What's this blog really about?

You may notice a variety of topics here - from business, to charity promotion, even to local news, but the primary reason this blog was created was to alert readers to the hostile atmosphere and sexual harassment at The Danville Register & Bee. The readers and creator of this blog want a FULL FRONT PAGE apology in the Danville Register & Bee, plus the disciplining of those individuals involved. Until then, we'll continue to post regular updates. To tolerate THIS kind of behavior by a major media network is intolerable. And this isn't just ONE instance. Media General has been sued nationwide for racism and sexism, yet they CONTINUE to keep the offenders employed. Why? And why am I doing this? TRUTH compels me.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Let's start at the beginning...

When I first came to the Register & Bee in 2007 a political race was on...a big one - for the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors....Fred Ingram was running. Now I didn't know anyone from anyone then....but my beat was the county beat and that meant interviewing Fred.

Managing editor Arnold Hendrix told me I would be going to Gretna with him to interview Fred Ingram. Fred, he said, didn't want an ordinary reporter announcing his decision to run for office...Fred wanted the editor of the paper....

In getting background information from other reporters I was told to "stay at arm's distance" from Fred - that he had a history of being "less than respectful" of women. And - I was told, he had settled several sexual harassment cases brought by his restaurant employees out of court. That helps if you're planning a career in politics. I was later told the same thing by a couple members of the Board of Supervisors.

I was told that if I ever was molested by anyone that as a Register & Bee employee I was not allowed to defend myself. I had to "just take it," Hendrix said. He will deny that - but he's on record as having lied under oath to the Virginia Employment Commission so why would he stoop to being truthful on something like that?

Editorial writer Robert Benson said, "Kick him in the balls." That wasn't really helpful either. That would also get me fired. Robert has a daughter... I wonder how he would respond if a politician molested her??? Robert? How would you feel if it was YOUR daughter Mac had videotaped and shown around the newsroom? Still be as funny as when it was a local business woman? Don't you see? It's NOT about some robot...a real woman, your neighbor, friend, business woman - someone you may have known for years or done business with - was violated. And the woman - ME - who objected, who said this must stop, this is not right...has been fired and Danville doesn't really seem to care. It could be you or your family next Danville.

We came out of the restaurant with Fred - who put his arm around me and tried to slide his hand up where it shouldn't have been.

That was my downfall. I dared to object to a "little groping" by a candidate running for office. Steve Kaylor did - to his ONE TIME credit, insist on my documenting the incident and contacting company attorneys. I was still new - and was told in the newsroom if I did make it an issue I'd be fired. So I delayed. Then when I did finally sit down to write it up Copy editor Darren Sweeney (Of "Children in Heat" band fame, and the one who was "dating" his subordinate while he was married) told me to "JUST SHUT UP ABOUT A HOSTILE WORKPLACE." He said the newsroom was not a hostile workplace and to just shut up about it. I guess if you're free to date anyone who works for you and cheat on your wife - you can say those things. So I didn't follow up because I really wanted to keep my job....Maybe if I had complained then - I'd have been better off...but if I had - I wouldn't have been around to see the videos Mac was making of the breasts of Danville women....

I was not allowed to make the out-of-court settlements and allegations an issue during the election. But I'm making it one now. And if anyone wants to take me on my lawyer said those women who settled out of court can still be called and allowed to testify in a court case. So bring it on. Remember - TRUTH is a defense and this is the truth.

The newspaper won't cover stories about assault on women. Like they didn't cover the story about the former sheriff's deputy who assaulted a woman a couple years ago now. He was fired but no charges were filed. That wasn't deemed newsworthy enough for election coverage either. Remember - the people making these decisions are the same men who gathered around a computer monitor and watched and laughed at a videotape of the breasts and nipples of local business women. These are the men determining what is news in Danville. These are the men photographing your daughters' softball and basketball games. I have not seen what they do with those videos or photos - but then, if they thought Mac's were so funny...don't you wonder? I do. These are the men you want reporting at YOUR local newspaper?? Remember - they're working for an organization that fired ME for objecting to such behavior.

Danville is not only the most racist town in the south - but the most sexist as well. Mothers - protect your daughters.

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