“The only person’s sex life you should be concerned about is the person you’re having sex with. You use these buzz words to try and excite,” said Keith Bolden of Houston.
Bolden was featured as a lead to represent the opinion of Democrat voters in a news report released on Feb. 27, 2014 by a local Houston news station, KHOU. However, it didn't take long for the credibility of KHOU to be jeopardized once Bolden's name was discovered listed in a registry of Texas Sex Offenders, complete with a photo bearing a stunning likeness to Bolden as well as a Houston address.
Days before elections in Texas, Bolden's opinion was used by KHOU to shoot down a statement made by Dr. Steve Hotze, president of the Conservative Republicans of Texas. Hotze has generated a backlash from liberals for using the biblical word "sodomites" to describe homosexuals amid an ongoing Texas political debate of same-sex marriage.
On air reporter, Tiffany Craig, explained that some voters and same-sex activists were outraged about Hotze's statement made in criticism of a recent judicial ruling which overturned a ban on gay marriage in Texas. Specifically Hotze said, “Our Founding Fathers would be furious to find out that the Constitution was being interpreted to allow sodomites to marry.” Holtze's statement was then included in a press release, which implied endorsement, by the re-election campaign of Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill.
Although readers couldn't resist making a comparison between the video and the registry of sex offenders, opinions were divided about whether Bolden was an acceptable Democratic critic. "I think that is the same guy...holy cow, the similarities. It has to be him. Since they were stopping random people it seems to me, since this guy was in a vehicle, they would not have known anything about him. Just saying," wrote Wayne McKnight, who signed in on his Facebook account.
Dennis Walker, the man who posted the links, shrugged off the criticism he received, explaining, "I just happened to notice a two ton elephant standing in the room and mentioned it. Take it for what it's worth." Walker had earlier vowed, "If this isn't the same man, then my name is Martin Luther King. And if this is the case, it leads me to wonder. You're [KHOU] using registered sex offenders as supporting commentators against the damnable act of a Republican for using 'the S word'?"
Nayakno Mi of Houston asked, "Dennis Walker, what would you suggest Mr. Bolden to do? Keep his opinions to himself because of the errors of his past? How would you like to be judged publicly everyday for the worst mistake of your life? Give the guy a break ... Good job at demonizing a guy who made the mistake of publicly saying something political that you don't like."
A call was made to KHOU regarding whether the news staff is aware Keith Bolden may be a registered sex offender, querying if they would be making a statement about what could be an embarrassment to their station and Keith Bolden as well as the Democratic Party. At this time, there has been no response. The video remains on the site as well.
The possibility that Bolden may be a registered sex offender, and all who viewed the video and the photo at the registry seemed to think they were of the same man, has raised an issue of responsible journalism. It is fair to ponder how much responsibility does media have in making certain a spokesperson is credible. Perhaps that conversation should also include opinions about whether a sex offender's opinion about sex issues is relevant.