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‘Fair and balanced’ sources are necessary

July 10, 2013

In last week’s The River Reporter, I noticed the letter from J. P. Pasquale stating, in part, that, “Several incidents have happened with gay activists turning anti-bullying presentations at elementary schools into a platform for the gay agenda.”

I then noticed the editor’s note pointing out that the Red Hook School District has published what it says are inaccuracies in media reports, and I went to the school district’s website to see that those individual points were actually posted. You can see it for yourself.

My assumption—and it’s an assumption—is that Mr. Pasquale is getting his facts from information sources of interest to their Christian and conservative readers, and that he did not actually attend the anti-bullying workshop which got so much media attention.

People quickly jump to conclusions and react to blanket labels and statements, and that must be watched in the media, in our daily conversations, and as we judge the lives of our neighbors—especially when it comes to emotionally charged issues. In looking at the website for The Kingston Freeman, nowhere are the words “gay activists” mentioned.

After reading Mr. Pasquale’s letter, I wondered what exactly is the so-called “gay agenda,” how he knows about it, and what qualifies anyone to use that potentially harmful phrase. For the gay people I know, their “agenda” includes working for a living, paying never-ending taxes and bills, doing volunteer work in their communities, helping elders, and going to the movies just like everyone else.

I do agree with Mr. Pasquale that it is a good idea to know who will speak to students in the schools. But, while looking around Google, I also noticed a very long list of documented economic and sexual scandals having to do with “esteemed” religious leaders who have had more than a few indiscretions of their own. Food for thought?

Van Morrow
Livingston Manor, NY