Religious Columnist Removes “Wily Wasps” Post

Roxane Salonen was the subject of a "phony" letter to the editor.

Fargo Forum religion columnist Roxane B. Salonen has removed an essay from her website in which she called Fargo abortion clinic escorts “wily wasps” after we pointed it out yesterday.

Salonen has posted a new essay reflecting on the old one, saying it’s “no longer relevant.”

Salonen writes that the “wily wasp” metaphor doesn’t work anymore for a couple of reasons. First, “the escorts no longer wear yellow and black vests.” And second, “I’ve noticed a lot of the escorts seeming friendlier these days.”

The Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo is the only abortion clinic in North Dakota. Volunteer escorts protect women entering the clinic from the many anti-abortion protesters, like Salonen, who stand outside. In the original post, which is archived here, Salonen described the escorts as deceitful:

“If they were being honest with their clients, they wouldn’t feel the need to, like wily wasps, congregate so thick when the women enter the sidewalk, purposefully using their bodies as a shield, that we prayer advocates can’t share our words of life and hope with the women.”

She also wrote that the volunteer escorts were motivated by the “lure of fresh donuts.”

In her new post, Salonen makes excuses for her old one: “It was written at the end of a very tense day and I wanted to try to articulate what it sometimes feels like out there.”

She adds: “I hope the wasp analogy will buzz away forever.”

Yesterday, after we drew attention to her “wily wasp” post, Salonen blocked it on her website and emailed Mean Read asking us to remove her “copyrighted” photo from our website.

In response, Mean Read removed the photo and replaced it with a fairly accurate drawing.

Salonen also posted privately on Facebook about us. Here’s what she wrote:

“I just stumbled upon this today. Former Forum reporter (I just found out he’s no longer there so have edited this post to reflect that update) Adrian Glass-Moore edits a website which has this as its mission statement: “Mean Read publishes North Dakota news and scoops, plus other things, with some pizzazz.” Yes, it’s called Mean Read and it offers commentary on things he (not sure if he’s solely running this site) finds disturbing in the area of media and politics: Apparently he’s deemed my work “mean.” He has referenced several of my writings and used my copyrighted photo that a friend took two summers ago to share on his site. And he enjoys expletives. I’m finding this all quite interesting. I wrote to him at “Mean Read” and asked him to pull my photo since it’s copyrighted. We’ll see what this journalist comrade says in response.”

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