Newton Newspaper Fires Editor Over Anti-Gay Blog

DES MOINES | Management at the Newton Daily News said Tuesday they fired the newspaper's editor a week after he posted on a personal blog that gay organizations are trying to reword the Bible "to make their sinful nature 'right with God.'"

Bob Eschliman had worked at the newpaper since June 2012.

The 4,000-circulation Monday through Friday evening newspaper announced in a news story and an editorial in Tuesday's edition that Eschliman was no longer its editor.

"The Newton Daily News is seeking a new editor after parting ways with Bob Eschliman, its former editor," said the story published in the paper and on its website.

The story explains that Eschliman discussed what he termed "deceivers among us" and called gay groups the "Gaystapo." He ended the post with, "We must fight back against the enemy."

Publisher Dan Goetz will immediately begin a search for a new editor, the story said. The job posting was listed on the company's website Tuesday.

The newspaper is owned by Dixon, Illinois-based Shaw Media.

Company President John Rung wrote a column also published Tuesday online and in the newspaper that said Eschliman's posting did not reflect the opinion of the newspaper or the company. He said Eschliman's public airing of his views "compromised the reputation of this newspaper and his ability to lead it."

"To be effective advocates, we must be able to represent the entire community fairly," Rung wrote. "We appreciate the feedback from readers that we've received in the past week. This is your newspaper, and once again you've shown how deeply you care about it."

Eschliman's blog message was posted on the widely read media blog, bringing national attention to the commentary. A telephone number listed for Eschliman rang unanswered Tuesday.

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