UW Newspaper Editor Defends Man-Sheep Illustration

Sarah Jeglum, editor of the University of Washington’s student newspaper The Daily must be auditioning for a position at the World Net Daily or something. First, she made the decision to publish an op-ed that supported Proposition 8 by comparing gay marriage to bestiality along with an illustration of a man and a sheep.

Now, with students protesting the paper today and demanding the Daily staff should take sensitivity training, Jeglum’s response is to tell the Seattle Times that she “thinks staff members are doing a better job of producing balanced and ethical journalism than at any time in her four years at The Daily.”

What was she doing before? Putting illustrations of black people and monkeys next to op-ed’s on evolution?

Naturally, Jegelum, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Chloe Sevigny’s character on Big Love, hides behind the 1st Amendment, saying the paper can print whatever it wants, which is true, but doesn’t relieve her of the responsibility of defending her decision to her fellow students. Even the article’s author, John Fey, is now having second thoughts:

“I was obviously presenting a conservative perspective, but I felt like I maintained a level of decorum,” he said, adding that he could have done a better job explaining his reference to bestiality.

Jeglum said she and other editors approved the image: “It was meant to be an illustration of one point in the column.”

Does she not get it or is she just playing stupid? In this age of global communication, anyone’s views are valid as the next person’s, but as an editor, Jegelum’s decision to include the bestiality article and illustration in the school’s paper was inherently says that she believes the argument rises above deragatory homophobia to be a valid criticism. If she isn’t going to apologize, despite the fact that the University of Washington Graduate and Professional Student Senate passed a resolution this week demanding she do just that, at the very least, she needs to offer up a better reason for why she included the piece than “I felt like it.”

If you’re attending the protest today, we’d love to hear your reactions in the comments.