A regular commenter on Instant Tea, Momentary Tingle, sent me an e-mail today with links to a video clip played on Channel 56 KETK, a local NBC station in Tyler. In this clip, the two television news anchors converse with Garth Maier, a DJ with local radio station KTBB Radio AM 600 about Maier’s “question of the day.”
(UPDATE: The words “this clip” are linked to the clip, but that isn’t obvious in the text. Here is the LINK!)
The question was about whether “religious preachers” should be exempt from prosecution under the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act now under consideration in Congress. Both Maier and the TV news anchors rattled on at length about how these “religious preachers” could, under this legislation, face criminal prosecution for preaching that homosexuality is a sin. And it included recordings from several of Maier’s listeners who went on and on about how homosexuality is a sin and the hate crimes law is not just useless, but could be harmful. The male TV news anchor even pulled out the old “every crime is a hate crime” standard.
And Maier made a point of stressing that the hate crimes bill was stalled in Congress when President Bush was in the White House because Bush said he would veto it. But now that President Obama is in office, he “promotes” gay rights and supports the hate crimes bill.
But see, here’s the deal. The crap about preachers being prosecuted is all a pack of lies. In fact, as anybody with any sense knows, the hate crimes bill contains a “Rule of Construction” which specifically provides that “Nothing in this Act… shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.”
So the folks at KETK and KTBB are either terribly misinformed, or they are just outright liars. If you want to contact them and tell them to get it right or shut up about it, here’s the info:
KETK NBC, 4300 Richmond Road, Tyler, TX 75703; Phone: 903-581-5656; Fax: 903-561-2459.
KTBB AM 600: 903-593-5822.