Blogger resigns after posting Obama picture

Tara Servatius
April 18, 2012 2:17:59 PM PDT
The John Locke Foundation said Thursday a blogger for its website has resigned after posting a picture of President Obama dressed in drag.

The photo was accompanied by the headline "Obama Goes Gay To Get NC On Election Day" in the "Meck Deck" section of the Locke website which features issues primarily in the Charlotte area.

ABC11 has opted to not post the picture which appeared to use Photoshop or some other image editing software to paste the president's head on a body wearing a skin-tight shiny green leotard with matching knee-high high heel boots. A bucket of fried chicken was placed between his legs.

The post quickly drew criticism from groups like the North Carolina NAACP, which called it highly offensive.

John Locke President John Hood agreed, and said he was embarrassed and angered by what he saw.

"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," Hood said in a statement.

Hood said the blogger - Tara Servatius - resigned Thursday morning. Hood said if she had not, he would have fired her.

"I'd already decided she couldn't be a contributor to the site anymore," he said.

Hood said Servatius had total editing rights on the blog and no one approved the offensive posting.

After she resigned, Servatius put out a written statement about what she posted.

"If it has offended anyone, I sincerely apologize. It was meant to illustrate Obama's southern political strategy, nothing more. An honest reading of the piece itself shows there is nothing offensive in it," she said.

In his statement, Hood criticized the current political climate in the country and called for change.

"The political discourse in our state and nation has grown increasingly coarse, unnecessarily personal, and destructively vitriolic," Hood said. "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."

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