20 Jun

I’ll give WBEN a link today, because the septuagenarians who make up its target audience are likely to vote against marriage equality on the idiotic “webpoll” that’s up today.  I’d urge people who support the idea of legalizing committed, loving same-sex unions to blast this poll and make sure fairness and love trump hatred and bigotry.

Just look at the way the poll is worded:

It gives you four – count them four – reasons to vote against same sex marriage. Once on religious grounds, once on “moral” grounds not otherwise counting as religious, once because gay sex is icky, and “all of the above”. For people who truly, deeply believe in – and advocate for – marriage equality, the best they get is “I’m ‘OK’ with gay marriage”.  In other words, even the selection that enables you to voice your support for equal rights is packed with equivocation and wiggle room, implying that you still think it’s icky, you still think it’s immoral, and you still think it offends God and the Church, but you’re “OK” with it.


Shame on WBEN for such a blatantly nonsensical “poll” which serves merely to further enhance its listenership’s confirmation bias.  I know other stations aren’t busy pitting one local group against others today.

Also, feel free to contact General Manager Tim Wenger and let him know – politely – how awful and hateful this poll is.

BTW, a few updates.

Firstly: Tim Wenger has replied to me, but will not permit me to publish his reply.

Secondly: Tom Bauerle is on air right now discussing this issue and is actually doing a good job explaining why people should support same-sex marriage, and isn’t doing so in a facetious way. Because someone made him aware of this post, he’s now bringing Obama and his opposition to same sex marriage into the “discussion”, which is somewhat beside the point since we’re talking about state legislation, not federal action. I can’t call in to Bauerle’s program because he has specifically forbidden me to contact him in any way because he’s a coward.

Thirdly: There is a link in this post to an act.ly petition. If it isn’t showing up, click here instead to sign it.

Fourthly: WBEN is futzing with the poll results.

Here is what appeared at 10:35am (redacted to show only the poll results & time stamp):

Here is what appeared at 10:36 am (redacted to show only the poll results & time stamp):

Here is what appeared at 10:41 am (redacted to show only the poll results & time stamp):

And here is what shows up at 11:06, indicating perhaps the poll is being shown adequately after I Tweeted that I had proof of tampering:

43 Responses to “WBEN: Against, Really Against, SUPER ZOMG AGAINST, OR ALL OF THE ABOVE?!!? [UPDATE]”

  1. Mike June 20, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    Bufffalo’s verzion of Faux wait,Fake ,Oh it’s fox news.. At one time Wben was a great station,now well Alan said it all…….

  2. ugh June 20, 2011 at 8:48 am #


  3. k becker June 20, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    How do you feel about the actions of WBEN
    A. I’m opposed to it because I’m under 65
    B. I’m opposed to it because only an idiot would try to run an am station, on FM
    C I think its just wrong
    D I’m OK with it, but only because my grandma needs something to yell racist slurs at while she is knitting.

  4. Bob M June 20, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    Most of the polls on WBEN are nonsensical. After all consider the source. The answer response is so predictable you don’t need to view the results. I switched to satillite radio once they corrupted 107.7 with thier nonsense talk. In my teens I once responded to a poll by the late congressman Heny P Smith in which I remarked his questions were slanted more than the leaning tower of Pisa. He sent a hand written apology. At least he had half a brain.

  5. Chris Charvella June 20, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    I love the quotation marks around “OK” in the last answer.

  6. Jesse June 20, 2011 at 9:28 am #

    Wow, that’s horrible.  Gotta have those scare quotes around “OK” because no one actually favors the thought….  Ye gods.  Now if WECK would just stop cutting out during my drive home……

  7. Jesse June 20, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    It’s also interesting to me that the Ross Eye Institute is okay being associated with that crap.

  8. MJC June 20, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    I am really getting sick of the “I just think it is wrong” crowd. People who cannot adequately explain their opposition to gay marriage, or who are just simply too cowardly to admit their homophobia. So they just fall back on, “I just think it is wrong”.

    I think if you want to deny an entire group of people a basic human right that you yourself enjoy, yes, you owe a complete and reasoned explanation. Otherwise, shut the hell up.

  9. MJC June 20, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    Oddly enough, marriage equality is not doing too bad in that poll. If 35% of the wingnut crowd that listens to WBEN is in favor, I have to believe it is well over majority with the rest of the population.

