Friday, 20 June 2014 - 10:30
News media blasts "Gay Village" mayor
The council of mayors and aldermen for the municipality of Tilburg have received a damning letter from the news media about the announced plans to build a 'Gay Village' in the city. The announcement turned out to be a hoax. A PR-stunt for Pink Monday, the LGBT pride day on 21st of July arranged by the Tilburg fun fair. NOS news chief editor Marcel Gelauff and NRC chief editor Peter Vandermeersch sent the mayor of Tilburg, Peter Noordanus, an angry letter claiming damage was caused to the two news outlets because of the mayor's "absolutely unacceptable" behavior. Noordanus worked together with Pink Monday to make the stunt more legitimate. The NOS and NRC, among others, announced the news that Tilburg would be the first city in The Netherlands to build a city exclusively for the LGBT community. The outlets did so on the basis of information from the mayor, after project initiators denied that the plan was a joke. "Our editorial boards have asked very concrete questions about the reality of a gay neighborhood in your municipality", the letter reads. "Your public relations department has made themselves unreachable for hours, and eventually referred to the website of the project developer involved, on which your mayor emphatically sympathizes with this initiative." The media editors lambast the municipal council for making it official policy to deliberately mislead the media, allowing false information to be published. The letter speaks of tarnishing these newspapers' respective brands. According to the NOS, press bureau ANP has placed the municipality of Tilburg on a list of "dubious sources."