October 01, 2012
Are Leftwing Journalists Conspiring Against The McKenna Campaign?
Please note that I begin with a question, not a statement. I do that because
I heard a remarkable story on public radio, but can not verify it, easily.
Some background first, for those who do not follow Washington state politics:
Republicans last elected a governor of Washington state in 1980. (Many Republicans,
including me, would say that we won in 2004, but got cheated in the recounts.)
This year, the Republicans have a strong candidate in
our brilliant attorney general, who has been elected twice, state wide. Early polls gave
McKenna the lead; more recent ones, like
have given a narrow lead to his opponent, former congressman Jay Inslee.
So in the next month, we can expect a very tough election race here in Washington
state. And, sadly, we can expect many of our "mainstream" journalists to join in on the
Ten days ago, KUOW's Gang of Four
were discussing the gubernatorial race. The usual panel was there, KUOW host Steve
Scher, former Seattle Weekly editor Knute Berger, Seattle Times assistant
political editor Joni Balter, and the associate editor of the Stranger, Eli Sanders.
At 28 minutes and 40 seconds into the program, Sanders told us this story:
Sanders: Another interesting thing on the Mckenna campaign and its,
you know, perception among voters and its perception in the media. I think it was this
week or late last week, they cancelled this rolling weekly conference call that they were doing
with reporters I think because they hoped it would get their message out.
Now certain reporters were allowed on the call, others were not. No one from
the Stranger was ever allowed on the call. But they stopped doing it and
I believe they told the Seattle Times it was not working.
Scher: It seemed like there were too many Inslee talking points in the
Sanders: But this is a win for the Inslee campaign. They
essentially used McKenna's own conference call as an opportunity for themselves to hold a
press conference. You know, they knew when the calls were happening.
And they would talk to the reporters who were going to be on the call and say:
"Hey, maybe you should ask them about this. What about that?" And
then right after the calls, sometimes they would release, you know, statements and it's, you
know, it was a mistake on the part of the McKenna campaign to even do this in the first
place. And it was interesting to see them so openly conceding that.
Note please, that these unnamed journalists were, according to Sanders, systematically
coordinating with the Inslee campaign.
There were three other journalists there besides Sanders. None of them, not
Scher, not Berger, not Balter, said anything disapproving about this story. It would be
wrong to infer from their silence that they approve of this concerted attack on the
McKenna campaign by journalists; it would not be wrong to say that they are willing to
tolerate the attack.
Is the story true? Probably, in my opinion. It is consistent with the
one thing known publicly, that the McKenna campaign did cancel that weekly
On the same day of that Weekday program, Gallup released their finding that
distrust of the media
had hit a new high.
Cross posted at
Jim Miller on Politics.
(You should be able to find the MP3 file at the KUOW site.
The name of the file that I downloaded is: WeekdayB20120921.mp3. Most
likely the name is still the same in their archives.
Note: In the interest of readability, I cleaned up the transcript slightly, eliminating some of the
cross talk, repetitions, and "uhs".
The grade for that Weekday program is 0.0. There was no attempt by anyone on the
panel at partisan or ideological balance.)
Posted by Jim Miller at October 01, 2012
12:39 PM | Email This
Did Sanders say "systematically coordinating" or are you putting those words into his mouth? Because reporters getting question ideas -- or story ideas -- from involved and biased parties can be common and reasonable. It really depends on the questions -- challenging questions are good, loaded "questions" that are just trying to make a point are bad, and likewise softball questions to either side are bad.
I do share your wish that KUOW's Gang of Four offered more political diversity and real debate. But it's not clear what they did wrong here.
@1 Bruce, Sanders did not use the exact and specific phrase systematically coordinating
, but in his description of events, he described a process that equates to a systematic coordination.
Your highlightinh of that phrase is a distinction without a difference.
3. @1 Bruce, Sanders did not use the exact and specific phrase systematically coordinating, but in his description of events, he described a process that equates to a systematic coordination.
No he didn't. Sanders described a process where political reporters talk to operatives from both campaigns. Those operatives attempt to spin the story by suggesting things reporters might want to look into. SOP for both sides.
If McKenna wants to be governor, he's going to have to learn to deal with hostile reports instead of being such a crybaby. He could start by not trying to control who gets to cover his press events.
4. If McKenna wants to be governor, he's going to have to learn to deal with hostile reports instead of being such a crybaby. He could start by not trying to control who gets to cover his press events.
OT (sorta) response - Just like Obama/Biden and Fox News?
5. Interesting take Scottd. Why is it that we never see any of the local media asking Jay Inslee about how he took all of his surplus campaign cash from his last failed Governors campaign and gave it to his wife and relatives? Would he do it again if he loses this time? Will they ask him why his "expertise " in Energy policy is not being acted on by the Obama Administration? Why wasn't Jay appointed to head the Department of Energy or any other position of importance within the Renewable Energy effort? Will they ask Jay how his $14.00 royalty check for Apollos Fire last year might be an indication of the quality of his work?
All great points Smokie.
Look, the press is in the tank for Demorats and that's that. Been that way since I was a Demorat voter (nevermore). It's not going to change and certainly not change at KOUW. For McKenna to think that lousy liberals across the spectrum will be fair and impartial is foolish in the extreme. He got the liberal Commie treatment by walking right into it.
He needs to craft his message outside these felonious little scum bags. Reagan did it, so can McKenna.
The only thing they did wrong here is mislead viewers/listeners that they were being objective. Most of all of those dudes are committed to electing Inslee any way they can,
Nothing new here - just look at what the Obama campaign has done and tried to get away with, and Inslee is merely emulating them with their bogus claims and the straw-men he creates in this and other ads or hit pieces - fact checkers be damned ! I hope that Rob McKenna repudiates these ads with the facts and throw some true charges back at Jay Inslee. I think McKenna can take care of business.
8. Of course the liberal press is siding with the wet noodle Inslee. He has a (D) next to his name!
Seattle journalists are fully aware that they are all at risk of having their gig go the way of the PI. They also know that their personal plan B is probably working as a PR specialist for a government agency. A bunch of former PI reporters now do this for a living. Former PI columnist Tom Shapley is PR guy for DSHS, ex-PI reporter Hector Castro is PR guy for the Dept of L&I, etc.
They also know that the chances of them and their friends getting such a gig is much better with a Democrat gov.
Unfortunately, it looks like this ploy is working somewhat. The latest Survey USA poll that polled 523 voters had Inslee up 48-42 percent with a 4.5 +/- error. The last poll in August had Inslee +5.
Inslee is perceived as more friendly by a 14% margin, when he is not being blatantly dishonest in his ads.
"Are Leftwing Journalists Conspiring Against The McKenna Campaign?"
Yes, of course they are. Journalists overwhelmingly support progressives and left-leaning Democrats. That's not exactly a state secret either, just like King County Elections and its vote-counting priorities.
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