By: Scot Bear Re: Re: Triangle, AFA Share Fame THE AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN Box 670,Austi
By: Scot Bear
Re: Re: Triangle, AFA Share Fame
THE AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN
-(Fax 512-445-3679, print run 177,040)
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
"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."
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank