After many years of sexual-harassment allegations, Fox News has finally dismissed conservative talk show host Bill O’Reilly. (April 20, 6A, “O’Reilly loses job at Fox amid harassment allegations”)
Since 2005, Fox News and O’Reilly had paid about $13 million to five women in exchange for the accusers’ silence. Sadly, the culture of sexual harassment was accepted because O’Reilly earned record profits for Fox News.
Some men with power, prestige and money seem to feel entitled to sexually assault women. For example, Donald Trump was videotaped claiming he could grab women by their genitals and get away with it because he was a celebrity. Of course, he defended O’Reilly by saying he was innocent.
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I can empathize with these women, who worked in an environment where sexual harassment was accepted. More than 30 years ago, I was a young public school teacher who was propositioned by the school board president. This man, whose son was in my class, invited himself to my home to talk about education, but he showed up intoxicated and holding a bag full of liquor bottles.
I hope the high-profile case of Bill O’Reilly will encourage women who have been sexually harassed to report their accusations.
Eventually, this will improve standards in the workplace.
As The Donald approaches his 100-day mark as president, his attempts to keep his promises to voters and to convince Wall Street that he really is a successful businessman all seem to be failing.
Soon, the only strategy left will be to start a war.
Rae Ann Nixon
The Kansas City Star reports that an Arkansas inmate, on death row for a quarter of a century, was granted a reprieve shortly before execution. (April 18, 2A, “Arkansas clears legal hurdles to execution plan”) For the second time. The first was in 2010.
In the eyes of the law, this is not cruel and unusual punishment to the families of victims anguishing endlessly while killers are portrayed as victims. It’s justice.
If the death penalty were eliminated, states could quit wasting enormous amounts of taxpayer time and money. Killers would not be guaranteed costly protection and privileges for decades. They would be thrown into the general population and live the rest of their lives in fear of psychos worse than they are. Lawyers would not profit from manipulating the judicial system and tormenting the victims’ families. (Self-) interest groups, that seem to depend on the death penalty to keep donations rolling in, would lose their money spigot. Politicians would have one fewer excuse to raise money.
In the eyes of the law, this, too, is not cruel and unusual. And it definitely would be justice.
Unless the Royals suddenly remember how to hit, someone will need to come to Kauffman Stadium and bat-shame them.
I have no issue with The Star’s editorial concerning certain excesses in the Boilermakers union, such as nepotism, excess spending on fine dining, posh hotels, hunting retreats and so on. (April 21, 12A, “Excesses undermine Boilermakers union”)
Nor do I have any criticism of The Star’s issue with the union’s “under-the-table lack of accountability,” if this is happening.
My comment pertains only to The Star’s reference to the “six-figure salaries for officers.”
Put these salaries in perspective. Newton B. Jones’ salary and expenses of $607,000 is about 12 to 15 times a boilermaker’s or steelworker’s income. Compare this with large company CEOs’ salaries of 30 years ago, which were 30 to 35 times their average hourly workers’ yearly income, and the union chief’s doesn’t look too out of line.
But compared with today, when the salary of a CEO of a large corporation can be 300 to 350 times the average worker’s, Jones looks underpaid.
Charles A. Hird
Ron Achelpohl, director of transportation and environment at the Mid-America Regional Council, said, “MoDOT’s funding story has been bleak for a long time.” (April 20, 6A, “Ominous Buck O’Neil Bridge report reveals KC, MoDOT split”)
This is because current and former state legislators have refused to increase an obvious and wholly appropriate source of revenue: the motor fuel user tax.
What we need in the Show-Me State are representatives who will disdain lobbyists’ influence and focus on solutions to the issues that matter to their constituents.
Providing safe roads and bridges is not too much to ask.
Good riddance to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. (April 20, 6A, “O’Reilly loses job at Fox amid harassment allegations”)
Too bad we can’t just fire our president.