A conservative columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch walked out on her job last week after the newspaper suspended her for defending the National Rifle Association in a recent piece. According to the Post-Dispatch’s editors, Stacy Washington was disciplined not because of the content of her column but because of her activism on behalf of the NRA, which was not disclosed in the article. However, Washington says that she was never paid a single dime by the pro-gun group and that her punishment came about due to the views she expressed.
The original column was written by Washington in response to another piece which claimed that guns in America were a greater threat than ISIS, essentially calling the NRA a domestic terrorist organization.
“When has a member of the NRA ever decapitated, set on fire, tossed from a rooftop or otherwise terrorized another American?” Washington asked in her column. “The linkage is not only rife with improper context; it is false on its face.
“We should be appalled to see neighbors with whom we work, attend church, people who have children defending this country through military service — in other words, good decent people — portrayed in the same light as demonic murderers for the simple act of owning a firearm,” she concluded.
Sensible enough, but her employers determined that because Washington has appeared in pro-NRA media – unpaid, but affiliated with the group – she crossed a line of journalistic integrity. The Post-Dispatch suspended her.
“Her active promotional activities and professional association with the National Rifle Association represented an unacceptable conflict of interest in her most recent column, which resulted in our suspension of her work,” said Tod Robberson, the paper’s editorial page editor. “Columnists are expected to fully disclose conflicts of interest when writing about topics where such a conflict might arise. We apply this standard regardless of the lobbying or advocacy group being written about in a column.”
In an interview with the Riverfront Times, Washington insisted that the paper’s justifications were ridiculous and unbelievable.
“I’m a Second Amendment supporter, it is known to people at the Post-Dispatch that I am a supporter of the NRA, I’ve never hidden it,” she said. “I was never paid by the NRA. Now I have people calling me a liar on Twitter, saying that I’m paid by the NRA, even though no one has any proof. It’s absolutely ludicrous to me that being openly supportive of the Second Amendment calls into question what I wrote on Friday. It just doesn’t comport. This is just not a thing. I just don’t understand it.”
It’s unfortunately quite simple; the mainstream media really DOES believe that anyone who supports the Second Amendment is only a few levels removed from an Islamic terrorist, and their views have been emboldened by the U.S. president for the last eight years. It’s going to take them some time to come around to the fact that Americans were never on board with this insanity.
Well, time and some drastically-dwindling subscriber numbers.