The Nyikos* Award for List Management goes to…

The managing editor of a small town newspaper in Wisconsin, Rose Eddy, is very upset with certain vicious hate groups, so she made up a list for her staff and announced that they will not be accepting ads or information from them, ever. And then she publicized it, declaring her unimpeachable moral probity in the pages of her newspaper. Here’s her list of awful, terrible people who must not appear in print:

  • The Nazi Party. Bad, very bad. I think this one has been condemned by history well enough.

  • Al Qaeda. A known terrorist organization that wants to destroy America — the very symbol of evil today.

  • The Ayn Rand Institute. Um, well. OK. They are kind of selfish libertarian creepazoids, who seem to be infamously pretentious … but they don’t seem to be quite in the same category as Nazis and fanatical terrorists.

  • People looking for Elvis. What! That’s half of small town America! These people may be mildly wacky, but they’re definitely harmless.

  • The Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Nazis, Al Qaeda, Ayn Rand, Elvis, and atheists. Ms Rose Eddy has a very peculiar pattern of discrimination, I think. How could she have left off mimes, Amway salesmen, and Paris Hilton?

*Obscure Talk.Origins reference. Old hands will remember the list lord.

(via Jeffrey Shallit)


  1. says

    She didn’t proof her own editorial. She included the “Feedom” from Religion Foundation. I guess that proofreaders are also on her “hit” list.

  2. says

    Randians are “creepazoids”? Wow, now that’s a great word. It’s a movie, too. A piece of dreck starring scream queen Linnea Quigley. Don’t rent it, PZ. It’s atrocious. Instead, rent “Humanoids From The Deep”. It has awful half human half/fish creatures (right up your alley) and lots of boobage.

    You made my day simply by writing “creepazoids”.

  3. Mike P says

    Well, maybe we can make a little bit of sense of this:

    -Nazis: atheists (ok, not really, but the Christers seem to think so)

    -Al Qaeda: Devil-worshippers (again, Christers think so)

    -Ayn Rand: atheist / $-worshipper

    -Elvis weirdos: the devil’s music

    -Freedom from Religion Foundation: atheists

    There’s somewhat of a pattern.

  4. Greg B says

    Amazing. I mean, why wouldn’t a NEWS SOURCE want to hear from an organization that wants to base it’s world view on evidence and observable fact.

    Why wouldn’t a NEWS ORGANIZATION want to hear from another organization who fights diligently to protect the 1st amendment? Have they forgotten that this is the same amendment that also protects the freedom of the press?

    I have to quote Orac again.

    The stupid, it burns!

  5. soteos says

    Wait a minute… does this mean that they were originally accepting ads and information from the Nazi Party and Al Queda?

  6. Sastra says

    Like many people, I suspect Ms. Eddy confuses keeping religion out of “public” view and keeping religion out of “public” funding. There seems to be a common but stubborn inability to make a distinction between someone protesting a manger scene at City Hall, and someone protesting a manger scene on someone’s lawn, at a church, in a restaurant, performed at a public park, etc. The idea seems to be that anyone who doesn’t want the government expressing an official view on religion just wants religion gone, period — by hook, crook, violence, law, whatever. They’d rip the Bible right out of your hands if they could, that Freedom from YOU Having a Religion crowd.

    In another thread, someone mentioned “projection.” Since this editor wants to prevent an organization from expressing an opinion “out in public” within the confines of a public newspaper acting as a public forum, she figures they must want the same thing.

    And adding in Ayn Rand fans is bizarre — probably the atheism connection. Too bad she didn’t ban Hegelians.

  7. Taz says

    “half human half/fish creatures” – At last! The transitional form the creationists are looking for!

  8. tsg says

    She reminds me of Grandpa on the Simpsons writing to TV stations with a list of words he doesn’t want to hear anymore.

  9. says

    Aaaagghhh! You named him, the Perfect Professor!

    Now he will come!

    The Hershey Collective will have to rise again to fight the Dark Mathematician!

  10. woozy says

    Wow. She chose “FfRF” without any sense of irony or second thought!

    Normally the contrarian in me would want to support that if a newspaper is going to have a policy to reject anyone at all, such as the KKK they’ve already opened the door to rejecting anyone with even the taint of controversy so why the surprise. However, in the article she shows herself to be such a shallow and petty beauracrat I can’t feel anything but contempt.

