Ordinary human decency

Posted: Wednesday, February 06, 2002

I find it amusing when I hear Mr. Leykis' supporters refer to his radio program as "refreshing." I listened to about 10 minutes of his program and found it immature and appalling. "Refreshing" - "appalling" - two different points of view - the cornerstone of our democracy.

I would like to thank Karen Carpenter for expressing her freedom of speech by contacting naive sponsors who subsequently decided to exercise their freedom of choice by removing their support from the Leykis program.

If Mr. Leykis wins this case, our freedom of speech will be challenged. He, as a public person, has a responsibility. He had no need to publicly demean and covertly threaten Karen Carpenter, a non-public person. She sent him a letter. He replied on public radio, using a vibrator to add sexual connotation to his deriding remarks about Ms. Carpenter. If Karen Carpenter were a public persona, she might have to deal with this type of verbal abuse. But she is not a public figure. She is an individual who exercised her freedom of speech.

I thank Karen Carpenter for initiating her lawsuit. It may serve to protect the right of the individual to express an opinion without being publicly humiliated - by a public figure who sets aside ordinary human decency.

Becky Achten

Juneau



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