Letters to the Editor

Entitlement in the press | Federal Way letters

Ah yes, the power of the press. The freedom to speak freely is precious and when used by the press to disseminate truth it shines with eternal goodness. Unfortunately, truth is too often twisted or taken out of context to pander to a political agenda. So comes Mark Knapp, Firearms Attorney/aspiring to be journalist.

Attorneys are notable for bending words to their purpose and Mark is no different. In a hard to follow trail of words, his Oct. 13 piece endeavors to accuse my husband, Skip Priest, of a sense of entitlement. Entitlement specifically to having his posterior kissed by Mark, or others not made clear in the article. This all apparently stems from a casual statement I made to said husband, after reading an article written by the Firearms Attorney/aspiring to be journalist, himself. Kindly allow me to explain the context of the remark.

Over breakfast the other day, I read Mr. Knapp's article regarding domestic violence. He suggested women who had been abused should be offered free lessons in firearms handling for their own protection. The author laced his discussion with references to my husband and his opponent, Jim Ferrell, and his interpretation of how he thought they viewed gun control. The tone was favorable toward Mr. Ferrell — no surprise because Mr. Knapp is a strong Ferrell supporter. His comments toward my husband were veiled slights. I casually remarked to my husband that Knapp had written an article with an interesting point of view, though it was mainly a "kiss a--" puff piece designed to promote Mr. Ferrell.

Soon after that, Mr. Knapp saw my husband at a Kiwanis meeting and asked what he thought of the latest piece. My husband with his usual wry humor repeated my remarks. Apparently offended, Mr. Knapp wrote that he sought the advice of an old Chicago columnist. Afterward, he wrote the Oct. 14 piece, using my words in an effort to debase my husband. This reminded me of a personal experience with journalists long ago.

I worked in the U.S. Senate and was increasingly dealing with reporters and journalists. I was then married to a Washington Post journalist myself, and asked his advice. He told me something that I have never forgotten and which might have been useful in this instance. He said, "You must remember that newspaper journalists and reporters all have the morals of high school boys. If you don't want to get pregnant, keep your mouth shut." And so it would seem, Mr. Knapp.

Trisha Bennett, Federal Way

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