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Seattle News Bites!

May 29, 2001

In today's edition, we thought we would do something different and offer some commentary on some of the day's major stories.

4 terrorists linked to Osama Bin Laden were convicted today on 302 counts, including murder and conspiracy, in connection with the 1998 bombings of US Embassies in Africa and Tanzania

Without a doubt!, this was the biggest story of the day, but did our local news treat it as such?--NO!

Yet the story of Ressam apparently cooperating with authorities in hopes of getting a reduction in his sentence was frontpage news!

This trial was much much more important than Ressam! These 4 are the first to have been tried, while another 6 are awaiting their trials. A total of 22 were named in the original inditement.

What makes this trial more important than Ressam?--Simple, these people actually carried out bombings resulting in 212 deaths, including 12 Americans!

What makes Ressam more important to our local news? The fact that he crossed the boarder in Blaine? Stayed in Seattle? Was tried and convicted in California?

Just because there was "no local connection" in this trial doesn't mean it isn't important! and not frontpage news!

Quite frankly, Ressam is minor by comparison and our local news should have been smart enough to realize that!--The networks weren't fooled!

Pro-golfer Casey Martin won a victory today in the US Supreme Court when they ruled 7 to 2 that he has the right to use motorized transportation to travel between holes

The Justices didn't buy the PGA's arguments that walking is not only a significant part of the game, but allowing Casey to use a cart would give him an unfair advantage because he would be more rested.

Casey, who has a real disability which makes walking extremely difficult had sued under the ADA (American's with Disabilities Act), and this case was seen as a test case to see whether ADA protection extends beyond spectators.

We think it's clearly obvious to anyone who watches golf that it's not a strenous sport! Walking doesn't seem to be major and the "fatigue factor" doesn't seem logical, because they don't walk all that much! nor all that fast!

But did this case, or any of the other significant rulings released today, get top billing by our local broadcasts?--Of course not!

Osborne and the rest of the US spy plane crew throw out the first pitch at today's Mariner's game

This may seem like a strange story for us to mention, but we do so for 2 reasons:
  1. Why did several of our stations devote more coverage to this story than the 2 we mentioned earlier?
  2. Why did some put this story ahead of the other 2 we mentioned, and give it top billing?

We don't think this story is even remotely important!

If you're going to cover it, put it with sports!--NOT as a major story!

The real story is the US decision to dismantle the plane.

Students strip-searched

This story is one which has received little press locally, but one we believe is pretty important!

On May 17, 9 of 12 Middle School students were strip-searched at a local Washington, D.C. jail while participating in a program similar to Scared Straight.

The program is designed to show problem kids what the consequences of their actions can ultimately lead to, and is a good idea in our opinion.

Showing kids what can happen later on in life is a "reality-check" and something we believe has a lasting and definite impact upon future behavior.

However, this one crossed the line!

After telling their Principal what had happened, she not only neglected to inform school officials, but allowed them to return to the jail again!

As a result of this, the parents are outraged!; the Principal, 3 Correction Officers at the jail, and 2 others have been suspended!; and both the FBI and school officials are investigating!

But there are some people out there who believe this incident was actually a good thing for the kids to experience, because it showed them what can REALLY happen in prison--i.e. rape.

Our opinion is this:

While we agree that things like this do happen in prison, we have to remember that these are young kids! and limits have to be set in terms of what they can be exposed to.

Having them locked in a cell, talk to convicts, and seeing first-hand what prison conditions are like would be enough to "scare them straight."

But making them take their clothes off and strip-searching goes too far!

We hope that those involved in this terrible and isolated incident are punished, but also hope that programs like these don't suffer as a result.

Now for a few stories our local news failed to mention: