Tara Servatius, the freelance writer who has been blogging on The Meck Deck since July 2011, has ended her association with the John Locke Foundation and the blog today in the wake of criticism over an offensive illustration linked to one of her blog entries earlier this week.
Servatius informed the Locke Foundation this morning that she was sorry she had used the illustration and wished to resign from her freelance writing for the blog, which focuses primarily on the Charlotte region.
The item posted Monday afternoon focused on President Obama’s opposition to the marriage amendment on North Carolina’s May primary ballot. It contained an offensive, Photoshopped image of the president obtained via the Internet.
“I’m embarrassed and angered today,” said JLF President John Hood. “The illustration associated with this blog entry was offensive and utterly inappropriate for our blog or anyone else’s. A reader brought it to my attention Wednesday. I had it removed immediately, but the damage was done. I’m sorry I didn’t see it earlier, and I’m deeply sorry it was on our website for any length of time.”
“The political discourse in our state and nation has grown increasingly coarse, unnecessarily personal, and destructively vitriolic,” Hood added. “This is the kind of episode that can only make the situation worse. We should be able to disagree about controversial issues without it coming to this.”
Hood agreed with Servatius’ decision. “Given the severity of the situation, this is the best outcome for all concerned.”
The John Locke Foundation hopes to have a new blogger or bloggers contributing to The Meck Deck very soon.
Jon Ham is vice president for communications at the John Locke Foundation.