Under pressure from right-wing Christian groups, the publisher of the Independent today announced a new direction for the six-year-old upstart weekly.
"I'm just tired of fighting," said Publisher John Weiss. "Let someone else fight for pluralism, free speech and tolerance. I've got to keep our stockholders happy."
The move comes after a right-wing religious group called the American Family Association announced a boycott of the paper's advertisers.
Faced with the prospect of losing more clients, Weiss lamented that "it's easier just to give in" than to fight those who want to legislate religion.
In addition, the paper will no longer publish any articles or advertisements that in any way question the supremacy of Christianity in domestic policy.
From this point on, there will be no use of the word "sex" anywhere in the paper unless it's referring to abstinence therefrom and there will be no acknowledgement of the existence of sexuality or genitalia.
"More specifically, the paper will no longer accept ads from pet stores, because the word 'pet,' when taken out of context, could be construed as being anti-family," said Scott Lavender, the paper's vice president of shameless hype.
A group of local civic and business leaders expressed shock at the news. The group had been supporting the paper in its efforts to combat the boycott.
From now on, all editorial and advertising material will be submitted to American Family Association chapter chief Tom Pedigo, who will in turn get "input" from his superiors in Mississippi before getting the go-ahead for editorial content.
In a separate but related development, the Indy's board has been purged, replacing lefty eco-weenies, moderate Republicans and secular humanists with right-wing religious leaders such as Republican State Senator MaryAnne Tebedo, Sovereign Individual Linda Tebedo, Colorado for Family Values Founder Kevin Tebedo, Colorado for Family Values chairman Wilfred Perkins, local Christian talk-show host Mike McKee and a talk-show caller who identifies himself only as "Ron."
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