    She’s really a wimp. She had one interaction with a Klan member (I admit that is one more than I ever had but I’m not in journalism; a profession that I’d assume would expose on to various walks of life many unpleasant) in a conversation about placing an ad and she said no. She passes this off as the brave journalist standing up for human decency. I can understand having a newspaper policy of refusing ads from “crontraversial” parties but being such a wimpy paper is a disgrace to journalistic integraty and fully worthy of the contempt most (I’d hope) would give it. Or a paper could be biased and have stated viewpoint (which maybe her two papers are) but such papers forfeit all claims to impartiality and balance (and the issue of taking an ad from the Klan is as moot). I suppose a paper could have a policy for refuses to publish from organisations that promate hate, racism, violence, etc. etc. but no matter how you choose your values placing the Ayn Rand and FfRF group (or American Communists, or anti-Castro zealots, or ….) in there is pretty hard work.

    What a wimp.

  11. Suze says

    I think I’d just take this as a point of humor and not get too worked up about it. I subscribe to our small town paper ($5/year) to have something to put on the bathroom floor when my disabled son with bad aim visits. It comes in two sections now, which is handy. There’s the college football/church news/recipe section, and the oped/road closing/zoning dispute/classified/more football news section. Since his aim drifts right, the church news usually gets it. Funny, I never really thought about that until just now.

  12. says

    From snpp

    Dear Advertisers,
    I am disgusted with the way old people are depicted on television. We are not all vibrant, fun-loving sex maniacs. Many of us are bitter, resentful individuals who remember the good old days when entertainment was bland and inoffensive. The following is a list of words I never want to hear on television again. Number one: Bra. Number two: Horny. Number three: Family Jewels.
    — Grampa Simpson, “Bart the General”

  13. mothworm says

    Wow, that’s a pretty brave stance she’s taking–giving up all that lucrative ad space that normally overflows with the Nazi-Al Qaedian, Elvis-worshipping, atheist-Randroid missives that has historically kept small-town newspapers in America’s heartland flush with cash. How ever will she survive?

  14. Physis says

    Would you kindly* always refer to Randians as ‘creepazoids’ from now on?

    *Obscure BioShock reference.

  15. says

    Al Qaeda. A known terrorist organization that wants to destroy America — the very symbol of evil today.

    The ambiguous phrasing/punctuation of this just cracked me up.

    Well done, PZ…

  16. Nathan says

    Thanks, PZ! I’d never heard of the Freedom From Religion Foundation before, but thanks to your post, I went and joined. I’m now a proud member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation!

  17. FishyFred says

    Al Qaeda. A known terrorist organization that wants to destroy America — the very symbol of evil today.

    This is retarded. Is she saying that if Osama Bin Laden promised her an exclusive interview, she would say no?

  18. ajay says

    Is she saying that if Osama Bin Laden promised her an exclusive interview, she would say no?

    Only if he wanted to plug his book.

  19. says

    First, as a journalist, let me point out that advertising decisions are (or at least should be) separate from news considerations.

    That being said, I’m appalled. There are legitimate reasons to decline ads from Nazis, terrorists, etc. But (as much as I may be opposed to Randian libertarianism) putting Randians or the Freedom from Religion foundation in the same category is absurd.

    Finally, as much as we may not want to, if we’re covering, say, the resurgence of Neonazi movements in America, we kind of have to talk to the Neonazis. An unpleasant task to be sure. Again, putting Randians and the FFRF in the same category is absurd. I, as a Jew, would obviously feel endangered interviewing Neonazis and would probably take the crying game shower afterwards, but I’d see no problem whatsoever interviewing the Randians or FFRF spokespeople. Although I must admit, I’d consider FFRF a much more reliable and legitimate source.

  20. says

    So, to paraphrase:

    “Dear five readers:

    Following is a list of people I think are big meanies. Since most of them aren’t controversial enough, I’m going to throw in the name of a local atheist group, because they’re all over the news right now, and I’m trying to drum up a sixth reader.

    Whiny Attention-Seeking Conservative Soccer Mom #818546”