Good afternoon, Netizens…
Like a mother hen doting over her hatchlings fresh from the eggshell, I have sat and contemplated how to speak up about a series of comments about the Cowles, who own this newspaper, blog and numerous other investments throughout the Spokane area. I admit to myself at times, and to very close personal friends occasionally that in the past I have muttered as many deprecations about their business dealings as some who have risen over the past few years to bring allegations of criminal activity to the fore.
I even admit that once upon a time, I was face-to-face with Doug Floyd in the parking lot across the street from what is now the Civic Auditorium arguing with him over River Park Square and I was angry enough I nearly uncoiled a roundhouse shot to his jaw. However, being by nature a sensible man, I cooled down and over the years, have come to both respect and admire him as what a true journalist could and should be. I still do not like the manner in which the public was fleeced over the financing of River Park Square, but even that has faded over time.
What is the most-troubling aspect of this long-winded discussion about the Cowles is that of all those who have marched at the forefront of the fray using entire blogs and various other Internet devices, have never once considered all the good that the Spokesman-Review has done for Spokane.
Unfortunately, an innocent person died in a tragic fall from the River Park Square Parking Garage, and that seems to be the wedge, in the form of a manslaughter charge, which is being levied against the Cowles family. My only question, one which bothers me more than a great deal is, if that charge is to be given any credibility, where is the Grand Jury indictment? As I am aware, there is currently a Grand Jury seated and hearing various cases in Spokane, and although reading a list of the cases they are hearing is all but impossible to obtain, I am certain any investigation of these charges against the Cowles by a Grand Jury would ignite public comment, and be damned what the Grand Jury says.
Over the last year, a lot of highly-respected newspapers have simply dropped off the map in these hard economic times, and the erosion of the power of journalism is far from over, I fear. A considerable number of good journalists have already been laid off right here in Spokane. I also feel we are fortunate to still have a newspaper in Spokane, and proud of Jeanie and my own limited efforts to support journalism as we have both know it to be throughout most of our adult lives.
I will close with if anyone wants to take on Betsy or Stacey Cowles for their perceived faults, I cannot stop you. However, I will not sit idly by while the entire newspaper staff, some of whom I consider to be worthy of being called “good journalists”, are disparaged with the same red paint brush.