Tuesday, March 17, 2009

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

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
"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

Click here to add these blogs to your email inbox.