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IN THE MAIL: Inaccuracies detracted from 'Ladies Run' story

PARK RIVER -- I'd like to thank the Herald for its recent coverage of the North Dakota Ladies Run that was held in Park River ("Women bikers roar across corner of N.D.," Page A1, July 20).

PARK RIVER -- I'd like to thank the Herald for its recent coverage of the North Dakota Ladies Run that was held in Park River ("Women bikers roar across corner of N.D.," Page A1, July 20).

I have often heard that "bad press is better than no press," but I feel the need to comment on what I consider to be bad press.

First and foremost, there were inaccuracies in the piece. The Herald didn't even have the route of the ride correct; it wasn't 150 miles long, and it didn't go through Grafton, N.D. Maybe Herald staff writer Stephen J. Lee would have known that if he would have been more concerned about getting the facts and not focusing on what the women were wearing (to quote the story, "lots of leather but no lace. Not showing anyway").

I was also attributed with a quote that I did not and would never say. When anybody who knows me read the passage that "there were both the 'Christian bikers' and the 'Hell's Angels' type, and they all seem to get along, said hostess Daphne Fallis of Park River," they laughed out loud.

Obviously, Lee doesn't know what a Hells Angels-type is, or he would know that I would never say that. What I did say was that there were women from all walks of life and social status, and they all get along.

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I understand that at times, journalistic license is acceptable to paint a picture, but not when it is used to stereotype any group of individuals.

It was almost as if he was disappointed that "few of the 140 could be seen drinking beer or booze," so he had to point out that we were doing something wrong with his ridiculous observation that "although many were smoking."

We were given a lot of print, and for that I am grateful. But I think that printing more of the pictures and using fewer words would have been a better means of portraying the purpose of the yearly event. It's meant to be a chance for ladies who ride to meet and socialize, to show the public that ladies do ride and to encourage other women to ride.

Daphne Fallis

Fallis is 2008 Hosting Committee chair for the North Dakota Ladies Run.

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