Note: After several days of holding fast, WCAX quietly removed the story from its website. News Director Roger Garrity told Seven Days, “We are now working with LGBTQ advocates on a message to the community acknowledging the harm that was caused.” About damn time.
The First Amendment is a powerful tool. It can inspire needed reforms, or uncover wrongdoing at the highest level. It can also wreak havoc on unfortunate bystanders.
Enter Roger Garrity, news director at WCAX-TV, an outlet that seems to be trending in the Fox News direction. On September 28, the station ran an irresponsibly one-sided story about a “locker room dispute” at Randolph High School. It extensively quoted a single member of the volleyball team who’s upset about sharing a locker room with a transgender student. She expressed the usual claptrap about “biological males” and at one point said, curiously, “My mom wants me to do this interview.”
See, in real journalism that’s the beginning of the reporting. But WCAX had some hot video and they ran with it, not giving a good goddamn about the consequences. Which are, as VTDigger’s headline put it, a “wildfire of bigotry.”
“It’s been an absolute nightmare. Horrifying. My family is in constant pain from the lies and harassment,” said the mother of the 14-year-old trans student. The story went viral in the conservative media space, triggering the usual firestorm of outrage.
Garrity, having allowed his news team to toss a metaphorical Molotov cocktail into a crowded room, floated the Tucker Carlson excuse: We were reporting the controversy, not the incident itself.
In an emailed reply the mother shared with Seven Days, Garrity wrote that the story was attempting to “explore whether the laws and policies meant to protect transgendered students fail to offer resolution to what some people see as an inherent conflict: having children born of different sexes undressing in the same room.” He also apologized for the distress the issue was causing the mother and her daughter.
“Explore.” “What some people see.” In Garrity’s mind, this construct absolves WCAX of any responsibility to tell the, y’know, truth about this. They’re just exploring the issue. And using the 14-year-old, and the student whose mom told her to do the interview, as blunt instruments.
Oh, and please note the non-apology apology: “for the distress the issue was causing.”
Not “the distress our report is causing.” It’s the issue’s fault. No correction will be forthcoming because, in Garrity’s mind, WCAX did nothing wrong.
Well, since he doesn’t seem to understand how “reporting a controversy” is an affront to journalism and a reckless misuse of the First Amendment, how about we turn this around?
TV News Executive Accused of Torturing Puppies
TheVPO has been told that WCAX-TV news director Roger Garrity unwinds from the pressures of his job by torturing, killing, and skinning puppies in his home workshop.
“Puppies go into that house and never come out,” said an angry neighbor. “I’ve heard sounds no human being should hear.”
We could not immediately corroborate the neighbor’s account, but we are reporting the story because it raises serious questions about animal rights and the improper use of power tools.
If Mr. Garrity is upset by this, well, we apologize for the distress the issue is causing.
No, Roger Garrity gets it. He just doesn’t care. Garrity is a bigot, plain and simple. He and the hate driven, bigoted reporter, Kiana Burks, set out to elicit this strong response from extreme right-wing community members, right-wing news outlets, Republican politicians and anti-LGBTQ organizations. Garrity and Burks along with the complaining teen and her hate-driven parents set out to ruin this girls already difficult life. There was no attempt at hearing from the targeted girl’s side of the story nor did they bother to interview students or other community members who support her. It was a disgusting hit piece by a right-wing “news” station.
Also noted that Garrity uses the outdated and offensive “transgendered” term in his non-pology
Glad I don’t watch WCAX news
Thanks for this. I’m the mom in the article. A friend sent me this for a delightful reprieve from the daily horror of it all. I read it to my kiddo and we both got a much needed laugh, not to mention some major validation. Peace and love 💕
Regardless of where you may stand on this issue, it is abundantly clear that our public schools are in a state of anarchy, reflective of the elected and appointed government in general. Rules, such as they are, are discriminatory no matter how and to whom they’re applied. Public school staff are protected no matter what they require of their students. As a former public school board member, I can assure anyone contemplating an internal reordering of the public schools that ‘getting your butt in the school’ is akin to jousting with windmills.
The problem is in determining what we are ‘supposed to’ regard, or ‘supposed to’ teach, or ‘supposed to’ do, or ‘supposed to’ think. This entire issue would resolve itself if parents were allowed to choose the education process that best meets the needs of their own children. With that choice, parents could abide by some form of chosen governance, or their chosen culture or faith, or one of infinite other social orders that may come to mind. But the fact that I, for example, agree with you, shouldn’t give either of us the right to force any ideology on someone else or some other group – UNLESS of course the actions of one, or one group, breaches the constitutional rights of others.
No matter what our sentiments are, the public-school monopoly breaches our constitutional rights in virtually every way possible by its mere existence.
It may seem difficult to consider homeschooling at first blush. But parents must homeschool their children to avoid this chaos. And that doesn’t mean you have to stay home and teach the children yourselves. Do some research. Think outside the box. Be imaginative. Be innovative. Learn. Most of all, be safe. Your children are counting on you.