Daily Archives: January 29, 2015

Idaho lawmakers this week debated what’s been called the Add the Words bill, a proposal to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the state’s Human Rights Act.

On Wednesday, the Idaho Statesman ran an anti-gay front-page sticker advertisement that said, “Add No Words/Stand up to bullying.” The ad included the URL to a website with a post claiming that “the essential nature of homosexuality, ‘transgenderism,’ and other forms of sexual deviancy is, ultimately a form of rape.”

After getting complaints, the Statesman ran this note from publisher Mike Jung:

It’s unfortunate the advertising Post It note that appeared on the front page of the Statesman has created hurt and anger among some readers. That was not the intent.
We welcome and encourage open discussion and dialogue among many topics, including the legislation to ban discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender people, commonly referred to as Add the Words. In fact, if a company or individual wanted to communicate they were in favor of the legislation, we would have accepted their paid advertising. Our position is clear on the bill as we strongly support its passing.

Regarding the paper accepting the ad, we provide a platform for both sides of every issue. I would have accepted the same Post-It note if it had read, “Add the Words, Stop the Bullying.” We offer the same advertising opportunities regardless of the opinion shared within the advertisement. That said, we reserve the right to refuse advertisements that include slanderous or defaming statements. Wednesday’s ad was marked as “Paid for by Lance Wells.”

On Thursday morning, a House committee voted 13-4 to reject adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Idaho Human Rights Act.

* “Add No Words” ad on front page causes stir (
* Publisher explains why an anti-gay sticker ad was accepted (
* Idaho House committee rejects Add the Words bill (

In my Tuesday post about WSPA-TV’s cardboard cutout named “Michelle,” I wondered if TV news directors are being advised by consultants to put cardboard characters in their newsrooms to remind reporters and producers of the target audience. This email from a female TV journalist arrived last night:

To answer your question regarding whether media consultants nationwide are giving similar advice, WSPA’s “Michelle” is a copy of the “Female Switchable” that [a consultant] has been preaching to Raycom Media-owned stations around the country for more than two years. [A “switchable” is a viewer who hasn’t decided on a favorite newscast, and switches from one station to another.]

They're cardboard.

– Meet today’s TV news consumers

[He] describes her as a mother short on logic but long on social media obsession, terrified of her neighbors, needing constant updates on the weather and consumer trends, with the attention span of a fourth-grader and much less understanding of the greater world around her. She wants “lists,” wants to know how things “affect her.” She’s self-centered, myopic and terrified.

She is nothing like the women I know, and I’m glad you finally called television news out on this caricature. I’d really like to see the data that’s used to build that caricature, because as far as I can see, she’s the sexist mythology of overpaid consultants.

This consultant’s fallacy of the “female switchable” isn’t good for anyone. And it isn’t good for the company.

Montgomery, Alabama-based Raycom Media says it “owns and/or provides services for 53 television stations in 37 markets and 18 states.” I left a message for vice president of news Susana Schuler. The consultant declines to comment on the broadcaster’s email except to say it’s inaccurate.

* What a cardboard cutout says about local news priorities (
* Earlier: TV newsroom uses cardboard “Michelle” to portray its target viewer (

The governor says:

Rather than developing a new website, I have instructed the Office of Information Technology to update the current public calendar website to ensure that the press and the public have unfiltered and convenient access to all press releases and public meeting notices. The updated calendar will be fully automated and designed to post all press releases and public meeting notices in real time.

* Gov. Mike Pence kills Just IN news site (

Earlier on
* Ex-Indy Star reporter to oversee new state-run news service
* Columnist: Pence should kill this idea before it further embarrasses him

Bob Eschliman, the Iowa editor who was fired last year after claiming that “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo” are trying to reword the Bible “to make their sinful nature ‘right with God,'” is back in the news business.

The former Newton (IA) Daily News editor has launched The Iowa Statesman, which he says “will fill a void for honest, dependable and unbiased news coverage of Iowa politics and government at the federal, state and local levels.”

Eschliman is seeking $100,000 “to get the ball rolling.” He says in his Indiegogo campaign video:

I was fired for expressing my deeply held religious views on both the sanctity of the Bible and my opposition to efforts to coerce churches to change their views on homosexual marriage.

I believe the Bible is the infallible and inspired word of God and that marriage can only exist between a man and a women. I expressed those views on a personal blog written on my time. As a journalist and defender of the First Amendment, I was shocked to have been fired for expressing my religious views. In the six months since I lost my job, it’s been real difficult on my family. But the Lord has provided when we needed it the most.

He adds that “by donating to this cause, you’ll be championing a free press for all of Iowa, while providing a real voice for our shared values, and at the same time you’ll be helping me provide for my young family’s needs.”

With two days left in the campaign, Eschliman has to raise $95,949 to meet his goal.

* Bob Eschliman seeks $100K for his Iowa Statesman (
* Earlier: Iowa editor blasts the “Gaystapo” and “LGBTQXYZ crowd” | He’s fired (

* [ABOVE] “I love this bit of Desert Sun history that popped up in @romenesko’s Facebook comments.” (@BrianIndrelunas)
* Indiana Gov. Mike Pence distances himself from the “Just IN” news service idea cooked up by his staff. ( | Keep government out of the news business, says Rem Rieder. (
* The New Republic’s February issue explores the magazine’s history of racism. (
* The six Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting finalists are named. (
* So many questions about Piers Morgan‘s “idiot” joggers tweet. (
* Ski with care: The “stunning” resorts in Iran that Vogue touts “are the very mountains that have been rumored to be a locus for missile production.” (
* Margaret Sullivan: “I don’t think every news organization needs an ombudsman, but…” (
* How to get more women on the opinion pages: (
* The new Bloomberg Business site reminds Jack Shafer of a modern version of Time-Warner’s 1990’s-era Pathfinder website. (
* Salon finds that comments are worth keeping – if they’re closely monitored. (
* Chicago Tribune names a new managing editor and fills other positions. (
* John Dowling was ousted as AP’s director of training a few months ago. What will the news service do without him? (
* Outsports is the first gay publication to get the NFL’s blessing to cover the Super Bowl. (
shames* Missouri Times is scolded for its ethics lapses. ( | Earlier: Missouri Times gets lobbyists to pay for its parties. (
* New funding for Mashable ($17M) and Business Insider ($25M). (
* Remember when Andrew Sullivan stepped away from blogging in 2005? ( | “He has been known to change his mind.” (
* The Western Illinois University student editor suspended for selling video footage to news outlets gets support from his staff. (
* Layoffs at The Oklahoman, owned by billionaire Phil Anschutz. ( | … the Times-Picayune, too. (