Opinion

Charlotte Observer Covered Up Open Bathrooms Advocate’s Predatory Past

An Academy Award was just given to a movie about journalists exposing child predators. What award should go to the newspaper that tries to hide them?

Last night my husband and I finally saw the Oscar winner for best picture of the year Spotlight. The film recounts how a team of Boston Globe reporters broke the story of the sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church.

As I became engrossed in the story, I found myself saddened by the horrors of the abuse and the cover-up by church leadership. And I found myself cheering for the brave reporters at the Boston Globe who exposed the corruption and the cover-up.

Journalistic accountability is a powerful tool. But it only works when journalists themselves are not complicit in the type of corruption that covers up abuse of young children.

Yesterday, Breitbart News posted a story exposing what some of us already knew: A registered sex offender named Chad Sevearance has been leading the charge that would make Charlotte bathrooms potential venues for sexual predators. In the guise of an LGBT activist, Sevearance has been frequently quoted by the Charlotte Observer as an advocate for the recently passed Charlotte ordinance that will allow bathrooms to be open to any and all genders. The ordinance is scheduled to go into effect on April 15.

As early as Feb. 8, a group revealed to the public that Sevearance, who has led the fight to get this ordinance passed, was a registered sex offender who clearly has ulterior motives. This seemed to be direct confirmation that open bathrooms are not only a violation of public comfort and security but pose a potential danger to the most vulnerable among us women and children. For the lead advocate to himself be a convicted child molester is just the latest verification of these concerns.

The Charlotte Observer, a publication that has consistently championed the proposed ordinance, knew about Sevearance’s predatory past for several weeks. Not only were press releases sent containing this information, but follow up calls were made directly to multiple reporters on staff. (See images)

The violation of their readers’ trust is clear. And the journalistic integrity is absent. The reporters at the Charlotte Observer didn’t just turn a blind eye, they covered up the truth.

While some brave reporters have exposed predators, the Charlotte Observer protects them. Funny how reporters expose corruption within a church and win the Pulitzer and an Oscar. But reporters shy away from exposing corruption of an LGBT leader and it’s no big deal?

Shame on them.