Sunday, April 09, 2006

Seattle Times takes rhetorical lessons from George Bush

The Seattle Times has gotten something stuck in their collective craw. After the Capitol Hill murders by Kyle Huff, the Times has been pushing for amendments to the city's teen dance ordinance. Ostensibly this is because a couple of the victims were under 18 year's old. Facts:
  • The teens along with other people in the house where the slaying took place attended a rave earlier in the evening.
  • The rave was a highly publicized event.
  • The rave was by all accounts well policed - 19 security guards on hand.
  • The killings took place in a house near the rave hours after the dance party closed down.
For some reason, the Times, while acknowledging these facts, still is pushing for changes in the teen dance laws, as if they had some direct relevance to the situation. I suspect that that Times is just trying to rally the community about issues with the ordinance that they have had for a while. Most likely, they also feel the need to "act" in the face of such a tragedy when in fact no city law would have prevented the deaths of 2 teenage girls. Kids will stay out late at night, past hours, and some times end up in dangerous situations. The Times, in essence, is grasping at straws and directing it's anger at the wrong target. What follows is a letter to the editor that I just fired off. If they print it (online or in the paper), they will most likely edit it for brevity.
"No one has suggested that the recent killings on Capitol Hill were connected to the rave that the victims and the killer attended the night before." - Sharon Pian Chan, Seattle Times, Friday, April 07, 2006 in the article "Initially hailed, city dance law doesn't mean much these days"

"There is no suggestion that the rave culture is a factor in Huff's actions, but the tragedy has heightened community interest in the underground music scene." - Mike Fancher, Seattle Times, Sunday, April 02, 2006 in the column "Grieving communities have need to understand"

"In the mix is the city's all-ages dance ordinance, which must be thoroughly re-examined and re-tooled." - Seattle Times Editorial, March 29, 2006 headlined "Protect teens with new dance rules"

"Still, teen dance rules in our city must be thoroughly reviewed to see if they go far enough to protect young people." - Seattle Times Editorial, March 27, 2006 headlined "Soul-searching after Capitol Hill tragedy"

"First-just if I might correct a misperception, I don't think we ever said, at least I know I didn't say that there was a direct connection between September 11th and Saddam Hussein." - President George Bush, Monday, March 20, 2006 in a speech in Cleveland

Is the Seattle Times taking rhetoric lessons from our President? For an organization that acknowledges no connection between the Capitol Hill slayings and Seattle's teen dance ordinance, the paper is sure beating the drums of war against the law.

If the Seattle Times wishes to pass legislation governing something with direct relevance to the Huff killings, I'd suggest rules governing house parties instead. But that wouldn't fly and they know that, so instead they are going after teens (few of whom buy the paper) and making indirect connections just like the administration did leading up to Iraq.

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