Letter: News article on locker-room attacks overstepped limits of good taste

To the Editor:

This is about your article on the front page of Jan. 2 (“H-C Locker room case back in court Jan. 8”).
The most explicit language begins with the ninth paragraph of that article, and keeps getting worse.  Most of the details that are included in the article are not necessary.
In the best interest of the public, the Richmond News shares what it knows about the community and gives its opinion on lots of matters that have important and useful purpose.
I buy the paper and have been an advocate of the written news coming to my door for most of my life. I rarely get upset about even some of the darkest disclosures bent to exploit an evil deed, but I have to draw the line with  an article that is without discretion and doesn’t filter it for the sake of our children’s moral benefit.
I’m not a prude by any means and have seen my share of evil done to and publicly exposed to all of us.  However, we all should do the best we can to keep the children in our lives protected from unhealthy events and potential dangers.
We know these things will present themselves almost every day throughout our communities, but we should hardly expect our public newspaper to have the arrogance to flaunt its privileged reporting, with its protected legal status, to write whatever it feels like without the threat of punishment and wantonly spitting in the face of  every decent man, woman and child who support the newspaper.
Since you shared the definition of “sexual intercourse” with us I’m going to share in kind the definition of “sexual harassment” with you.  I really do understand this subject because I used to train/teach employees in a major corporation what not to do in this regard.  It would take many pages to explain and expose the meaning of it accurately to the extent that you might want to be more careful about how you deliver front page news to the public in this manner.
Sexual harassment is the uninvited and unwelcome verbal, written, or physical behavior of a sexual nature especially by a person in authority toward anyone.  This should raise some eyebrows about the Richmond News as you have chosen to define the very meaning of your moral conviction, by stooping down low enough to itemize the use of fingers for sexual pleasure and gratification on the front page of the news.  The Richmond News is one of the most authoritative, powerful and influential entities in this entire area within 50 miles and I’d think – like so many others, I’m sure – that you didn’t need to do more than just print the charges.  If anyone else wants to know what that stuff means (without your help), let them look it up for themselves.  Our babies don’t need to know these things for sure and certainly don’t need to have the local newspaper spell it out so they can understand how to become sexual misfits.
What the Richmond News published was next to porn and should know better because it submits at large about its readership which goes into hundreds of homes (if not more) that have lots of children in them.  Good grief! Where is the decency of professionalism that seems to be missing here?   My grandchildren don’t need to read any of that intended smut.  Come on, you don’t have to describe, or explain or relegate down to the level of  pimping a story.  The reality of it is you actually sexually harassed thousands of us.
This town is death on sexual cases of any kind and shouldn’t allow the newspaper to get that graphic and sleep with the same level of debauchery it tramples on with its news releases like this one.  That kind of filler is not welcome anywhere with the explicit and gross language you printed just because you can.  I’d hate to think that what was published as news had to get down to the pus in the sore just to get readers.
The really sad part is that you’re not on the receiving end of the jokes, nasty comments and every lasting stigma that goes along with being a victim of this horrible and immoral crime.
Isn’t it bad enough that this poor child is never going to be the same already, but now they have to put up with the constant reminder that the Richmond News so carelessly and thoughtlessly described to everyone within 100 miles?  Stop and think about what they’re already going through and have to live with for the rest of their lives?  Shame on you Richmond News.  I know you work hard at your jobs and I am grateful for your support of my ministry, but with that kind of hogwash/filth flowing out and into the hands of decent people all over the state, it’s not a wonder that your down to two days a week.  You owe us all and the victim an apology.  Oh by the way, put it on the front page please like you did this ugly and detestable description of sexual misconduct.

– Sincerely,
Chaplain Mike Bliss

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