El Paso-centric info and commentary from the Center of North America

LGBT alliance to KTSM, Re: That report by Swann: Boo!

From the NPT Inbox:

El Paso, Tex.— A coalition of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT) and
allied groups, expresses its deep disappointment in the management of El Paso
television station KTSM Channel 9, an NBC affiliate, for its failure to provide
balanced coverage following the El Paso City Council’s decision to extend
benefits to the domestic partners of municipal employees.

Specifically, following the Council’s 7-to-1 favorable vote on August 25,
2009, KTSM anchor/reporter Ben Swann conducted an exclusive interview with
Pastor Tom Brown of El Paso’s Word of Life Church and Mr. Barry Martin, both
opponents of City Council’s decision. No mention was made of citizens who
support the benefits. Instead, two short clips of a pre-taped interview with
city Representative Steve Ortega were shown. In the interview, Pastor Brown and
Mr. Martin issued opinions regarding the budget provision and making references
to the LGBT community, without a direct representative of the latter to
respond. This interview aired on KTSM the evening of August

When contacted by members of the LGBT community the day following the
interview, KTSM News Director Kim Bridger refused to grant equal and balanced
coverage of the story by interviewing citizens who support the domestic-partner
benefits decision made by City Council. KTSM General Manager Gary
Sotir did not reply to telephone calls nor email messages from RGA.

City Council’s decision, made after three weeks of public commentary, places
El Paso among progressive cities across the country that have made similar
decisions. In Texas, El Paso now joins Dallas, Austin, and Travis
County in extending municipal domestic-partner benefits; other such cities in
the region include Las Cruces, Albuquerque, Tucson, Tempe, and Phoenix.
This week, Reno, Nevada, also joined the increasing number of cities
across the United States that choose to recognize that city employees’ domestic
partners deserve fair and equal treatment.

Our organizations applaud and stand by El Paso City Council’s crucial
decision to advance equal treatment for all city employees.
Further, we believe we deserve fair and equal coverage by El Paso’s
various media outlets, including KTSM Channel 9. Freedom of the
press is a constitutional guarantee; however, biased, unbalanced journalism has
no place in civilized society. In our eyes, this is a form of
discrimination that undermines the freedom of all the citizens of El Paso.

On behalf of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community in the greater
El Paso-Cuidad Juàrez-Las Cruces borderland and our allies, our community
organizations would like to have at least one representative interviewed by KTSM
Channel 9 and/or other local television stations to express our views regarding
City Council’s decision, preferably in a format similar to that afforded Pastor
Brown and Mr. Martin. Should this not be granted, we request a
formal on-air apology from KTSM for its slight toward our community, including
its reasons for refusing to grant us an interview.

Representing the coalition of El Paso GLBT organizations:

Alex Guzman, Political

Rio Grande Adelante


English, Board Member

Metropolitan Community Church


Jesus G.
Smith, Chair

Miner Initiative

University of Texas at El Paso


Rivera, President

Student Alliance




Delta Lambda Phi Fraternity


Sam Aguilera, Co-Founder

LGBT Resources


View United Church of Christ

Montwood Drive,

EL Paso,
TX 79936



Council 4457


310 N. Mesa, Suite

El Paso, TX 79901

(“Dan”) Graney

Stonewall Democratic Caucus

Keny Michael Apodaca

State Democratic Executive Committeeman

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

September 1, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. I can agree with you that reporting of news should provide a COMPLETE story but I dont want to be cast as a resident of a progressive (label ADOPTED by socialist parties) city. EP is well known for media bias and should have expected this to happen.


    September 1, 2009 at 3:13 pm

  2. So you prefer to live in a non-progressive city with a biased media. Interesting.


    September 1, 2009 at 3:59 pm

  3. What is interesting is your twisting of the words, must be a EP reporter.


    September 1, 2009 at 4:45 pm

  4. I’m sorry; I didn’t realize I’d twisted your words. Please explain to me what you mean if it isn’t that you don’t want El Paso to be progressive and don’t care that its media is biased.

    And no, I am not a reporter for the El Paso Times.


    September 1, 2009 at 5:31 pm

  5. Rey is an idiot.

    truth hurts

    September 2, 2009 at 11:55 am

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