John M. Becker

Homophobic Note on Birthday Invite a Hoax, Radio Hosts Say

Filed By John M. Becker | February 15, 2014 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: bigotry, birthday party, happy birthday, hoax, lifestyle, Long Island, New York, party invitation, radio show

hoax-button.jpgThe story of a Long Island mom who replied to a small child's birthday invitation with an ugly homophobic rant is a hoax, two New York radio hosts now say.

This week, K-98.3, a Long Island radio station, told listeners the story of Sophia, a 7-year-old girl whose two dads decided to throw her a birthday party. Beth, the mom of Sophia's friend Tommy, allegedly sent the invitation back with the following screed written on it:

"Tommy will NOT attend. I do not beleive [sic] in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your 'lifestyle.' I am sorry Sophia has to grow up this way. If you have an issue or need to speak to me: 516-362-1357."

The station posted photos of the invitation on their Facebook page Wednesday along with Beth's phone number, saying she welcomed anyone who was upset with what she wrote to contact her themselves. The story went viral, garnering widespread media attention. But yesterday, in an apology posted to the K-98.3 website, radio hosts Steve and Leeana admitted they made the whole thing up:

This story was, in fact, totally fictitious, and created by the two of us. This was done without the knowledge of K-98.3 management or ownership. We were attempting to spur a healthy discourse on a highly passionate topic, but we made a mistake by misleading our listeners into thinking that this specific situation actually existed.

We are very sorry that we perpetuated this falsehood, even after it was clear that it had taken on a 'life of its own.' We deeply apologize for violating your trust, and we will work hard to regain that trust.

Note to Steve and Leeana: there are far better ways to discuss "highly passionate topic[s]" than by creating an elaborate lie like this. If your intention was to move the conversation forward, you failed miserably -- but I have a sneaking suspicion you were actually just trolling for social media traffic. Shame on you.

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