  10. Alan Bedenko June 20, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    I’m “OK”, you’re “OK”. 

  11. Alex June 20, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Am I the only one who thinks it ridiculous to be offended by this poll. Clearly the main objective of the poll is to determine why people are against gay marriage, not to presuppose an anti-gay marriage bias for ideological purposes. There is nothing wrong with trying to understand the roots of a viewpoint especially on light of the national trend, which is a majority acceptance of the idea. 
    And if you know anything about grammar, you wouldn’t be offended by the quotes around OK. It is informal language and should always be in quotes when used accurately. In a world where the gay rights movement has a plethora of justifiable fights to pick and rally it’s weight around, spending a minute reacting to this nonsense is just an absurd waste of time. Stop being so reactionary and childish. Your starting to take on the worst qualities of those whom you oppose. 

    • Alan Bedenko June 20, 2011 at 10:14 am #

      1. If you know anything about grammar (actually, you meant punctuation), you would know that “your” is not a contraction of “you are”, and you’d end a question with a question mark. (I usually don’t grammar nazi people, but you brought it up).

      2. The rationale behind the poll is that WBEN already knows its listenership opposes same sex marriage, and that no one could ever really be for it, just that they’re “ok” with it. It sort of, as they say, speaks for itself.

  12. JoeBob June 20, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    Contacting the station manager is probably less helpful than contacting the Ross Eye Institute at (716) 881-7900. I wonder if they know they have their name all over this nonsense. Whether they do or not, they’re (among) the ones paying the salaries of these hate radio creeps.

  13. Clarknt67 June 20, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    I noticed the “scare quotes” around OK. Just to make

    @Alex. No I am sure you’re not the only one who feels that way. Whenever a blatant display of homophobia come up lots of people say as you do, “what’s the big deal?” Whether it’s Kobe shouting the F word, Tracy Morgan talking about stabbing gay kids in the face, Ruben Diaz’s preacher friend saying gays are worthy to death, there is always a legion of people like you who are quick to step up and say “why do the gays have their panties in a bunch?”

  14. Jordan June 20, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    66% are “ok” with it now!  It looks like WNYmedua has a larger constituency than WBEN.  Either that, or WBEN’s regular listeners are far more open minded than we thought.

  15. Brian Castner June 20, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    If this were about trying to discover the reasoning behind people’s beliefs, there would be an equal number of options offered as to why people support gay marriage as well.

  16. King Kong June 20, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    WBEN has gone way downhill in the last few years, they were right wing before, but now that Hardwick’s gone I really don’t have much of a reason to listen.

  17. King Kong June 20, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    My dial is tuned to WECK!

  18. Brian Wood June 20, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    Those voting against do so only because of religion, and legislators who entangle their religion with lawmaking are traitors to the United States, its ideals, and its people.

  19. STEEL June 20, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    70% are “OK” with the gay so far. Bet they didn’t anticipate that.

  20. Brett June 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    Looks like they have tampered with it again.  As of 12:02pm Eastern, the “OK” option has only 609 votes.

  21. Brett June 20, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    Actually…it appears that something is just outright broken.  If I hit refresh, I get one with 2500 votes in favor of same sex marriage…hit refresh again, 600, hit refresh again, back up to 2500.

  22. Eisenbart June 20, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    Different articles have different results. You’re focusing too much on the poll.

    Down to the wire on gay marriage in NYS is 72% in support

    Sheehan faces payroll is 56% in support

    I am unsure if there are others.  Why they are separate results is beyond me.  Also if you look at past poll results none of the other polls are so loaded which leads me to believe there is bias here. Shame on them indeed.

  23. Justin Normand June 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    “Tim Wenger has replied to me, but will not permit me to publish his reply.”

    Well, first, THANK YOU for the article.  This is not to malign you.

    But, it occurs to me: WHO is Tim Wenger to decide what you may or may not publish?  Sister Mary Elephant? Maybe you have some kind of contract with him, but short of that, I’d think that whatever he says is fair game.  Politicians find this out every day…

  24. Chris Charvella June 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    @Justin, because people who report news but don’t respect “off the record” will have a tough time getting anyone to talk to them ever again.

  25. Bob June 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    Wow flooding a poll with your supporters so you get the results you want is so original!

