On Thursday night, CNN’s Oliver Darcy reported there was a “Pride and prejudice” scandal at an NBC TV station in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Or you could call it an objectivity scandal at a station owned by Nexstar Media Group, the largest TV station owner in America, with 197 stations. Darcy wrote:
Nexstar on Thursday said that it is conducting an investigation after a leaked memo at a Michigan station said journalists need to “get both sides” on LGBTQ issues when covering Pride events because of their “polarizing” nature in the local community.
“We’re looking into the situation at WOOD-TV, as the communication regarding the station’s coverage of PRIDE month activities in the area is not consistent with Nexstar’s values, the way we cover the news, or the respect we have for our viewers,” the company said in a statement. Nexstar added that it will “take appropriate action as necessary to address this situation” and said that it “apologize[s] for offending members of the LGBTQ community and WOOD-TV’s viewers.”
Can you believe that? “We apologize for the misguided people who believe reporting on two sides of an issue, which shows disrespect for the marginalized LGBT community. Those aren’t our values!”
The Detroit Free Press also covered this scandal:
A Grand Rapids TV station is facing public and employee criticism for telling reporters to cover fewer LGBTQ+ events during Pride Month because, it said, it has been upsetting conservative viewers.
Employees said a WOOD-TV (Channel 8) memo, which the Free Press has obtained, was sent to them Tuesday and asked staff to “do some work to discern the newsworthy-ness” of Pride events.
“We know that West Michigan is a conservative area in many ways,” the WOOD-TV memo said. “We need to recognize that some stories related to LGBTQ issues are going to be controversial and polarizing in our community.”
Oh no! Someone expressed concern about the conservative viewers! This better be fixed! Someone dared to question the newsworthiness of drag brunches and burlesque troupes!
By Thursday evening, Gary Weitman — the executive vice president of Nexstar Media Group in Texas, which owns WOOD-TV — released a statement apologizing “for offending members of the LGBTQ community and WOOD-TV’s viewers,” and pledging to “take appropriate action as necessary to address this situation.”
….He added that “diversity, equity, and inclusion are among Nexstar’s core values. Our local TV stations are expected to cover and report the news of the day in an expansive and inclusive fashion, consistent with these values.”
There is it again. The people who preach “expansive and inclusive” journalism mean the exact opposite. WOOD-TV is now posting happy one-sided propaganda about “The evolution of gay pride in Michigan.”