February 13, 2006
The Seattle Times responds ...

... or at least one person posted a comment to this blog today from an IP address on the Seattle Times corporate network. In answer to my post yesterday "It is a clash of civilizations and the Seattle Times is ducking for cover", someone who is reading this blog from the Fairview Fanny wrote:

Freedom of the Press is a two-way street. Actually, it's more of an open street. It doesn't mean the Times has to give you what you want to see. It means they decide what to put in THEIR OWN paper - exactly as The Stranger did. "Ducking for cover"??? Seriously - grow up. It's ironic that the editor provides "no insight" when it's something you disagree with. Bigots who bash decisions made in free speech are the ones who should be "muzzled."
[emphasis added]. The commenter is correct, the Times owners have every right to put in THEIR OWN paper what they see fit. And the rest of us have every right to criticize their decisions. As far as muzzling "Bigots who bash decisions made in free speech", I believe the commenter would be consistent with the American tradition of free speech as long as he's refering to those bigots who bash with threats and violence and not those who "bash" with non-threatening words. But I'm not convinced that that's the position held by the commenter from the Times.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at February 13, 2006 04:00 PM | Email This
1. It figures. One of the hallmarks of lib in general and Seattle libs in particular is an inability to look in the mirror.

They've no problem with bashing certain people, because after all, "Christians can take it". It's easy to look big and strong opposing someone whom you know will respond rationally...or when you have nothing to lose.

The Times and the PI play to their readers just like they accuse Fox News of. They know what the average Starbucks swilling lib wants to read and they print it, end of story. And that libs wants to hear that all the people that made fun of them for not going to church as a kid are closet deviants, law breakers, or otherwise flawed.

Posted by: Steve_dog on February 13, 2006 04:16 PM
2. Stefan, it seems you are following the career path of another muckraker (one who discovers mud) who got into the skin of other politicians and media people.

Last week, Dave Ross had a tough time getting you on the election addresses and now the PI people are having issues.

So, how are you bigoted? I can't figure that out.

I know of one other newspaper that quit their forum because, I believe, the writers and editorial writers didn't like being criticized.

And, I would think, if you are a writer of the PI or Times, you like controversy. It sells paper. You shouldn't want conflict to end. Or, you might end up at the times and going to coctail parties to swap stories with like-minded folks.

I like a little spice in my stew, thank you.

Posted by: swatter on February 13, 2006 04:22 PM
3. In the year 2006, how can people working at a newspaper be so technologically illiterate that they don't understand IP addresses? No way they would have left that comment if they knew you could trace it to the PI.

And what does that even mean, "decisions made in free speech?" A decision not to speak has nothing to do with free speech. It's a decision NOT to invoke a right.

Posted by: brett on February 13, 2006 05:13 PM
4. Uh oh. We're now outing reporters who comment at Sound Politics? Br'er Ward best lay low den.

Of course if it's was just a skeezy copy editor or, worse, an ad salesperson then out away!

Posted by: Reporterward on February 13, 2006 05:13 PM
5. Obviously, you don't understand that only the mainstream media have freedom of the press and expression. If we gave those rights to commoners, how could we spew garbage all day unchecked?

Posted by: Jason Woodruff on February 13, 2006 05:19 PM
6. So freedom of speech " . . .means they decide what to put in THEIR OWN paper". Somehow that sounds awfully self-serving -- as if they make these decisions in some vacuum of social responsiblity. With that attitude, the only readers they'll have left will be on their own staff.

NEWSpapers, as opposed to propaganda rags, have a responsiblity to their readers to make careful, honest, accurate and mature decisions about what to print. And that doesn't just mean policing how offensive the material might be to one group or another. It means weighing that "offense factor" against the value of the information. It means dealing honorably with those you disagree with, and not over-promoting or covering for those you agree with.

Free speech doesn't just belong to the self-muzzled press, you know. We readers have just as much right to it. And it means we can ridicule, pull advertising and drop subsriptions when we're displeased.

Posted by: starboardhelm on February 13, 2006 05:23 PM
7. I think it's rather amusing that people from the Times/PI read this blog. Judging from that comment, they can't be too happy about most of what is written here. I'm sure most of them get a good laugh and we are written off as "right-wing wackos" or some similiar euphemism ;)

Posted by: Palouse on February 13, 2006 05:26 PM
8. We should all cheerfully note that the self censorship policies of newspapers like The PI ensure a long and happy life for Blogs.

The King is dead, long live the King (Blogs).

Posted by: swassociates on February 13, 2006 05:30 PM
9. It seems that the new definition of bigot is "one who disagrees." Disagree with gay rights and you are a bigot, disagree with a Seattle Times editorial decision and you are labeled a bigot. Voters are obviously bigoted as they often disagree with the politicians. Christians are frequently accused of being bigoted. The good news is I seriously doubt if anyone escapes the cry of bigotry.

Posted by: snuffy on February 13, 2006 05:44 PM
10. Did Fancher come crawling out from under his desk in full body-armor to post on your Blog Stefan???
What a courageous journalist!!

The following is from The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics:

Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility. Members of the Society share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the Society's principles and standards of practice.

Seek Truth and Report It:
Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Mike seems to have lost his "courage" testicles!
So has his staff apparently....at least whoever posted on your Blog.
Mike "Castrati" Fancher---
The Journalist with NO BALLS!
How many staff members have "Castrati blood" in them??!
How do they reconcile their yellow-bellied approach with the PROFESSIONAL Journalist Code of Ethics???

