Monday, November 13, 2017

Once More Into That Breach

More and more women come forth to charge men in authority or power with behaving like idiots, or bastards towards them. Even former President Bush, at 90, has been charged with “groping” and recently, too!
And why don’t men understand why they were so reluctant to make these charges public for years? (which not only works against these women, and fails to warn other women, but may let some truly slimy characters like Roy Moore in Alabama get off.)  If they had just had the courage to go public some years ago how much better it would have been?
But, can these women be believed, even now?
Some of them, absolutely.
A few of them, No Way!
Do I believe some of them are using this mass event to get publicity for faded careers, or spark a lawsuit (perhaps for money) or to call attention to themselves?  Yes, I do.
The problem is: how do you tell into which category any individual woman falls?
Thru the courts or some judicial process, that’s how...not by rushing to call a news conference to join the List.  Don’t get me wrong...little of this would have come out without the news media, which we in Kentucky know better than most in the startling case of ex-House Speaker Hoover.
One person may lie, others may repeat it, making the first charge their own against some prominent person.  It’s still a lie.  Truth is not subject to math.
The way to get to the bottom of this is to file charges, not just make them, and let the courts do their job. Women may have been unable to get justice 30 years ago, but that time hopefully is long gone. (And yes, some form of the judicial process should be at work in Mr. Hoover’s case so the citizens of Kentucky get the full facts and can make an informed judgment.)
Bless you Louie C.K. for your “coming out” and admission of wrongdoing. For the rest, the courts are probably the best, and only answer.
Until then, may I repeat:  Presumption of innocence is the absolute foundation of American Justice, and that Justice is ill-served if we jump to conclusions early on. Accusations are not justice. While these sad cases will probably continue for some time, please bear that in mind.
I'm just sayin'...

Monday, November 6, 2017

In Praise Of Print

Several of my newspaper colleagues, and some J- school teachers and historians I know, consider newspapers are past their prime, dinosaurs of the past in a digital age, and wonder why they haven’t gone that way, too.
Kentuckians had a good example of why over this past week.
The Speaker of the Kentucky House, after days of swearing “No Way!” resigned suddenly, just four days after the Courier-Journal published a story that he had engaged in sexual harassment of his staff. Long time statehouse reporters were stunned. This is the Kentucky equivalent of the Speaker of Congress (3rd in line for the Presidency) doing the same...which has also happened because the media had published stories neither party wanted published.
Who does hold public officials, and our political parties accountable?  The Press, and—let me say it as a long time broadcast journalist, mainly the print media.  (Is Watergate so far away in our recent memory?)
The same week the C-J did all of us a public service, I was about to write a blog praising Paul Prather and Tom Eblen, columnists for our Herald-Leader.
Mr. Prather’s weekly column on religion should be must reading for any of us who consider ourselves “religious," and not just “Christians.” He has reminded me of lessons from my early Sunday School, and put them in today’s context in a marvelous way, illuminating and down-to-earth. You do NOT have to agree to come away from reading him with a sense of reaffirmation of the good that most of us aspire to, whether we achieve it in our daily lives or not.
Tom’s recent column made more sense, for me, of the “supply side” economics arguments, which is at the heart of many a current issue in Washington that affects our daily lives...and that also includes burning issues here; the pension argument, proposals for overhauling Kentucky’s antiquated tax code  (as well as the nation’s,) and more. Economics may be “the dismal science” but it pervades many issues in DC and Frankfort, and his column was a real service to any of us who want to be good citizens and take part in our civic life.
I hear much talk that to save our newspapers they must come up with a new, modern “business plan.” No, they must find a way to continue their traditional role of “afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted.”  This the C-J and H-L have just done, and we are all the better for it.
I'm just sayin'...