Dori Monson bloviates
Dori Monson bloviates

Right wing talk show host Dori Mon­son invit­ed nui­sance spe­cial­ist Tim Eyman onto his show today to com­mis­er­ate with Eyman over his recent legal trou­bles and to joint­ly gripe at length about Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son, the state’s chief law enforce­ment offi­cer. Loathing Fer­gu­son — “the most dan­ger­ous politi­cian in our state’s his­to­ry,” to quote Mon­son — is a shared pas­time of both men.

First elect­ed statewide in 2012, Fer­gu­son has racked up a series of legal vic­to­ries for the peo­ple of Wash­ing­ton over pow­er­ful inter­ests, scam­my com­pa­nies, and right wing lob­bies that is so long and so exten­sive it could fill a book.

In addi­tion to Eyman, Fer­gu­son has suc­cess­ful­ly tak­en on the Trump regime (dur­ing its four year-exis­tence), the Gro­cery Man­u­fac­tur­ers Asso­ci­a­tion, opi­oid man­u­fac­tur­ers like Mallinck­rodt, and stu­dent debt ser­vic­ing firm Navient.

Fer­gu­son has won so con­sis­tent­ly and so com­plete­ly that he has arguably become more dis­liked by the state’s right wing than Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee… and it’s easy to see that Inslee is absolute­ly despised by Wash­ing­ton’s Repub­li­can base.

Eyman resents hav­ing been held account­able for his bla­tant and repeat­ed vio­la­tions of pub­lic dis­clo­sure law, while Mon­son has not for­got­ten that in the fall of 2020, Fer­gu­son appealed to his sup­port­ers to con­tact Bon­neville Seat­tle regard­ing the com­pa­ny’s employ­ment of Mon­son as a radio per­son­al­i­ty after he post­ed a trans­pho­bic tweet dur­ing an autumn guber­na­to­r­i­al debate.

Bon­neville tem­porar­i­ly took Mon­son’s show off the air after that dis­play of intol­er­ance. The Sea­hawks, for their part, nixed Mon­son’s pregame and postgame host­ing gigs. Though Mon­son was rein­stat­ed sev­er­al weeks lat­er, he has not for­got­ten that Fer­gu­son cam­paigned for his ouster, and he made that clear today.

“I mean, as I’ve told my lis­ten­ers many times, two years ago, Bob Fer­gu­son sent out a let­ter to all of his donors ask­ing them to call my radio sta­tion… Bon­neville, thank you… to have me fired,” Mon­son said. “I mean, this was the attor­ney gen­er­al, the high­est legal office in the state of Wash­ing­ton. In one of the most bla­tant First Amend­ment vio­la­tions imag­in­able, because it is gov­ern­ment that can­not take away free speech. And he want­ed his donors to have me fired.”

It bears men­tion­ing here that Fer­gu­son was cam­paign­ing for Mon­son’s ouster not as the state’s chief law enforce­ment offi­cer, but as a well known cit­i­zen with a plat­form. Nat­u­ral­ly, Fer­gu­son’s First Amend­ment rights to speak and pub­lish freely are incon­se­quen­tial to Mon­son because Fer­gu­son is not a right winger.

Mon­son inter­views with Eyman fol­low a pre­dictable for­mu­la. They are usu­al­ly a seg­ment or two in length (Mon­son’s show is ad sup­port­ed, which means the show is divid­ed into seg­ments) and con­sist of the fol­low­ing elements:

  1. Mon­son com­mis­er­ates with Eyman regard­ing the prob­lems that Eyman brought on him­self (but for which Eyman blames oth­ers, like Ferguson)
  2. Mon­son heaps scorn on Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son and invites Eyman to take his own turn throw­ing metaphor­i­cal darts at the dartboard
  3. Mon­son asks Eyman a bunch of extreme­ly sym­pa­thet­ic soft­ball ques­tions about his sit­u­a­tion and how he’s cop­ing or responding
  4. Mon­son allows Eyman to make a pub­lic plea to his lis­ten­ers for mon­ey and nudges Eyman to repeat said plea at the end of the seg­ment, while throw­ing in a not cred­i­ble state­ment that it’s not an endorse­ment of Eyman

Mon­son has allud­ed to these chats with Eyman at oth­er times (includ­ing when I was his guest) as though he is con­duct­ing hard hit­ting inter­views in which Eyman gets put on the hot seat. But there’s no grilling hap­pen­ing dur­ing these appear­ances. Mon­son is just giv­ing Eyman the equiv­a­lent of an infomercial.

Here’s a bit of tran­scribed dia­logue that illus­trates this point. This is ele­ment four:

DORI MONSON: All right. I got­ta run. Go ahead. Quick. Give me that legal defense thing again. [This is a ref­er­ence to Eyman’s web­site where peo­ple can give Tim Eyman mon­ey.]

TIM EYMAN: I real­ly appre­ci­ate it. It’s tim defense dot com. Tim defense dot com. And I just real­ly want to appeal this thing, not just for me, but to make sure they don’t do this to any­body else.

DORI MONSON: Yeah. And dis­claimer, not endorsed by The Dori Mon­son Show. Endorsed by the guy that I just invit­ed on.

TIM EYMAN: Oh, there you go. There you go.

DORI MONSON: Okay. All right, Tim.

TIM EYMAN: Real­ly appre­ci­ate you hav­ing me on, Dori.

DORI MONSON: Okay, all right, see you.

TIM EYMAN: Thank you, bud.

Not an endorse­ment, eh?

Birds of a feath­er flock togeth­er, as they say. There’s no rea­son for Dori Mon­son to pre­tend that he is some­how on a lev­el above Tim Eyman. They are both right wing grifters with a hus­tle who have shared aims and adversaries.

Mon­son’s hus­tle is his radio show. Eyman’s hus­tle used to be his ini­tia­tive fac­to­ry. Now it’s this and that: going to Michi­gan to work on a scheme his bud­dy Paul Jacob is involved in to dis­en­fran­chise vot­ers, fil­ing lots of law­suits as pro se lit­i­gant to tie up court resources in Thurston Coun­ty, pro­mot­ing Bri­an Hey­wood’s giant slate of eleven bad­ly con­ceived ini­tia­tives to the Leg­is­la­ture, and so on.

But one thing has not changed: Eyman’s need for mon­ey. He always needs more. Even when he was tak­ing kick­backs ten years ago and even before Bob Fer­gu­son filed a sin­gle law­suit against him, he did­n’t have enough. He was greedy. He want­ed more. He was will­ing to break the law to get more.

He assumed that there would­n’t be con­se­quences for his behav­ior. He assumed that if he stonewalled for long enough, he’d beat the rap. Those assump­tions were wrong. Eyman is free to loathe Bob Fer­gu­son for doing his job, but it is Eyman, not Fer­gu­son, who made the choic­es that land­ed him where he is now.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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