KTVB Ch-7 skims over Parade Controversy

May 31st, 2008 | By | Category: Idaho, News

KTVB Channel-7 lived up to its solid reputation as the “family values” news source this weekend during its live coverage of the Western Days Parade in Twin Falls, Idaho. With weatherman Larry Gebert doing a live on-location remote and Ysabel Bilbao anchoring from Boise, viewers got the impression that it was just another great day in Pleasantville, USA.

KTVB Ysabel Bilbao and Larry Gebert with Lisa Cuellar Twin Falls Idaho Western Days
Ch-7′s “family values” news team, Ysabel Bilbao and
Larry Gebert, cover some of Western Days in Twin Falls.

You’ll recall that Ysabel Bilbao recently had an exclusive on the giant penis burned into the lawn of Simplot Hill. Her top investigative skills about the offensive phallic symbol lead to an aggressive on-camera interview with Gov. Butch Otter about what should be done to erase the massive lawn penis.

Well, those investigative reporting skills fell by the wayside Saturday morning when she teamed up with Gebert to highlight the Western Days Parade which apparently created new rules aimed specifically at LGBT citizens who gained approval to have their float in the annual event.

Gebert stood at the start of the parade area interviewing Lisa Cuellar, Western Days Parade board chairwoman, also affiliated with KTVB, who was repeatedly unavailable for comment about the new rules specifically aimed at the Southern Idaho Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center.

KTVB Larry Gebert with Lisa Cuellar Twin Falls Idaho Western Days
Lisa Cuellar, Western Days Parade chairwoman and
affiliated with KTVB, agrees to live shot with
Channel 7′s Larry Gebert.

“It’s the 27th annual Western Days Parade and its one of the largest in the state,” Gebert told viewers. “The event is part of the Western Days celebration which involves many other activities throughout the day.”

He also said that entries for the parade “focus on featuring all aspects of life in the Magic Valley and Idaho.”

Well, not all aspects – especially if you happen to be gay.

“We are making television history,” said KTVB anchor Doug Petcash. Of course he was talking about the news gang being all together at one location, not the fact that local gays were being obliged to abide by arbitrary rules.

At one point during the news cast, Bilbao did mention the gay organization’s participation in the parade. For about three seconds, Bilbao mentioned that they could not use the rainbow symbols or even their official name, but no attempt was made to interview them.

PrideDEPOT.com editor, independent journalist & LGBT media spokesperson,
Jody May-Chang now writes on "As I See It...Reporting from the front lines

As I See It Jody May-Chang.com Reporting from the front lines

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