March 16, 2009
Seattle P.I. - The Chickens Come Home

Yes, there were numerous factors leading to the death of the Seattle Post Intelligencer. TV with its 24/7 news channels, Al Gore's World Wide Web with free access to newspapers local and national, rising costs, competition from the "P.I in the mirror" Seattle Times all helped doom the paper even in a liberal market like Seattle. When all the reasons are finally cataloged, they should include the Letters to the Editor section in what turns out to be the final Sunday edition (March 15, 2009) of the P.I. It contains a couple of "Good riddance, the P.I. is too liberal for me" letters but it was the lead letter, captioned "Idiots deserve their fate," that caught my eye.

Editor,

So sad to see the P-I winding down. Every day there's less and less to read. But it's so hard to run a business these days, isn't it? What with over taxation, overregulation, extortionist lawsuits, runaway liability expenses, hostile labor unions, it's a miracle any business in King County survives. And the P-I, after all, is only a business.

But wait a minute.

Haven't the editorial pages of your newspaper always been for more taxes, for more business regulation, for more reasons to sue a business, for stronger labor unions, for anything and everything that makes running a business the arduous and thankless chore it has become? Yes, I do believe that's true.

So, maybe, just maybe, you idiots richly deserve the fate that awaits you. The chickens are coming home to roost.

Jeffrey Weiser
Redmond

The New York Times, the Los Angels Times and the Seattle Times should keep their eye on "them chickens, don't ya' think?".

clear fog blog

Posted by warrenpeterson at March 16, 2009 07:53 PM | Email This
Comments
1. Great post, Warren!

Posted by: Tim B. on March 16, 2009 08:25 PM
2. I don't think the newspapers contributed much to public debate of national politics, but state and local is a different matter.

With the demise of the PI and cutbacks at the times, there is an opportunity for a higher profile for blogs, but maybe even moreso for thinktanks like Evergreen Freedom Foundation or Washington Policy center, who are already good at fact-gathering. Neither the blogs or talk radio are really an adequate substitute for what the newspapers did.

Posted by: russell garrard on March 16, 2009 09:22 PM
3. Is there a shred of evidence anywhere that taxation, regulation or lawsuits had anything to do with the P-I's fate?

Posted by: Quincy on March 16, 2009 09:36 PM
4. Is there a shred of evidence anywhere that taxation, regulation or lawsuits had anything to do with the P-I's fate?

Posted by: Quincy on March 16, 2009 09:37 PM
5. @2: With the demise of the PI and cutbacks at the times, there is an opportunity for a higher profile for blogs, but maybe even moreso for thinktanks like Evergreen Freedom Foundation or Washington Policy center, who are already good at fact-gathering.

And partisan truth-twisting. Don't forget about that.

Posted by: demo kid on March 16, 2009 09:42 PM
6. russel garrard.....The local radio, TV, news websites and other various blog sites did and are doing an adequate job for the local issues. In fact, they were and are doing a superior job than the bias newspapers. Plus, with the other electronic sources, you don't have to wait 24 hours and more to receive news and updates. Let's face it...The slow, limited, opinionated and cumbersome print media is no longer competitive.

Posted by: Daniel on March 16, 2009 09:51 PM
7. PI--no tears here;

paper is like a big coffee shop of faux-french-bereted libs discussing politics while sipping fu-fu priced coffee and treats, removed from those who provided the sitting place, the cleaning, the chairs, the toilet cleaning, the workers...

golly-gee--there are a host of REAL small businesses supporting your fat arses as you sit in the detached dream world, writing how things SHOULD BE while those who ACTUALLY MAKE THINGS BE--your vendors and us taxpayers--(by taking risks and busting THEIR arses) provide you your safe, comfy place to think and compose...

sounds like Hollywood actors whining...

Posted by: jimmie howya doin on March 16, 2009 09:59 PM
8. There's your Fairness Doctrine lefties. The P-I masqueraded as an objective news source while continually towing a hard left line. In Fairness, the market responded with its termination.

Posted by: Jeff B. on March 16, 2009 10:09 PM
9. dumbo, we weren't talking about the PI... we were talking about the EFF.

Try and kleep them straight in your pea-brain.... OK?

Posted by: hinton on March 16, 2009 10:15 PM
10. kleep = keep for the dumbos in the crowd.

Posted by: hinton on March 16, 2009 10:19 PM
11. Quincy,

How about you ask Frank Blethen, the publisher of the company that actually PUBLISHED the PI? After all, he wants more tax breaks to stay in business. Seems taxation IS an issue for the paper company...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on March 16, 2009 11:48 PM
12. Hooray for wise Redmond-ites!

Posted by: Michele on March 17, 2009 12:31 AM
13. #11: Yep--just recently the local dailies were whining that they needed a B&O tax cut. Never mind that they don't even pay the highest B&O rate in the state, as service businesses do. Some of us are paying three times the rate they are; and we are having to suck it up and pay it. Times & PI, with much lower B&O rates, claim they need a tax cut to "keep jobs". Hmmmm, looks like they don't believe some of their own political drivel. Revealing, indeed.

Posted by: Michele on March 17, 2009 12:36 AM
14. The Seattle PI never understood that liberals don't read newspapers. They get their "news" from the DailyKOS and John Stewart. Conservatives, who do read newspapers, long ago abandoned papers that were totally one sided with shoddy journalism.

Posted by: Doc-T on March 17, 2009 05:14 AM
15. Limbaugh and FOX have very good numbers.

Funny how that works.

Now whose ideology is dying?

Posted by: joebandmember on March 17, 2009 05:14 AM
16. From: Tim Eyman, the initiative guy

Great minds think alike. This was our email update to our supporters yesterday. This letter by Jeffrey Weiser obviously resonated with alot of people:

RE: Seattle PI folds its tent: irony abounds

The last edition of the Seattle PI is tomorrow's edition. The irony of its demise is crisply expressed by a recently published letter:

So sad to see the P-I winding down. Every day there's less and less to read. But it's so hard to run a business these days, isn't it? What with over taxation, overregulation, extortionist lawsuits, runaway liability expenses, hostile labor unions, it's a miracle any business in King County survives. And the P-I, after all, is only a business.

But wait a minute.

