Monday, May 08, 2017

Must not defend the NRA

A conservative columnist who was suspended by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after she defended the National Rifle Association from comparisons to ISIS fired back with her resignation and a series of targeted tweets. 

The newspaper on Friday suspended Stacy Washington after a column entitled "Guns and the Media" disputed an anti-NRA article that argued since more Americans die from guns than from ISIS, the Second Amendment advocacy group is the greater danger.

“[W]hen 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,” Washington wrote in her column, which also decried the lack of conservatives in U.S. newsrooms. “This failure to represent the opposing, especially conservative, view is an increasingly apparent deficit in the news reporting apparatus in our country.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch asserts that Washington was not suspended for the views expressed in her column, but for failing to disclose her promotional work and professional affiliation with the NRA. Washington has appeared several times as a co-host and commentator on “Cam & Company” on NRA TV and contributed to an NRA documentary in August 2016. However, she has never been paid by the NRA.

“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,” Tod Robberson, the Post-Dispatch’s editorial page editor, wrote in a response to Washington’s suspension and quitting.



Anonymous said...

More power to her for pushing back at media bullies. I hope she gets new employment at a more reasonable media outlet. I wonder how many of those at the paper have undeclared interests with leftist organizations? It is amazing that the left condemn the NRA which has no links to violence but fails to condemn the violence of the left for perceived differences with conservatives.

Anonymous said...

The editors are ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

There is an ethical obligation to disclose even the appearance of a conflict of interest. The woman was writing about the NRA for whom she had appeared on their behalf.

There are two interesting things to me in this. First, it doesn't appear that Washington has said she disclosed her association with the NRA. (And there is a difference between just being a member of an organization and acting as a spokesperson for a group.) If that is the case, she violated ethical rules.

However, Washington has appeared on CNN, FoxNews, FoxBusiness, HuffPost Live and other media outlets. It is difficult for me to think the editors were not aware of her association with the NRA.

The impetus is on her to disclose the conflict and not for the paper to discover it. But this really doesn't appear to be a black and white / right or wrong case.

As the paper got caught flat footed, it seems that the suspension was probably warranted. If that is what is allowed in her contract, it seems about right. However, it almost seems that she wanted to be a martyr for this and so she resigned, gaining more attention than if she had just accepted the suspension.

Two things will follow her from this point on: 1) that she broke an ethical responsibility and 2) when faced with a fight, she ran.

Tick tick tick...the clock on her 15 minutes of fame is running.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:55 The failure is on the part of the St Louis Post Dispatch if they didn't do due diligence that she may not share their socialist views. She is an outspoken conservative. What more needs to be said? Harden up princess.

Bird of Paradise said...

The St Louis Composts Dis-Patched your typical liberal leftists run news rag comparing the NRA to ISIS if SLANDER just another reason the liberal leftists news media cant be trusted and their liberal leftists and very very bias Bernand Goldberg was right all along about thee liberal journalists

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:34.

It is possible to say that the Post Dispatch should have known. We can argue that all day.

The fact is that Washington had an ethical duty and responsibility to disclose the conflict of interest.

She didn't.

That's on her.

Mark Liveringhosue said...

The NRA, the only organization that gets blamed for things NONE of its members do!