By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com April 05 2013 7:54 PM ET
A joke that was never meant to go public, but did, has cost a gay TV reporter in Minneapolis his job.
Last weekend Mark Saxenmeyer of station KSTP was advising a colleague on a news story about a gay Twin Cities couple who had been invited to attend the White House Easter Egg Roll with their twin sons. When the coworker, Katherine Johnson, stepped away from her computer, Saxenmeyer “wrote a few things into the Web script to make her laugh,” he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
When she came back, he advised her to delete his additions “because obviously that would not be funny out of context,” but she missed one of them, and the story went live on the station’s website saying the twins had been invited to participate in the White House event with their “big HOMO dads.” The phrase was subsequently removed, and Saxenmeyer was let go from his job Tuesday.
“I made a profoundly stupid mistake,” Saxenmeyer told the Star Tribune. “There’s just no getting around that. I have apologized profusely. It was stupid, inappropriate, irresponsible. It is beyond comprehensible. … I especially don’t want the gay community to be hurt or offended in any way. They are the last people I would ever want to malign and disparage.”