Haven't the editorial pages of your newspaper always been for more taxes, for more business regulation, for more reasons to sue a business, for stronger labor unions, for anything and everything that makes running a business the arduous and thankless chore it has become? Yes, I do believe that's true.

So, maybe, just maybe, you idiots richly deserve the fate that awaits you. The chickens are coming home to roost.

Jeffrey Weiser, Redmond

-- END --

This is truly a masterpiece of bulls-eye commentary. Up to now, I'd not given the end of the PI much interest or thought - to me, it's just another business that's fallen victim to the creative destruction which is our capitalist system. Something better will emerge to take its place. But when the Seattle PI's demise is put in the context of what they've advocated for for so many decades, there is a certain feeling of justice watching this big spider being caught in its own tangled web of liberalism.

Regards, Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, & Mike Fagan, Lower Property Taxes Initiative I-1033 co-sponsors

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

Posted by: Tim Eyman, the initiative guy on March 17, 2009 05:52 AM
17. Demo Kid-

RE: Your comment on partisan truth twisting.

If you don't realize how much "partisan truth twisting" the PI did - and how much that obvious editorial slant lost them business - then you really need to go back to the childrens websites for a few years and grow up.

Simple facts are that polling shows consistantly that Americans have identified that the major media have a noticably liberal bias and their reputation as a respected news source has been on the wain because of this. The most partisan newspapers are pretty consistantly the ones that are losing ground fastest, though all newspapers are paying the price for their loss of respectability and impartiality.

Posted by: johnny on March 17, 2009 05:56 AM
18. Well following the lib type of thought.

Just think of all the trees that will be saved when the PI is gone. (-:

Posted by: Medic/Vet on March 17, 2009 06:36 AM
19. A fine post-mortem on the Post-Intelligencer provided by the letter writer Jeffrey Weiser. Welcome to the 21st century Kool-aid kiddies at the P-I building(horsey,connelley,et al).

Posted by: Rick D. on March 17, 2009 07:07 AM
20. I feel bad for the employees employees of the PI and the demise of SEA being a 2 newspaper town, but the market has decided that the PI did not serve customer needs.

Just like IBM has reinvented itself from the days of big iron and laptop, journalists will develop a new business model that is successful

Posted by: Green Lake Mark on March 17, 2009 07:13 AM
21. Die PI, DIE!
This sad story should be taught in every Journalism school in America; When you ignore, insult, mischaracterize, ridicule, lie about, and demonize 50% of your potential readership, you don't sell enough papers to stay in business.

Posted by: Scott on March 17, 2009 07:18 AM
22. Great posting, Warren. And to Horsey-ass, hope you enjoy Ho Chi Minh City, or wherever you have to go to find a cultural environment compatible with Seattle.

Posted by: Saltherring on March 17, 2009 07:48 AM
23. One of the best letters to the editor I've ever read!

The P-I became terribly predictable. If they ran a story featuring a local entrepreneur nearly every time somewhere in the story would be the mention of his/her same sex partner. It got to the point where it was entirely predictable. It was the P-I's way of thumbing its leftist nose at traditional values.

Similarly every December came the sob stories featuring young women who through some sort of magic I am unfamiliar with "got pregnant". You knew what was in the article before you read it.

The P-I annoyingly banged the liberal drum continuously. Liberals can't help themselves.

They assumed most of their readers were liberals just like them. In the end that was likely true. Liberals tend to forget that there is a great big world out there that doesn't think the way they do. People living outside of Seattle in the "real world" don't want to read endless whiny columns from Joel Connelly about how Republicans spend all their time plotting to destroy the wilderness. I don't know why I kept subscribing. Perhaps out of longtime habit, and occasionally we need something to wrap crab shells in.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on March 17, 2009 08:12 AM
24. When I cancelled my subscription to the Times after they woudn't investigate any of the problems in King County after the 2004 Gov race, I told them that there was a Pulitzer Prize waiting for someone who wanted to be a journalist instead of a puppet of the Democratic party machine. They didn't listen then...maybe they'll figure it out now (but it may be a case of too little, too late)!

Posted by: suzihomemaker on March 17, 2009 08:14 AM
25. Like I said before, the official cause of death of the P-I has been listed as SUICIDE!

Death by thousands of self-inflicted Kuts caused by their fringe lunatic LEFT ideology.
Joel Connelly should be indicted as the main perpetrator in this VAST LEFT-WING CONSPIRACY to kill the P-I!!

Posted by: Mr. Cynical on March 17, 2009 08:21 AM
26. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has asked readers how they can improve the paper. They acknowledged that the overwhelming opinion of readers is that the AJC isn't balanced, and has promised to air/report more stories from a conservative perspective.

I hope it's not too late. I don't want to see newspapers fail that aren't openly hostile, and adversarial to me and my family. I do want them to fail if they are using their platform to work against me.


Posted by: Gary on March 17, 2009 08:34 AM
27. Whoohooo! Another propaganda tool of the socialists bites the dust!!!! Maybe this democracy thing will work after all.

Posted by: Truth on March 17, 2009 08:43 AM
28. Let's not forget to take a shot at Democrats, too. In liberal and Democrat territory of Seattle and King County, any journo or presser who wanted to investigate working of government (read the liberals and Democrats) they were told that yes, they could write the article, but if they did, they would be denied "access".

So, unless a newspaper didn't want access, they had to publish talking points.

Posted by: swatter on March 17, 2009 08:49 AM
29. Gary @ 26: What a refreshing idea...objective news reporting. Better try it Times, or your "Times" will soon be up too.

And great point, suzihomemaker. Washington state's "news" media would rather die than print the truth. Says something about leftists, doesn't it?

Bill C: Agreed on the Seattle media's constant glorification of the sodomite pervert culture.

Posted by: Saltherring on March 17, 2009 08:49 AM
30. @16: But when the Seattle PI's demise is put in the context of what they've advocated for for so many decades, there is a certain feeling of justice watching this big spider being caught in its own tangled web of liberalism.

Just like I'll enjoy it when you start complaining about failing school systems, traffic jams, and the other examples of declining infrastructure caused by your rabid, insane, irresponsible initiatives.

Posted by: demo kid on March 17, 2009 09:22 AM
31. @23: Liberals tend to forget that there is a great big world out there that doesn't think the way they do.

And conservatives forget the same exact thing.

