On Monday, conservative columnist Stacy Washington was suspended/terminated from her job as a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and companion website stltoday.com after she defended the National Rifle Association (NRA) on April 28 from a ludicrous suggestion that they’re similar to ISIS.
The paper claimed in a statement explaining her suspension and termination that she would “no longer appear in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch” because, according to them, “[h]er 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.”
It added that “Washington chose to terminate her contract,” but Washington (known on Twitter as @StacyOnTheRight), disputed that she was an NRA official. To bolster the paper’s claims, they published a letter to the editor trashing Washington as “probably one of the finest examples I have ever seen of what a shill does.”
“Shame on her for not disclosing her close relationship with the organization and the fact that she has done media work for it. Is she willing to state whether she has received any remuneration or gratuity from the NRA,” the letter continued.
Hilariously, Washington tweeted that both counts are incorrect:
My column on the @NRA being nothing like ISIS got me suspended from @stltoday....— Stacy Washington (@StacyOnTheRight) May 1, 2017
.@stltoday published a letter to the editor calling me a paid @NRA shill. I informed Tod Robberson on Saturday that I am not paid by the NRA— Stacy Washington (@StacyOnTheRight) May 1, 2017
I'm not ashamed to support the NRA. The fact that @stltoday thinks I am shows how skewed their view of conservatives is.— Stacy Washington (@StacyOnTheRight) May 1, 2017
Now, what was in Washington’s column that was so outrageous that the paper couldn’t tolerate? She wrote in support of gun rights and the reality that the liberal media consists of people opposed to gun rights.
Reacting to a claim in the St. Louis American that if only “we loved our children as much as our guns,” Washington used this as a jumping off point:
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.
Perhaps the homogeneity of America’s newsrooms begins in journalism school. Missouri School of Journalism professor emeritus George Kennedy offered his opinion of gun-owning National Rifle Association members in a Columbia Missourian commentary: “The NRA is the acronym for the National Rifle Association, founded in 1871, headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, and feared by politicians across America.” Really. Tons of politicians cowering in fear of the NRA, eh?
Kennedy then describes the barbaric nature of the Islamic State and goes on to say of law-abiding, gun-owning Americans: “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.”
Washington added that “NRA members committed none of the gun crimes that he mentioned in his article” and when ordinary people in inner cities decry rampant crime, the NRA isn’t the first thing assigned blame. Further, she pointed out that “[t]he 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.”
As for the ISIS comparison, she continued:
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? 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.
For simply taking a few examples and pointing out the blatant bias on the Second Amendment (and supporting the NRA), this resulted in Washington’s suspension. Just another day in the life of a liberal newspaper.