The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has announced the cancelation of the column of black conservative journalist Stacy Washington after her most recent article defended the National Rifle Association against comparisons to ISIS and pointed out the media’s bias against guns. Washington was the only local conservative contributor to the paper’s editorial page.
When Washington was writing what would become her last article, “Guns and the media,” she never dreamed it would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In the piece, Washington writes about the lack of conservative voices in the mainstream media. She noted how countless papers and media programs run stories of anti-gun rhetoric with no opposing viewpoints for balance. Washington took much issue with the Missouri School of Journalism professor George Kennedy who compared the NRA to ISIS in an article for the Missourian.
“Amusing,” Washington writes in response. “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 describe their activities in this manner is to slander the organization. Would the Missourian open its op-ed section for an NRA response?”
“To further illustrate the ridiculous nature of Kennedy’s comparison,” Washington’s column continued, “when has a member of the NRA ever decapitated, set on fire, tossed from a rooftop or otherwise terrorized another American? The linkage is not only rife with improper context; it is false on its face. Yet the Missourian saw fit to publish it without question, I believe, because it suits the ideological bent of the opinion editor.”
Washington said it’s the failure to represent conservative voices in the media that has caused Republicans to abandon their local subscriptions and find places where they won’t be demonized or compared to terrorists if they own a firearm. She said it’s high time “newspapers across the nation come to grips with dwindling subscriber numbers” and take “an introspective look… into what is driving Americans away from legacy print media.”
And for that, Washington was suspended. Hours after the column ran, editor Tod Robberson sent her an e-mail (while she was in Atlanta attending the NRA’s convention, no less), scolding her column for being “problematic in many ways” but particularly for not disclosing her relationship to the NRA.
"Advocating for the NRA while failing to disclose that you did media work on this lobbying organization and its television station goes far beyond the bounds of any acceptable journalistic standard," Robberson wrote.
Robberson then attached a note to Washington’s column saying it has been canceled and “will no longer appear” citing her undisclosed “promotional activities and professional association” with the NRA alleged to represent a conflict of interest.
However, according to a detailed defense of Washington at the Riverfront Times, she has never been paid by the NRA; only reimbursed for travel for co-hosting duties and other media appearances.
"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," Washington said. "I was never paid by the NRA."
When Robberson told her they would have to discuss her future with the publisher of the Post-Dispatch, Washington decided to terminate her contract.
From the Riverfront Times:
The irony that a column calling out the lack of conservatives in the mainstream media got a conservative suspended from a mainstream newspaper isn't lost on her, either.
"What they’re losing, according to their own readers, is the juxtaposition between what their current editorial side is putting out, which is coming from the Democratic side, from the left, and then someone on the right," she says. "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 any more on clearly on where I stand."
Washington has shown she’s taking the job loss pretty well, as exemplified by this hilarious Twitter message:
Photo: StacyOnTheRight at Instagram