Get off my lawn!

Posted by: demo kid on March 17, 2009 09:23 AM
32. ref #24 suzihomemaker: Interesting that others (at least you anyway) have said the same thing I did to the Seattle Times Telemarketers. I repeatedly told them I would not subscribe due to their lack of investigation of the 04 elections and told them like you did: "There is a pulitzer prize waiting for an investigation of the elections."

Posted by: Robert on March 17, 2009 09:28 AM
33. It pained me this morning to pony up $1.50 to the P-I for a couple of the commemorative issues, perhaps the only time that I've rewarded the leftist fish-wrapper in years.

Funny how the subscription dept. would call - "Would you like to subscribe free to the Times?" After explaining that I dropped it when they were an unapologistic extension of Sims' Senate campaign against Gorton in '94, I would then blow milk out my nose when the followup was "Well, how 'bout the P-I then?"

A newspaper can merely report the facts without injecting bias. When media won't list the party affiliation of the elected assessor/drunk or N.Y.Governor/pervert, but then put above the fold how the Republican boyfriend will not be marrying the Republican daughter of the Republican Governor of Alaska, no wonder Conservatives and/or Republicans feel disenfranchised.

You did it to yourself.

Posted by: yaddacubed on March 17, 2009 09:30 AM
34. @33: A newspaper can merely report the facts without injecting bias.

But that's the problem with each and every SINGLE comment on this page from a right-wingnut. You DON'T want an unbiased news source! You want a far-ring-wing one.

Problem is, radicals like you aren't the majority either. If the Seattle PI had been a paper you enjoyed, it would have sank that much faster.

Posted by: demo kid on March 17, 2009 09:35 AM
35. demo kid, sometimes when people say they just went straight news, they mean it.

I don't know what the fuss is. The paper chose its customer base, and it isn't there in the numbers needed to sustain it. That's business.

I canceled my subscription in 1992 when I could not longer tolerate the editorializing posing as news.

No biggie.

Posted by: Gary on March 17, 2009 09:39 AM
36. Ahhhhh poor Demo fool.
Me thinks he's a tad un-happy. LOL

I see Nancy P is talking about saving the newspapers too. Yeah just throw more money around, till it runs out.
Watch out dem's, 2010 is going to hurt!

Posted by: Medic/Vet on March 17, 2009 09:40 AM
37. @ demo kid..please give us your example of an unbiased news source...

radicals and far-right wingnuts only comment here??...LMAO

I am prolly the farthest right wingnut here and you never hear me comment on hate or intolerance..or calling for the deaths of pols...although i do believe Pelosi needs to be tossed out @ 25,000 feet from our G5's but that falls under the oath the pilots swore to protect and defend constitution....

Too bad PI didnt hold on Pelosi is trying to bailout the hate filled intolerant SFGate/Sanfran Chron..

Posted by: hellpig on March 17, 2009 09:50 AM
38. Medic/Vet--
You are right on about 2010.
Attacking Limbaugh has caused Obama to plummet in his Strong Approval/Strong Disapproval rating.
So what does Gibbs do today??
Attack Limbaugh again.

Check out this FoxNews Article just posting and tell me Obama has his hand firmly on the rudder:

Lawmakers Turn Fire on Obama Administration Over AIG Bonuses
Though President Obama pledged last month to crack down on executive pay for companies that take "exceptional" amounts of federal bail-out money, the administration now seems to be struggling to do anything about the bonuses AIG says it is contractually obligated to pay.

FOXNews.com

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"Though President Obama pledged last month to crack down on executive pay for companies that take "exceptional" amounts of federal bailout money, the administration now seems to be struggling to take action to retrieve the bonuses AIG says it is contractually obligated to pay.

This, despite the fact the government, with its $170 billion in assistance, holds about an 80 percent stake in the company, and just pledged another $30 billion.

"It seems like they are an administration in disarray," House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Tuesday.

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., suggested Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner does not have a handle on the AIG matter.

"We need to find out when these bonuses were approved and more than that, when they were contracted for. And who knew this?" said the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. "Did Secretary Geithner know and look the other way?"

The senator, a harsh critic of the Treasury's bailout program known by its acronym "TARP," or Troubled Assets Relief Program, said members who voted for the program bear some blame, but he put much of the fault at Geithner's feet.

"There's either competence or incompetence going on here, and it looks like a lot of incompetence," Shelby said, adding: "I think this is the tip of the iceberg."

"I think Secretary Geithner does not have his hands around the details of this, and if he does, then there's a lot more questions to be asked," he said.

Shelby, interviewed on CBS' "Early Show," raised the possibility of resignation, saying: "I don't know if he should resign over this. That's up to -- you know, he works for the president of the United States."

Outrage continues to spread through the halls of Congress, as members' offices are inundated with calls from angry constituents. The Federal Reserve as well as the Treasury Department are coming under a harsh spotlight, since both gave taxpayer dollars to AIG (though the majority of the funding came from the Fed).

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was peppered with questions at his daily briefing Monday on why the administration didn't act earlier -- like when it was offering another $30 billion to the company in early March.

Gibbs said, "Based on what I read in the newspaper," the administration learned about the bonuses last week."

Obama learned about the AIG bonuses in the newspaper! Too funny. These KLOWNS are klueless when it comes to leadership.

Posted by: Mr. Cynical on March 17, 2009 09:50 AM
39. @34,

"But that's the problem with each and every SINGLE comment on this page from a right-wingnut."

In your twisted little mind, everyone who doesn't agree lock step with you is a right wing nut.

Reality say differently. The PI couldn't give the market what it wanted. It is a business. If you want the PI, but a subscription and get all your lib friends to pony up. They won't though because liberals don't pay bills just as they don't pay taxes. That doesn't keep the lights on. The PI lost $14 million last year. Perhaps if you liberal crying in your beer would pay up, they'd still be printing your propaganda.


Posted by: pbj on March 17, 2009 09:52 AM
40. Demo says: "But that's the problem with each and every SINGLE comment on this page from a right-wingnut. You DON'T want an unbiased news source! You want a far-ring-wing one."

