Make no mistake, Derrick Foxworth is no friend to me. He presides over a band of thugs who needs a harsh spanking, not the indulgent patience he has exhibited toward them. And in addition, I do not support sexist oppression of women in any guise. It would seem to me that anyone who engages in a sexual relationship with a subordinate is almost literally courting disaster. Having said that, though, I must confess that I am extremely uncomfortable with the public lashing that's been raging in the corporate media all day long. I find KATU's coverage to be particularly unethical. (A KATU reporter stood downtown flashing the more salacious bits of private email conversations to passersby, and then selectively quoted a few who vacantly said he should not keep his job. Come on.)
I do not know the details of what went on between Mr. Foxworth and the woman who has accused him of said misconduct any more than anyone else who saw the coverage today. However, from the details presented so far, this smacks of something far less sensational and more personal than it's made out to be. I will not engage in picking through the story of the accuser, because as I said, I know nothing about what occurred. But I will say that I find the release of such very personal conversations to be gross and unethical. It's one thing to allege that Chief Foxworth deserves censure for improprieties. It's quite another thing to place such private thoughts up on a billboard for the world to see. (And, KATU, it's still another thing to flap these intimate words at people walking by on the street and then pretend it's news that some of them are appalled.)
I feel for Mr. Foxworth as he weathers this difficult time, and I hope that he will not be driven out of town on the rails of the corporate media. If he is to be fired, then it should be because he failed to reprimand officers who have shot and killed unarmed people. It should be because he allows the uncontrolled officers in his charge to weild tasers, and has not reconsidered this decision even after a man was killed with one of them. (Whatever the police-subsidized medical examiner would have us believe, we know that man died because he was tased.) But he should not be held up for a public lynching over what appears to be a very, very private matter.
I don't know, depending on what we learn next, I could certainly change my mind about this. As I said, if he actually forced this woman into a situation she was not comfortable with, then I cannot support him. But for now, it seems to me that this is more about a sour relationship and personal retribution than anything else, and is, therefore, none of our business. All I can say is, Portland has been different since Derrick Foxworth replaced the infamous Mark Kroeker, and Mayor Potter replaced Very Katz. And so for now, I give Mr. Foxworth the benefit of the doubt.