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by Jordan Green

News and views from inside the media bubble

THE N&R’S TROUBLE WITH THE MARRIAGE AMENDMENT

In the final days before the voters of North Carolina rendered a decision on whether to write a ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions into the state’s constitution, the News & Record was taking some pretty serious flak for its coverage of the issue. One salvo over the weekend came in the form of a blog post by former News & Record reporter Lex Alexander calling for the firing of the newspaper’s publisher. Alexander calls publisher Robin Saul a coward and a bully because the newspaper made an official statement that the “editorial board could not come to a consensus” on the issue when presumably Saul’s was the dissenting opinion on the three-member editorial board that otherwise would have endorsed against the amendment. To make things worse, in Alexander’s eyes, Saul dispatched Editorial Editor Allen Johnson to issue the newspaper’s statement.

“We now have incontrovertible evidence that the man running the News & Record is a liar, a coward, a menace to the human resources he is paid to steward and a man who believes his readers are idiots,” Alexander concludes.

The News & Record’s pass on the amendment was discussed avidly at an anti-amendment early voting rally on May 5 and Facebook buzzed with it on Monday.

The charge of hypocrisy is easy to lob: YES!

Weekly punted on the 2008 presidential endorsement, although our paper has been consistently opposed to the marriage amendment. The News & Record’s reticence on the marriage amendment stands out. The High Point Enterprise has endorsed in favor; the Winston-Salem Journal has come out against it.

And an article in Monday’s paper by Mike Kernels entitled “Black clergy fight amendment” caught flak from one reader, James Lamar Gibson, for opening with a sweeping and unsubstantiated lede: “The black community traditionally has been against gay rights.”

Gibson parries in a letter to Kernels: “The homophobia that exists within people who happen to be black is shared by many other people in many other ethnic and racial groups than just them. It is a homophobia embedded in our society. It has no color, and pretending that it does weakens the ability to appeal to the masses that need to confront their homophobia in a sincere and loving way.”

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