KHSD trustee walks back Facebook comments about anti-Trump newspaper column

An Aug. 22, 2017, column written by Bakersfield activist and radio DJ Danny Morrison that was published in The Bakersfield Californian newspaper brought a swift rebuke from Kern High School District Trustee Mike Williams, who suggested on Facebook that the district should "stop all relations with TBC.... advertising, sports, and requests for comments by staff." Williams later walked back his comments, saying he has no intention of pursuing such a policy.  (KBAK/KBFX photo)

A Kern High School District trustee on Wednesday walked back comments made a day earlier on Facebook about a column published in The Bakersfield Californian that called President Donald Trump a racist.

Angered by the column's message, Trustee Mike Williams initially called for the district cut all ties to the paper.

"I will bring to the board of the KHSD a motion to stop all relations with (The Bakersfield Californian) .... advertising, sports, and requests for comments by staff. TBC printed these insults and lies so they own it," he wrote Tuesday.

The column, headlined "I believe my president is a racist and it really hurts," was written by Danny Morrison, a radio DJ and community activist whose writing appears every Tuesday.

Reached by phone Wednesday, Williams had a different tone.

"I have no intention of making such a motion," he said during a brief telephone interview.

The Californian's Senior Editor Robert Price on Wednesday defended the column.

"A good columnist has an opinion," he said, stressing that he makes every effort to publish a balanced opinion section. "We literally count how many conservative columnists we have, how many liberal columnists we have, how many moderates. We look at the cartoons."

A pro-Trump column written by a syndicated columnist on the same topic was published in the same issue.

Trustee Jeff Flores said Wednesday he wouldn't support any effort to block media coverage of the district.

"I think we need to take a pause as a district before we entertain a motion to that degree," he said. "Disagreements with columnists and the newspaper shouldn't necessarily result in blackballing the media and the Californian. We've had a long relationship with them going back decades."

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