The news division of another broadcast network has been staging “news” in an attempt to show the prejudices of the American people. Only this time, it didn’t work out as planned. After planting a gay couple and an actor portraying a loud-mouthed anti-gay bigot at a New Jersey sports bar, ABC News learned that the bar’s patrons are, on the whole, a remarkably tolerant lot.
Surprise, surprise. You might be reminded, as Dan was, of this incident from three years ago:
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 13:05:54 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Looking for Muslim Males to participate in NBC Dateline Segment
I hope everyone is doing well.
I have been talking with a producer of the NBC Dateline show and he is in the process of filming a piece on anti-Muslim and anti-Arab discrimination in the USA. They are looking for some Muslim male candidates for their show who would be willing to go to non-Muslim gatherings and see if they attract any discriminatory comments or actions while being filmed. ...
That said, I’m urgently looking for someone who can be filmed this April 1st weekend at a Nascar event (and other smaller events) in Virginia. NBC is willing to fly in someone and cover their weekend expenses. The filming would take place all day on Saturday and Sunday.
I'll let the good folks at NASCAR have the last word on that one:
The inference is that NASCAR fans are bigots, and NBC News was hoping to bait fans into making insensitive remarks to the Muslim / Arab people it had planted at the track.
Ramsey Poston, NASCAR's managing director of corporate communications, said Wednesday that no instances of unrest were reported. "No one bothered them," Poston said.
It's hard to imagine that NBC News would try to entrap fans in a ploy to make its Dateline segment juicier. But apparently the network did just that; NBC did not deny its actions when confronted by NASCAR.
So, back to ABC's stunt:
When, however, they dispatched an actor to verbally harass a gay couple they had sent to a New Jersey sports bar, they found more tolerance than bigotry. While a handful of patrons expressed disapproval of the couple’s presence in the bar, the patrons who spoke out the loudest called the actor on his bigotry, in the process challenging the prejudices the ABC News producers apparently harbored against the patrons of a suburban sports bar.
They had the gay couple come into the bar at two different times — first during the mid-day lunch hour, then later in the evening.
In the mid-day visit, no one took much notice of the two men until the aforementioned actor, at the network’s behest, started “stirring the pot,” pretending “to be bothered” by the couple. A few guys seemed to share his sentiments but didn’t act out their animosity.
Yet when the actor pestered a “new arrival” about the gay guys, the new guy did express some animus, though not against the gay couple. He told the ostensibly bigoted actor to shut up, saying that if he had to choose between that irritated individual and the gay couple, he’d probably be asking him, not them, to leave. Indeed, he told the gay men, “I’d rather have twelve of you them than four of him.”
In the evening, the couple turned up the heat by increasing their public displays of affection. At the same time, the producers raised the stakes by having a straight couple, also actors, “appear to be bothered too.” The actor remained obnoxious. A few people grumbled, with one man saying the gay men’s display “disgusts” him. But the most agitated person was a woman who objected not to the their affection, but to the basher’s antics.
Go to the article to read the rest, but this comment from Dan caught my eye: "The only gay bashing that took place at this sports bar was a verbal one staged by ABC."
And that put me in mind of an incident (or series of incidents) in Canada mentioned by Ezra Levant (and cited by Five Feet of Fury):
Who is Canada's largest "hate group", as measured by the number of anti-Semitic, anti-gay, anti-black and pro-Nazi comments published on the Internet?
As I've pointed out before, it's none other than the taxpayers' own Canadian Human Rights Commission.
It is official CHRC policy for their employees to join neo-Nazi groups, and go online in full neo-Nazi drag, spewing filthy venom that would make Joseph Goebbels proud. ...
It's as if liberals have found they haven't got enough real bigots to keep them busy these days, and must invent them, or else lose their own relevance.
Because it's either that, or else be forced to take on the real bigots. And that's dangerous work.