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Coalition to Radio Hall of Fame: 'Dump Dobson'

by Nick Cargo

A coalition has been formed to protest the planned induction of Focus on the Family founder and chairman James Dobson into the Radio Hall of Fame.

DumpDobson, founded by Truth Wins Out in conjunction with RespectMyResearch, Soulforce and the Gay Liberation Network, calls on Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications to reconsider honoring Dobson. "We believe that MBC founder Bruce DuMont should immediately rescind this tribute to Dobson and restore dignity and respectability to the Radio Hall of Fame," said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. "While we recognize DuMont has the right to honor whomever he chooses, we also believe that he has a responsibility not to celebrate bigotry and intolerance."

Dobson, also the founder of Family Research Council, produces a daily radio show broadcast on over 7,000 radio stations worldwide, in addition to about sixty American television stations. "The fact that James Dobson is an accomplished broadcaster is offset by the fact he is an even more accomplished liar," Besen told PageOneQ in July. "He has built his following by exploiting fear, promoting hatred and appealing to humanity's lowest common denominator. His broadcasts have sharpened divisions in society, poisoned politics and made America a more hostile nation. It is utter madness that one would be honored for such a disgraceful career."

Dobson beat out "Dr. Laura" Schlessinger, sportscaster Bob Costas and "shock jock" Howard Stern in the "National Active" category. "Our only criterion is the number of years in the business," said Hall of Fame chairman Bruce DuMont. "He's been broadcasting more than 15 years on more than 3,000 stations. He's qualified."

Dobson has been repeatedly accused of distorting sociological research to support his anti-gay political positions, including that same-sex couples are inferior parents and that gays seek to "destroy the institution of marriage." He also founded "Love Won Out," a ministry that purports to "cure" homosexuality. "Dobson continues to promote dishonest psychological theories about gay people that are rejected by every respected medical and mental health association in America, including the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association," Besen noted. "If Dobson had attacked any other minority in such an offensive manner, Bruce DuMont would not even consider honoring him. Sadly, it appears that Mr. DuMont believes there is a 'gay exception' to the rules of civility and common decency. We think this is wrong."

In addition to a letter that members of the public are invited to sign, a protest, in conjunction with Equality Illinois, is scheduled for Saturday, November 8 at the Renaissance Chicago Hotel, 1 W. Wacker Drive, in Chicago.

"We believe that character counts as much as building an audience when deciding who should make the Hall of Fame," Besen added. "Just as Pete Rose was barred from the Baseball Hall of Fame for gambling, Dobson should be banned for his habitual lies and chronic distorting of science."


Originally published on Friday October 3, 2008.

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