Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press title=
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press
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The local community reacted to a slur printed in the Santa Barbara News-Press last week.

On Christmas morning, edhat readers reported seeing an offensive word as a byline underneath a local writer's name. On page A3 with a story about last-minute holiday shopping, the last name of staff writer Paul Gonzalez was changed to "Gayzalez." The following byline read "News-Press Faggoat."

Community members commented on social media to express their frustration and anger over the offensive act. An edhat reader captured a photo of what appears to be a sign (pictured to the right) taped to the front doors of the News-Press building at 715 Anacapa Street. The sign seems to read "SB News Suppress We Want Answers."

The Pacific Pride Foundation, Santa Barbara County's LGBTQ+ center, responded with a letter to the newspaper's editorial board and invited the community to add their signature. They received 503 signatures to add to their letter.

The letter read ".. this level of outright homophobia must be addressed on a broader scale. The News-Press leadership might not condone this language, but the reality is that at least one person in the newsroom thought this was acceptable. It is not."

"No matter a person's actual or perceived sexuality or gender identity, using such slurs to insult or harass constitutes bullying. All one bully needs is to see this type of tacit approval from another bully to continue - and sometimes increase - the behavior," wrote the Pacific Pride Foundation.


Photo: Pacific Pride Foundation

News editor Donald Katich said an unnamed employee made the change and Gonzales is the victim of a hateful act. "It was a very poor decision made by an employee who is no longer in a position to make that same mistake," Katich said to SF Gate.

On Wednesday, the News-Press ran a statement at the bottom of page A3 that read: "In Monday's News-Press, one of our employees changed another employee's byline to reflect an offensive slur. The News-Press has taken immediate and swift action with this employee; we do not tolerate any form of harassment in the workplace. We apologize to our readers.

Regarding the employee, Katich said they are represented by the Teamsters and there is a process they are obligated to follow when it comes to discipline or termination. However, the employee is reportedly no longer in the building.

 

Past Articles

 December 25, 2017: Slur Printed in News-Press Byline

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26 Comments

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SBPaul Jan 04, 2018 09:30 AM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

Jerk was fired. Not a fan of ms better than you McCaw but I think we can all agree that you can't hire perfectly but you sure can fire appropriately. To think this is something that adults do now days in a role specifically geared towards clear and open communication is pathetic. We should not be surprised just further disappointed with our stellar local newspaper.

Mohji Jan 03, 2018 09:11 AM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

I am shocked at those who think this is no big deal and that people are overreacting. What they are not considering are Mr. Gonzalez's feelings and likely hurt and humiliation over this. That was a cruel and thoughtless thing to do to someone. It IS a big deal. And I don't understand how someone who works on the News Press could think it would be funny and acceptable to do this. Somehow I suspect it might have something to do with the general atmosphere of that workplace.

sbgold Jan 04, 2018 08:50 AM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

What a dismissive reply. Why don't you learn to get along with people you disagree with instead of dismissing them? Your comment shows you don't engage in meaningful dialogue regarding sensitive issues such as these. Shameful to use 'Namaste' in this context.

sbgold Jan 04, 2018 08:50 AM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

What a dismissive reply. Why don't you learn to get along with people you disagree with instead of dismissing them? Your comment shows you don't engage in meaningful dialogue regarding sensitive issues such as these. Shameful to use 'Namaste' in this context.

a-1539709081 Jan 03, 2018 09:37 AM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

I don't think that you understand the difference between perceived hate versus actual hate. Too many folks shouting "WOLF!!" when it is really a little puppy. Just learn to get along with those who you disagree with, and the world will be a better place....for everyone. Namaste my kind friends.

richyrich Jan 03, 2018 08:38 AM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

I have two close friends that are gay. They thought it was no big deal and got a good laugh out of it. People are so politically correct an uptight these day.

sbgold Jan 04, 2018 08:47 AM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

Ohhhh, because you have gay friends, then everything is ok then. Don't use your 'gay friends' or 'political correctness' as a smoke screen for your implicit LGBT bias.

