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May 5 2017

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Suspends Pro-Gun Pundit--She Fires Back by Resigning

by Charlotte Hays

Conservative columnist Stacy Washington is no longer with the St. Louis Post Dispatch after fallout from Washington's column arguing that the NRA is not more dangerous than ISIS.

 Yep, you can end up in hot water with editors at mainstream media outlets by not realizing that the NRA is scarier than beheading-prone terrorists.

Washington was responding to a column by George Kennedy, a former Mizzou journalism professor (what's with Mizzou J school profs?):  

"The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is a terrorist organization founded in 1999, headquartered in Syria and feared around the world. The NRA was founded in [1871], headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, and is feared by politicians across America," Kennedy wrote.

He continued: "What makes the Islamic State so feared it its willingness to kill in pursuit of its goal of creating a fundamentalist caliphate."

"What makes the NRA so feared is its willingness to spend heavily and campaign aggressively in pursuit of its goal of removing all restrictions on the possession and use of firearms just about anywhere by just about anyone."

Kennedy went on the claim that anybody who cared about children, who are often victims of violence, would oppose the NRA. To which Washington responded:

Gun ownership in America is a right that is enshrined in the Constitution, and owning a gun has no bearing on whether people love their children.

In fact, the author never addressed single-parent homes or personal responsibility, perhaps because those subjects require an honest look at community and culture. A look at those things would present a searing indictment of the author’s political biases and, perhaps, of the paper giving prominence to her views.

One of the primary reasons St. Louis has the highest per-capita murder rate in the country is because of drug trafficking hot spots where turf wars take lives. This is widely reported, yet the writer didn’t mention that detail either. Would discussing the drug wars in the city of St. Louis naturally lead to a discussion of our open southern border? That would be a bit inconvenient to the main task of painting law-abiding gun owners as fiends.

The newspaper suspended Washington and then made the dodgy claim that the columnist was suspended not because of the views in the column but because of "promotional work" she allegedly had done for the NRA. What was this promotional work?

As far as we can tell, the so-called promotional work boils down to appearing on and hosting Cam & Company on NRA TV and contributing to an NRA documentary. She says she has never been paid for this. Columnists frequently appear on TV shows, advocacy shows or not, to express their views, and appearing gratis in a documentary is a far cry from paid promotion. It's what columnists do. Isn't it odd that Washington's views were considered more mainstream by editors than Kennedy's truly fansastic comparison of the NRA and ISIS?

The promotional work fig leaf doesn't cover what the newspaper did. She was suspended for her views, pure and simple.

Washington has since resigned from the Post- Dispatch. 

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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