Who knew that advocating for the most vulnerable group in our society would get you fired from your job?
Melanie Standiford, director and co-anchor for KNOP-TV news in North Platte, Nebraska, was fired for “practicing partisan politics.” Standiford reportedly collected signatures for a pro-life petition to make her hometown, Curtis, a sanctuary city for unborn babies, Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported.
KNOP-TV is an NBC affiliate (no surprise there) and is owned by Gray Television out of Atlanta. Staniford was surprised when her boss told her that she was being cut from the company over “practicing partisan politics.”
“I said in response, ‘partisan politics’? I don’t believe being pro-life is partisan,’” Standiford told CNA.
CNA indicated that Standiford’s dismissal came after Flatwater Free Press reported that she was collecting signatures for her pro-life petition. Supposedly people were grumpy that Standiford, a journalist, was collecting signatures on a so-called “partisan issue,” even though Standiford was doing so based on her religious convictions and on her own time.
“I told her, this is in the privacy of my church. This is something that I did, acting as a Christian, in the privacy of my church,” Standiford told the reporter from Flatwater Free Press, who then published a warped version of Standiford’s words.
Standiford was fired from KNOP-TV the day after the story's publication.
Even though Standiford was collecting signatures for her church and said she'd always reporting on abortion was “very balanced” while at work, she was still fired.
KNOP-TV general manager Shannon Booth claimed that their reporters aren’t allowed to engage in political activities: “Our long-standing company policy encourages civic involvement among our employees, so long as such activities do not give the appearance of interfering with journalistic impartiality.”
The issue here is that abortion isn’t a political issue and it shouldn’t be called that. Like Standiford said, abortion harms mothers and their children and isn’t a partisan issue. It’s an ethics and moral issue.
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