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Fox News on Ashland: "Haven for hippies"

 Posted: 11:50 AM December 14, 2009

This morning, Fox News offered up its take on Ashland's controversial topic of public nudity. Anchor Bill Hemmer kicks it off saying "The folks out there in Ashland, Oregon can't keep their clothes on, apparently. And apparently it's allowed, too."

Fox reporter Dan Springer added his two cents from Seattle: "They've [city of Ashland] been talking about this for years, I kid you not. This all started about a couple of years ago, when a woman, one of those hippies you mentioned, moved up to Ashland from California. She decided she didn't want to wear clothes anymore."

In actuality, the debate over public nudity began before the "hippie" Springer mentioned was living in Ashland. A partial ban was put into place in 2004, banning nudity in city parks and Downtown.

Springer also mentioned in the report a Minnesota man "doing laps around an elementary school," which is not entirely true. The said man was seen jogging past Ashland High School, not an elementary school. And it was never reported that he was "doing laps" around it. An interview with Ashland School Board member Keith Massie further exacerbates Fox News' inaccurate report.

"When a guy travels from Minnesota, and he tells your... the police chief that he came to Ashland because we allow nudity, that's a pretty scary thought as a resident of Ashland," Massie said.

From the Tidings' Oct. 15 story: Mayor reverses: Ban nudity near schools

The man appeared to be intentionally walking around the perimeter of Ashland High School last week while students were present, and later the man put his clothes on and was seen in the school's parking lot, Holderness said.

The man told a police officer that he had come to Ashland from Minnesota because he knew he could walk around nude in Ashland, Holderness said.

Despite Springer's inaccuracies, he does deliver a pretty good line: "About the only thing that's cooled down this debate, has been the weather, Bill."

Watch the video and see for yourself.


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