Another injustice is possible

Posted: Monday, February 04, 2002

I have been following the Carpenter-Leykis case in the Juneau Empire and can sympathize with Karen Carpenter. She believed the Tom Leykis show was vulgar, so she wrote a letter to KJNO-AM requesting that the show be removed from the air. The show was canceled, and Tom Leykis somehow gained access to the letter, using it for what he calls entertainment, i.e. to mock, malign and threaten Ms. Carpenter on his nationally syndicated show for hours. Add intimidation to this humiliation as Karen's personal information was aired along with a rallying call to his loyal listeners that, "We're going to make that woman's life a living hell." I would like to make a few points:

1. Karen Carpenter did not take the Leykis show off the air in Juneau. Someone at KJNO made that decision, and Karen is receiving all of the blame.

2. It's unlikely that KJNO would simply pay Karen Carpenter $100,000 to get rid of her.

3. Ms. Carpenter is not a public figure. She is a private citizen who wrote a letter expressing some very personal views. Her letter should have remained private.

4. Tom Leykis targeted Ms. Carpenter in retaliation for the decision to pull his show off the air. He used his program to exact revenge on a grand scale.

5. Has Karen Carpenter exaggerated her fears and anxieties? Just read the multitude of hateful letters from Leykis fans in the Juneau Empire. Karen Carpenter's fears were and are justifiable. The jury should be allowed to deliberate on the charges, or Karen Carpenter becomes the victim of another gross injustice.

Mary Dye


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