Sunday, May 7, 2017

Columnist Defended NRA After a Newspaper Compared It to ISIS. Then She Got Suspended

The following article appeared on the Independent Journal Review website on May 5th. The actions of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch make it clear that, not only are conservatives not wanted in the national media, they will be summarily dismissed simply for presenting their readers with facts!

Can it be any wonder that the truth has become such a rare commodity?  Ed.

By Parker Lee  

In a time when both conservative voices in the media and free speech in general are in question, a Missouri columnist's suspension is raising some red flags.

Stacy Washington, a conservative commentator who regularly wrote a column for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, found herself suspended by the paper after penning an article in defense of the National Rifle Association.

As Fox News notes, Washington — rather than take the suspension — resigned from the paper in protest, and she hasn't exactly been quiet about her situation: 
It's because I'm Black, isn't it!
Specifically, Washington was critical of a column by retired professor George Kennedy in the local Columbia Missouran newspaper.

Titled “The NRA's influence is a danger to us all,” Kennedy at one point compares the number of Americans killed by gun violence in 2016 (more than 15,000) to the number killed by Islamic jihadist terrorists (9), writing:

My follow-up question, then, is this: Which organization is more dangerous to Americans — ISIS or the NRA?

A week later, in her April 28 column for the Post-Dispatch, Washington tore into Kennedy's argument, writing, in part:

Amusing. NRA members committed none of the gun crimes that he mentioned in his article. When inner-city residents complain of crime in their neighborhoods or decry the lack of adequate policing, the NRA or its membership are never mentioned. The NRA does not advocate for felons to own guns, nor is it NRA policy to seek to lower the legal age to own a firearm ...

To further illustrate the ridiculous nature of Kennedy’s comparison, when has a member of the NRA ever decapitated, set on fire, tossed from a rooftop or otherwise terrorized another American?  
Stacy Washington

While the column was published and posted to the newspaper's website, a note appeared four days later that Washington had been suspended, and that her column would no longer appear, as she had chosen to terminate her contract:

As for why they chose to suspend Washington, the Post-Dispatch wrote:

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.

Washington, for her part, insists that not only has she never been paid by the NRA, but that she has been very open about supporting the organization, adding:

"I’m not ashamed that I’m an NRA supporter, a Bible-thumper, that I love Jesus Christ. I’m all the way out there.

There's nothing else that I can do to articulate my perspective anymore clearly on where I stand."

Washington has earned plenty of defenders.

While some sources have suggested that Washington thinks that her suspension was somehow racially-motivated, she tells Independent Journal Review that is certainly not the case:

"Race didn't play a factor in my mind in the decision to suspend my column. My tweet about the black AR-15 are in jest. (See Pic Above)

Those tweets were not about the suspension, they were sarcasm."

Washington concluded her April 28 column by noting that “as newspapers across the nation come to grips with dwindling subscriber numbers, an introspective look is sorely needed into what is driving Americans away from legacy print media.”

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