Boner sexual harassment case ‘a gift to journalists’

Marie Kemph, reporter covering the Boner sexual harassment case

When a county property assessor named Bill Boner was accused of sexual harassment, Murfreesboro Post managing editor Michelle Willard knew her staff had to “get all of the cheesy headlines out of their system” before getting serious about the story.

She had them distribute their best, unprintable headlines, including:

BONER SAYS WOMEN FAKING IT
FEMALE WORKERS SAY BONER INTIMIDATED THEM
BONER TAKING IT HARD

“We had a lot of fun with it in the last week,” says Willard.

County official Bill Boner is accused of sexual harassment

But staff writer Marie Kemph — the reporter on the Boner beat, if you will — says she’s working hard to play it straight.

“It’s not a funny topic,” she says of the sexual harassment allegations, “so I try to keep it serious. A lot of the residents are very offended by what he’s supposedly done, and they’re taking it very seriously. We’re a conservative town. This is the kind of thing that people think would happen in Nashville.”

Still, the 29-year-old Kemph admits that the Boner sexual harassment case “is a gift to journalists.”

* Boner rejects sexual harassment allegations
* “Aptonym of the week? Yeah, I’m still 12 years old”

The Murfreesboro Post newsroom has fun with Boner headlines

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