CANCELED: This column was Debra Hale-Shelton’s last in the Democrat-Gazette because it displeased the publisher.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which likes to take shots editorially at political correctness in speech (Sunday it was about the cancel culture of school name changes in San Francisco), engages a bit in the practice itself. Hypocrisy is its right, of course.


I wrote recently of the newspaper’s refusal to run a family obituary that included a critical view of the newspaper publisher’s opinions on public education.

Yesterday, on Twitter, a former Democrat-Gazette columnist, Debra Hale-Shelton, explained why her column no longer appears in the Sunday edition of the newspaper.


She continued:


Shelton, a veteran news reporter, retired from the news field a few years back after laboring for the D-G in Conway, where she dug up many groundbreaking stories, particularly on doings at UCA. She later began writing a Sunday opinion column. She was a pure progressive voice in a newspaper where such outlooks are in short supply.

Her Twitter thread gives the sentence that did her in with publisher Walter Hussman. It was part of a lamentation about people who support Donald Trump, with the firing sentence in boldface:

Not all, but far too many of the Americans I once thought were good, even righteous people flock to Trump largely because of his disdain for immigrants, Blacks, women who dare not bow to men–even one who boasts of grabbing a woman’s vagina, who has five children by three living women. (And who knows if there are other children or aborted pregnancies out there?)

Hussman deemed the bold-faced sentence “vile and vulgar” and ordered an end to Hale-Shelton’s contract employment. Here’s the full column.


Vulgar and vile? The sentence was in the eyes of at least one beholder, the one from whom all D-G blessings flow. From here, the words look more suitable for application to the vagina grabber.