Michigan lawmaker puts out an ‘alert’ after gay journalist is promoted to news editor


The Midland Daily News’ story about Tony Lascari being promoted to news editor includes this quote from the journalist: “I enjoy spending time with my nieces and my nephew, I’m an occasional runner and I love spending time in Midland’s parks. I live in Midland with my husband, Mark.”

That last sentence prompted State Rep. Gary Glenn to post a Facebook status update and send out a tweet “to alert readers to the reasonably observed possibility that this new position might be used to promote a political agenda or bias that’s at odds with our community’s values.”

Lascari says of Glenn: “I welcome him to contact me to speak about any topic at any time. In my new role as news editor at the Midland Daily News I look forward to helping my team produce quality stories that are accurate, interesting and important.”

Update — Lascari tells Romenesko readers: “I wrote a column yesterday that is the best statement of my views/reaction to Glenn that I can give.” He adds:

I have heard overwhelming positive feedback from the Midland community about my promotion. I also have received positive support about the column I wrote about my marriage, in which I say that I don’t think my marriage is worthy of receiving an “agenda alert” from a state representative. Rep. Glenn didn’t reach out to me to see what my political leanings may be before issuing the “alert.” …

The journalist (left) and the politician.

The journalist (left) and the politician.

On Facebook, my column has reached 47,200 people and received 579 likes, 96 comments and 67 shares as of 1:30 p.m. today. Those are enormous numbers for us at a small community newspaper. The comments have been almost all positive. The column was published in today’s print edition, and we will have to wait to see what the response is from our more traditional readers.

My colleagues at the Daily News have been supportive of me from the start. We may not agree on all issues, but we respect each other as journalists and intend to do the best work we can for our community.

* Glenn issues “agenda alert” over gay journalist’s promotion (mlive.com)
* “My marriage is a non-issue in Midland,” writes the news editor (ourmidland.com)
* Read Glenn’s Facebook post and comments about it (facebook.com)
* Glenn is accused of blocking Facebook comments (ourmidland.com)