Demo, that's a load of crap! You sure you didn't work for the PI? I think most of the conservatives here and everywhere in the USA would "settle" for just some balance and honesty.
If anyone familiar with the inner workings of the PI reads this, tell us please; Was there EVER any discussion of making the paper more balanced, less left-wing kool aid drinking, democrap talking points propaganda laced? My guess would be "No". It was probably not even thought of, much less seriously considered. I actually hoped some rich conservative would buy the paper, fire everyone except the press operators and janitors, and start over with real, unbiased, balanced news. But then I realized "this is Seattle...NEVER HAPPEN!"

Posted by: Scott on March 17, 2009 10:03 AM
41. Any business that goes out of its way to deliberately insult half of its potential customer base deserves to fail.

It's that simple.

Posted by: jimg on March 17, 2009 10:04 AM
42. Maybe some "reporters" from the PI can get a job at "The Stranger"....or I'll put one to work this summer mowing my lawn..

Posted by: hellpig on March 17, 2009 10:08 AM
43. The Internet was the predator that hunted the PI to extinction, but in order for it to happen the newspapers had terribly weakened their kind by: 1)ridiculous bias in news stories, for example the way they covered Sarah Palin;

2)complete lack of engaging writing in both news and editorial pages.

It is no accident that when a newspaper employee leaves, they typically do not move on to another writing job, but to a bureaucratic 'media-relations' post for government or politically-connected outfit. See, for example, Alex Fryer, David Postman, David Ammons, etc.

Posted by: travis t on March 17, 2009 10:22 AM
44. "Demo kid" says,

"But that's the problem with each and every SINGLE comment on this page from a right-wingnut. You DON'T want an unbiased news source! You want a far-ring-wing one.
Problem is, radicals like you aren't the majority either. If the Seattle PI had been a paper you enjoyed, it would have sank that much faster."

Well, clearly "demo kid" is young and more than a little wet behind the ears. He's also been brainwashed by the left, probably from the first day his mommy put him in daycare.

He isn't old enough to remember when the P-I reported the news, rather than twist it with the political slant we are familiar with. I expect "Demo Kid" has never heard of Emmett Watson. To him, Royal Brougham is just some street down by Safeco Field. Certainly he's never heard of Doug Welch, the humorist who graced the P-I for many years.

"Demo kid" if he was old enough might actually have enjoyed the old P-I which was filled with interesting columns that didn't constantly beat a political drum. Watson and Welch wrote human interest columns. Welch wrote lovingly of his wife, "green eyes", and fantasized about how he believed the city's water towers walked around at night. Watson's column was full of local tidbits, and anecdotes. Brougham wrote sports columns full of folksy humor, spiced with what he called "pomes". A deeply religious man, Brougham would probably not have found a home at the P-I of the past 30 years.

It's rather sad that the "demo kids" of this world never experienced a more relaxed and humorous Seattle. Sadly, that city has been replaced by a hard, angry "edgy" city that "demo kid" lives in. He's missed a lot.


Posted by: Bill Cruchon on March 17, 2009 10:32 AM
45. " Limbaugh and FOX have very good numbers.
Funny how that works...
Posted by: joebandmember"

This point is maybe the most telling. Limbaugh with all his problems, makes money like a mafioso in this internet age. And he works thru AM radio, a medium that was considered as antiquated and kaput maybe approx 1975. No way it was going to survive with TV and FM stomping it.

Ask yourself, why couldn't the PI pull off what Limbaugh did?

Posted by: travis t on March 17, 2009 10:38 AM
46. The most pathetic aspect of this discussion is that the P-I staffers, along with Gibson/Couric/Williams and everyone else in the leftist MSM do not realize their own bias. They think that they're fair. Even more hilarious are those akin to demo kid that cry about the 'right-wing' ownership of the media, thus ABC/CBS/NBC-GE/WaPo/NYT/LAT/Newsweek/Time-Warner/FOX/Gannett is supposedly right-wing. Take your meds, please.

Posted by: yaddacubed on March 17, 2009 10:58 AM
47. As much as I despise the liberal slant placed on the news by the Slimes and the PI, I think the papers will still fold in the future unless they can really address the challenge of the internet.

That said, insulting and ignoring half your total available market was a sure way to fail even faster!

It is a legitimate question to ask how we will get marginally trustworthy information as the papers continue to fold--making the big assumption that we are getting such information now!

Posted by: iconoclast on March 17, 2009 11:29 AM
48. Exactly, #47. They actually worked in many cases to suppress information. We may actually get more information after they're gone, or reformed.

Posted by: Gary on March 17, 2009 11:32 AM
49. More from Demo Kid; "Just like I'll enjoy it when you start complaining about failing school systems, traffic jams, and the other examples of declining infrastructure caused by your rabid, insane, irresponsible initiatives."

Failing Schools - You mean "public schools". Evil Conservatives KNOW they are failing that's why we don't want to be FORCED to pay for them!

Traffic Jams - How many lanes of I-5 could we have built over, under, around and through Seattle for the cost of the useless and still unfinished Sound Transit?

Declining Infrastructure - If it's worth having, we can build it without help from the Federal Government, who first has to TAKE our money before it GIVES BACK our money.

Posted by: 2010Dreaming on March 17, 2009 11:39 AM
50. Bill @44

Great comments! Having grown up in Seattle (and majoring in journalism in college to boot) your remarks made me remember how Seattle USED to be. Most people in this area were truly "tolerant" in a way that doesn't exist anymore. People, whether they attended an organized church or not, really understood that there is "right" and "wrong". The local papers did a good job with reporting news stories in the main sections and having a wide variety of opinions on the editorial pages. Sad to see how far we've fallen!

Posted by: suzihomemaker on March 17, 2009 11:43 AM
51. Infrastructure? Can't build that anymore for fear of harming Polar Bears. The Left has seen to it that we have strangled ourselves with regulations. None of this infrastructure can be built. How long have they been yapping about the Viaduct?

Posted by: Gary on March 17, 2009 11:45 AM
52. Content content, CONTENT. The PI chose their path, decided to print what happened yesterday after we read it on Drudge and advertisers know it. The Seattle Times will die a slow death too unless they compete in today's world.

Btw, how much classified ad revenue has that peace loving Craigslist pulled away from the papers?

Posted by: buck on March 17, 2009 11:56 AM
53. how much classified ad revenue has that peace loving Craigslist pulled away from the papers?

