I am writing to protest your condescending coverage of Sen. Al Franken's recent amendment to the Defense Department Appropriations bill that would ban military contractors from using arbitration to resolves cases of sexual assault. First, your paper neglected to report the senator's proposal of the amendment, which was inspired by the horrific (and well-reported) story of Jamie Leigh Jones, an employee of a military contractor who, after enduring a brutal gang-rape by several coworkers, discovered that her employment contract denied her the right to seek criminal charges against her perpetrators. Second, the Star Tribune failed to note that the amendment passed 68-30, a significant victory not only for Minnesota's junior senator and Jones, but for unknown others who have suffered in silence.
When your online news blog Hot Dish Politics finally deigned to cover the issue (Oct. 8), it did so under the headline "Franken gets testy over statistics," implying that the real story is Franken's demeanor in front of the Judiciary Committee. Even a casual viewer of the embedded clip, offered as proof of Franken's behavior, would realize that the senator was carefully deconstructing the argument that arbitration is an appropriate venue for the criminal charge of sexual assault. I daresay that the Star Tribune's editors, not to mention its readers, would get more than testy if they witnessed a corporate attorney attempt to argue away the constitutional rights of a friend or family member.
I am grateful to Franken for his steadfast commitment to this issue. I only wish more people were as "testy" in the face of grave injustice.
SHANNON DRURY, MINNEAPOLIS