Right-Wing Radio Host Steve Deace Bumped from Des Moines Register — For Now (Updated)

June 27th, 2012 · 34 Comments

UPDATE II, Thursday, June 28: Here’s the column Steve Deace wrote for the Des Moines Register, which he posted on his blog today. As Deace noted on his blog yesterday, the column actually was briefly available on the Register‘s website before the paper officially announced Deace’s new column. You can still read the cached version from the Register here.

UPDATE, Wednesday, June 27: Steve Deace has written up a lengthy timeline detailing his interaction with Des Moines Register opinion editor Randy Evans, and guessing at why his column got axed. Here’s a link to his post, in which Deace suggests that Evans “is a professional working for unprofessionals” and accuses Editor-in-Chief Rick Green of getting “cold feet and wobbly at the knees.”

ORIGINAL POST: The Des Moines Register announced on June 18 that controversial Des Moines radio host Steve Deace would start a weekly column in the paper. But then Sunday, which was supposed to be the column’s launch date, came and went with no Deace, so I emailed Register opinion editor Randy Evans on Monday to see if I’d missed it.

It turns out that “new budget concerns” arose shortly after the Deace announcement was made, according to Evans, so the newspaper made an editorial decision to focus its resources on finding a replacement for popular sports columnist Marc Hansen, who recently retired.

Last evening, in response to a similar question about the column posted by a reader on Facebook, the Register explained further:

Thanks for your note and your question about Steve Deace. Yes, Steve and The Register had plans for him to write a weekly column. However, Editor Rick Green had an unexpected opportunity to shift financial resources to our local sports coverage and decided to postpone Deace’s columns in our Opinion section. We are hopeful he will write an occasional column for the section throughout 2012, especially as the presidential and statewide elections heat up. “Steve has a unique perspective and commentary about the local, state and national political scenes,” Green said. “His opinions certainly draw an audience. I wish him nothing but the best and appreciate his understanding of my decision to bolster our local sports coverage, which is an important content area for so many of our readers. I hope he will submit an occasional piece for us during this election cycle.” If you have further questions, contact our editor at rgreen@dmreg.com

In the Register‘s announcement on the 18th, Evans said, “Whether you agree with him or not, and whether you consider yourself conservative, liberal or in between, you can count on Steve to challenge your views and stimulate your thinking.” That’s debatable, considering that Deace regularly links to, writes for, sells his book at, and supports the birther conspiracy theories of the pseudo-journalistic World Net Daily. In 2009, Deace called openly gay state Sen. Matt McCoy’s claim to Christianity a “statement of ignorance” because gays can’t be Christian. More recently, Deace bizarrely complained about “pagan philosophical arguments” for voting that run counter to the “sovereignty of God.”

But I’ll withhold judgment until Deace gets a byline in the Register, which both Evans and Rick Green still expressed interest in. In an email last night, Green told me that any controversy that may surround Deace didn’t factor into the paper’s decision. “The opportunity” to prioritize finding a new sports columnist “surfaced the same day Deace’s announcement was made,” Green wrote, and that’s the “greater need” for now.

Tags: Ames Prog Blog · Blogs · Gavin Aronsen

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