My guess is tens of billions. Do you remember the ridiculous rates newspapers charged for two little lines of print? I've sold two cars on Craigslist and countless numbers of small ticket items too, and it didn't cost me a dime. That single website is a big reason so many newspapers are going under.

Posted by: Palouse on March 17, 2009 12:10 PM
54. @39: In your twisted little mind, everyone who doesn't agree lock step with you is a right wing nut.

Hardly! But I call them as I see them... and I see a lot of them here.

Posted by: demo kid on March 17, 2009 12:44 PM
55. @44: Welch wrote lovingly of his wife, "green eyes", and fantasized about how he believed the city's water towers walked around at night.

Hard-hitting journalism there, buddy. Seriously, if I wanted a human interest story, I'd watch Oprah or some crap like that. That's not really what I care to read a newspaper for these days.

"Balance" is fine, but whining about how something isn't "balanced" because it doesn't share your close-minded view of the universe doesn't make sense.

Posted by: demo kid on March 17, 2009 12:49 PM
56. #55 "...share your close-minded view of the universe doesn't make sense."

You mean "cents", don't you? So you seem to think that papers should not be balanced... should not reflect conservative views. Fine. But don't complain when they go out of business.

Posted by: Gary on March 17, 2009 01:21 PM
57. Good riddance to the P U

Posted by: Bawney Fwank on March 17, 2009 01:39 PM
58. demo at 54.

Of course you do. That's what you are looking for. Forget the objectivity, go for what you want to see.

I appreciate that you visit though. I enjoy most of your posts. They make me smile.

And if I call it as I see it...You sir/ma'am, are a stereotype.

Posted by: Chris on March 17, 2009 01:49 PM
59. #55, ah yes the "close-minded universe" little talking point so favored by brainwashed leftists.

Sad indeed that "demo kid" is unable to understand my references to the P-I of old. Just a small hint, "demo kid", Douglass Welch was a humorist. You probably also have never heard of Herb Caen, the famed San Francisco Chronicle columnist who performed the same role in that city as Emmett Watson and Doug Welch did in Seattle. San Francisco was a different place back then, too. A beautiful, sophisticated city now turned into a bastion of intolerance, homelessness, and trash by modern leftists.

Of couse "demo kid" has no idea what I'm talking about. I sincerely doubt that he has any sense of history. "Demo kid" is the face of modern liberalism, intolerant, angry, judgemental, and, dare I repeat myself...entirely brainwashed.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on March 17, 2009 02:04 PM
60. RIP PI.

When you were young, you were the watchdog of government, snapping at the heels of all politicians.

As you grew older, you found it easier to become the lapdog of government since it contained more politicians with which you agreed.

Once you reached your advanced age, you became less fast, spry, and agile and you were hit trying to cross the information superhighway.

RIP PI.

Posted by: SouthernRoots on March 17, 2009 02:12 PM
61. Slavery Party Failed Abortion dribbled out:

"Balance" is fine, but whining about how something isn't "balanced" because it doesn't share your close-minded view of the universe doesn't make sense.

Like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity nationally, or Kirby Wilbur and John Carlson locally?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on March 17, 2009 02:45 PM
62. I agree SouthernRoots. The P-I was once a lively, interesting and humorous paper that one looked forward to reading.

My little joust here with "demo kid", who has no idea about the P-I of old, has me ruminating about how different things are now.

I'm not that bloody old, but I remember when the P-I and most every newspaper had bright, interesting writers that wrote columns about the local scene. Watson and Welch were notable locally, but nearly every paper had similar columnists. I haven't seen that in years.

One thing the advent of uptight, politically correct liberalism has done is to ruin our sense of humor. Liberals don't have much of a sense of humor. Social teasing used to be something enjoyable. Don't try it with a liberal, you might end up in court.

Big city urban newspapers, following the new liberal orthodoxy no longer have folksy human interest columns spiced with humor. Those were things we looked forward to reading. A bit of laughter, and sometimes an appreciation of some excellent writing. There is still a vestige of that kind of humor on the sports pages but you can't find it anywhere else. I think that if the P-I was able to connect with people in the way newspapers of old were able to they might have survived. Instead the P-I became a mouthpiece for the left. Humor was confined to Horsey cartoons, which are excellent but rarely poke fun at the left and instead relentlessly spear conservatives. The old P-I poked fun at both sides.

In the past 30 years or so the warmth of those interesting, locally flavored humor filled pieces that Watson, and Welch wrote has disappeared. We readers looked forward to those columns as a brief respite from whatever our troubles were. A bit of daily humor mixed in with a few tidbits of what was happening in the town was something to enjoy every day and a reason to take the paper. It was friendly and homey and connected us together. It was common to hear people say, "hey, did you read Emmett Watson this morning?"

We've lost that now. Thanks a lot, liberals.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on March 17, 2009 02:54 PM
63. Gosh, the loony left isn't holding rallies, parades, or sit-ins to save the paper that "means so much" to them. Oh wait. If they have to pay for it out of their own pockets, forget it. Liberal projects only work if the taxpayers are forced to pay for them (like failing public schools, useless transit projects, and overpriced sports arenas).

I don't expect a decent newspaper to be a 50/50 split on conservative/socialist viewpoints, but I do think more than one side should be presented on a regular basis and front page articles should actually be researched so the information is based on facts, not what the journalist can dream up. I cancelled my subscription to the Times because of these issues and their response was "So what?". We shall see if the closure of the PI serves as a wake up call, but I doubt it.

Posted by: Burdabee on March 17, 2009 02:59 PM
64. Bill, I don't even make jokes in certain situations anymore. Like the office. You never know when some liberal joke Nazi is gonna tell on you. The boss will have no choice but to punish you lest the liberal joke Nazi runs to a lawyer, etc.

They just suck all that is good from every corner of life.


Posted by: Gary on March 17, 2009 02:59 PM
65. You picked up on what I was talking about, Gary.

Our lives are in so many ways less civil and enjoyable thanks to the onslaught of liberal political correctness.

I know who I can kid, and who I can't. The ones I can't are liberals. They are way too tightly wound. If you are old enough there is an amazing irony. Those uptight liberals are the same people that used to say, "wow man, we just want to be free and stuff", in the '60's and '70's. At least that is good for an occasional laugh.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on March 17, 2009 03:16 PM
66. I'm still chuckling about the Pravda-Izvestia headline I saw today that Patty Murray is eulogizing the paper. And well she should, as she and Cantwell can always count on the Seattle media to set the alarm clocks to wake them up to watch and read all the glowing election year stories and features. After November, back to nappy nap.

