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Thursday, March 30, 2006

And They Wonder Why They’re Losing Young Readers

Posted by on March 30 at 11:39 AM

Today’s front-page PI story makes it plain that the Seattle Times editorial board is isolated and marginalized on the teen dance issue.

We had gotten a quote from Nickels’s spokesperson Marty McOmber saying there was no connection between the CHAC event and the murders: McOmber told the Stranger, “there is nothing to connect the rave to the shooting at the house on Saturday morning. Raves are well-regulated events, and by all accounts the rave at CHAC on Friday night was well operated. We do know that we don’t want to drive this scene underground.”

But now the PI has the mayor himself contradicting the Seattle Times’s reactionary advocacy.

“This is not about music, this is not about a party. This was about a guy who decided he was going to kill people and he had the firepower to do it,” Nickels said.

Ha. They even got former city attorney Mark Sidran to pooh-pooh the Seattle Times’s weird spin.

“Some tragedies defy any sort of rational response in terms of regulation because they’re completely irrational events you can’t really predict or prevent,” said Sidran, who defended the Teen Dance Ordinance, which was enacted in the mid-1980s. Sidran said, “This kind of homicidal psychopathic violence is not what the Teen Dance Ordinance was about and is just a terrible tragedy.”

I don’t imagine the Seattle Times will give up on its crusade against teens, though. (Expect more articles soon.)

But they’d be wise to consider giving it a rest. After all, haven’t they been smarting over the fact that they’ve been losing young readership? (According to a Scarborough research study, only 40 percent of people aged 18 to 24 read a daily paper on weekdays.) And papers like the Seattle Times wonder why. Perhaps it has something to do with their outdated editorial positions.

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Easy answer: Bring back NEXT.

Amen. The Times' shameless exploitation of this tragedy for its own political ends is as transparent as it is shameful. I would hope the paper would pause to consider the impact of printing such drivel, but have no reason to believe it will. If anything needs careful reviewing after this episode, it’s the Times’ editorial board. Maybe a bit of good can come out of this, like the Times dumping some its self-righteous ideologues.

So Josh, basically what you're saying is, it IS good to have two daily newspapers in this town?

Doesn't that contradict your cover story from a couple of weeks ago in which the Stranger declared who would give a shit if the PI closed?

I don't think Josh is Josh Feit. Right, Josh? Right, Josh Feit?

Yes, it does contradict that story.
But I didn't write that story. News writer Eli Sanders did. And even though I'm the news editor here, news writers like Eli Sanders are free to write long feature pieces that I might disagree with. (I wont hold my breath for the long editorial in the Seattle Times by a Seattle Times staffer that contradicts Balter's edit on the TDO.)

Although, correct me if I'm wrong: The real point of Eli's story was about the rise of web-based journalism and the opportunity for the PI to break out of the paper vs. paper scenario and go 100% on-line.

Duly noted.

The Mayor delivered the message quoted at the community meeting - TV reported it.

The Mayor is too smart to blame the dance party for anything.

The Times edit. board has bumbled this one.

Not logical and plain off target 100 per cent.


You are right. I am not "Josh."
I post as: "Josh Feit."
I responded to Everett,however, because I thought he was addressing my original post.

I don't know who is posting as "Josh."

Keep Your Laws of My Body. I'm Pro-Cloning & I vote.

I'm posting as Josh. That's my name, and I'm sticking to it.

New Media Echo chamber - rather than an original story, do a story on how bad THEIR original story is. You'll want to distract your readers with that as long as possible, especially as you spout off about "the future is online".

About fifteen years ago Wired Magazine did an issue about "the death of the magazine" and how very soon everything would be online.

Wired readers were a step above the typical Stranger pea brains and immediately challenged Wired to go "all virtural" itself. Of course you can still buy Wired magazine in the newstand.

But for the time being The Stranger readership is lapping up your attack on the P-I and nonsense about the P-I going virtual. So by all means keep killing trees to print stories about how the other newspaper should stop printing on dead trees.

I'm sure someone over at the Times has contemplated a story about how ten years ago it was magazines trumpeting the death of the printed magazine, and nine years ago they were printing books about the death of the printed book. But the Times being a decades old publication probably has written about fall out shelters, space food sticks, and how the hula hoop was going to change everything, and decided to pass on the "in five years there'll be no more books" story.

Because the thinking public has already contemplated the absurdities, enjoyed the paradoxes, and is too busy reading a hundred year old book they checked out of the library to be hooked by words printed on dead trees, about how shortly there will be no more words printed on dead trees.

So Stranger either immediately go all virtual yourself and show us all how that's the future of journalism, or please shut up about it.

As for the angle of Times Story, Molly Ivans recently wrote that no one should be allowed to editorialize until they've had to cover a freeway traffic wreck and square twelve differing accounts of what really happened into a short legible story.

Seattle Times readers are not dumbasses. Seven people were recently murdered and intelligent readers realize no one will ever know what really happened.

In contemplating murder a thoughful reader recalls that all it took is one murder - the murder of Fyodor Karamazof and the ensuing implications filled hundreds of pages of speculation about religion, life, love, and the human race.

