October 22, 2012
The Seattle Times Is Buying Ads In The Seattle Times
Nothing new about that, you may think, since newspapers routinely
run ads for themselves, describing the wonderful things you can read in their
But this is different, since our local monopoly newspaper is
The Seattle Times Co. purchased a full-page ad in Wednesday's newspaper supporting
Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna.
The ad is part of an independent-expenditure campaign with no coordination between
the paper and the campaign, according to a statement from The Seattle Times. The ad
appears on page B6 and says McKenna is a "choice that will make us all proud" and praises
the candidate's time as Washington state's attorney general. The advertisement states
that "no candidate authorized this ad. It is paid for by The Seattle Times Company."
. . .
The company will also run a similar campaign supporting Referendum 74, which would legalize
same-sex marriage. Fisco said that the two campaigns are a "a business decision that
is completely separate from journalism functions of the newspaper. The ads will be
clearly identified as ads and there is no intersection between the advertising and our
editorial commentary or news reporting."
As you may already have guessed, many journalists at the Times are
about the decision.
More than 100 reporters, photographers, designers and other staffers signed a letter
protesting The Seattle Times Co.'s decision to support the campaigns of Republican gubernatorial
candidate Rob McKenna and a gay marriage referendum.
. . .
In the letter, the staffers said the ad campaign threatens to compromise the newsroom's
integrity, pointing out the newspaper company has now become a top contributor to
McKenna's campaign by running the ad.
Executive editor David Boardman says the newspaper has just as much integrity as it
On that, he and I mostly agree, although we arrive at that conclusion by different
paths. (Mostly, because, among other things, the newspaper has never recovered
from losing Mindy Cameron as editorial page editor.)
As someone who supports free speech — even for news corporations —
I have no objection to these ads.
But I do think that the journalists at the Times, from Boardman on down, are missing
the obvious: Many readers gave up trusting them years
ago. (For some recent evidence, they could take a look at these
Cross posted at
Jim Miller on Politics.
Posted by Jim Miller at October 22, 2012
12:59 PM | Email This
I'm with you, don't know what the big deal about this was. The editors/journalists wanted a monopoly on opinion within those pages, well guess what, they don't own the pages. Good for the owners on reminding them who does.
My guess is that this is all about the estate tax, which is the #1 issue for the owners of that paper.
..."the staffers said the ad campaign threatens to compromise the newsroom's integrity"... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
As already pointed out, integrity went out the window a long time ago.
If the Times had only run the pro-gay marriage ad and not the McKenna ad, do you think there still would have been an uproar in the staffroom?
(Supporter of R-74 BTW)
4. Whoa...haven't you heard, newspapers and specifically the Seattle Times are a 'non-event'. Does anyone really read them any more; I sure don't. I mean with all the multi sources of news today on-line, iphones, ipads, etc, et al newspapers are a dying breed, don't you think.
Sure, there are interesting column writers (Steve Kelley comes to mind) that I enjoy...but ON-LINE already...and it's 'almost' interactive...I've several times commented on his sports column and quickly got responses.
The Seattle Times can buy as much ad space in their own newspaper as they want...will I pay attention or will it every cross my reading group...NOPE! And, I really don't think I'm alone in this. :)
5. Hilarious! With the Times being a mouthpiece for the Democrats for so long, turnabout is fair play! Bring it on~!
6. MM - That same thought occurred to me -- but I figured I had already used up my quota of cynicism for a single post.
7. New meme: "Al Qaeda is alive; the Volt is dead."
8. And in the final analysis: protesting the Publisher's "write" to advertise in his own newspaper does little except stir controversy, which in turn sells more newspapers (and TV coverage) which in turn means more money and pay for journalists and publishers AND more exposure for Rob McKenna. Is this collusion by the journalists or merely petulance?
9. MM, I wonder how the staffers would react if the paper were to run ads for Inslee, would they be as eager to complain about partiality then?
My take on the ad is that with a few name changes and refocusing the scope of the ad to national, it would be the perfect for Romney.
It is a pity that the ST publisher, David Boardman, is a mover in progressive politics. There is no chance that their Obama endorsement will be reversed. The ST endorsement of Obama will only accelerate its death spiral.
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