Posted by: Saltherring on March 17, 2009 03:19 PM
67. Bill C,

Great analysis on leftists and "old Seattle". I, too enjoyed the P-I back in the day. I taught myself to read imagining what Beetle Bailey, Dagwood and the Katsnjammer Kids were saying. Now I stay mostly away from uptight, leftist Seattle. Corrupt politicians, politically correct media and perverted culture have destroyed a once-friendly and welcoming city. I believe the demise of the P-I and other urban media portends the coming disintegration of the corrupt urban culture and lifestyle.

Posted by: Saltherring on March 17, 2009 03:44 PM
68. Demo Kid-

You seem to think that people on this board want an echo chamber for hardcore right wing views. I don't think that's the case.

What we want is real news where there is real news. When it's analysis, we want a cohesive representation of all points of view.

I run a business and I sense so do a lot of people here. We are forced to live in the real world and we know things aren't black and white.

Most of us have developed a point of view over the years from our experiences, and they admittedly do tend to fall on the side of being fiscally and morally conservative.

That doesn't mean we want the news to not report it when a republican is on the take. (We want that - and we also want to hear about it when it's a dem.)

That doesn't mean we want the news to not report dishonest companies. (We just also wish they would be equally as zealous about investigating dishonest or counterproductive government programs.)

In general, we actually like to hear the politicians and views of both sides put to the fire. You will probably find that we are bigger critics of republican politicians than you are.

(A strong statement, but since our critique of our leadership comes based on facts and considered positions and yours seems to come from an idealogical POV that often manifests as kneejerk reactionary hate - I stand behind it.)


Posted by: johnny on March 17, 2009 03:45 PM
69. Even for the sake of argument IF SP is a right-wing echo chamber, why the flying frak does "demo kid" care?

Posted by: Crusader on March 17, 2009 04:15 PM
70. Bill C--"San Francisco was a different place back then"

I agree completely! The first time I went to San Francisco was in 1978. It was a great city then and into the 1980's. By the last time I went there in 2000, there were derelicts all over the street asking for money, the streets were dirty and it was nothing like the city I knew from 20 years before. After the visit in 2000 (I was there for a conference), I have had NO desire to return...

Posted by: Bill H on March 17, 2009 04:33 PM
71. The P.I. was dead when when the J.O.A. went into effect 26 years ago. All that happened after that was that the a zombie P.I. was able to keep running the same destructive business plan as what got it into a position of needing the J.O.A. in the first place with the Times propping it up. And it nearly killed the Times too.

If the P.I. had been allowed to die a proper capitalism death in 1983, the Times would be in better health now (with increased subscriptions heading into this era) and may have learned something from the P.I.'s demise. As it is, the Times is on its knees and ready to sucumb as well after decades of propping up the P.I.

What mystifies me is why didn't the big minds at the P.I. use the J.O.A. to cure what got them into that position and move in a new, different, productive direction? Instead it was business as usual. Incredible.

Can't say I'm sad to see the P.I. go BUT I am sad to see the historical archive that is the P.I. come to an uncertain end. That needs to be preserved.

Posted by: G Jiggy on March 17, 2009 05:33 PM
72. Bill H: SF has been Pelosified. And now the Socialist Sorceress has the power to force the rest of us to to pay for nationwide implementation of her morally bankrupt social engineering programs. We're a lucky bunch, we are...

Posted by: Saltherring on March 17, 2009 06:15 PM
73. "'Balance' is fine, but whining about how something isn't "balanced" because it doesn't share your close-minded view of the universe doesn't make sense." ~ Demo Kid

I'm sure you've voiced that sentiment to your equally close-minded fellow travelers like UpChuck Schumer , UFO abductee Dennis Kucinich, et al and Democrat gasbags like Dancing Queen Davey Ross' good pal Bill Press, that it doesn't "make sense" to whine about AM radio when a liberal bias exists amongst such a large spectrum of our 'information' medium today . Let's be truthful here and admit that liberals have a fascistic bent to their psyche. This would explain why they largely control the 4th estate in this country while bristling at the thought that one very small segment, yet powerfully represented within the industry is "right" dominated due to its large listenership. It's akin to the irrational belief of "if I don't understand it, I must destroy it". The P-I's demise was a long time coming and was done under the free market principles...something Liberals have shown a great aversion to when it doesn't fit neatly within their ideologic paradigm.

Horsey's just gonna have to draw a bridge and get over it.


Posted by: Rick D. on March 17, 2009 06:53 PM
74. Let's see here. Liberals/Congress bemoan the corporate take-over of newspapers by the likes of News Corp (Rupert Murdock). An independent news voice never to be seen again when corporate profits come before truth.

Funny then that Nancy Pelosi now advocates a corporate buy-out to save the San Fran Chronical.

Huh. Imagine that.

Posted by: G Jiggy on March 17, 2009 07:17 PM
75. The P-I simply made a fatal business mistake. They stopped giving their customers what they wanted and instead decided they were smarter than their customers. They were so smart that they decided what their customers wanted.

So the P-I became a very liberal rag that sneered at traditional families, and no longer had local human interest and humor columns.

People want to read a paper with their morning coffee that provides a bit of local humor and interest along with the news. They don't want to wake up in the morning with another dose of made up anger from the left combined with not a pinch of local interest or humor anywhere between the folds other than the comics. The P-I long ago forgot that important element. It's clear now that they knew better.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on March 17, 2009 07:41 PM
76. @75 Bill - I thought Seattlites are flaming lefties who hate traditional families and traditional values. I thought the PI was giving them what they wanted! What happened?

Posted by: Crusader on March 17, 2009 08:31 PM
77. Bill @ #75, I'd have to agree with that assessment Bill. And you know who the #1 sneerer was? Horsey. I continuously marvel at his insulting characterizations. Does he, or the editors know that those are the readers he's insulting on a daily basis? Do they care? Other cartoonists like Ramirez don't resort to those cheap, juvenile shots to make a good political point. Horsey must really dislike the majority of Americans. He was probably generating subscription cancellations faster than sales could sell them - free Sunday or no.

