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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 14, 2008 at 4:39 PM


Enough already

Recent attempts by the media to impale Gov. Sarah Palin at every opportunity, far from discrediting the governor, have merely succeeded in bringing the press itself into disrepute [“Palin calls criticism ‘cruel,’.” Politics, Nov. 8].

The field of journalism is debased when its highest practitioners consistently choose the low road by obsessing over trivia, distorting reality to fit their own bias and manufacturing their own dirt when they are unable to find any other to grub around in.

Far from providing evenhanded, trustworthy information, they choose to sink to the lowest common denominator in their transparent efforts not to report the news, but to shape public opinion to conform to their own nefarious agenda. In so doing, they underestimate the intelligence of the American public.

This may well be news to the media, but we are not that gullible. While we might find what passes for journalism vacuously entertaining on occasion, we by no means find it credible.

Palin’s character remains intact; the media, on the other hand, has made itself an object of ridicule — fallen on its own sword.

— Avril Vandermerwe, Edmonds

Show your commitment

Note to Gov. Christine Gregoire:

I agree, “we” are going to have to sacrifice [“We’re going to have to sacrifice,” Politics, Nov. 11]. As lawmakers consider suspending worker pay raises or conducting layoffs, the choice seems to be clear: Cancel the pay raises and retain the workers.

Then, in order to become “we” with those workers, all managers — from the executive on down — should voluntarily accept pay cuts, to demonstrate their commitment to this shared sacrifice. These management pay cuts could be on a sliding scale; say 30 percent down to 5 percent, depending on pay grade.

Not only would this plan contribute to solving the state’s budget crisis; it would also set an example for cities and counties facing their own budget crises. In addition, a governor, county executive or mayor who has taken a pay cut possesses increased credibility when asking for concessions from private-sector executives who threaten their communities with layoffs and plant closings.

And, lets take this even further and cancel (or at least scale down) the inaugural extravaganzas Democrats will be scheduling nationwide. In 1944, FDR attempted to cancel all inaugural festivities — thinking it frivolous in wartime.

Congress insisted on some ceremony, and appropriated $2,500 for the inauguration. FDR agreed to an East Room swearing-in, followed by sandwiches and coffee (at a cost less than $2,500.) Then he went back to the job at hand. An excellent example to all in these tough times.

— Paula Joneli, Des Moines

Move along

“Wives talk of raising kids at White House” [page one, Nov. 11], by Jennifer Loven of The Associated Press, was sexist. I sure hope first lady Laura Bush and Michelle Obama discussed things in addition to how each of them looked and how they raise their children.

If they did, the author left out details, which endorses stereotypes about the role of women in our society — especially in a year when we had two women with determination and success [Gov. Sarah Palin and Gov. Hillary Rodham Clinton] come close to setting foot in the White House.

It angers me that we still have so far to go in the way we portray women in this country. When I heard people say, “How can Palin run for vice president with such young children to raise?” I thought, “How is it any different from President-elect Barack Obama having young children needing his attention and care?”

Let us move forward in this country — not just with race, but also with gender.

— Matt Lang, Snohomish

Walk toward the light

On Nov. 4, the citizens of this country made a dramatic decision. But even more remarkable than the decision itself, was how the decision was made. We collectively decided to ignore skin color.

Certainly, there were some who voted against President-elect Barack Obama — and some who voted for him — simply because of his race. What is equally clear and extraordinary is that the issue of race was not an issue at all.

Prejudice has long permeated our society. It has been like an imaginary cage in which we accepted confinement. There was always a door, but we never dared to open it — until Election Day, when we collectively decided that the time had come; we would no longer be confined. We opened the door and stepped out into a new and overwhelming light.

And more than any change in political party or ideology, more than any change in taxes or health care or foreign policy, it is this profound new light that will transform us.

— Todd Martin, Snohomish

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