Earlier this month, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation sent out emails soliciting nominations for its 2023 Profile in Courage Awards, to be presented Oct. 29 at an annual awards gala.
The yearly awards honor “individuals who demonstrate politically courageous leadership in the spirit of ‘Profiles in Courage,’” the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1956 book of the same name by John F. Kennedy, then a senator from Massachusetts who would be elected president four years later.
Kennedy’s book profiled eight U.S. senators “who defied the opinions of their party and constituents to do what they felt was right and suffered severe criticism and losses in popularity as a result,” according to the foundation.
Although he’s not a politician as such, I nonetheless nominate for one of this year’s Profile in Courage Awards one Steve Eubanks, who quit his job in protest as a senior writer for Global Golf Post after his woke editors refused to publish his article based on an interview with pro golfer Amy Olson.
Tasked with doing a feature interview of his choosing to preview the LGPA’s then-upcoming 2023 U.S. Women’s Open in Pebble Beach, California, Eubanks settled on Olson, presumably because of the novelty of her being seven months’ pregnant and playing in the tournament.
Eubanks’ executive editor and publisher apparently would have liked the resulting story better had it not been for two bothersome details: Olson is proudly pro-life and an ardent Christian. She was quoted at length about both in Eubanks’ article as submitted.
Eubanks’ bosses insisted that the Atlanta-based writer rework his article. They would run it only “if we take out the abortion and the Christian stuff,” Eubanks said.
He didn’t just refuse: When they wouldn’t relent, Eubanks quit the Global Golf Post—where he had worked since its inception 12 years ago—on the spot.
That’s deserving of a Profile in Courage Award on at least a few levels—not least of which is quitting a job without having a new one lined up beforehand (unless of course you’re independently wealthy or have a spouse or family members who can support you). Eubanks’ move calls to mind country singer Johnny Paycheck’s 1977 hit song “Take This Job and Shove It,” which inspired a 1981 film comedy of the same name.
Just as an aside: How many senators (or other elected politicians) today would quit their jobs voluntarily if faced with a comparably untenable circumstance? Let’s just say there would be no “Profiles in Courage, Volume 2.”
TheBlaze broke the story Aug. 10 with a Daily Mail-style tabloid headline: “Exclusive: Golf writer says staff ‘went ballistic’ over story on pregnant golfer’s pro-life, Christian views, and outlet’s higher-ups refused to run it.”
The conservative-leaning media outlet shared extensive excerpts of Eubanks’ unpublished interview with Olson that apparently were beyond the pale for the tender sensibilities of the Global Golf Post’s editors and staffers:
When asked about the recent surge in media attention because of her decision to compete while pregnant, Olson pointed out the “irony” of the situation.
Olson: I’ve been honored that people have picked up the story and been interested. I feel like everyone has been supportive. Nothing but goodwill has come toward me, and I’ve so appreciated that.
I will say that the irony is not lost on me that, one year ago, when Roe v. Wade was overturned, I was playing in a major championship outside Washington, D.C., and women from around the world, and even on tour, were outraged. Now, a year later, people are celebrating that I’m going to be playing a major championship with an unborn child that they recognize as a life.
Even on Golf Channel, one of the hosts said that instead of 156, this year there will be 157 players in the field, recognizing that our child is a human being who will be out there with me.
That irony is not lost on me. I celebrate that our general humanity and common sense knows why this is something special.
Eubanks invited Olson to share how she navigated the media in June 2022, when the Supreme Court overturned its 49-year-old Roe v. Wade ruling in deciding Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Olson: I had a number of private conversations, and I made a public statement, which was the first public statement I’d ever made on something that was quote-unquote political, although I think it’s so much more than political. It’s really reductionist to call it a political issue.
Like anything, you have to handle it with compassion and truth. A lot of people had emotional reactions and really misunderstood, to an extent, what Dobbs did. I always tried to bring it back to what the court actually said. Yes, to an extent it was about life. But the court said, ‘Hey, we made the wrong decision in saying that courts should decide issues of abortion. This should be decided by elected officials who can be voted in and out of office.’
So the court passed it back to state legislators, people who are accountable to the people.
Regardless of where you stand on the issue, things got terribly misrepresented, especially in the media where they often do. But for me, it was certainly an interesting time.
When asked whether it is challenging being a Christian today, Olson opened up about her faith.
Olson: It’s very tough. Being a Christian has always been political because Christianity is supposed to touch every aspect of your life. I believe in comprehensive Christianity. It dictates how you treat people, how you think about the world, and the decisions that you make. There’s nothing in my life that isn’t affected by faith. To think that there is a realm out there not affected by my faith is something I can’t even fathom.
But over the last decade, it’s become extremely difficult because a lot of the things that Christianity stands for have become political battlegrounds. Christ hasn’t changed His view on any of those things, but the culture has changed. So, it’s a lot less acceptable to be an open Christian and to believe what Christianity has stood for the last 2,000 years.
Eubanks: Are you comfortable with the stands you’ve taken, even today as you say these things?
Olson: Absolutely, because, ultimately, I don’t stand before a human court. I stand before God. It’s why I do what I do and say what I say. Those around me will also have to stand before God, so if I ever say anything that is quote-unquote offensive, I don’t do it to offend; I do it as a mission. Everyone stands before God in the end. I don’t want anyone to meet that moment unprepared.
I think the most unloving thing you can do is remain silent while someone you love and care about is walking down a path that is ultimately going to hurt them.
Olson may have finished out of the money at Pebble Beach, but the soon-to-be mom’s integrity and respectability remain intact, unlike those of the Global Golf Post’s executive editor and publisher.
But their kneejerk, politically correct censorship of Olson’s hardly inflammatory remarks should surprise no one in an era where sports and sports media alike have gone woke, from hosting “Pride Night” and taking a knee during the singing of the national anthem to women’s national soccer team star Megan Rapinoe’s dropping an F-bomb in rejecting the opportunity to be feted at the Trump White House in 2019.
The guess from here is that had Olson been a “trans man,” her pro-life stance would not have been grist for censorship at the Global Golf Post and elsewhere in the sports media. More likely, her pregnancy would have been hailed as “pioneering.” And if she had been an outspoken atheist or criticized the Supreme Court for overturning Roe v. Wade, so much the better, as far as the left-wing media would have been concerned.
As a journalist, Eubanks insists that had Olson “said exactly the opposite” of what she did say— presumably meaning had she been pro-abortion and perhaps even anti-Christian—“I still would have fought to put it in” the article.
Olson deplored the “lack of journalistic integrity” involved in the spiking of Eubanks’ story. She wonders, rightly, “What other viewpoints are being censored?”
That’s a good question, one that even those of us in the business should be asking.
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The post Resigning in Protest Over Woke Censorship: A Journalist’s Profile in Courage appeared first on The Daily Signal.
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