To the Point host Warren Olney is under fire for his Nov. 11 talk show linking the child sex abuse scandal at Pennsylvania State University to barriers that prevent same-sex couples from becoming adoptive or foster parents. “This entire broadcast was utterly worthless, embarrassing, and completely unacceptable,” wrote Gawker’s Seth Abramovitch in a scathing critique posted on Friday. After the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to objected to the program, Olney apologized for the misunderstanding and promised further discussion of the topic today. GLAAD has also requested that producing station KCRW and distributor Public Radio International remove the Nov. 11 edition of To The Point from the show’s website.
UPDATE, Nov. 15 — Olney closed his Nov. 14 broadcast with an apology acknowledging his failure to explicitly say that pedophilia and homosexuality are not connected. But Gawker’s Abramovitch described the broadcaster’s statement as “insufficient” and an example of the shortcomings of To the Point and public radio journalism in general.
“Olney’s approach is irresponsible and lazy, because it assumes the journalist’s work is done once the two sides of the debate are chosen and given the microphone; then it’s up to the viewer to discern which side ‘sounds more right.’ It’s a convenient way to fill an hour, yes, but responsible journalism? No.”