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.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Carrier denies saying "Piss in your gut"...Mac lied?

Melvin Carrier's 93-year-old mother cried when she read Mac McLean's story about her son and Bluff City Alderman.

"I don't take the paper and she doesn't either," Carrier said in a telephone interview Monday night.

"Someone called and told her about it," he said. "And she cried. Then she got on my hind end," he explained.

Bluff City is a small town in East Tennessee, population about 1,500. It's a small enough town that neighbors know neighbors and remember each other's school history as well as the names of their neighbor's children and dogs. It's a town where something like a new parking lot light at the ramp to the put-in at the lake is a big deal. A town where things like a new recycling bin and junk cars are front-page news.

Carrier, now a politician in the town where he played high school football in the 50's, is proud of all he's helped accomplish there, and sorry that the cars he loved so much have caused so much of a ruckus.

"In 93 when I was on the board I helped get recycling bins down by the lake," he said, recounting a list of improvements he helped get in the city over the past two decades." But the good he has done was recently overshadowed by the rusting cars in his yard.

"I don't know," he said. "I just love old cars. I always have." But over time the townsfolk and one neighbor objected to them. Where Carrier saw his first car - the one he bought as a teen-ager for $50; his neighbors saw a junk heap. Where he saw his first wheels and the car he used to take he and his high school friends on a road trip to Gatlinburg and then over to Cherokee, NC his neighbors saw a broken hulk.

Where Carrier saw memories, the city saw an eyesore. Being in public office and having an eyesore in his yard and neighbors complaining about it meant Carrier was fair game for the local newspaper - The Bristol Herald Courier. (A Media General newspaper)

A Courier photographer and newspaper reporter Mac McLean took a photo of Carrier’s yard and the cars and ran the photo in the newspaper, along with some information Carrier said wasn't true.

"I never had words with my neighbor," Carrier said. "And he's been gone a month, sold his house and moved out. I waved at him a few times, but we never had words.”

Carrier admits his neighbor wrote City Hall about several of the vehicles that appeared to be abandoned or were sitting in his yard. The Bluff City Mayor Tom Anderson brought it up at a meeting, Carrier said.

According to the story in the Bristol Herald Courier, Anderson said city officials had little they could enforce because the city's current ordinance dealing with overgrown and dirty lots does not apply to owner-occupied property, like a yard at someone’s private residence. A proposed ordinance would change that and it would also make Carrier the first person in town to be cited.

Under the new law people could file a complaint with the board who could then determine whether it was necessary to take action. Carrier’s property was at the top of the list, so Carrier said, he moved the cars, but the neighbors have been gone a month and they did finally sell their home.

"They couldn't sell their house cause things are bad all over," he said. "It wasn't all the cars. It was the housing market."

What bothers Carrier the most about the whole affair is that Carrier said the paper reported he said he would "Piss on his gut," to Mac McLean. "I never said that," Carrier insisted.

"I confronted him about it (the story)," Carrier said when asked if he did indeed “bump” Mac. The two men were standing, Carrier said, in a meeting near the city recorder where Mac was talking to the city recorder.

"I don't got no craw-fish in me. I don't back up to nobody. I said are you the dude that put a picture in the paper about my property and my house. He said yes, and I said I don't appreciate it. It upset my family a whole bunch. I've been over the rocks enough it didn't bother me too much but it upset them and I'd appreciate it if you didn't do it no more. That's all I said to him," Carrier said.

"It said in the paper that I said I would piss on his guts. I told that to the city recorder and she said “That's a lie, that's a big lie. I was there and I heard what you said.”

Carrier denies saying it as well.
"I never said such a thing," he said. Carrier also said no one ever talked to him about the incident and that Editor Todd Foster, the editor of the paper never even got his side of the story. The article in the Courier said Foster attempted to contact Carrier, but couldn't reach him. Oh well - might as well go ahead and threaten the man. Good thing it was only a threat of using his name in a newspaper Carrier doesn't read.

"He don't have my cell phone number and I never talked to him. I wasn't here to answer the phone if he did call," Carrier said.

Carrier sighed and was quiet for a minute. “I just hope it settles down."

It may not. After all, Carrier’s name is now in the Bristol Herald Courier 14 times. In a small town like Bluff City, them's fighting words I suppose. And for the reporter who was so intimidated by being bumped...maybe he ought to go back to filming and humiliating women. Sad isn't it? All the men will defend each other, but don't seem to care so much about the abuse of women. Such is Media General. But before I accused a man of saying he was going to piss in my guts...I'd make sure the only witness to the incident at least confirmed it....at least before using his name 14 times in an editorial.

Media General staff may not respond to emails from me because they may - at some future time, but in court with me since I have filed an EEOC complaint - so this reporter was unable to contact them for comment. However, other bloggers may feel free to do so.

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