I am writing in regards to your November coverage of the Carter harassment case involving MLA Michelle Mungall, as well as to respond to Bill Levey’s letter to the editor on this topic (“No actions to ‘defend’ in hearing,” November 23).
I am new to Nelson. My response to your coverage of this particular case was one of wonderment. What is the purpose of your paper giving such unusually detailed coverage of this case? Is this about illustrating the challenges faced by modern day politicians? Is the situation extensively covered to titillate readers with the sexual innuendo reported in Mr. Carter’s comments? Or, does the extensive coverage constitute a subtle undermining of the credibility of a young, female politician?
I have worked extensively in the area of sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace. Had Mr. Carter behaved similarly in his workplace setting, his job would have been at risk. Rather than defending Mr. Carter’s “vitriolic voicemails” and worrying about the suspension of his “civil liberties” (should the judge grant a peace bond), Mr. Levey would be well advised to help his friend focus on the issues of concern without further use of demeaning comments, particularly those that are of a sexual nature. Mr. Suffredine as Mr. Cater’s lawyer may have a short memory, but I would be willing to bet that most female politicians who feel under threat recall the woman senator in Arizona who recently took a bullet to the head. Ms. Mungall and her staff would have been remiss had they not reported the Mr. Carter’s actions to the police. It was up to the police to determine whether sufficient evidence existed to warrant a charge against Mr. Carter.
This being 2011, I thought our society would now realize the benefits of encouraging and supporting more diversity in politics. Can personal attacks on a politician, especially those based on sexual innuendo and gender bias, repeatedly covered in a small local newspaper, be interpreted to have a political objective rather than responsibly covering the news?