Posts Tagged ‘speech’

Stumbled upon this quandary recently. Figured I’d open it up for some smart discussion. (NOTE: It involves possible sexual assault of a minor, so be forewarned…and be sensitive).

Here’s the situation:

A woman called me and said her significant other (who is accused of assaulting her teenage daughter…charges I wrote about) is innocent.  She said her daughter (who has mental disabilities, the mother claims) made the story up. The woman wanted to get this story across to exonerate someone she believes is innocent. To do so, I would of course need to ID her as the mother of the alleged victim in the story, so as to give weight to the claims. This also inevitably identifies the alleged victim, since it’s pretty easy to connect mother to teenage daughter. And it is the standard practice at most news organizations to not identify victims/alleged victims of sexual abuse, rape and the like. There is sound reasoning behind this: being identified publicly as a sexual assault victim can be humiliating and stigmatizing.

But is it different if a victim wants to identify him/herself? I would say so. If someone wants to talk about their experience in a public forum, who’s to keep a reporter from printing it? However, is it the same when a mother wants to essentially identify her teenage daughter, either as someone with a disability, a sexual assault victim, or both? Or does the rule of thumb (“don’t identify sexual assault victims/alleged victims”) hold true?

Uneasy subject for many, but I would love to hear your (respectful) thoughts.


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While he was scheduled to give the annual State of the State address Thursday, Minnesota’s 39rd governor seemingly thought he was at a Comedy Central Roast.

Yes, Tim Pawlenty’s got jokes.

Ok, I did exaggerate a bit…the governor did mix in plenty of strong rhetoric regarding jobs, the budget and (here’s a buzz word for you) bi-partisanship. But Pawlenty did use his last open mic appearance as a chance to break out quips that, in all likelihood, he had been dying to tell for eight years.

Forget a run for president...this cat's the next George Carlin!

In honor of the gubernatorial funny-man, I have taken the liberty to rave/rant about some of the memorable jokes. If I missed any, or if you want to see the serious, boring stuff (I kid, I kid…the bonding bill is very important), check out the full speech here (courtesy of the Star Tribune).

-For those here today who hope to be Governor next year — I have a few tips for all of you.

First, schedule a monthly haircut to manage your mullet.

Second, try to make sure the person who is responsible for representing your positions in court, the Attorney General, is also not your re-election opponent.

Third, don’t kiss an eelpout on the lips, even if the locals say it’s for good luck.

Fourth, before you take the microphone at a Minnesota Wild game, carefully practice pronouncing the word “puck.”
Thoughts: I don’t know what an eelpout is, but self deprecating humor regarding a reelection campaign is always appreciated. I give it a B-

It was established in a different era for a different economy by politicians that most likely couldn’t envision the hypercompetitive world of today. It’s almost pre-Sid Hartman thinking.
Thoughts: Making fun of The Sid is always OK in my book. A+

We’ve all experienced the so-called “Minnesota goodbye” – where the guest announces they’re leaving multiple times before they actually do. It can often start at a table, move to the front door, then the front yard, and even move down the driveway with multiple hugs along the way. At its finest, it concludes with a goodbye shouted through a car window as the guest drives away.

I’ll try to avoid that ritual as I leave this office in 11 months, but I do have just a few more things to say.
Thoughts: Funny because it’s true. Not funny because he’s doing EXACTLY what he said he’d avoid. C-

Visitors sometimes don’t understand the love we have for this place. They think of it as cold, far from oceans, and a place that even airplane pilots can miss altogether.
Thoughts: Zing! A

-Now, it’s true, Minnesotans have to worry about such things as whether the ice will be off the lake in time for the fishing opener, kicking asteroid size ice chunks from the wheel well of our cars, and training the next generation to endure the ritual of falling madly in love with the Vikings, only to be dumped at the altar of the Super Bowl.
Thoughts: Too soon, T-Paw. Too soon. D+

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