By: Scot Bear Re: Re: Triangle, AFA Share Fame THE AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN Box 670,Austi

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By: Scot Bear Re: Re: Triangle, AFA Share Fame THE AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN Box 670,Austin,TX,78767 -(Fax 512-445-3679, print run 177,040) (E-MAIL: Tuesday, January 9, 1996 TRIANGLE, ANTAGONIST SHARE FAME By Don McLeese, American-Statesman Columnist Newsweek called last week. So did The Associated Press, Reuters in London and a radio station in Toronto. Until conservative broadcaster and political activist Wyatt Roberts started his campaign against the Texas Triangle --targeting advertisers of the Austin-based, homosexually oriented free weekly -- neither was a blip on the international media screen. Now, neither expects the phone to stop ringing soon. "I don't think the end is in sight," said Kay Longcope, the Triangle's founding publisher and editor. "He's now writing letters to pastors of churches, suggesting that people be discouraged from shopping with Triangle advertisers." "I want people to know where they're spending their money," said Roberts,head of the American Family Association of Texas, who insisted he is not trying to run the Triangle out of business. "I would like to see them clean up their act. ... Advertisers should be responsible for where they spend their dollars." As polar antagonists, Roberts and the Triangle have done so much to raise each other's profile that a cynic might suggest a conspiracy of common purpose. What Communists under every bed were for Sen. Joe McCarthy, "The State's Gay News Source" -- as the Triangle proclaims itself -- has become for the broadcaster. His previously obscure Saturday morning talk show on Christian station KIXL (970 AM) now finds itself a lightning rod of controversy, with plenty of new listeners. As for the Triangle, it couldn't hire a better publicist than Roberts. Though it estimates its statewide readership at less than 40,000, copies have been disappearing from stands since the mainstream media began airing Roberts' charges of "pornography." Those looking for sleaze are likely to be disappointed, since the Triangle tends toward sober-minded coverage of issues that concern gays and straights. The paper accepts none of the sexually graphic advertising -- 900 phone lines and the like -- that subsidize so many gay freebies (and straight ones as well). Rather than succumbing to threats of a boycott, most Triangle advertisers have continued to support the publication, with new ones signing up to show support. The campaign has even begun to boomerang at the radio station,which insisted that Roberts steer clear of the issue. "They're real uncomfortable about discussing that subject at this point," said Roberts, who has been exploring the possibility of taking the crusade to cable access TV. "I'm disappointed, but they own the station, and it's their right to do whatever they want." The same right that advertisers have been exercising. "The outrage of the business community is very apparent, as well as the outrage of the mainstream community," said Longcope. "It's clear that they're not going to tolerate intolerance. One thing we all know is that Texans do not like to be told what to do."


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