Each week, GBH News Editor-in-Chief Matt Baskin hops onto our airwaves to check it out some of the stories the newsroom is focusing on over the coming week. This week reporters from GBH News are watching the response to two tragedies – one local, one national – that loom large in the run-up to the Thanksgiving holiday.
What follows is a lightly edited transcript and excerpts from radio newscasts.
Arun Rath: So let’s start with this weekend’s filming in Colorado and how it’s received on location.
Matt Baskin: Yes, there is a large queer community in and around Boston. And today we’re gathering reactions to what appeared to be a targeted attack on a gay-friendly club in Colorado Springs. This happened around midnight, Saturday night through Sunday morning. It is worth noting that yesterday was the annual Transgender Remembrance Day.
We’re also evaluating whether queer-friendly clubs in the Boston area need to implement additional safety precautions at this time. We’ve heard anecdotally online that LGBTQ+ clubs in other cities have been warned by federal law enforcement that they are currently at an increased risk. It’s truly a tense moment for queer people, and trans people in particular, as right-wing extremists incite hatred against them online and some politicians cruelly and cynically use them as a punching bag to ingratiate themselves with supporters. This seems to lead to dire consequences in the real world.
I also want to say that it’s hard not to make a connection between that and the ongoing threats — in some cases bomb threats — against Boston Children’s Hospital because of the hospital’s health care program for transgender youth. There was another one just last week, and thank God, like all of them before, it was fake. But transgender people and their allies continue to face hate and harassment.
advice: And we also had a tragedy near home over the weekend, the Brandeis bus accident. Tell us the latest about it.
Baskin: Yes, a group of Brandeis students came back from a hockey game against Northeastern on Saturday night — they were fans, not players. Just as they were returning to the Waltham campus, they crashed into a tree. One person, a 25-year-old named Vanessa Mark, was killed [and] more than 20 people injured. Two of them are still in the hospital, at least as of yesterday. Classes were canceled today. It’s canceled tomorrow too. Principals are giving students, staff and faculty time off to process this and give themselves a head start on Thanksgiving so they can be with loved ones.
A vigil will be held on campus tonight at 7pm in support of those affected by this crash. We will monitor it.
advice: It’s a particularly awful time of year to deal with something like this during the holidays. During the holidays, tell us what our Thanksgiving coverage looks like.
Baskin: We look at it from different angles. There’s of course all the preparation and stress and, yes, the joy that goes with it. I myself am responsible for bringing the cheese board to my sister. Today we had one of our awesome newsroom interns, Frankie Rowley, out in the field. She has tried to speak to shoppers and grocery store workers as people prepare for Thursday. But in fact many of them refused to speak. Perhaps the last thing they need, in the stress of preparation, is an interview with a reporter. She’s also checked with turkey farms to see if they do any last-minute deals.
But we will also look at this from the Native American perspective. For many Native American peoples, Thanksgiving is a national day of mourning, an opportunity to draw attention to the horrors of European colonialism and the horrific ways colonial governments, and later the United States government, treated Native Americans.
We’ll also have our eyes and ears on people affected by food and housing insecurity: what Thanksgiving means to them, how they celebrate it — if they do it — and how they might get help at this time of year.
advice: Matt, thanks again for all of this.
Baskin: Sure thing.
advice: This is Matt Baskin, Editor-in-Chief of GBH News. That is Everything considered.