One of the most respected columnists at the Kansas City Star has been accused of bullying attendees at a recent Republican campaign rally in Kansas City in a Letter to the Editor that appeared in the McClatchy-owned paper today (Link to online letter and responses).
Charles Gusewelle, who has written books about his dogs, nature, cats and the rural life, has been a columnist at the Star dating back to 1955. He’s also a regular host on KCPT Public Television.
Gusewelle reportedly circled a recent Romney-Ryan campaign rally on Ward Parkway in his car and “gestured toward all participants,” and used “angry words” towards attendees, wrote Kathleen Callahan of Kansas City in a letter reprinted below.
“It was completely inappropriate for a man with such great visibility and stature in the Kansas City community to display such juvenile and disrespectful behavior,” she noted.
Callahan’s account was very likely true since the newspaper verifies letters before printing them. If untrue it is doubtful the letter was have ever seen the light of day.
The Star considers it a personnel issue and will not comment on his actions.
However, the Star’s Code of Ethics does warn editorial employees to “Avoid even the appearance of a conflict and immediately report to their supervisor anything that would allow a news source to call our impartiality into question.”
It also asks, “Could they or the newspaper publicly disclose the situation without fear of embarrassment or legitimate criticism?”
Gusewelle, GOP rally
I’ve always been proud to be a reader and neighbor of C.W. Gusewelle. As a mother of seven and grandmother of nine, I appreciate his love of nature and family.
That’s why it was horribly disappointing for me to witness his bullying behavior in front of our children at a recent Republican Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan campaign rally on Ward Parkway. Sadly, Gusewelle couldn’t stop with his angry words.
He proceeded to circle our group in his Smart Car and gestured toward all participants, including our children, who were there merely to support their candidates.
Regardless of our political affiliations, I know that we, as Americans, understand and appreciate the value of freedom of speech. It was completely inappropriate for a man with such great visibility and stature in the Kansas City community to display such juvenile and disrespectful behavior. What message does this give to our children?
For me, I will never read another one of his columns.
Kathleen Callahan Kansas City