Monday, June 16, 2008

The Seattle Times Sucks

Last Thursday the Seattle Times editors offered up an opinion piece titled "Tent City: pointless" that was full of deliberate lies and propaganda. I've written this week's column about those lies. It will be in the paper that comes out on Wednesday, and I'll post it as close to 9 AM Wednesday morning as I can over on Adventures in Bloggery.

In the meantime I want to highlight the Seattle Times editors moral bankruptcy by contrasting a passage from that editorial with one from today.

"Tent City: pointless" ended with this paragraph:

"Itinerant tent camps are not acceptable in a modern city. We didn't have them before the 1990s, and most other American cities don't have them now. They look at us and wonder why we ever allowed it."

Today, in opposition to efforts by the mayor and the Parks department to ban bonfires on public beaches, the same editors gave us "Bonfires of the Seattleites", containing this paragraph, one from the end:

"Cities are complicated. Urban life is messy, not entirely manageable. Not all behavior has to be by the book. Some things citizens do are amusing, traditional and relaxing."

So, there is the morality of the Seattle Times editors. If the things the citizens do are amusing, traditional, and relaxing, hey, what's the problem? But if what the citizens do is necessary as a matter of life vs death, why do we allow it?

The dissonance between the two views is easy to understand. The people roasting marshmallows on the beach include the middle and upper class neighbors of the editors. You know that as soon as they're referred to as citizens. In "Tent City: pointless" homeless campers were not called citizens.

I'm opposed to a ban on beach bonfires. But if it's a choice between something that's done for fun in a public space that adds to air pollution vs camping in greenbelts, something that's done for survival safely away from the general public that creates nowhere near the environmental harm that bonfires do, then camping is what needs to be preserved.

Human life comes first, then recreation.

The Seattle Times has no moral compass.

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