RiShawn Biddle: muzzled, again

Dateline: Wed 31 Oct 2007

Alert reader and woman-about-town Ellen Meagher spotted it first: RiShawn Biddle is no longer on Expresso, the Star's on-line sound-bite version of opinion writing.

RiShawn's "zip coon" reference to City-County Council President Monroe Gray has brought results. The cheeky editorial writer has disappeared from Expresso, as of today. Where RiShawn's words and picture once were is this message from big boss Dennis Ryerson:

"Recently comments on this blog were posted by a Star staff member, which included offensive, insensitive and wholly inappropriate words in reference to Indianapolis/Marion County City-County Council President Monroe Gray. Those comments have been removed. These comments absolutely did not meet the Standards of The Star. I apologize to Council President Gray, and to all communities who with good reason were highly offended by the remarks.".

I can't get Amos Brown WTLC 1310-am out here unless I'm in the car, but I am told Amos has been raking RiShawn and the Star over the coals the past two days for Biddle's language.

Someone in the know, with longtime ties to the editorial department, commented on RiShawn's name-calling: "How stupid can you get? ...

Then, as for how it even happened: "Dennis is supposed to be so much of a monitor of those (editorial) pages. How could he let this go through?"

Biddle reportedly has had problems in the past with submitting material that was inflammatory, and editorial page editor Tim Swarens had warned him that certain columns were "not publishable."

With so few blacks working at the Star, Ryerson and Co. now have a real credibility crisis on their hands. They let Biddle unleash; now they have to put the muzzle back on and make nice with the brothers and sisters. Will they fire RiShawn? Or will he just "disappear" for another 6 months?

What a crazy place.

Score a victory for Amos Brown. Dennis always liked him....as for RiShawn, he may want to start searching under journalismjobs.com...


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