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Paper should have published story

Readers' Letters
by: Frazer Harrison, Former Vice President Al Gore was in Portland to talk about global warming in October 2006, when a local massage therapist told police she had been assaulted while giving him a massage at his hotel room.

It makes me nervous when a newspaper decides what I should be allowed to know (No regrets here on the Gore story, July 1). That seems to be saying, 'Well, it's OK for us to know about it, but Joe Blow won't be capable of taking the evidence - or lack of it - and then make an informed judgment on what he just read.'

If it's unclear which side is telling the truth, then the story can be written in a way that shows that. And, even on a practical level, a story involving sex and a big shot is almost certainly going to be reported somewhere.

So, if I was running a newspaper and fancied that I had high standards as far as vetting information, I'd tend to think that the public would be better served by my careful and accurate report than something from a tabloid newspaper.

The world has changed since the day newspapers could know something like this and not report it. And while an attempt can be made to make the process of withholding information like this high-minded, these attempts often fail and sound more like excuses than reasons.

Bill Husted

Atlanta

Accusation difficult to recover from

This is an accusation anyone could make (No regrets here on the Gore story, July 1). How does one ever recover from this kind of slander if it is not true?

Thank you for being responsible in not joining the media circus. Portlanders should be happy they have at least one source of verifiable information.

Nancy Casey

Southwest Portland

Media bias delayed the Gore story

Let's see: Imagine the same sordid scenario, but this time involving a different former vice president of the United States, like say, Dick Cheney (No regrets here on the Gore story, July 1).

Is it fair to consider that maybe, just maybe, you would have pushed just a little bit harder to 'move the story forward'?

Whether or not that would be true, I would estimate, given the widely held perception of a pervasive bias in the mainstream media, that no less than 90 percent of the country would think that yes, you would push a little bit harder, and at least 60 percent of that 90 percent would not be able to stop laughing at simply being asked the question.

Hal Strickland

New York City

Therapist in it for the money

Why is this person trying to shake down the ex-Democratic vice president (No regrets here on the Gore story, July 1)? After watching her Keith Richard look-alike spokesperson, it becomes obvious that money is all she is after. She probably tried blackmail for three years, only to find that it didn't work. Now she 'goes public' three years later, probably hoping for an out-of-court settlement. What a laugher this is.

Dan Maher

Southeast Portland

Pants provided enough evidence

Why did the police not check the pants (Case against Gore a tough one to win, July 1)?

To say they had no evidence is simply not accurate and for the paper to not report the charge is ridiculous and telling.

Terry Saulsbury

Guntersville, Ala.

Thanks for taking the high road

A newspaper still adhering to long-established journalistic practices - thank you (No regrets here on the Gore story, July 1)!

Larry Norton

Northwest Portland

Liberal newspaper killed Gore story

What a lame excuse! How many of you so-called editors are registered Democrats (No regrets here on the Gore story, July 1)?

If the Tribune claims to be a reputable news source, I am the pope.

Joe Schmitz

Waxhaw, N.C.

Why didn't the massage end early?

I have to say after reading the police reports, it looks to me the Portland Tribune made the right choice in not running the story (Case against Gore a tough one to win, July 1).

Something is not adding up about this grandmother's claim, and clearly this person has been around the block a few times. Rule number one: She was trained to end the massage at the first point of inappropriate action by any client. At the very least she could have found a reason to get out of the room. Is her name Monica?

Walt Nichols

Southeast Portland

Police should have investigated in 2006

I find it troubling that the police apparently refused to pursue an investigation in 2006 because the victim's lawyer said she didn't want to pursue a criminal complaint (Case against Gore a tough one to win, July 1).

A crime was alleged, and the police should have investigated it for the protection of the public. If someone is killed, there is no victim to complain. Victims or witnesses may be intimidated. A willing and/or credible victim should not be the standard. Sexual predators choose victims who will be seen as not credible - children, people with cognitive disabilities, members of stigmatized groups, etc. - so that they can get away with it.

It appears from reading the longer statement that her profession as a massage therapist led to automatic suspicions of prostitution on the part of the police.

That's baloney.

When I first heard about this story, I wondered if the accuser was taking advantage of the recent divorce to try and collect the cash. But now that I understand the chronology better, it seems more likely that her detailed account may have been the straw that led to the divorce.

I hope the truth comes out. It's important for powerful men to get the message that they can't get away with this. I'm not sure they ever get this message.

Jennifer Farnham

Plainsboro, N.J.

Tribune lacks journalistic integrity

You so called press are nothing but wimps for the liberal cause (No regrets here on the Gore story, July 1). I am sure you would have found a 'reasonable' explanation to report this story if the person involved was a conservative. Shame on you.

Go ahead and be a hero to with your liberal friends, but you have no integrity.

John Lowe

Albuquerque

There are more important matters

Interesting that Al Gore, environmental champion past, has scarcely been heard on the BP/Deepwater oil disaster (No regrets here on the Gore story, July 1).

And he and wife Tipper divorcing after many years. As one who has seen more than his share of celebrity controversies over my 60-some years as watchman on the walls, I can't help but wonder what a good look at the massage therapist's finances and bank accounts since the alleged incident might show.

But if all parties seem 'satisfied' with the public story version, there are much more important matters to concern ourselves with - or to do true investigative reporting on.

Jim Fetrow

Milwaukie

Metro should take park reins

Metro is the logical steward for a park of regional importance such as Forest Park (Care lacking in Forest Park, May 20). Its council, executive and staff need to step up to the plate.

Metro itself claims: 'Today Metro is increasingly viewed as a regional resource, problem solver, and leader.' Metro already runs Oxbow, Blue Lake, Smith and Bybee, Mount Talbert, Howell, Cooper Mountain and other parks.

Metro already is the 'regional park authority.' It just needs to do its job and generate the political will to fund it.

Ted Kaye

Northwest Portland

If it ain't broke, fix it anyway?

An easy, immediate fix would be responsible bike riders and dog owners, along with trail users (Care lacking in Forest Park, May 20). Find a budget for maintenance in any park in Oregon and it will become a better park, along with the better use of any tax monies spent on the parks.

Unfortunately, it will take volunteers to assist managers in maintaining our parks and any other city infrastructure through the coming years. It's senseless to spend borrowed dollars on unneeded projects - like the (East Burnside-Couch Street) couplet or more light-rail - rather than fix what is broken in the tri-county area. Does the Sellwood Bridge come to mind?

Portlanders need to know how their money is being spent, or misspent. We don't need to be Rome in a day.

Greg Schifsky

Southwest Portland