Mr. Haire: I can only assume that you are not a parent, because as the father of a 20-month old boy I would forcefully refute anyone suggesting that we do not have a lifelong bond, or that if he were wrongfully taken from me that I shouldn't seek his return simply because time has passed. And Veronica Capobianco (her real name, for your information) was >30% older than my son when she was taken from her parents.
You claim to have followed this case for some time, but as far as I can tell your entire argument is: time has passed, and she calls Mr Brown "daddy", therefore the Capobianco's should simply give up and forget about her. Considering the pompous tone you've taken- implying that only you have such a wise and carefully-considered perspective and stating that anyone who believes differently from you (as I do) "should be ashamed of themselves"- your argument is rather tenuous.
Unlike you, I have actually given serious thought to this case, and I can tell you without equivocation that you are wrong. I can explain to you why you are wrong on legal grounds, and I can explain to you why you are wrong on moral grounds. I can tell you why you are wrong if you look at this case from the perspective of Veronica's best interests, and I can tell you why you are wrong if you look at the case from a public policy perspective. The only person who should be ashamed of himself is you, not only because you are simply wrong in every conceivable way, but also because you were so unforgivably obnoxious about pushing your shoddy argument. Everyone is wrong sometimes, but to make a bad argument while being an insufferable asshole about it makes you come off as a common buffoon.
The decision was correct, and the real tragedy is that the Courts did not finalize this adoption at the outset years ago, given that the United States Supreme Court's decision didn't say anything the judge's here couldn't have said earlier.
I can only hope that Brown and the Cherokee Nation stop playing legal games and respect the authority of the Courts. Ideally, he would continue to have a strong role in Veronica's life, but the increasingly unproductive and hypocritical stances taken by Brown and his supporters are threatening that...
Again you are trying to minimize how loaded the headline was. Ms. Cohen painstakingly explained how the clip in question was only even "mildly suggestive" of homosexuality at just a single point, yet the headline says "gay-themed." The facts suggest that CFW had five films to choose from and selected three for its purposes at the event, yet the headline chooses to use the work "reject", a deliberate word choice that promotes the (unsupported) implication of homophobia. Taken in whole, the title strongly suggests prejudiced motives, since it would be meaningless otherwise.
I'll spare you a lengthy comment because it is obvious that you're obviously either unwilling or unable to defend this article. The one point, which I will say once more and I hope that you and your colleagues take to heart, is that if you are going to make an inflammatory accusation about a respected Charleston organization or citizen (and this article does promote a highly inflammatory accusation), you owe it to everyone involved to be more diligent in investigating, writing and editing. No respectable paper in the country would publish such a libelous article (and my choice of the word libel is absolutely correct), on the basis of a single interviewee who has no direct knowledge of what actually went on. Your writer found no evidence of prejudice, no corroborating evidence or witnesses, nothing at all besides one actor who was disappointed that a clip he acted in and cared about was not selected (and apparently the editors didn't demand any real support).
Whether you recognize it or not, possessing a platform like a newspaper carries with it a responsibility. You cannot throw around weighty accusations about good organizations and good people and then step back and throw your hands up, feigning shock, SHOCK at the mere suggestion that you would ever cast aspersions on anyone ("who me? I wasn't accusing anybody of anything!"). In the future, when a draft crosses your desk with such defamatory effect, I hope that you either demand that it contains a level of evidentiary support commensurate with the severity of the accusations, or refrain from publishing it.
Is that really the best defense you can muster on this issue, as Managing Editor of the Charleston City Paper? You could have chosen to argue that this article was the product of thorough investigation by the writer and proper editorial review by you and your colleagues (with evidence, since the article itself lacks any sign of either), and stand by the representations made within the article. This would have been the argument of someone in the right. Instead, you decide to simply deny that the article represents CFW organizers as homophobic? (a laughable claim) This fact is more damning of the article, and the lack of journalistic/editorial rigor behind it, than anything I or the other comment-writers could have posted.
The very title of the article- "Charleston Fashion Week Rejects Gay-Themed Film"- implies that this film was rejected BECAUSE it was "gay-themed"- it would make no sense to specify "gay-themed" otherwise. This implication is consistent with the tone and content of the article itself. The City Paper publishes this highly inflammatory accusation about CFW- an upstanding and important contributor to the local arts and tourism scene- despite the fact that the accusation is only supported by an interview with one local actor who was never even party to discussions about the film and its rejection with CFW! Further, the excerpts from his interview reveal that the accusation is based entirely on conjecture (faulty logic, i.e.: "well I know that the film had a gay theme and I know it was not selected, so therefore I can conclude that CFW organizers are a bunch of gay-hating homophobes"). No other evidence, no other "witnesses", no other support whatsoever is offered other than the ponderings of one actor who appears to be several steps removed from the CFW's decisions with no direct insight whatsoever (even the hearsay accounts of discussions with filmmakers don't actually include any conversation impugning the CFW's motives".
Furthermore, one could argue that the title is inaccurate because the writer herself takes great pains in the article to highlight that the clip in question was not necessarily homosexual. The men "may or may not become romantically involved"; "the men do not kiss... embrace... touch in any romantic way"; "you never get a sense if the two men know each other, how they perceive each other...", etc. In fact, the author admits that only one scene is "even mildly suggestive" of homosexuality. "CFW Rejects Gay-Themed Film" was certainly a sensationalistic title, but it is undermined by the author's own thorough accounting of all the ways in which this was not a "gay" film.
Again, your defense of this article tells us all we need to know. You understand that the reporting/editing here is shoddy and the accusations themselves are unsupported, but your solution is to try to sidestep the issue altogether by saying that the article does not expressly represent CFW as homophobic. If that is the kind of cloudy editorial ethics that Charleston City Paper represents ("we can SUGGEST inflammatory accusations about upstanding local citizens that aren't supported in the article as long as we don't outright SAY them"), then I have to say that today I think a little less of the City Paper.
Articles like this represent the kind of behavior that undermines sincere efforts to reduce prejudice in America. It is not proper for anyone (and certainly not a journalist, who should be held to a higher standard) to operate under a presumption of prejudice, whether against race, gender, sexuality, or any other status.
The mere fact that a clip with a "mildly suggestive" homosexual theme was not chosen is NOT enough for the writers, actors, and ultimately the author of this article to accuse CFW organizers of homophobic motives. As Ms. Russell reasonably points out in her email to the author of this article, pulling off an event like CFW involves many decisions about what's in/what's out, and the mere fact that some designers, models, video clips, entertainment and other vendors are not chosen is NOT prima facie evidence of prejudice. Ms. Cohen owed it to City Paper Readers, CFW organizers, and her own journalistic standards to operate under a presumption of "no prejudice" unless she was able to find clear evidence otherwise, and this she did not do.
I hope that the City Paper reconsiders the publication of this article and potentially publishes a clarification/retraction, as well as reviewing the editorial review process for articles like this. Such an inflammatory accusation should not be promoted on these pages without sufficient evidence.
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