of course, it was all a lie.

The radio station, K-98.3, issued a statement that said, “it was brought to K-98.3 management’s attention that all the details of the story were completely fabricated independently by Steve and Leeana. This was done without the knowledge of K-98.3 management or ownership. The story, presented as a real event, was, in fact, fictitious. An internal investigation was quickly launched which has resulted in the immediate suspension of Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson from the K-98.3 Morning Show.”

This is not the first time insensitive and self-obsessed media whores have committed fraud or created false stories claiming bigots have made vile homophobic comments, only to be exposed later.

Dayna Morales, the New Jersey waitress accused of lying about receiving a homophobic message as a tip, reportedly issued refunds to at least some of those who gave her money after she –apparently falsely — claimed a couple wrote on a check, “I’m sorry I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle and the way you live your life.”

Hat tip: Edge

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milomurray February 17, 2014 at 4:09 pm

I had a feeling this one was following in the trend of the false horrors we've had leveled at us. Seemed a bit set up. It's so disheartening because stunts like these mean we lose focus on the actual issues around the world threatening ALL human civil rights and it chips away at our faith in humanity bit by bit. I just hope they feel some shame.

StanJames February 21, 2014 at 12:58 am

The right wing extremist repubs are going out of their mind. They put up fake websites claiming to be from democrats to steal contributions for the repubs- There is voter suppression efforts all over the country and now outright theft.

This all goes back to the scotus rulings when in DC the evangelicals (aka southern baptist) went nuts that they cant continue to obstruct gays from civil law marriage

The same hate that made america the second to last nation in the world to end slavery and then we had segregaton for a hundred years more is now directed at the gays.

The repub party – much of it still thinks the wrong side won the civil war, this time the gays re equality under the 14th amendment

WElcome to the new version of what might well be called Confederate hate

Nomadic_view February 17, 2014 at 4:37 pm

I am sure there are plenty of people listening that agreed with this fictional mother.

Heyim1also February 18, 2014 at 9:52 am

That is because there are lots of people out there that are ignorant. What is it, that you believe ?

Nomadic_view February 18, 2014 at 3:34 pm

I believe that it's very hard for some people to put aside their prejudices. The world is changing too fast for them. Who have thought gay rights could have come this far and this fast! There will always be people who will have to be guided and sometimes dragged into the modern world. What REALLY depresses me is to see whole nations believing that gay people can be tolerated as long as they remain invisible and don't expect equal rights.I don't want to be "tolerated" I want full acceptance. Who would like to hear that world only tolerates your existence, subject to change whenever necessary.

Merv9999 February 17, 2014 at 5:41 pm

I long ago adopted the practice of suspending judgment when stories like this come up. They too often end up being hoaxes. Also, the detail in this case that the parent of the invited child supposedly said that she wanted her phone number to be publicized, and it was a Google Voice number, was a big red flag. There are usually details about these hoaxes to arouse suspicion if we look dispassionately. The hoaxsters are counting on us allowing our understandable emotional sympathy for the "victim" to get in the way of our better judgement.

pixiekitty February 17, 2014 at 10:11 pm

New Civil Rights Movement, I have commented and sent you an email asking for an apology for publicizing this story. You are partially responsible for the harm done to LGBTQ people when these stories get shared.

When these stories get shared, and then turn out to be hoaxes, it does REAL HARM. Homophobes and those wishing to restrict the rights of gay people take these stories as evidence and say — "SEE — there is no "real" homophobia out there. Only stories gay people make up in order to get attention and to win marriage equality."

New Civil Rights Movement, every time you publicize one of these false stories, you hurt gay people. You make it harder for us to talk about REAL discrimination. You make it easier for homophobes to "hate" gays for all of this "lying" in order to get "sympathy."

So, New Civil Rights Movement, are you going to apologize? This story smelled like "hoax" from forty miles away. You need to apologize for having fallen for it, for having publicized it.

kalanac February 18, 2014 at 3:18 am

I can understand your frustration at this situation and you're correct that it undermines the LGBT cause. However, the responsibility for this lies with the perpetrator of the hoax. As journalists, the NCRM has a duty to report the facts as they are presented, as clear and free of personal bias as they can. A story that they reported happened to be a hoax, but the story still happened. They have also clearly denounced the hoax.

If the NCRM failed to report these hoaxes, would they not lay themselves open to accusations of bias? By not reporting events relevant to their topic which could cause a negative public image? The best journalists and the best protesters report ALL the relevant facts, without cherry picking what makes them look good. After all, a lot of LGBT detractors do that, how can we challenge them on behaviour that we do ourselves?

Merv9999 February 18, 2014 at 11:47 am

That's silly. Would they report a story that a gay person was abducted by aliens? No. Bias should always be shown in favor of the truth. If a story cannot be confirmed, and there are reasons to be skeptical, then it should not be run, or at the very least it should be run with prominent disclaimers that it is unconfirmed.

kalanac February 19, 2014 at 6:18 pm

You can't be biased towards the truth. You can either be truthful or fallacious. The original article had every reason to believe the situation could be genuine. There was a photograph of the note in question and a report by a radio station, who SHOULD have been responsible. I know that this story is very similar to the waitress who forged a hate note on her bill, but that doesn't mean that this story was obviously a fraud.

You comparing this to someone being abducted by aliens is a false equivalence. This fraud was at least plausible. If a gay person was abducted by aliens then yes, it should be reported, but only if the proof is sufficient and we'd be talking a substantial requirement for such an extraordinary claim.

All I'm saying is that the NCRM is hardly culpable in this case.

Merv9999 February 20, 2014 at 3:40 am

Check out the original thread on this site. Two posters warned that it might be a hoax well before it was revealed.

AnneElk February 19, 2014 at 11:06 am

Reminds me of a former radio shock-jock who went on to a storied career of lies and ridiculousness – Glenn Beck!

kalanac February 20, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Yes, so I saw. But what did you base your suspicion on and what further proof do you believe the NCRM (or rather the Pink Press, who origninally reported) should have obtained before publishing?

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