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Media Watchdog Group Files FCC Complaint Over Radio Station Hoax

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A media watchdog group has filed a complaint with the FCC over a Long Island radio station's hoax involving an invitation from two gay dads to their daughter's seventh birthday party.

Last week, Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson, the hosts of K-98.3's morning show, posted to Facebook the invitation along with a bogus response from another parent, which read in part, "I do not believe in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your 'lifestyle.'"

Listeners were not told it was a complete fabrication, 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera reported. The hosts later admitted they made up the story and said they were "attempting to spur a healthy discourse on a highly passionate topic."

Harper and Karlson have been suspended, and the station posted an apology on its Facebook page.

Citing "grossly irresponsible" use of public airwaves, the Fair Media Council, which says it advocates for "quality local news as vital to the health and well being of the community," filed a complaint against the station, whose call letters are WKJY, with the Federal Communications Commission.

The FMC also issued complaints with the station's parent company, Connoisseur Media, and WKJY's general manager, and called for the morning show hosts to be fired.

"Allowing the show to continue to air would be a complete disservice to the Long Island community, as well as to our local radio broadcasting market," FMC Executive Director Jaci Clement said in a news release. "Eliminate it, then fill the time with something that serves the public convenience and necessity."

K-98.3 quickly responded to the complaint with a statement to the media, saying the company immediately investigated and took "substantial" action by suspending Harper and Karlson.

"We acted immediately in a forthright, transparent and ethical manner," said spokeswoman Alissa Marti.

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