KXLY Responsibility in Journalism Petition

An open letter from Robert Peck to the greater Spokane community. Originally distributed via email list.

On Thursday, July 17, Spokane’s KXLY television news aired a blatantly defamatory story about Washington State Representative, Matt Shea (click here to view the story). You may have already read the article that I published exposing KXLY’s slanderous attack on a sitting representative of the people of the State of Washington.

This is not just about Representative Shea. Though Matt Shea is one of the few overtly God honoring, Constitution upholding champions of liberty currently serving in public office, the practice of character assassination by media insinuation without the benefit of trial, is a despicable act that must be opposed whatever the victim’s political views. Those who wear the title of “media” hold a certain public trust. The story aired by KXLY violated that trust.

I encourage you to sign the “KXLY Responsibility in Journalism” petition. Then, send a message to KXLY at info@kxly.com or call (509) 324-4000 asking that the station repudiate this slanderous, politically charged story and return to the standards of journalistic integrity. If you like, you can use the sample message below.

I may not be able to fight every injustice, but when something this egregious comes right into my own living room, I have to stand up and say something.

This is an opportunity to do something for the good of our community by encouraging KXLY, and indeed, every media outlet in our region, to act responsibly.

Circulate this message and the petition to all who share your values or care about responsible reporting by local media.

I especially call on religious, political and public service organizations to inform your supporters of this matter and encourage them to sign the petition. It is our duty to help safeguard the citizens of our community from those who would exercise power irresponsibly.

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

(Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

Robert W. Peck

Sample Message to KXLY

On Thursday, July 17, the KXLY Six O’clock news carried a blatantly defamatory story attacking an elected representative of the people of the State of Washington, State Representative, Matt Shea. The story was a disgrace to the ethical standards of journalism and constituted an act of public character assassination by media insinuation without the benefit of trial.

The story was based on a citizen’s report to police of a conversation overheard in a restaurant which he misunderstood and thought to be some sort of plotting of terrorist activity. Your own story admitted that both the police and FBI investigated the matter and found the citizen’s concerns to be unfounded. Yet that did not stop your station from using this baseless insinuation as a pretext for launching into a political hit piece clearly calculated to cast aspersions on the character of a candidate for public office which your station obviously opposes and seeks to defame.

Those who bear the title of “media” hold a certain public trust in a community. Your story on July 17 betrayed that trust. For the sake of the citizens of my community, I call on KXLY to repudiate the slanderous attack on Representative Shea and to adopt standards of journalistic integrity that will not allow your station, or the trust that it holds with the citizens of the community, to again be used as a tool for political retribution.


3 thoughts on “KXLY Responsibility in Journalism Petition

  1. Karen Rawlins

    Sent an email of this sample letter to kxly in response to your request. Thanks Bob for your hard work for the LIGHT

  2. I sent a letter to all involved right after that story aired; many of the points I raised are contained in your article, Bob.
    Of course, not a single soul saw fit to reply to my letter.

    1. Surprisingly, I did get a response to the email that I sent to KXLY. Not surprisingly, they simply stood by the story they had published and contended that it’s their policy to cover stories when an elected official appears in a police report.

      I don’t expect KXLY to change their policy just because they get a few calls and emails. However, if even 1-2% of the folks who go to church on Sunday were to send KXLY a message and sign the petition, then we would get their attention and even if they still didn’t change their policy, it would send a message to other members of the media in the area. If similar conduct by the media (print, radio, TV) were confronted a couple times per year and eventually as much as 10% of church goers signed petitions and 1-2% even showed up at a public meeting on the matter, then the believers in the community would shake things up and begin to convince a some media outlets to change their policies.

      My bottom line is that it is the duty of the church to be “the light of the world” (Matt 5:14-16) and to put that light on a lamp stand so men can see. If the church doesn’t stand up and declare right and wrong, truth and error, good an evil, what is just and what is unjust, then there’s no way our community and culture can know right from wrong or see where they’re going because there’s no light.

      If the church in the community would address some social issues, justice issues, some media issues, some city hall issues, etc, then the community would have a chance to choose the right path – not that they would, but they would at least have the chance if the church were doing its duty. I’m just looking for a way to make that happen.

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