“Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose.” –George Orwell
PORTSMOUTH, OH – Once again, a mob of LBGTQ militants experienced a meltdown over a Freedom of Speech issue in our great land of liberty. Why? Because others disagreed with them. In our U.S. Republic, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights guarantees FREEDOM – but not a group of residents in Evansville, Wisconsin disagree.
As usual the offended individuals refer to free speech as “hate speech” because they base their opinion on feelings not facts.
According to a Feb. 17, 2023, article at WKOW News, “The official newspaper for the City of Evansville is facing mounting criticism from members of the community after disseminating several anti-LGBTQ publications to all Evansville residents.” Watch a short news clip as well.
A local pastor with a paid ad against gender ideology was interviewed, but reporter Ward Jolles did not cite what exactly the accused “hate speech” said. It appears the church website is no longer in service.
In other words, the Evansville Review newspaper printed alternative opinions and viewpoints of other residents and some of the LGBTQ individuals threw reactive temper tantrums. Drama ensued with some outlandish claims with no supporting facts citied. Did several “queer residents” leave town as claimed? The woman who made the allegation is anonymous.
She also claims her two LGBTQ children have “been harassed all over town.” Really? By whom? Did she report the harassment to the police? No adult should harass any child. Are other kids harassing her kids? She needs to have a peaceful but firm discussion with the parents. Kids should not bully other kids in school or other places. Did the parent contact the designated school official?
A few residents claim they do not want to receive the newspaper, but it keeps being delivered.
Nobody is forcing them to read the newspaper. An option is to just threw it away. But it appears they perceive their rights are being ignored or denied. The story did not address why the newspaper keeps appearing.
“Dear Evansville Review, Please stop sending me hate mail,” is the name of a petition started by Susan Neeley and Cory Neeley (a city council member) 3 months ago at Change.org. There are 312 signatures reported so far.
“The Evansville Review has been printing anti-lgbtq and racist hate speech for years. That’s one reason why I don’t subscribe to that newspaper. Yet, like many others in and around Evansville, I still get the paper sent to me each week. I have asked for them to stop but they won’t. Part of the reason why they won’t is because they get a large amount of their funding by being the paper of record for the city. That means our city and school announcements and other important community information are being published right next to an article that says parents of transgender kids are pedophiles or that raising the pride flag over our town hall is an abomination.”
Editor of the Evansville Review, Kelly Gildner sent a response to WKOW News.
“Being from Evansville for many years and with this being our family newspaper for as many and more years- 62 years exactly- I have been under the microscope for varied issues. Telling a news outlet (you) the local paper needs to publish only items they “agree with” needs a better explanation-this does not make sense…BUT to say I attack the LBGT community is wrong.”
“You, representing the media should know what freedom of the press means. It does not mean only printing what the majority of any group or community wants to see. Contrary to what is now referred to as “Mainstream media” …. this publication does not print only one side/one angle/one type of ad. We get plenty of “hate mail” and have for many years. Most is not signed- of course. Letters to The Editor come in and when signed and follow ALL the guidelines-I print them…I print articles and columns from all political sides, am friends with many of them-from all sides…Articles/news releases coming in are placed by locals and non-locals- not written by me or editorials from ME.”
To her credit, Gildner explained Freedom of the Press. Kudos to this editor for standing up for freedom in America.
Reporter for WKOW, Ward Jolles – not so much. Per my opinion his coverage appears to be biased against Freedom of the Press. Hmmm. Jolles is a news reporter – go figure. Read his comments on Twitter.
Journalist Daniel Villarreal, for LGBTQ Nation, proclaimed, “The newspaper is publishing paid ads calling LGBTQ people child sex abusers alongside city announcements so locals have to read hate speech to get the news.”
Ahem. And just where did these two reporters get their journalism degrees? China, North Korea, or a fly-by-night certificate scam. They need to memorize the First Amendment. Both of their biased news stories were labeled as articles and not as editorials/commentaries. An op-ed columnist has the freedom to insert opinion.
Note: The Evansville Review does not have a website and their Facebook page is out of order. Therefore, I don’t know exactly what the articles or ads said. Interestingly, the other media sources that reported on the story didn’t quote from the reported offensive materials. An internet search was fruitless.
Anyone making a universal statement that “all parents of trans children are pedophiles” would be incorrect – if that is the accusation.
The city councilman replied to my email and stated his only issue is the newspaper being delivered to his house when it’s unwanted. He denied a Freedom of Press issue.
Jolles replied to my email, but he does not want to repeat “homophobic content.”
However, readers need to be able to use critical thinking skills to come to their own conclusions – in my opinion. I may not like what you think, say or write, but I respect our First Amendment rights.
But adults need to protect children from pornography, sexually explicit stories and pictures, and age-inappropriate subjects in books.
Before this column was published, I contacted the newspaper editor and other elected officials in Evansville, but no responses were forthcoming. Any replies will be updated in my column.
“To struggle against censorship, whatever its nature, and whatever the power under which it exists, is my duty as a writer, as are calls for freedom of the press. I am a passionate supporter of that freedom, and I consider that if any writer were to imagine that he could prove he didn’t need that freedom, then he would be like a fish affirming in public that it didn’t need water.” –Mikhail Bulgakov