ABC's Prank News Show Hunts for Secret, Anti-Gay Bigotry in a NJ Diner
Published: 3/8/2011 7:01 PM ET
ABC's undercover news show, What Would You Do, on Friday continued to search for examples of bigotry across America. Anchor John Quinones narrated a segment featuring two men pretending to be gay military veterans displaying affection in a New Jersey restaurant.
As cameras rolled, Quinones explained the set-up: "They're holding hands, stroking each other's hair and caressing each other's legs...So what will happen if we throw in our actor Vince, posing as an irritated diner, who's had enough of this PDA?"
An actor, "Vince," interrupted the faux soldiers and complained, "Excuse me. We appreciate your service to the country and everything, but you should respect the uniform a little bit more than that."
Many patrons ignored the two, prompting ABC's sting operation to try harder to provoke bigotry. Quinones announced, "Even with that bit of gossip, the other diners don't seem to notice. But then, here comes Vince again."
Later, when some patrons do complain, the host lectured, "In December 2010, an ABC News poll found that 77 percent of Americans are in favor of allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. But in our diner, there are plenty of people against it."
This program, airing as an edition of Primetime Live, debuted only a month after Quinones took his show to Arizona to find racism related to that state's new immigration law.
It's odd for a news organization to repeatedly air a program which essentially plays out like an episode of Ashton Kutcher's Punk'd. It also doesn't leave ABC much room to criticize conservative sting operations.
A partial transcript of the March 4 segment, which aired at 9pm EST, follows: