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Friday, March 10, 2006

Another Installment of Overheard in Olympia

Posted by on March 10 at 14:17 PM

Seattle Times chief political reporter David Postman was hanging out with his colleague Ralph Thomas on the sidelines of the Senate chamber last Wednesday night (the closing night of the session, as legislators were shuttling back and forth between chambers and the dueling lobbyist-sponsored soirees in Democratic leader Sen. Lisa Brown’s office and the Republican caucus room)—when eastside Sen. Brian Weinstein (D-41) came upon the pair.

Postman, dressed in a new pinstripe suit that he reports he’s quite proud of, was wrapping up a chat with Sen. Darlene Fairley (D-32), when Weinstein, also dressed in pinstripes (he’s well-known in Olympia for his dapper outfits), approached.

According to Postman, the following conversation ensued:

Fairely (to Weinstein): Looks like his suit is as nice as yours.

Weinstein: I doubt it.

Postman: I wouldn’t be so sure.

Weinstein: I’m sure mine cost more.

Postman: I doubt it.

Weinstein: You’re nothing but a fucking peasant.

Postman: What?

Weinstein then sat down between Postman and Thomas. (Fairley had gone on her way at this point.)

Weinstein: I don’t even know who the fuck you are.

Postman: Well then why are you talking to me?

Weinstein: Are you Postman? I don’t give a fuck.

Postman: Well you should. I’m the political chief for the biggest paper in the state, and we’re right in your district.

Weinstein then lectured Postman about how newspapers get everything wrong, Postman says.

Weinstein tells me that the conversation started as a case of mistaken identity. He says he mistook Postman for a friend in the governor’s office—Scott Merriman—who he typically jokes around with in this manner. He admits using the F word, but says, “I called him a peasant. I didn’t call him a fucking peasant.” He also says Postman has the chronology of the conversation wrong, maintaining that he (Weinstein) never talked to Fairley.

By way of further explanation, Weinstein says it was a party where people were joking around and drinking, but says he himself was not drinking.

After the incident, according to Weinstein, he talked to Katy Johansson (the Senate Dems’ Communications Director). Weinstein pointed to Postman and said: “Is that Postman? I think I really blew it with him.”

Weinstein called Postman today and apologized.

CommentsRSS icon

He should apologize, that district is a perennial swing district, and he needs all the good press he can get. Fred Jarrett more than likely could take him out if he wants the seat.

What a foul-mouthed jerk. Must be a Dem...

Hahaha! That's hilarious!
I wish politics was like this: more fun.

I don't quite get what happened here. Call me an unreconstructed Weberian, but in interpreting social encounters of an ambiguous nature, meaning is largely dependent on the demeanor of the participants. And Josh is not providing sufficient information for me to make an informed judgment. Did Weinstein seem like he was joking when he said this stuff, or was he acting angry and aggressive? Did Postman think that Weinstein was fucking with him in a funny way, or fucking with him in a asshole-y way? Did Postman pass this account along because he was pissed, because he thought it was funny, or because he thought it was one of those weird social non sequiters that we all occasionally experience, one he thought Stranger readers would find amusing? Was Weinstein loaded? Was Postman? And which one was actually wearing the more expensive suit? Do tell. In the interim, color me intrigued.

If Jarrett were to replace Weinstein, would there be any difference?

Guys with a sense of humor who wear nice suits do in fact like to rib each other about whose is nicest or cost more.

Sandeep: I am willing to call you "an unreconstructed Weberian" even if I don't know what it means. But perhaps you are over-thinking this. A few points: I did not pass this on to The Stranger. Josh heard it from someone else. He called and asked me if I could confirm the facts and I did that. Seems chippy for reporters to refuse to comment or to talk about themselves only off the record. I was not drinking at the time, and had not had anything to drink earlier, as I was working at the time and in the wings of the Senate.

I had never met Sen. Weinstein and had never joked with him and on sine die he didn't seem like he was trying to be funny. But by the time Josh called me Friday the senator had called to explain and apologize and I accepted his apology. So I can't really say which category of ambiguous social interactions it belongs in.

Maybe this never would have happened if I was wearing one of my many Goodwill or eBay suits that night rather than the rare piece from my closet that was purchased brand new. I suppose I was defending not just my honor, but that of Paul Smith whose pinstripes I proudly wore that night.

"If Jarrett were to replace Weinstein, would there be any difference?" - Hoplophile

On social issues, no, but certainly on fiscal and economic issues. Weinstein is a lockstep Democrat on everything, Jarrett only is on abortion and gay rights.

Sen. Weinstein has a very dry sense of humor. He no doubt mistook you for someone else. This will probably cause him to be more reserved, unfortunately.
Jarret may be a better dem than Clibborn,He would never measure up to Senator Weinstein. Senator Weinstein has been a bright spot in the Legislature.

If Weinstein had to ask who was, in fact, a reporter, for the highest circulation daily in the state, then he is incredibly stupid and/or arrogant. You know what you do with guys such as that? Don't vote for them the next go'round.
H.L. Mencken said it best, "There's one way for a journalist to look at a politician: down."

At least he was quoting from one of Lennon's best songs "Working Class Hero" could have been worse...imagine something from a Charlie Daniels song.

I'd trade my wacko ultra-conservative Republican state senator for a conceited, socially-inept Democratic one any day of the week.

I am not sure what the issue is here save for the cussing. If Brian had called David Postman a celibate elitist then we would have a real scandal.

Did someone snub the Golden Boy from the Times? In Olympia?

God, what a welcom change.

I don't like the Times, maybe Postman was wearing an offensive perfume.

Maybe Mr. W. needed sexual release, and gets grouchy when horny. Maybe it was the tassels on Mr Times shoes ... not the suit.

Maybe this is just ---


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