Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Press and the People: Good-By Seattle P.I.

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"Stand Up For Marriage Rally" this Thursday, March 19th on the Capitol steps in Olympia from 12 noon to 1 PM. Thank you for all the emails. We should have a great group for the rally.

I'm looking forward to seeing you there.

The Seattle PI has delivered its last print addition this morning, ending a 146-year run.

I, as many of you, grew up with the PI in our home.

Hearst Corp. CEO, the owner of the PI, said yesterday that their goal is to turn seattlepi.com into the leading news and information portal in the region. People inside have told me they sincerely hope that will happen, but they are subdued about the future.

The reason the PI is folding its print publication is, they say, falling revenue. They all say that. That's what the New York Times said a couple of weeks ago when they sold their new building to stay afloat. Other major newspapers have and will fold. These are difficult times with the intrusion of the intranet and the current economy.

While there are external reasons why the news media and newspapers in particular are failing, their difficulties may be more closely attached to an internal, rather than external problem.

Two words come to mind.

Distrust. Hypocrisy.

Let me explain.

There was a time in my lifetime when people wanting to authenticate something they were telling would say, "I know its true, I read it in the newspaper," and they were serious.

This past presidential election was transformational in a couple of ways. In addition to electing America's first African-American president, the media confirmed what many people were already thinking. And had been for some time.


Polls consistently show that the public does not trust the media. Even those who are on the political side of the media. They believe they are biased, even if they agree with their bias.

Media Research Council has done the work. Look at the polls. Follow my link, scroll down to "Public See's Media's Pro-Obama/ Anti-McCain and Palin Tilt." Now clear your mind, I'm not going to rehearse the past, I'm using it as a high profile point for national polls.

Look at what America was thinking as we closed out the presidential election and the year 2008.

*By nearly 8 to 1, voters say journalists want Obama to win.

* By 5 to 1 Public thinks most journalists are trying to elect Obama.

*Rasmussen Polls: 55 % say media bias bigger problem than campaign cash.

And there's more, check it out.

I personally believe newspapers have the right to be biased. There are print papers both large and small who are known to be biased and are doing pretty well.

The difference is when papers pretend to be "unbiased" when everyone knows they are not. Remember the book we read as kids, "The Emperor Has No Clothes"? The elite news business has been telling the little people, the subjects, that they were unbiased, institutions of news gathering, without which the nation could not survive. All the time advancing their own agenda, what ever that may be at any given time.

Meanwhile in the village, the people moved on. And the Emperor is naked. And the people are whispering.

Even those who supported Obama and welcomed the news media commitment to his election, are quick to tell the polls that they do not believe the media is unbiased. Yet every morning the media proclaims their neutrality.

This translates to other non-related news items and causes the public at large to read their stories with a growing degree of skepticism, and in the end, not to read them at all.

The character crises that is prevalent in our culture is prevalent in the media.


In an attempt to convince the public that they were serving everyone with the facts, so as to increase readership and subscriptions they have convinced no one.

Pew Research Center for the People and The Press has determined that "Virtually every news organization or program has seen it's credibility decline."

On "partisanship and creditability," FOX NEWS rates highest, Wall Street Journal second and USA Today, third. BBC, NPR, Newshour and NBC are the bottom four.

The latest example happened only a few days ago with the Associated Press' non-coverage while covering the George Tiller trial, showing virtually no connection between him and Kathleen Sebelius and her donations to Tiller and her private reception at the Governor's Mansion for him.


She is waiting confirmation as President Obama's Health and Human Services Secretary.

While some of us are sincerely sad to see the PI go, it is not unexpected. Decisions have consequences.

Thank God for the free market. It tends to correct these kinds of issues.

Gary Randall
Faith & Freedom

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  1. This whole "the media was in the can for Obama" schtick is just very poorly disguised sour grapes over the fact that the American people resoundingly rejected the failed principles of the Republican party. They saw the manifest failure of these principles over the last eight years and weren't interested in more of the same.

  2. I think the large newspapers going out of business has more to do with the ushering in of the Fairness Doctrine than anything else. Once these papers are gone they can claim there is a need to get the news out to the communities. Just wait and see!

  3. This long post is all about the growing lack of credibility in the media. Yet, when Gary quoted the Pew report, he said Fox news rates highest on partisanship and credibility.

    He failed to mention that this was for Republicans ONLY. Democrats viewed Fox as one of the worst. Pew's point was to highlight the partisan differences.

    Folks, this says it all! Way to mislead your readers, Gary. This is why what's left of the Republican party is getting smaller.

  4. I think the shutting down of our large newspapers has more to do with ushering in the "Fairness Doctrine" than anything. Once they are gone they can claim they need to get fair information out to the community. Just wait and see!

  5. I have nearly stopped reading the newspaper. I can get the news from a number of sources, so I choose the sources that I prefer. I agree that it is sad to see the pi go, but how will they be better online? It will be the same agenda as in the print addition. I don't think they will make it.
    Thanks Gary for keeping us aware and I appreciate your bias.

  6. Thanks for giving us the links to the polls. I am always suprised that people read the same polls and come to so very different conclusions. I guess it's all about our world view.
    Keep up the good work.

  7. Why on earth would the AP mention Sebelius's alleged connections with a man, who is only accused of a misdemeanor? Seems to me the real whine is that the AP isn't presenting the news through the filter of a right-wing anti-choice fanatic.

  8. I would add a third reason: Perceived irrelevance of the news itself. I speak as a "thirty-something" and sad to say my generation is not interested in the news. If you have noticed just by going to todays major news web sites such as CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, you actually have to dig quite hard to find real news since the majority of what is portrayed s news is the latest pop culture nonsense that sadly has becoe the few items of relevancy to our generation.
    Kirkland, WA

  9. Distrust?

    Like one should distrust Fox News because they allowed Greta Van Sustren to conduct several fawning interviews of the "authentic" Sarah Palin, while failing to disclose that Greta's husband was an advisor to Palin?


  10. "I think the large newspapers going out of business has more to do with the ushering in of the Fairness Doctrine than anything else. "

    I don't think its done on purpose , but good point I can see that arguement being used by the left. Liberalism really never works in an audio format of give and take , even when its slanted all to the left . Air America gets boring when i listen to it , all the announcers feel the need to call conservatives liars , etc . Just as many of the liberals here do . Name call. That works in academia and places where choice is not given . Liberalism primarily digresses towards institutions where choice is not afforded , very rarely do you see a liberal homeschooled child or school . Sometimes but its the exception .

  11. I watch all the cable news outlets . The worse in CNBC. Their ratings bear that out also . For the fellow who is so concerned about honesty , Ok CNBC is watched mostly by liberal democrats . Figures .. ;0)


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