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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 15, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 28
Arts & Entertainment
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Letters

KING-5 IGNORES PRIDE, MAN FIGHTS TO FIND OUT WHY

Congratulations, SGN Editor-in-Chief George Bakan, on being the Grand Marshal in this year's Gay Pride Parade! It was an absolutely perfect day weather-wise, as it was warm as well as bright and sunny, which is sometimes rare here in Seattle. So obviously God/Mother Nature must love her Gay children!

There must have been thousands and thousands of people lining both sides of 4th Avenue along the parade route to watch the biggest and longest parade held annually here in Seattle, if not the whole Pacific Northwest!

It was a very exciting day for me, too, as a young man who was alone asked me if I would mind if he walked with me up to the Seattle Center where the parade ended. Of course I didn't mind having a nice young man, 30 years my junior, walking along with me. We had stimulating conversation which ranged from politics to healthy eating and living. And once we arrived at the PrideFest at the Center, he took my picture standing next to Mr. Healthy Penis from the Gay City Health Project. I thought 'How appropriate,' for he didn't even know who I was or all of my interests!

When I came home, I turned on the television to watch the national news from 6-6:30 on KING-5 TV, as I do every evening while making and eating dinner. Their lead story was the New York City Gay Pride Parade, and same-sex marriage becoming legal in New York state. Then I watched the local news on KING-5 TV from 6:30-7.

I was very surprised, disappointed, and let down, since KING-5 had absolutely no mention whatsoever about the Seattle Gay Pride Parade and celebration for equality. And this is the television station that advertises itself as '#1 in western Washington' with 'Coverage you can count on.'

Well, folks, actions speak louder than words! I called Channel 5 KING TV on Monday morning and asked to speak to the news director. I was transferred to the office of a Mark Ginther, who was unavailable, so I left a message on his voice mail. I left my name and telephone number clearly and distinctly as requested. I politely informed him that KING-5 had been my favorite TV station for the past 30 years, since moving to Seattle. I also informed him exactly how I felt about the omission of the biggest and longest parade for the past 38 years in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest for equality, and asked what the reason was for not including the big event on the evening news. There seemed to have been plenty of time, as the weather report was given twice, and there were a couple of other uninteresting fluff items. And I asked whether homophobia at KING-5 might be the cause.

Consequently, when I came home in the afternoon, I found a message on my phone from the rapidly speaking (perhaps nervous) Mark Ginther, who said he 'really appreciated' my call and assured me that it was an oversight and that he spoke to the producer and manager as to why they made that mistake. There was no apology, per se, nor did I find out the cause of the oversight, so I can have only my suspicions.

Although this 77-year-old does not have the time or energy to picket or boycott KING-5 Studios on Dexter Avenue North, I certainly can and will avoid purchasing products of their advertisers, who ultimately pay their salaries!

John Mark

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