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Carl Karcher Should Be Judged by His Achievements, Generosity to Charities

May 01, 1988

Regarding the April 15 article, "Carl's Jr. Founder Accused of Insider Trader Scheme":

The Times has sunk to new levels of yellow journalism. The attack on Carl N. Karcher and his family by Bruce Horovitz and Keith Bradsher was so vicious, vindictive and prejudiced that the political and religious bias of your writers and editors becomes quite clear.

I have never met any of the Karchers. I am sure they are all quite capable of defending themselves. However, this hatchet job is so obvious it should not go unanswered. The action brought against Karcher, if true , could turn out to be nothing more than a slip of the tongue, a minor indiscretion. And yet with obvious glee you go after Karcher in particular as if he had been caught standing over a dead body with a smoking gun.

Your headline says he is accused of an "insider trading scheme." Nowhere in this article or other articles in the business section is any substantiation given for this "scheme," which, as far as is known, is not even alleged by the plaintiff.

Further along in the supposed "news report," it is mentioned that this action "belies" Karcher's "long-held image . . . as an endearing family man and an unabashed patriot." How does a lawsuit by an ambitious civil servant with the government's limitless legal resources have any bearing whatsoever on the family devotion of his prey or, for that matter even on that prey's patriotism? If the allegation should prove to be true, it would only emphasize, rather than belie, his love for family. And do you suggest by this inference that one who has been civilly sued by a government agency should forfeit any claim on patriotism?

As you have shown so many times in the past, you believe strongly in freedom of the press. Does this belief also extend to a supposition of innocence before trial? Or do you restrict this right to those whose political and religious beliefs agree with yours?

ROBERT M. BRENNAN

Anaheim

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