Not strangely, Horsey is going to one of the 20 that will be left to build the web version. Looks to me like the same business plan but in a different medium.

That's a mistake.

Posted by: G Jiggy on March 17, 2009 08:43 PM
78. Shanghai Dan and Michele at 11 and 13: You didn't relly refute what I wrote (Michele, I don't know if you were really trying to.) So Blethen wants a tax break? He wants the estate tax repealed, too and that is not what killed the P-I is it? There were taxes one year ago, two years ago, ten years ago -- whatever -- and the P-I (and Times for that matter) were in business. What has changed? Have taxes gone up? No (not yet anyway.) Have lawsuits against the P-I been rampant? No. Has Western WA become less liberal? No. It must be something else.

Posted by: Quincy on March 17, 2009 09:17 PM
79. Would an autopsy of the P-I 'views'paper death not be complete without Quincy giving his post-mortem commentary?
...of course, Jack Klugman's performace was much more entertaining to watch.

Posted by: Rick D. on March 17, 2009 09:36 PM
80. 77--exactly;

he's not the root cause, but definitely many strands of fiberglass insulation on the collective reader's neck area; it's the content, stupid--to paraphrase a famous one;

keep hammering at most of the decent readers & their values and you'll see the results; top-down gov-mint methods;

WE know what you SHOULD want; damn the circulation #'s--full speed ahead; blame it on advertizing revenues and the evil right-wing economy--but never on failing to give readers what they want;

my biggest fault with any MSM is the selected omissions in reporting and pandering to groups out of fear; give us both sides, do your damn homework & we'll choose; AND we'll buy papers etc to see our choices; lesson lost; tufsky-shytksy; hello buggy whip;

for all their journalistic "knowledge,"--they-- (like the current congressional empowered) forgot business 101 or econ 101--or even common sense 101; stew in yer juices;

Posted by: jimmie howya-doin on March 17, 2009 10:00 PM
81. Quincy,

Apparently the people who actually PUBLISH the newspaper believe that increasing taxes on them will hurt their sales; far be it from me to second guess their own internal finances like you apparently do...

You wanted to know if taxes hurt - well, according to the publisher, they do. I didn't see Blethen asking for increased taxes, or arguing that the Seattle Times and PI should have to collect sales taxes!

And you say you haven't noticed taxes going up; apparently you're NOT a business owner! If you were, you'd see every year the increases in L&I and UI taxation, the increases in property taxes, the increases in fuel taxes (you know it takes fuel to distribute newspapers). Not to mention forced increases of compensation with the State's dictation of what healthcare insurance must cover, etc.

Taxes have steadily increased on all businesses over the last 10 years, and costs have been FORCED to increase via regulation. Only a person ignorant of how a business actually works would ignore these.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on March 17, 2009 11:04 PM
82. An amusing observance I noticed in Horsey's online (is there any other?) column 'drawing power' when he discusses the end of an error that was the P-I viewspaper. One commenter wrote:
274986Posted by unregistered user at 3/17/09 5:13 p.m.
I, too sobbed... with joy.
When you [Horsey] use your platform as a hammer to beat on a perspective you disagree with... day in, day out, year in, year out.... then those sharing the beaten perspective, feeling the brunt of your insults on a regulat basis, really have no reason to buy your rag.
Between you and Connelly, the lack of innovation, the lack of fairness, the lack of anything but a fringe-left agenda... and the idea that all of this can be read for free elsewhere... the outcome was pre-ordained.
Fairness is the key. Holding everyone to the same level of accountability, not just those on the "other side." And that's just a talent you and your paper could not master.
Even tho I worked for the PI many years ago, sadly, I won't miss it. And, as a Pulitzer Prize winner, I'm sure that you'll be able to find work somewhere doing something. But your web site will fail for all of the same reasons.
And that's a shame, because had you been fair; had you been honest, had you treated everyone the same... we might not be discussing this demise.

Someone claiming to be former P-I writer Thomas Shapely shot back:
Posted by unregistered user at 3/17/09 5:32 p.m.
So, David[Horsey], #274986 above whines because you "you use your platform as a hammer to beat on a perspective you disagree with... day in, day out, year in, year out."
Damn right. Hammer you did and hammer you shall. Hammer away at the ignorance, the greed, the dishonesty, the sham, the small-mindedness, the bigotry, the anti-intellectualism.
Hammer away, my old friend. Hammer until it hurts.
Thomas Shapley
a former P-I hammer wielder and proud of it

...and they are still wondering how and why the "real change" newspaper has developed a wider readership than the ideologically fishwrapped product they put out day after day. Too amusing.

Posted by: Rick D. on March 18, 2009 06:54 AM
83. GJiggy,

I too was amazed (but not surprised) by online Pravda-Izvestia's retention of Horsey. Just shows that some just don't "get it".

I hereby raise a glass to the failure of online Pravda-Izvestia!...may it die and rot in the miserable putrefaction of urban leftism!

Posted by: Saltherring on March 18, 2009 06:58 AM
84. Rick D.:....unbelievable! Shapley envisions himself and Horsey as "Caped Crusaders", brandishing their glimmering swords in the never ending battle against....journalistic integrity???

Well, Shapley, you lost the battle (printed Pravda-Izvestia is dead) and are soon to lose the war....as the MSM continues to lose credibility and audience. Drop your sword and Rest in Torment, idiot...

Posted by: Saltherring on March 18, 2009 07:13 AM
85. Saltherring: Yup, I guess the quixotic adventures of David Horsey and other P-I ideologues like Shapely will carry forth stubbornly in the face of reality and good common sense.

Posted by: Rick D. on March 18, 2009 07:45 AM
86. Crusader @ #75 says, "Bill - I thought Seattlites are flaming lefties who hate traditional families and traditional values. I thought the PI was giving them what they wanted! What happened?"

You might read some of my earlier posts here on the topic, Crusader.

Yes, the P-I tried to cater to the far left that now makes up the majority of the population of Seattle. Liberals have a habit of assuming that everyone thinks the way they do. The rest of us are either greedy evil capitalists, or gun toting toothless rural rubes.

I say it again and again. Liberals simply have no understanding of the people who don't accept their beliefs.

