“WENATCHEE — About 100 people showed up outside The Wenatchee World on Monday morning to protest a Sunday editorial column by Publisher Jeff Ackerman,’ the newspaper reported.
“In his column, Ackerman said the scrutiny U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has faced over allegations of sexual assault is politically driven. He criticized the ‘court of public opinion.’
‘”The foundation of our legal system is presumed innocence,’ he wrote. ‘Under that principle, Kavanaugh did not do what his last-minute accuser Christine Blasey Ford says he did 36 years ago, when they were both in high school. It’s not up to Kavanaugh to prove he did not sexually assault his accuser. He already denied it, so the burden of proof is hers.’
“Indivisible Wenatchee organized Monday’s protest. A few people said they especially took issue with a list of questions near the end of the column that Ackerman posed for the ‘perfect’ Supreme Court candidate, including whether they ever lost their car keys or opened a Christmas gift early.
“Forever, women have been afraid to come forward. This editorial just makes it even harder,’ Indivisible member Suellen Harris said. ‘It makes it like you’re going to be laughed at if you come forward, that it’s no more important than cheating at golf. … He wrote this as a political article, that somehow a woman coming forward demanding justice for a sexual assault is strictly political.’
“Harris said she can’t remember another large-scale protest outside The Wenatchee World.
“She said Indivisible submitted a letter with over 200 signatures to Wick Communications CEO Francis Wick, asking for an apology and for Ackerman to be reprimanded.
“We’re hoping to get Ackerman to change his tone,’ she said. ‘We would like a retraction. We would like an apology for making a serious issue a joke. There are some who want him fired. … We disagree with Ackerman a lot, but this is the first time we feel his editorial has done very specific harm to women.’
“In response to the protest, Ackerman noted that his column appeared on the opinion page and that everyone has a constitutional right to express his or her opinion. He said he stands by his editorial.
“’Can’t think of anything I would have changed, although you always go back and see opportunities for additions,’ he said. ‘I might have focused more on how his reputation was being dragged through the mud, or how accusations without evidence are enough to ruin a man’s reputation today.’
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