Friday, February 22, 2008

Yay For The Press V: WTOP

Yesterday I was telling a friend about the petitions to re-legalize discrimination against transgender people, and he said, "Oh yeah, I heard about that on the radio, on WTOP. They were saying something about somebody going in the ladies shower room and stuff, sounded pretty bad." I told him that the Citizens for a Responsible Government had bought some ads on WTOP, he must have heard those, but he insisted it sounded like a news story, though he had wondered why they were taking sides on it.

Today I found WTOP's actual news story, dated yesterday. Here you go:
February 21, 2008 - 9:06am
ROCKVILLE, Md. - One Montgomery County politician says it's time for some straight talk on a law dealing with gender identity.

"Nothing is any different than it was before," says Montgomery County Council President Mike Knapp. "People can feel safe and confident that they can walk into the restroom . Their safety is as protected as it ever was."

Knapp is fed up with a campaign that suggests that your safety is at risk in a public bathroom because the county enacted a new law that says you may not discriminate against someone based on his gender identity in employment, housing, cable TV, taxi service or public accomodations.

"Each individual facility still has the discretion, as it did before, to determine who and how the restrooms are used," Knapp says.

Opponents with Citizens for Responsible Government insist the law would allow gender mixing at places, such as your local pool.

The group says the County Council is out of step with residents.

The group has gathered 32,000 petition signatures, enough possibly to put the transgender issue to voters in November. The county board of elections is in the process of vetting the petitions now.

The group says the law protects only a few people while infringing on the privacy rights of many others.

Knapp says the group has spread fear and misinformation. Transgender Law Won't Affect Bathroom Safety

Again -- I am really impressed with the coverage this issue has gotten from the local media. This is a well-done story. Yes, it takes "our" side a little bit, in that it rebuts the shower-nuts (hey, that has a nice sound to it, doesn't it?), but it does carry both sides and it does not parrot the scare line about the perverts in the showers.

I haven't heard the ads the CRW bought on that station, but apparently they are made to sound like real news. That's low, of course, but we're not surprised. I am a little surprised that WTOP would allow a nutty group like that to call their journalistic integrity into question. I don't listen to talk radio, but I do get the RSS feed from their web site, and it seems to me that WTOP tries to do good, professional reporting, as seen in the story above.


Post a Comment

<< Home