Posted by: Mr. Cynical on February 13, 2006 05:55 PM
11. And at the joy of being repetitious, allow me to re-jam this up their a$$es!

They sure don't make reporters like they used to!!!
Fear seems to be the operative word.
Fear of what???????????
Are these reporters afraid of ALL Muslims?
If not, which ones?
How do these reporters identify which Muslims to be afraid of?
Isn't it Racist for reporters to fear Muslims because of the color of their skin and beliefs?
Isn't it criminal for reporters to stereotype?
Shouldn't ALL Reporters be willing to first of all be killed BEFORE they point any fingers???

Gee, it appears these limpd*cks are beginning to understand just how difficult the President's job is!!!! They attack Bush for wiretapping, interrogation methods etc. etc.............

Perhaps Reporters should be the first group to opt out....in other words make a stand that

This is great!

Posted by: Mr. Cynical on February 13, 2006 06:00 PM
12. add on snuffy's comment:

. . . except actual bigots.

Posted by: starboardhelm on February 13, 2006 06:06 PM
13. That obviously came from a member of the Blethen family, the owners of the Seattle Times. (I think I have their name right, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). I think their biggest gripe is that people like me prefer the SP site to the ST site.

Tough cookies. If ST wants more readership, it should expand the point of view it expresses and stop insulting the intelligence of the average reader.

Posted by: BananaLand on February 13, 2006 08:00 PM
14. (only missed by one ;'}

For the benefit of loco-loki:

It's true that the slimes can profess and proclaim their cowardice in front of God and everybody. And equally true that we can deride them for their fecklessness.

Curiously, it's only extremists, leftists and muzzie's, who would presume to choose who to "muzzle".....

Funny how America's liberal democrat is becoming indistinguishable from the ME's "insurgent" (AKA terrorist)....

Posted by: alphabet soup on February 13, 2006 08:34 PM
15. I think it is interesting that these papers think Michael Moron's films are worth seeing for their "insightful" social commentary but bloodthirsty hooligans rise up over some cartoons and all of a sudden it is time to drop down and surgically sew lips to their behinds. Hey, editors of the Times and PI, the reason many of us here no longer subscribe to your "news" papers is because you don't make any attempt to present the whole story and let the readers decide. Contrary to what you may believe, some of us are actually able to make up our own minds after a careful review of the facts. If you are so concerned about being sensitive, drop Horsey, Balter, and Ivens. You certainly have no problem publishing their offensive drivel. And citing your Pulitzer prizes isn't going to impress us. Nelson Mandela got a Nobel prize, even though he ran the economy of South Africa into the ground and let crime rates soar. But, hey, he was in prison for violent crimes, so he must really be a misunderstood good guy. Get a CLUE!! Sheesh!!!

Posted by: Burdabee on February 13, 2006 10:25 PM
16. Freedom of the Press is a two-way street. Actually, it's more of an open street. It doesn't mean the Times has to give you what you want to see. It means they decide what to put in THEIR OWN paper - exactly as The Stranger did. "Ducking for cover"??? Seriously - grow up. It's ironic that the editor provides "no insight" when it's something you disagree with. Bigots who bash decisions made in free speech are the ones who should be "muzzled."

Yes, just as the definition of a racist is someone who's winning an argument with a lib.

I'd like to challenge any member of the mainstream press...if these decisions are merely decisions of a private business, is the shield law therefore merely a perk for a private business? Why should anyone have any interest at all?

I'll wait...

Posted by: South County on February 14, 2006 05:14 AM
17. Ah the paperbloggers showing how thin they are....totally exposed two ways...as cowards and as false reporters of information. They have made this bed and they are laying in it. A hundred years of covering up.

Hardly bigoted to say your a coward and chicken and have cowed to a religion no less!! I always have been told that Christains are going to hijack this whole place by your paperblog. It is what YOU Did Fancher. Good luck Fancher et. al. I am not going to stop them from cutting your throats.

You only have two choices join them (your current choice) or get out of the way while we dig out the world again.

Posted by: Col. Hogan on February 14, 2006 08:35 AM
18. Sounds like another wing nut liberal to me!!

Posted by: Laurie on February 14, 2006 08:37 AM
19. Moral and physical cowardice seem largely to be the new sine qua non's of being a democrat/leftist today.

I will readily listen to someone with whom I disagree, but I refuse to listen to someone whom I cannot respect or whom I hold in contempt. And, the vast majority of the MSM I now hold in great contempt.

Posted by: Cartman on February 14, 2006 02:58 PM
20. Odds are it was Ramsey at the Times. Someday media historians will look back at Cartoongate as the turning point.

Posted by: Organization Man on February 14, 2006 10:07 PM
21. Actually, the policy of "not offending" will have little effect on the content of Seattle Times and other liberal media. A post on Soundpolitics, on February 9, says:

"Managing Editor David Boardman said the newspaper's policy is to avoid publishing material that is hurtful or offensive to certain groups..."

The key words are, "...hurtful or offensive to CERTAIN GROUPS..."

The Certain Groups would be those that have large numbers of psychos who might murder you for disagreeing with them. But they can still publish plenty of hurtful and offensive material about groups that may be offended but whose members would never hurt or intimidate anyone for disagreeing with them.

Posted by: ken on February 15, 2006 09:47 AM
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