WKJY Morning Hosts Purport Anti-Gay Hoax

REJECTED_INVITEX400_0Gays and lesbians have made strides toward equality in recent years. But it’s still a big story when someone notable “comes out of the closet.” Just last week, All-American defensive lineman Michael Sam made headlines by announcing he’s gay. Despite inroads by the LGBT community, gay rights remains a sensitive subject.

Long Island radio station WKJY created a hot button topic by staging a controversial hoax.

This week, the station’s morning team of Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson posted a story on their Facebook page about a boy from Baldwin, N.Y., having a birthday party next month. The page showed the invitation to the boy’s party and a mother’s angry R.S.V.P.

Scrawled at the bottom, sides and back of the invite, the mom wrote: “Tommy will NOT attend. I do not beleive [sic] in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your ‘lifestyle.'” The ramblings continued with the mother saying, “If you have an issue or need to speak to me…” and added her phone number.

The story is getting the attention of many outlets and websites locally and overseas.

Under fire, Harper, who is also WKJY’s program director, and Karlson posted an apology on the station’s website Friday saying they faked the story “to spur a healthy discourse on a highly passionate topic.”

Instead, the hosts got swept up in a firestorm.

“I don’t see how they can keep [Harper] after such a twisted publicity stunt,” a veteran Long Island broadcaster tells Tuned In. “Never in my life would I imagine anyone would feel the need to ‘create’ bigotry and hatred for personal gain.”

In their online apology, Harper and Karlson wrote:
“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.

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

“The stunt was stupid, there is no question about that,” John Caracciolo, President/CEO of Long Island-based JVC Broadcasting, tells Tuned In. “But sometimes good people do stupid things, and both Steve and Leeana are good people that do a ton of charity work and public service outreach for the entire Long Island community,”

General Manager Dave Widmer said in a statement that the company is exploring “all courses of action.”

David Kilmnick, chief executive officer of the Long Island GLBT Network, told News 12 Long Island that the DJs should be fired for the incident.

Messages for Harper and Widmer were not returned.

“What is important now is how they apologize and how sincere they are,” Caracciolo says. “Knowing the two of them, I am confident they feel horrible about it and more good will come out of this than any harm.”

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

– See more at: http://www.k983.com/morning-show/2014/02/14/a-message-from-steve-leeana#sthash.GgaRLB3Y.dpuf

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

– See more at: http://www.k983.com/morning-show/2014/02/14/a-message-from-steve-leeana#sthash.GgaRLB3Y.dpuf

One thought on “WKJY Morning Hosts Purport Anti-Gay Hoax

  1. Ray

    Harper and Karlson should both be fired. They kept up the hoax even though they knew it became a hot topic item…no apology until they were forced into it. Disgusting

    Reply

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