This month, with the ten-week public Internet voting period nearly over, he got wind of a more troubling protest. A state¬?ment arrived from the gay advocacy group Truth Wins Out, along with several hundred e-mails, demanding that the list be purged of a nominee no one had mentioned up to that point: Focus on the Family, the radio ministry of right-wing pundit James Dobson.
This is not a controversy DuMont needs. He’ been struggling for years to reopen the Museum of Broadcast Communications, which he founded in 1987 and ran from 1992 to 2003 at the Chicago Cultural Center. The museum’ new home at State and Kinzie has been stalled out in mid-rehab since May 2006. DuMont, who blames the state for with¬?holding $6 million he says it promised him, continues his fund-raising efforts, and the $500-a-plate hall of fame induction dinner, scheduled for November 8 this year, is one of them. So he watched with concern as TWO rallied opposition to Dobson in the gay community and Dobson, who can reach 2.5 million supporters with a single e-mail blast, fought back.
The contest closed July 15 with more than 70,000 votes cast. When they were tallied, Focus on the Family had won the nationally syndicated broadcasters category, beating out Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Bob Costas, and Howard Stern. DuMont announced that the public had made its choice and the hall of fame would stand by it.
But it wasn’t over for the anti-Dobson forces. They’ve mounted a new campaign to get the museum to disqualify Focus on the Family before the induction.
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