Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Iowa newspaper fires editor for antigay rant on personal blog, then schools its readers on what freedom of speech ISN'T

Old photo taken by Newton, Iowa photography studio
(Click to enlarge to see embossment at lower right.)
Also: Four former Newton Daily News writers ripped apart antigay editor and Christer zealot Bob Eschliman in letter to Shaw Media the day before he was fired

Undoubtedly anticipating free speech infringement yowls from Christers who never raise such concerns when gay people are fired, because religious freedom, John Rung, presi­dent of Shaw Media, explained to the readers of the Newton, Iowa Daily News why Bob Eschliman no longer edits their paper.
     It seems that good old Bob stepped a little too far off the curb in railing against "the deceivers," (meaning the "LGBTQXYZ crowd," especially the "Gaystapo") for publishing The Queen James Bible, which includes reinterpretations of antigay clobber passages in the Bible sponsored by gay King James I and VI (of England and Scotland; according to courtiers, James literally drooled on his paramours, including the arrestingly handsome George Villiers, whom he made the first Duke of Buckingham.)
     Bob-type Christers really, really hate it when "traditional" translations of antigay passages in scripture are reexamined in the light of cultural context and the actual languages, dialects, context, meaning and usage prevalent at the time they were written, as opposed to sometimes dubious translations, written centuries later.
     Bob's conclusion: "If you ask me, it sounds like the Gaystapo is well on its way. We must fight back against the enemy."
    The Newton Daily News management learned of the blog posting on Tuesday of last week, suspended Eschliman on Wednesday, and fired him Monday.
     Tuesday, the paper published a news story about itself: NDN begins search for new editor.
     Here is how the paper explained its decision to its readers:

     The First Amendment prohibits the making of any law that impedes the free exercise of religion, abridges freedom of speech, infringes on the freedom of the press, interferes with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibits the petitioning of government for redress of grievances.The First Amendment does not eliminate responsibility and accountability for one’s words and actions.
     As reported on page 2 of today’s newspaper, Bob Eschliman is no longer the editor of the Newton Daily News.
     Last week, he expressed an opinion on his personal blog that in no way reflects the opinion of the Newton Daily News or Shaw Media. While he is entitled to his opinion, his public airing of it compromised the reputation of this newspaper and his ability to lead it. Shaw Media’s “Statement of editorial principles,” which can be read in full by clicking on the link at the bottom of NewtonDailyNews.com, starts with this: “Because journalists subject people and institutions to intense and constant scrutiny, we must maintain the highest principles in our conduct. Our integrity is our most valuable asset. Without it, we lose the public trust invested in us by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.” In the past week, we have lost some of that public trust that is so vital to our existence. Today, we hope to begin earning it back.
     There will be some who will criticize our action, and mistakenly cite Mr. Eschliman’s First Amendment rights as a reason he should continue on as editor of the Newton Daily News.
     As previously stated, he has a right to voice his opinion. And we have a right to select an editor who we believe best represents our company and best serves the interests of our readers.
     We take our responsibility as a media company seriously. Our Promise is to provide relevant information, marketing solutions for our business partners, and to advocate for the communities we serve. To be effective advocates, we must be able to represent the entire community...
     AKSARBENT applauds Shaw Media, though it cannot condone Mr. Rung's use of the redundant "continue on." Also, journalists aren't supposed to write "past week" when they mean "last week."
     Bitch, bitch, bitch.

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