On Wednesday, the Kansas City Star chastised those on the right defending Judge Brett Kavanaugh for their failure to believe the victims and their “a cavalier and extremely confident know-nothing about sexual assault. The Star wasn’t alone in its fuss campaign.
A year earlier, in devout bluster, the Star’s editors applauded that “various dams of past misdeeds are being jumped” and that the country “is finally ashamed to enforce post-cave housing guidelines against sexual harassment”.
The editors overlooked the year when the Star, the Topeka Capital-Journal, and just about every major Kansas newspaper dwelt deep in their own cave. The year was 2006, the most morally sordid year in Kansas history.
Paul Morrison, before the fall
The story begins in 1989 when Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison promoted a woman named Kelly Summerlin to the position of victim witness coordinator. Shortly after, while Summerlin would later testify under oath, Morrison began making comments about other women that Summerlin found “offensive”, and she told him so.
In November 1990, Morrison invited Summerlin to a bar to celebrate a court victory. There he took her aside and said, “Don’t get me wrong, I love my wife and children, but you are very attractive to me. . . Well, what are we going to do about it? Morrison would admit he said that and confirm Summerlin’s testimony that he apologized the next day.
After this incident, Summerlin claimed that Morrison could barely bring himself to talk to her and began to strip her of responsibility. Three months after the incident in the bar, he called Summerlin for her annual performance review and gave her the choice of resigning or being fired.
“I decided to fight, to stand up and tell the truth,” Summerlin said in a 2006 radio interview. Summerlin sued Morrison for sexual harassment in federal court. Morrison’s attorney, future Democratic Governor Mark Parkinson, filed a motion for summary judgment which the court denied, saying “there are such questions of fact that a reasonable person could decide in favor of either or the other of the parties”.
Exhausted from the ordeal and with a newly adopted baby at home, Summerlin signed a joint termination stipulation with Morrison in 1993. In 2006, the Topeka Capital-Journal would dismiss Summerlin’s accusation as an “unproven allegation”.
2006 was the year all hell would break loose. At the root of the epidemic was a more serious scourge of sexual abuse. After a years-long struggle with the administration of Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius for access to relevant records, Republican Attorney General Phill Kline discovered that state abortion clinics were grossly ignoring mandatory reporting laws on the child rape.
Of 166 abortions performed on girls under the age of fifteen during 2002 and 2003, clinics reported only three cases to the state Department of Human and Rehabilitation Services. They should have reported the 166.
To save the now-imperiled abortion industry from the state, Sebelius and his friends convinced Republican Morrison to switch parties and run against Kline as a Democrat. With millions of dollars in backing from the abortion industry and the wholehearted backing of the state media, Morrison was poised to defeat “Snoop Dog Kline,” the attorney general who was allegedly obsessed with disclosure. women’s health records.
Toward the end of the campaign, the Kline camp raised Summerlin’s harassment accusation in an ad. Unlike, say, the charges against Judge Kavanaugh, this charge did not come out of the ether. Kline cited court testimony in the announcement. After proving their indifference to the rapes of underage girls, state media doubled down and showed their indifference to accusations of sexual harassment.
“The allegations of sexual harassment are serious,” Kline said at the time. “We have to take them seriously.” The media refused. Not only did they refuse to investigate whether Morrison was persisting in his behavior, but they also chose to attack Kline for daring to raise the issue.
The attacks were indirect but obvious. An article by Topeka Cap-J was titled “Kline broke vow in sex affair”. The “vow” in question was Kline’s previous “no” answer when asked by the Wichita Eagle editorial board if he would make the harassment charge a campaign issue. Needless to say, the Wichita Eagle didn’t make it a problem.
In another Cap-J article – unsubtlely titled “New Kline ad cites old claim: Morrison says AG’s tactics are ‘misleading and sleazy'” – the reporter had former Republican Attorney General Carla Stovall does the heavy lifting. “I think that’s unconscionable,” an outraged Stovall told Cap-J. “Any lawyer knows that anyone can sue for anything. But that doesn’t mean there’s any legitimacy to it. Cap-J’s article fails to mention that as attorney general, “pro-choice” Stovall did nothing to rein in the state’s increasingly lawless abortion industry.
If the media had bothered to follow Kline’s accusations, they would have discovered that under Morrison, the district attorney’s office had turned into a virtual carnival of sexual grotesqueness with Morrison’s mistress, Linda Carter, as its chief of file. If the mainstream media refused to tell the story, the alternative “Pitch” did in all its sordid detail.
According to the Pitch, which interviewed 21 friends and colleagues of Carter, her affair with Morrison began in September 2005 in an empty sixth-floor office at the courthouse and lasted two years. As director of administration and with the boss under her thumb, Carter used her power to sexually degrade both men and women. “When Morrison was faced with the issues,” reports the Pitch, “he dismissed them as meanness. An abusive and threatening environment developed. Carter created a sexually charged workplace that would have brought other people in the office accused of sexual harassment or fired.
In 2006, however, the media wanted nothing to do with it. They had an industry to protect and an attorney general to defeat. They managed to do both. When the Morrison scandal broke in 2007, they accused Kline, who succeeded Morrison as Johnson County prosecutor, of exposing the sexual misery of Morrison’s office.
In 2006, just like in September 2018, the problem is not sex. The problem is abortion, and the media will choose to believe whoever, male or female, protects this ungodly industry.