- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Conservative writer and radio host Stacy Washington has lost her column at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch because of a conflict of interest surrounding her involvement with the National Rifle Association.

Editorial page editor Tod Robberson issued a statement Tuesday evening saying Ms. Washington’s “active promotional activities and professional association” with the NRA represented an “unacceptable conflict of interest,” which resulted in her suspension last week.

The paper said Ms. Washington chose to terminate her contract, and her column would not be returning.

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“Columnists are expected to fully disclose conflicts of interest when writing about topics where such a conflict might arise,” Mr. Robberson wrote. “We apply this standard regardless of the lobbying or advocacy group being written about in a column.”

Ms. Washington, who hosts the syndicated “Stacy on the Right” radio show, announced on Twitter Sunday that she had been suspended two days earlier over her most recent column, titled “Guns and the media.”

“My column on the @NRA being nothing like ISIS got me suspended from @stltoday,” she tweeted, including a meme of a black semi-automatic rifle and the words. “It’s because I’m black isn’t it?”

The conservative claimed that she isn’t “black enough” for the Post-Dispatch. “If my views don’t match they won’t defend!” she wrote. She also said that she does not get paid by the NRA.

The column that apparently got her suspended criticized Missouri School of Journalism professor emeritus George Kennedy for a recent column in The Missourian comparing the NRA to the Islamic State terrorist group. Ms. Washington accused Mr. Kennedy of slandering the NRA and demonizing law-abiding gun owners.

“The linkage is not only rife with improper context; it is false on its face,” she wrote. “Yet the Missourian saw fit to publish it without question, I believe, because it suits the ideological bent of the opinion editor.”

One day before the Post-Dispatch announced that it was canceling Ms. Washington’s column, it published a letter to the editor calling the conservative a “shill” for the NRA.

“@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,” Ms. Washington responded. “My bio says I’ve filled in and been interviewed for a documentary. That I am often on their radio and tv shows. Never compensated for it.”

“I’m not ashamed to support the NRA. The fact that @stltoday thinks I am shows how skewed their view of conservatives is,” she wrote.

Ms. Washington said the editor behind reviewing and publishing her column has not been punished by the paper.

“He edited the column. Then he moved the copy. I can’t make anything go into print there without the editor,” she wrote.

Ms. Washington’s suspension caught the attention of NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, who once ran a weekly column in the Post-Dispatch.

“I see @stltoday is still as hostile towards discussing firearms as they where when I parted ways with them over this same issue 8 yrs ago,” Ms. Loesch tweeted.

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