  26. Clarknt67 June 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    Wenger replied to me and I published it. I feel it was perfectly appropriate for me to do so. 

    I did not tell him it was on or off the record, nor did he ask. 

    If as the General Manager of the station he’s pressing “Send” to replies he certainly should be presuming they will no be private communiques, unless he negotiates it ahead of time. 

  27. Ward June 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    Actually Alan, if I wanted to slant the apparent results IN FAVOR of Gay Marriage, I’d do exactly what is shown in this poll–I’d split the anti- choices into several blocs in order to maximize the plurality of the pro- responses.

    As it stood, the largest of the four anti- responses had 29% support at 10:35, before your readers weighed in en masse.

    If the poll were as you apparently would have it–a simple “yes” or “no”?–the anti- side would have been at 42%, pretty close to the national average.

    BTW, like you and Bauerle (and apparently unlike Obama), I favor the legal recognition of gay marriage.

  28. Jon Splett June 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    Flooding a web poll because it’s bias towards the conservative demographic on a conservative radio’s website?

    Did WNYMedia get bought out by Reddit and no one told me?

  29. King Kong June 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Ward – Is this the creative math that you applied to your NY-26 prediction?

  30. Scott Snitzer June 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    Why are you surprised in the least that WBEN has conducted a misleading, far-right biased poll? Wenger has zero shame & morals. Wenger should WANT gay marriage in New York State to be legalized so that Tom and Sandy can finally make their love for each other public.

  31. RaChaCha June 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm #


    Thank you.

    Sorry man, but this is the only way I’ll get Sister Mary Elephant out of my head — vintage Cheech & Chong, man!

  32. Elfwreck June 20, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    Tim Wenger has replied to me, but will not permit me to publish his reply.

    Copying for purposes of review, critique or parody is fair use; short of a bizarre court order, he can’t tell you what you can quote in order to comment on it.

    (Disclaimer: IANAL. Consult a copyright attorney for official legal advice.)

    • Alan Bedenko June 20, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

      I asked him as a courtesy, and he asked me not to, so I am abiding by his wishes. I’m not taking a legal stand (although copyright is a legal issue) – just a gentlemanly one.

  33. Scott Leffler June 20, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    They seem to have completely scrapped the poll and put up a different one. Also, the one that was up is not even in the archives. Hmm.

  34. BrianS June 20, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    You should all be THRILLED with the way the choices were laid out in that very unsientific webpoll. Why? Well, considering they’re giving their primary hater audience the chance to split their vote 4 ways, the “I’m OK with it” choice is bound to do a lot better percentage-wise 🙂 By the way…I too am amazed that considering how Democratic this state and area is, that soooo many sponsors are soooo comfortable financially supporting what is an often minority opinion on the air. Granted, I know WBEN caters to the conservative crowd, but aren’t these businesses concerned word will get out to the majority of non-haters that so-and-so business is supporting hate? And they really are supporting hate. Right before the ’08 election, I cannot believe ANY business wnated to be associated with the incredibly reckless and hateful material being aired on WBEN. Do boycotts not work anymore in this country?

  35. Kevin J. June 20, 2011 at 11:48 pm #

    I think Tim Wenger asking Alan not to publicize his comments offends me most because he is asking that his comments on his and his station’s use of the public airwaves be kept private.

  36. AFruit4Thought June 21, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    WBEN has changed its poll, and removed all mention of the biased marriage poll. The new poll is “How do you think the issue of gay marriage should be decided?”

    Possible answers are “legislative action” and “voter referendum.”

  37. Ward June 21, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    You’re right Kong. Instead of attending class in my university course in public opinion, I should have stayed home like you and snorted Oxy pills.

    Do you have an actual problem with my analysis (restated by poster #38), or are you just playing with yourself?

  38. DJ June 21, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    I agree Ward… your analysis of the current subject is a great deal better than your hilarious analysis of the NY-26 race.

  39. Bbill June 21, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    Ward, you’ve come a long way in just a few short weeks. Kudos.


  1. Prop 8 Trial Tracker » Western New York radio station unfairly polling on same-sex marriage - June 20, 2011

    […] all the time as a kid, and one to which my family still does. I always liked it, until today, when Alan Bedenko of WNYMedia told me their website is currently publishing this […]

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