Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Pittsburgh Presbytery meeting at Bower Hill: C. The KDKA conversation

At the meeting of Pittsburgh Presbytery on February 8, 2007 at the Bower Hill Community Church, Pastor Jim Mead reported on an upcoming conversation between representatives of Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Presbytery, and KDKA. Christian Associates had written a letter to KDKA asking for a conversation with KDKA about the Marty Griffin incident that led to the suicide of pastor Brent Dugan. (The local media had stories about this request for a meeting in the Post-Gazette here and in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review here.)

The meeting happened yesterday, February 20, but the outcome of the meeting is unclear because of separate statements issued by Christian Associates and KDKA. (Compare yesterday's report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review with today's report in the Post-Gazette.)

I wish for more clarity about what was accomplished in yesterday's conversation. The original incident has left a very bad taste in my mouth. So bad that a couple of weeks ago when a program I was watching ended, the station identification that told me I was on KDKA was enough to get me to stand up and change the channel.

I don't support boycotts as a rule, and I certainly don't recommend that anyone follow my example, but KDKA has a double burden to overcome with me. The first burden is to convince me that they understand the impact of what they did in paying an investigative reporter to set up a pastor. The second burden is to convince me that their news department has a genuine nose for news. I don't like how I feel, but even when I set my emotions aside as best I can, I am left with the sense that I stand a better chance of hearing actual newsworthy news on any other local station than on KDKA.

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