I wrote the Star and got this reponse: Thank you for expressing your view of Rosie DiManno’s Jan. 18 column.
While I understand why you find the opening sentence of the column to be insensitive and demeaning to the woman who testified, I have corresponded with DiManno and I am assured there was no intention here to demean the woman or her testimony or make light of the circumstances. Rather, after sitting through all of the sordid, ugly evidence presented in court, she deliberately sought to reflect the grotesque nature of the alleged crime. Rosie DiManno is one of the Star’s best and most prolific writers. DiManno covers many trials with difficult graphic evidence. While I personally concur with those readers critical of this column’s opening sentence, I think DiManno’s writing overall shows sensitivity and empathy for victims of horrific crimes. As managing editor Jane Davenport told me: “She is more likely than many columnists to walk close to the line in terms of detailing the nature of the crimes, but I think walking this line - balancing their dignity against the imperative ‘not to look away” - is something she most often does with skill and care. “ The Star’s policy and journalistic standards manual states that “Columnists and Op-Ed writers have wide latitude to express their own views in the Star, including views directly contrary to the Star’s editorial views, as long as they fall within the boundaries of good taste and the laws of libel.” “Taste” is always a subjective matter and questions of taste in columns and other content are often flagged to the managing editor by columnists themselves or other editors. That did not happen in this case. Had that occurred, I expect the managing editor would have urged DiManno to revise the opening to the column, which otherwise accurately reflects the direct testimony of the victim. Thank you again for writing.