I read with some dismay the article on Minister Marian Horne’s parking issue. I happened to be one of the people who overheard the altercation between Horne and the reporter, John Thompson, and thus feel compelled to give a different perspective on what happened.
Thompson’s treatment of Horne was just shy of abusive. He pressed this issue far beyond necessary to a point where he brought the minister to tears. She was clearly shocked by the treatment she received in this instance, and any confusion in the story may very well be due to the extent to which she was being badgered by this reporter.
I spoke separately to Horne following this incident, and she was clearly upset, shocked that, given a life of effort working to support those with challenges of many kinds in her First Nation, her community and in the Yukon, she should be treated with such disrespect.
I have high regard for all those who put their names forward to serve us in public office, no matter what political stripe. We should thank those individuals for their service by giving them at least a little bit of understanding. For someone in the media to treat anyone this way, let alone a person who consciously steps forward to serve us, is reprehensible.
For some unfathomable reason, we think that because people accept offices in public life, they should be willing to take abuse. I for one think we need to change this attitude. We expect a lot from public officials, so in turn we should be willing to give them respect.
In my mind, no matter what the actual circumstances of the inappropriate parking job (and yes, no one should park in handicapped parking when they are not in need), surely we can give respect to a Yukoner who has done so much for so many people throughout her life. A caring and giving person is how we should think of Horne and give her the benefit of the doubt!
Perhaps I am being too critical of Thompson in my reaction to what I witnessed. Without doubt, looking at it from his perspective, I can only imagine how tough his job must be.
I am left, however, wondering if there might be ways to be persistent to get the story, yet do so in a gentler way.