Journalist disturbed by allegations against man he admired


By Reggie Ponder

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I wish I could write about something and someone this week other than Charlie Rose, but here I am.

Although I have appreciated Roy Moore over the years for his staunch advocacy of the 10 Commandments and his unflinching support for the pro-life cause, in recent years he has taken positions on immigration and religious liberty that have taken him far from my own brand of conservative or moderate politics.

So I was already over Roy Moore even before the sexual assault allegations (and the admittedly less serious accusations of poor judgment) against him surfaced.

I also have never been a great fan of Al Franken, and while I enjoy an occasional movie, my initial response to the Harvey Weinstein situation was “Harvey Who?” Even now I’m still a bit confused about who he is beyond ‘some guy who (was) really powerful in Hollywood.

But Charlie Rose is one of my people. He’s not just a journalist but one who was considered by many other journalists to be among the best in our profession.

I came away from some episodes of “The Charlie Rose Show” feeling not that I had watched an interesting program for an hour but that I had just completed a semester-long exploration of Mideast policy, or economics, or whatever topic he had explored in that episode.

Added to that was his favorite son appeal as a native of Henderson, not exactly my hometown but my almost-hometown where I worked for eight years and where some of my closest friends still live.

This one hits close to home.

But I have to say two things: First, with all due respect to due process (which I believe is due quite a bit of respect) the allegations against Rose seem not only pervasive but enormously credible. His rather quick firing by both CBS and PBS despite being something of a superstar at both networks seems to attest to that.

Second, my years of admiration and appreciation for Rose’s work does not change how terrible these things are that he appears likely to have done. 

I have to be honest about the seriousness of these allegations against Rose (and their credibility) despite my professional regard for him. And it’s really more than just a professional regard, since I knew his father well and have known various cousins of his in the Henderson area over the years. He really is one of my people.

I hope the women who have been caught in this web find healing and hope as they move forward and I hope Rose finds his own wholeness, repentance and forgiveness. It can be a long walk but it starts with a single step, followed by another and then another.

I’m not perfect, just a beggar who knows where the bread is handed out. I am here if he thinks I can be of any help.

Reggie Ponder is a staff writer for The Daily Advance and editor of Albemarle Magazine