I used to think that being a newspaper reporter – later, a TV news
reporter _ was glamorous and noble. They reportedly would go to jail
before revealing the source of information.
Things have happened to change my mind. For one, the repetition of
bad news, over and over and over, `til you dreaded to open the paper or turn
on the TV. It seemed to escalate with the O.J. Simpson trial, the
interminable ride in the white Bronco, rumors of romance between Clark and
Darden, the buildup of the occupant of the guest house, and most important,
TV in the courtroom. It was reported that Judge Ito played to the camera.
I think Simpson was guilty, and that the circus atmosphere of
newspaper reporting and TV reporting and the camera in the courthouse
contributed to a miscarriage of justice.
Another instance of repetition was the Lonnie Davis killing spree. I
turned the TV on to Channel 4 at 5 o’clock. It was a classic example of
saturation of the airwaves with few facts. Every channel did it.
On Channel 4, Liz Rocca, who is a good reporter, was evidently in
the danger zone near the house Davis took over, complete with guns and
ammunition. If she was terrified, that is understandable. She was almost
I turned the TV off, and learned later on that Davis had been killed
at 5 o’clock. There was no need to put Rocca or the viewers through such
There seems to be a bias where Safeco Field and Emerald Downs
are concerned. Safeco has had reams of publicity and a full section in the
PI. I’ll wager Emerald Downs had more coverage in the PI today than they
have ever had.
Let’s make some comparisons. Ron Crockett found investors;
he didn’t get stuck with a “John Ellis,” and he didn’t try to stick the
taxpayers. He did an excellent job of replacing wetlands. When the surface of
the oval had problems, he fixed it.
The millionaire owners of the Mariners got around the no vote
on the baseball stadium, wangled the most expensive one in the country,
and they want another $100 million from the taxpayers. Will they give us
some of the profits? I wonder what the racetrack pays into the state for
gambling tax each month? I don’t hear them complain like the
Mariner-millionaire owners do.
This is a real tragedy. When the terrified students of Littleton,
Colo., came out of the school, hands up, they were looking for a familiar face,
parents or teachers. They were met by strangers, reporters and
photographers. The piranha had smelled blood.
Thank God the weekly papers and small newspapers did not go for
the yellow journalism craze! Maybe the answer is to boycott the big
daily newspapers and the huge volume of news on television.