The real story at The Stranger is the outrageous spectacle of a "blow by blow account of what really happened the night of the murders" written while the shotgun was still warm. And now Mr. Sanders offering his increadible insight into the psychology of the criminal mind, our breathless scibe writing as though he's ready to offer us eager readers penetrating prose about exactly how those Montana backroads twisted the neural synapses of Huff's brain till - murder, yes gentle reader here's the very braincell that triggered the murder!

The Times printed some story about how bad teen dances are? So what. A lot of people are thinking that, it's one way to look at what happened. Only a dumbass expects to read a article covering "the truth about what REALLY happened".

Once again a challenge - Stranger, if teen dances are no problem then host a Zombie Rave for fourteen year olds this weekend on Capitol hill. That'd be a swell publicity trick for your tobacco and liquor advertisers, and a it'd be interesting to see how many people really agree that Zombie Raves for fourteen year olds on Capitol Hill are not problematic.

Boy, you are going to be REALLY suprised when you realize that "raves" in the traditional sense died like... over 5 years ago... now they are just concerts in clubs and venues... they are ALL licensed. the are just parties now... fucks sake.

Go to amazon and pick up a copy of- "This Is Not a Rave: In the Shadow of a Subculture"

and all will be explained. fuck, even the MEDIA might stop calling them raves. probably not, though.

Look at who writes for these papers, and how old they are. Not exactly a fresh, current and relevant point of view.

I think the Seattle Times represents the attitude of many, if not most, American parents. They want to protect their children from everything, even to the point of locking them in their rooms until they turn 18, I guess. There are too many people in the country who are more concerned about staying safe than about living life to its fullest. Life is fragile. Life is dangerous. There's nothing we can do about it except enjoy it while we got it.

Speaking of revealing editorials, The Stranger has become the most outspoken proponent of becoming a one newspaper town. They insists that the Times and Post Intelligencer are the same, same, same. But The Stranger, a rogue empire builder, spills gallons of ink when the dailies disagree and show their two colors, which, one might notice, are red and blue. Let's review:

Times: Bush
PI: Kerry

Times: Blame the kids
PI: Blame the killer

Today’s Times: No assisted suicide
Today’s PI: Liberty at Risk

So I think this warrants the question, "Why is The Stranger so adamant that the more progressive of Seattle's dailies should be flushed?"

Without the progressive PI, The Stranger could take try a new edge in reporting - and advertising. Never mind the news would come a week late, the daily voice would be more conservative and The Stranger would be a few mere drops for the thirsty. Perhaps this push for a one newspaper town is not in Seattle's best interest, but in The Stranger's.

Street Smart,

The Seattle Times is isolated and marginalized on this issue—not just cuz of the PI—but because of the Mayor, the city council, us, and the Weekly.

Meanwhile, why do you assume a 1-paper town means the Seattle Times wins?

If you're referring to the essay by Eli Sanders, you'll have to take that up with Eli Sanders. His name was on that essay. I didn't write it. Nor was it a Stranger edit board piece.

To be honest, I don't have a strong opinion (or even an opinion) about the 1-paper v. 2-paper town debate. They can both stay if they want or not.

These parents who are obsessed with safety and security are the same parents who raise kids who can't distinguish between different levels of threat. Most of 'em are convinced there's child molester in a dirty raincoat behind every bush, when of course almost all child molesters are respected figures of family or authority with PERMISSION to come near the kiddies. As a result their kids never learn the difference between a jerk and a mass killer, and they never learn how to taste real life.

They grow up thinking the world is a crime scene. People who live in Redmond fear crime and their neighbors as much as people who live in the worst neighborhood in Baltimore.

street "smart" -- the times endorsed kerry, not bush. get your facts straight

So, no one even considered the Times/PI thing as a single strategy?

Get the older *and* younger crowds riled up using our "two" papers.

Greatest scam yet.


Get your facts straight. The Times endorsed George Bush in 2000. Yes, they came back and endorsed Kerry in 2004, but their cover was already blown.

And, since we're keeping score here, the Times also endorsed the War in Iraq; Dino Rossi; and backed the domestic spying issue.

Duly noted, Bob. The PI endorsed Gore in 2000. My point - errors and typos aside - stands.

That's a lame come back Street "Smart."
It seems to me that Bob nailed you.

You wrote
Times: Bush
PI: Kerry.

Your obvious implication being that the Seattle Times didn't endorse Kerry—when, in fact, they did endorse Kerry. And the Seattle Times's Kerry endorse was primarily about the war, so their "cover wasn't blown." They had a credible change of mind based on consideration of a new policy that wasn't in play in 2000.

He "nailed" me on a typo, Josh. Breathe.

The point is that it increasingly appears that The Stranger is trying to edge out the PI for market share. It doesn't matter who pens the piece, what matters is The Stranger's push to kill the PI seems self serving and politically hypocritical.

PS - The Times didn't have "credible change of mind" because that would mean that endorsing Bush in 2000 would also be a credible position for a Seattle paper, which it is not.

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