The Seattle Times, November 22, 1983

 

SUBJECTIVE REPORTING PRESENTED AS FACT

 

Editor, The Times:

I am disturbed, very disturbed by something I see happening here in Seattle and in other parts of our country recently. In The Times (Nov. I3), the Emmett Murray bylined story “Fears and Hopes of a Revolution” was featured on the front page. Your positioning of the article and the nature of your presentation led me to believe that I would be reading a straightforward news article about the conflict in Nicaragua from someone who had actually been there. Instead, what I read was a highly biased account by an individual who was there, all right, but who seems to have deliberately closed his eyes to the circumstances in which he found himself.

 I object to The Seattle Times headlining his editorializing as objective news reporting. I think the clincher that reveals Emmett’s true colors is his statement that, “... they seemed to have no problem making the distinction between the U.S. government and the American people.”

I grew up in Europe and have traveled extensively throughout the East Bloc countries. I have been present at official functions and heard the official versions of events that took place. I also have sat in small bistros in the back streets of Budapest and other cities talking with the natives when they were sure they were not being overheard by persons in authority. The story always is the same: Over there a difference between the government and those governed really exists. But in West Germany, in France, in western Europe in general, this simply is not the case. There as here in our own country, we the people are the government. That is why a man who must remain nameless confided to me in Budapest that “...when we rise up this time, we know President Reagan will help us!”

There seems to be a concerted attempt to distort the true picture being presented to the American public by newspaper and television alike. Over and over one hears that there really is no difference between the Soviet govern­ment and ours. I am sick and tired of the distortions.

Poll after poll has shown that Americans generally are solidly behind President Reagan and his actions m Grenada. I believe a similar response would be forthcoming if the press would tell it like it is in Nicaragua. We the people have given you the right to express yourselves in print almost without restriction. In return, you owe us the truth!

—R.G. Williscroft

341 112th Ave S.E., Bellevue