Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Kewl Kidz Kangaroo Kourt-Washington state version

Time for a blogger ethics panel, as Atrios might say. Seems something called The Washington News Council likes to hold kangaroo court proceedings because, um, they can. From The P-I.
The P-I raised questions about the council's impartiality because Hamer's wife, Mariana Parks, is state director for U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, the former sheriff who chose Rahr as his successor. Several members of the council have given money to Reichert's or Rahr's election campaigns, as well. Many of the articles called into question Reichert's performance as sheriff.

Hamer said six of 20 council members recused themselves. Hamer said he wasn't involved in the proceedings other than doing administrative work.
Do the members of the Washington News Council realize how ridiculous this makes them look? If the person most visibly associated with your media-watchdog organization is married to Dave Reichert's district director, what exactly are regular readers going to think? Are there transcripts of pillow talk or something?

Oh, no, none of this is political in the least and had nothing to do with Lewis Kamb's profile of Reichert. (And to be clear, while the dispute pre-dates the publication of Kamb's devasting article, henceforth to be known as "the Sheriff Hairspray article," the kangaroo court was held after the Sheriff Hairspray article was published.)

And then there is Frank Blethen, whose fingerprints are all over this.
Rahr and sheriff's spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart said they expressed concerns about the stories to P-I writers and editors but were not happy with the response. After several months of consideration and discussions with several people, including Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen, Rahr filed the complaint with the news council on July 28.

Blethen said he did not give Rahr the idea to file a complaint.

"I heard her out and expressed to her what my concerns had been about the news council, but also said to her, if she feels she's not being heard by the P-I, and her side is not being told, then that is precisely what the news council is set up for," Blethen said.

Rahr acknowledged she met with Blethen, but declined to discuss the substance of the conversation.
So Blethen didn't give Rahr the idea, but he did encourage her.

(whispering) Rosebud.

<< Home