An Open Letter to the Seattle Times
Dear Seattle Times,
You were once an important part of my life.
As a boy, I anticipated that thud against the front door. I attacked the cartoons first, especially on Sunday: Peanuts, Garfield, the Wizard of Id. Once Dad was done with sports, I saw who had 4 hits that day. I laughed at the Bottom Ten rankings, cruel as they were. I made it to the weather forecast and checked how much snow had fallen at local resorts. I argued with the editorial page.
As part of those debates, I began writing letters to the editor, and you printed them. I even delivered the Times, for a while.
Your moderation could be boring, to be honest. You leaned left, unlike the more radical PI (there was no porno-socialist Weekly or Stranger in those days). You sometimes even recommended a Republican as boring as yourselves, if he seemed likely to do the state good.
Now, though, you’ve become a force for evil in my home town, an instrument of dissolution, scapegoating, self-righteous hypocrisy and injustice. Honestly, I hope you fold.
Walking by your box, I see yet another front-page headline bashing cops. “Things changed in a year but local activists say too much is the same.” Too much is the same, true enough! You led with attacks on the police in four front pages of the last five, and many more times over the past year.
You don’t lead with articles citing the concerns of police, or families of murder victims, business owners who have moved out of downtown, or older and younger folks who dare not visit it anymore.
The Northwest’s Own Pravda
This is what Pravda must have sounded like during the 1937 purges. Or People’s Daily during the Cultural Revolution (I know that shrill, self-righteous tone!). Or maybe a sermon by Cotton Mather at the height of the witch hunts, though I doubt he ever sounded so fatuous.
You did run a story one day about the rise in murder in Seattle. But clearly, your heart wasn’t in it. Who cares if murders rose from 27 to 47 in one year? What are twenty extra lives? Two children were killed in CHAZ, which had a higher murder rate than Guatemala for the short while it existed. Why don’t you attack the mayor or city council for that? Or even (perish the thought!) consider your own responsibility for the continuing upsurge of crime?
Or the tent cities, needles, and human waste in some neighborhoods? Who cares if senior citizens and children dare not visit downtown? KOMO TV ran a heartbreaking series detailing the destruction; unlike you, they had the guts to see what was under their noses. Instead, you pig-pile on the people who are trying to keep the city together, at risk to their own necks, reveling in destruction like furies. You feed the fire under the city council so they drive blue collar cops out of what is becoming an increasingly prissy, white-collar, but deeply self-righteous and self-destructive town.
You falsify the facts by cherry-picking anecdotes from millions of interactions between police and the public, and ignoring the harm done by those in other professions, like yours. Yes, some police abuse power. Some black people committed the crimes for which they were lynched, some Jews were greedy bankers, and some old ladies in Renaissance Europe probably did try black magic. Did that make lynching or witch-burnings right?
You smear whole groups for the wrongs of rare individuals. Your beloved “activists” set up a poster of 29 “victims” of police killings in front of the police station in CHAZ. I researched each case, usually from multiple sources, sometimes watching videos of the killings. Aside from a few borderline instances, almost all the “victims” had been murdering, robbing, assaulting, or threatening the lives of the innocent.
Your masthead brags about the eleven Pulitzer Prizes you have won. Do you think they saved a fraction of the lives cops save every year? Never mind the Social Justice Warriors on Capitol Hill who can’t leave a wall undefaced or a window unsmashed.
Police protect the innocent from criminals and drug addicts from overdoses, drag people out of burning buildings and vehicles or off sandbars in flooding rivers, pull drunks off the road, and improve stop signs and cross walks so pedestrians don’t get run over. (We have cops in the family. Unlike you, apparently, we get the inside scoop.)
Maybe you have a Clark Kent complex. Maybe you are jealous that newsmen can’t don capes, go out in the street, and save lives, like the people you attack so relentlessly.
Blessed, But Giving It All Up
Fools! Seattle has been richly blessed, and should be one of the world’s great cities. Mountains rise to the east and west, with water on either side. Gentle hills offer views of surrounding greens, blues, and whites. Tech companies and brilliant people have poured in from everywhere. Boeing would still be based here if the Left hadn’t driven much of it away. Few cities on the planet are wealthier. (Detroit was rich, once, and so was Timbuktu.)
Seattle has no history of slavery or Jim Crow. In our neighborhood, we had a drunk or two, but we looked out for one another, and we kids played baseball and football and war-gamed together. Parts of the city still know how to smile and help a neighbor, but a suicidal sickness has fallen on its leaders. Cancel Culture is sinking its roots deeply in at the University of Washington, where that popular racist, Robin DiAngelo, got her PhD.
And the Seattle Times has become Grima Wormtongue to our Mayor Theoden.
I used to feel proud while on the road to mention my hometown. You are dragging it into the dirt and ashes.
I used to love your paper. Now it’s only good for starting fires, when the burn ban is off. But I’ll use grocery bags, printouts of book manuscripts, or lichen instead. You are making a mess of a city I grew up in, and it hurts to witness your crimes.
David Marshall, Ph.D., is the author of Jesus is No Myth: The Fingerprints of God on the Gospels, and How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test for Faith.