rubyfoo Jan 03, 2018 08:06 AM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

While I'm certainly no fan of McCaw or what I now call The Flora, Fauna, and Society Daily, I think it's unfair to assign blame to the paper for this hateful act. I think we're going a bit overboard with this kind of outrage.

a-1539709081 Jan 03, 2018 12:46 AM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

This might be interesting. Comments on this issue from SF Gate: ;-) https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/articleComments/Santa-Barbara-News-Press-gay-slur-Paul-Gonzales-12457517.php#item-85307-tbla-5

a-1539709081 Jan 03, 2018 12:36 AM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

How frigging ironic that whoever did this is a UNION MEMBER! sick (rolling eyes) This person deserves little protection; those who campaigned and fought for unionism did and do. I do not like you, Wendy.

a-1539709081 Jan 03, 2018 12:43 AM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

so it's funny to use slurs against gays... Must be true, to your mind, for Jews, Blacks, brown people of whatever country, etc. and whomever? Where do YOU draw the line? Just the way I was raised, and came to agree with. I have a name that people might hate me for. Just a name, not a belief. I guess you don't have these fears.

a-1539709081 Jan 02, 2018 01:07 PM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

So as an old, white, affluent, opinionated guy who's never been discriminated against in his life, you feel it's funny, and no big deal. No insight or wisdom or empathy here folks, just move along.

a-1539709081 Jan 02, 2018 12:34 PM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

"So is calling the News-Press "News Suppress" or "Snooze-Press" a harassing, hateful or bullying slur?" - Not even close, nice try though.

Kew Jan 02, 2018 11:26 AM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

Unfortunately, there's pretty much no supervision at newspapers on Christmas Eve. That is how this employee got away with"malicious mischief;" no adult supervision. This employee violated the trust that their employer, manager, and supervisor had in them. This behavior is offensive to all colleagues in publishing (editorial and advertising) and the community at large. Note to offender: Time to start looking for another career. But, before you do, you have a lot of growing up to do. Your behavior reflects your immaturity and insensitivity toward other people. Note to SBNP: Consider Emotional Intelligence, not just skill and work experience, when hiring the next generation of employees. You get what you pay for.

a-1539709081 Jan 03, 2018 12:27 AM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

I get the point you're trying to make, but never in my almost 60 years in SB. "... you're going to find a screwball who does something equally stupid in ANY organization, regardless of previous vetting."

REX OF SB Jan 02, 2018 04:09 PM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

SBGOLD: I'm not belittling Pacific Pride—far from it. But while I think the act itself WAS a prank, albeit a stupid one, it was not necessarily a hateful act. I think the reaction to it was way beyond what was warranted. You have your opinion, i have mine. My only thought is that by lashing out so strongly, Pacific Pride may be taking the wind out of its own sails when something truly BAD requires a strong response. As far as News-Press hiring criteria, etc., that you mention, you're going to find a screwball who does something equally stupid in ANY organization, regardless of previous vetting.

sbgold Jan 02, 2018 12:45 PM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

Part of Pacific Pride's obligation and within the charter is to hold accountable, those in leadership and in the community, for acts of hate and discrimination related to LGBT issues. I don't see anything knee-jerk about their actions. Calling this a 'prank or whatever' it is, diminishes the severity of these types of insidious, hateful comments, especially when made in a daily publication. News-Press management has EVERYTHING to do with it because it shows a gross inability to provide a working culture that is reasonably sensitive to its community members. It also reflects very poorly on their HR department and their hiring criteria and vetting. So, yeah, this is an injustice. Your belittling the work of Pacific Pride and attempt at desensitizing a hateful act as 'a prank' or 'whatever' shows an enormous amount of ignorance and insensitivity on your behalf. Shame on you.

patrick Jan 02, 2018 09:50 AM
Community Reacts to Slur Printed in News-Press

News-Press (miss-)management had nothing to do with it, other than not proofreading and catching the 'mistake' prior to publication. Management is responsible for what is printed in its paper, therefore it share some blame for this.

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