Will there be an opening to the center at the Seattle Times? Probably not, but it is fun to imagine that the new editor was referring to the Democratic Party, when she said this:
Kathy Best, a longtime Seattle journalist and a Seattle Times editor for six years, has been named the newspaper's editor, Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen announced Monday.
. . .
At Monday's announcement, Best told the paper's news staff that with the uncertain future facing the industry, "all of us in this room need to stay laser-focused on our mission: producing useful, meaningful, kick-ass journalism that readers can't get anywhere else."
As we all know, the symbol of the Democratic Party is the donkey, or, less politely, the ass. As anyone knows who wants to know, the Seattle Times, for some years, has been pursuing a "kick-elephant" policy of attacking national Republicans, and often local Republicans, whenever they can.
This policy has made the newspaper less interesting, and much less useful to the community. All the major offices in this local area are held by Democrats; almost all the state offices are, too. Our local monopoly newspaper is able, sometimes, to criticize a few of the policies of those elected Democrats — but it finds it almost impossible to connect those criticisms to elected Democrats, or even, often, to ask them interesting questions.
For example, columnist Nicole Brodeur interviewed Al Gore when he came through here. You don't have to know a lot about Al Gore to think of interesting questions to ask him, but if she did ask him any of those questions, they didn't appear in her column. The column reminded me of a star-struck "tweener" writing about her encounter with Justin Bieber; the vocabulary level was higher, but the attitude was about the same.
For instance, many leftists worry about global warming and have concluded that we should be switching to nuclear power to avoid as much of it as we can. (You can find a recent example in this Eduardo Porter column, which even has some numbers.) Brodeur could have asked Gore why he hasn't joined them.
Overall, as I have said before, the Seattle Times acts as if its mission in life is to comfort comfortable leftists, to cover — or often not cover — the news in a way that will not upset people who are well off, and on the left, politically. That may be a successful commercial strategy; there may be enough comfortable leftists in this area to support the newspaper, but it isn't very enterprising, and it often results in a newspaper that is almost deliberately dull.
Cross posted at Jim Miller on Politics.
(For the record: Our local monopoly newspaper owes the Republicans many "make-up" calls, but in the long run I would prefer that they either be openly partisan, or try to be more balanced in their articles, columns, and editorials.)Posted by Jim Miller at October 07, 2013 12:59 PM | Email This