“Out and proud” Minneapolis newsman Mark Saxenmeyer was fired from KSTP-TV this week after a co-worker failed to delete the “big HOMO dads” line he jokingly put in a story about a gay couple attending the White House Easter Egg Hunt.
Saxenmeyer pitched the piece, then turned it over to colleague Katherine Johnson when he couldn’t make the interview with the dads.
“She was in the process of writing her Web script on her computer,” he says, “so I wrote a few things into the Web script to make her laugh.”
The big HOMO dads line was one of those things.
“I said, ‘Make sure you delete that because obviously that would not be funny out of context,’” says the fired newsman. “She deleted most of it. There was one little part she missed when she closed it.”
The story was posted on KSTP.com, then flagged. An editor’s note added to the update said: “Earlier today comments were published erroneously regarding this story. KSTP does not condone the comments. Action is being taken to ensure that this does not happen again.”
Saxenmeyer tells Star Tribune columnnist C.J.:
Bizarre ironic is what it is. I’m not sorry for me. I’m a big boy; I’ll get over it. I made a profoundly stupid mistake. There’s just no getting around that. I have apologized profusely. It was stupid, inappropriate, irresponsible. It is beyond comprehensible. …
When you are gay, you sometimes feel you can say things because they are coming from a place not of disrespect or evil.
I don’t want KSTP to suffer in any way. I know KSTP knows it did not come from a place of malice. I had nothing but a terrific year and a half there. I’m old enough to understand this was a grievous mistake. I hate to have the other reporter’s name dragged into this. I just feel so terrible. I feel like I’ve kicked myself in my own butt here. I will forever regret this.