Two Radio Journalists Suspended Over AIDS Apology
BOSTON (AP) _ Two newsmen were suspended by the Christian Science Church’s radio service for refusing to air an apology for a frank report on AIDS.
The report described how AIDS prevention workers in Thailand use cucumbers to demonstrate how to put on condoms. It also mentioned a Bangkok gay bar where dancers wore gold lame jockstraps.
It was broadcast nationally July 24 on Monitor Radio’s ″Early Edition″ program.
Monitor Radio executives said they received many calls from offended church members and a call from a member of the church’s board. They produced an apology that ran two days later.
Ken Bader, producer of ″Early Edition,″ and Dale Willman, its host, refused to edit and deliver the apology.
″Any 5-year-old knows what a jockstrap is, and any 12-year-old knows what a condom is,″ Willman said. ″Given the time the piece aired, these terms are not offensive.″
Broadcast editor David Cook said Bader and Willman, who are not Christian Scientists, were suspended last week for insubordination. They were placed on paid leave.
Willman said Monitor editors told him Wednesday he could take a reporting job in Chicago with a $10,000 cut in pay, resign or be dismissed.
Monitor Radio is part of the Christian Science Publishing Society, which also produces The Christian Science Monitor, a daily newspaper; World Monitor, a newsmagazine; and religious periodicals. It also operates WQTV in Boston.