There are plenty of factors that led to the demise of the P-I. The advent of the internet, no doubt. Certainly the Times relentless campaign to destroy it, including its decision to become a morning paper.

But the P-I, staffed with liberals, killed itself by assuming all its readers were liberals. Liberals do that all the time. It's group-think. Liberals tend to snub anyone who is not a liberal. The don't have conservative friends. The hate members of their families that are conservatives. They vacation in liberal countries. It always amuses me when liberal posters here on Sound Politics very predictably accuse conservatives of having a "narrow world view". They really haven't a clue.

Liberals ran the P-I. They didn't attempt to reach a broad readership. Instead they bent farther to the left as the years went by. It never occurs to liberals that conservatives eventually get tired of being hit over the head with constant liberal propaganda. Young journalists also have lost the folksy humor that once made newspapers more than just a way to catch up on the news. As I posted before, the warm, sometimes teasing human interest columns vanished long ago. No one ever bought the P-I because they just couldn't wait to read the next column from Joel Connelly. The young smarties that ran the P-I never figured that out. If you are going to have a successful newspaper, particularly in this day and age, you have to give people something they want. A couple of interesting columnists from the old school could have accomplished this.

I don't expect the young folks who read this to comprehend what I am talking about. We've lost something culturally over the years that I think you have to be older to remember. There was a common warmth, a friendliness, a sense of humor that most people used to share. The papers reflected that. They were more chatty, they didn't have that nauseating "we are smarter than you" liberal attitude. When you read a column in the old P-I,(or the Times), you felt as if it could have been written by your next door neighbor. I don't know how else to explain it.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on March 18, 2009 08:01 AM
87. I'd laugh if it was the estate tax that ended up killing off the other Seattle paper. Maybe that would finally get the libs to do something about the most b.s. tax in existence. I'll never even qualify for it, but death is not a taxable event.

Posted by: Palouse on March 18, 2009 08:27 AM
88. Great analysis, Bill C. Another facet in Pravda-Izvestia's demise is the obvious bias by means of omission. And never was this more evident than the 2008 presidential campaign, when major flaws in candidate Obama's character and resume were totally ignored by the P-I and MSM in general. Failure to print stories calling attention to Obama's radical associations and political extremism seriously compromised what remained of the P-I's objectivity and credibility.

Another glaring example was the complete pass Pravda-Izvestia has given Governor Gregoire. Imagine if a Republican governor had signed legislation exempting tribal casinos from gaming taxes and then accepted huge campaign contributions from those same tribes? Or if a Republican governor had forced state workers to pay dues to public employee unions and then accepted large campaign contributions from those unions? Or Gregoire's hollow denial of projected shortfalls in 2009 state budget projections. If Republicans were guilty of these, blood and ink would still be flowing.

Folks in this day and age are too well informed to buy into the P-I's outrageous duplicity. When hard earned dollars are spent on newsprint, consumers want truth, not lies and unabashed cheerleading.

Posted by: Saltherring on March 18, 2009 08:44 AM
89. @86 Bill - however what you are saying is that the print PI died because the liberal readers left it for other sources, not because the tiny minority of conservatives left. Are you implying the liberals left it because they were not as far left as the PI staff, or for other non-ideological reasons?

Posted by: Crusader on March 18, 2009 09:08 AM
90. Crusader, you clearly have not read my posts here thoroughly. Please at least give me the courtesy of having done so before making posts such as you have at #89, or #86.

The P-I died for lots of reasons. Some of them can be related to their embrace of the far left. Some certainly had to do with new media outlets, particularly the internet. The world is always changing and perhaps ultimately the print media is a dinosaur.

Much can, I believe, be related to their failure to give folks something they really wanted to read every morning with their coffee. I've tried to explain here what that was about but I do fear that younger people simply aren't able to understand. I am attempting to describe a world that existed long before they were born. I think even liberals don't want to get up every day and read nothing but the doom and gloom that flows relentlessly from the keyboards of leftists. In order for a newspaper to survive people have to want to read it. It's the newspaper's job to give them something they want to read. Like so many businesses the P-I forgot that, or perhaps the young college trained liberal "journalists" who were so much smarter than the public simply hadn't a clue about how the real world works. I reckon so.

I've talked a lot here about something we've lost as a community. We've lost connection to each other. We've lost our sense of enjoyment. We've lost our humor. That's what happens when the left becomes dominant. That's why the P-I no longer had funny, interesting local columnists. Liberals look down their snooty noses at such things.

I think perhaps that's why leftists are unable to understand Rush Limbaugh. They are unable to understand Limbaugh's humor, because the ability to fathom humor has been beaten out of them by political correctness.

Horsey, who is a brilliant cartoonist once poked fun at not only at conservatives, but at liberals as well. Nobody can draw a Seattle liberal as well as David Horsey. But he quit needling liberals as the P-I grew ever more left along with the city. Had Horsey and the rest of the P-I staff realized that they might be able to play to a wider audience and learn something from the past the paper could perhaps have survived.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on March 18, 2009 11:33 AM
91. Shanghai Dan @ 81 - Fair enough on the L&I and UI (I think) but my point remains. I can't imagine the resulting increase in labor costs are what brought down the paper. I'd say more but the Daily Show is on and I am contractually required by my agreement with AIG to watch.
- Quincy M.E.

Posted by: Quincy on March 18, 2009 10:49 PM
92. I found a "free" Seattle Times in my driveway yesterday. I thought it was a Tacoma News Tribune, that's how pathetic it was...
Anyway it went directly into my recycle bin...never made it into the house. Hopefully the Times will go down next. Then the "Stranger" will be Seattle's newspaper of record...how appropriate.

Posted by: scott on March 19, 2009 09:37 AM
93. Wow, I just had an idea. Some conservative group should really study the reasons for the collapse of the PI, and try to SPREAD IT to other things like Television, Movies, Music, Magazines, and yes even Politics.
The left has voted with it's dollars to shut the PI down. It wasn't due to any conservative pressure since we checked out long before the PI started having trouble.
So the question is; how do we get the same lack of monetary support to happen in these other sectors?

Posted by: scott on March 19, 2009 11:00 AM
94. Good post, your post could really help me in my work. Hopefully this will help increase my traffic more. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Simonn on March 21, 2009 05:44 PM
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