Claiming he and his state are drowning in a smear-nami of liberal media coverage, embattled Indiana Republican Gov. Pence vows to fix the toxic 'religious freedom' law he signed...even as he continues to gamely/lamely insist it's not broken.

"We want to make it clear that Hoosier Hospitality is not a slogan, it's a way of life," Pence told a press conference Tuesday, describing residents of his state as "a loving, kind, generous, decent and kind people."

No doubt many if not most of them are, even toward the LGBT people who purportedly endanger Indiana's religious liberties.

Pence's retreat to full chamber-of-commerce mode has little or nothing to do with alleged media meanies in thrall to a "gay agenda;" he says he has no intention of including LGBT people among the specific groups already protected by Indiana anti-discrimination law.

That would significantly "fix" the religious freedom measure, but also would imply that LGBT people are not a creation of the liberal media but rather living, breathing Hoosiers of the "kind, generous, decent and kind" variety. This may be simple reality to most Americans, but it's anathema to some on the religious right, who seek to enshrine in secular law their faith-based, punitive disdain for people like me.

What Pence's backpedaling is all about are the proposed boycotts of Indiana tourism (who knew?),  the scuttling of corporate expansion plans, and the cancellation of everything from a rock concert to a national conference.

"Indiana's open for business," the governor said Tuesday, making it clear that money trumps religion in politics. Even Republican politics. Even in the Hoosier State.

--KEVIN RIORDAN