Editor defends front page after ND discrimination vote

Fargo Forum editor Matt Von Pinnon is defending Friday’s front page, which featured the photos of North Dakota House members and their vote on a measure that would have extended discrimination protection to gays.

The editor said people are reading more into the display than exists.

Some people accused us of or congratulated us for “shaming” lawmakers who voted against the bills.

That was not our intent.

In fact, a good chunk of Friday’s front page also features the faces, names, cities and political parties of lawmakers who voted in favor of the bills.

Many readers with strong views on both sides of this political debate called or emailed us to thank us for this information. They said they will keep it and use it during the next election to help them cast their legislative vote.

Many also said they have a tough time finding lawmaker voting records on the Legislative website, so they wished we did this kind of roll-call treatment more routinely on matters of high public interest.

In one Fargo coffee shop, the front page was posted on the wall to visually identify lawmakers who were mockingly “banned” from the shop.

“We’re just making a satirical, political statement,” Joe Curry said.