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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More Seattle Times Faulty Logic

posted by on October 25 at 15:38 PM

This is like shooting fish in a barrel.

So, today, when I pressed Seattle Times editorial page editor James Vesely to list some issues (any issues) that his board is in agreement with McGavick on as opposed to Cantwell…he said that McGavick is better on dam policy in Eastern Washington. That is, McGavick wouldn’t breach the dams…the assumption, I guess, being that Cantwell would?

But in today’s Seattle Times I find this report:

Campaigning in Eastern Washington, Republican Mike McGavick, a former insurance executive, spoke at a viewpoint overlooking Ice Harbor Dam near the Tri-Cities.

He declared he would never allow breaching of the Snake River dams and asked: “Who is the senator going to side with, the people of Eastern Washington who depend on hydropower or environmental activists who hide behind antiquated and ineffective federal laws like the Endangered Species Act?”

Cantwell has said she does not support breaching the dams.

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Posted by Gomez | October 25, 2006 3:42 PM

Maybe the Seattle Times ed board just plain didn't like Cantwell because of her standoffish personality, something you've written about. On such small details are endorsements frequently lost. I'm sure Mike!'s an engaging guy.

The ed board at my former employer interviewed male and female candidates for a superior court judgeship, and the male one was objectively more qualified. However, he made the mistake of stating that he would be a better candidate because he didn't have small children to distract him from judicial duties. The ed board found this attitude so off-putting that they endorsed his opponent.

Posted by giantladysquirrels | October 25, 2006 3:45 PM

So, we're back where we started: the list of things about McGavick that the Times likes better than Cantwell is down to one. Dams? Nope. Private sector experience? Nope. I wonder what that one little thing could be?

I would love to have been a fly on the wall where their edit board discussed "what the heck are we going to tell people to make this make sense?" while Frankie Baby just sits there glaring at them.

Posted by Fnarf | October 25, 2006 3:51 PM

Perhaps, but that's not what Vesely told me.
And, I must say, I've met and interviewed McGavick myself a number of times now, and well, his personality flaws are as striking as Cantwell's. Where she's stiff, wooden, nervous, awkward or however one would describe it...
he's prickly, short-tempered, thin skinned, and sorta angry.
Neither McGavick nor Cantwell seems like they'd be a good boss.

Posted by Josh Feit | October 25, 2006 3:52 PM

which millionaire candidate is more likely to run government more like a ceo would a business? the former realnetworks exec, or the former safeco exec? which one is going to do the least for salmon runs in a naked appeal to the fears of people in eastern WA that 4 snake river dams (out of a system of dozens) prop up their economy? whose foggy foreign policy is more patriotic? whose attack ads are not below the belt? who's hiding what about their former relationships? blah blah.

Posted by wf | October 25, 2006 3:53 PM

You know, Cantwell has yet to be clear on where she stands on the indescriminant buring of peoples crops, spreading of mad cow disease, and capturing of the Bigfoot. I'm starting to wonder as well...

Posted by Dougsf | October 25, 2006 4:31 PM

Josh, can you review for me what we are saying Frank Blethen is scheming to do:

1. Bully employees at Times editorial board to endorse McGavick.
2. McGavick somehow defeats Cantwell in Senate race due to the Times endorsement.
3. As a result of 1 and 2, voters pass the I-920 estate tax repeal.

Maybe you think Blethen is a dick and stuff, but seriously. Are you saying that that is his brilliant plan to reduce his own taxes (after he is dead when it matters to him most)? Frank thinks the Senate race is going to determine the outcome of a state initiative? Why do you think Blethen believes that?

Posted by elenchos | October 25, 2006 4:37 PM

Look, let's be frank.

Mike Blethen walked up, said "Hi, how are you? I'm looking forward to your endorsement of Alaskan Mike McGavick." and then watched as they preceded to do just that.

If they'd endorsed differently, they'd have "found other pursuits" by the end of the day.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 25, 2006 4:54 PM

The feds have a say in estate taxes too. The fed estate tax has been abated but only temporarily, if my understanding is correct. It will come up again, during the term of the next senator.

And yes, the particular tax he is most exercised about would affect his estate after his death. He doesn't want it to. Is this hard to understand?

Frank Blethen is an asshole, but he's rational in his own self-interest.

Posted by Fnarf | October 25, 2006 4:57 PM

Um, we have no income tax in this state - only a sales tax. You're not taxed on your income until you spend it - or you die.

What's unfair about THAT?

Bunch of frickin whiners ....

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 25, 2006 5:50 PM

My favorite bit of recent faulty logic at the Seattle Times was their pre-primary Supreme Court endorsements.

They wrote that

"The court's most important job is to limit the overreaching of the executive and legislative branches of government, particularly when it damages the rights of the people. In our view, the court has been too deferential to those in authority."

Then they endorsed the re-election of the man most responsible for the court being too deferential to those in authority, Chief Justice Gerry Alexander because "He has the broadest judicial experience of anyone on the court." As if his experience would somehow fix the defects he was responsible for.

The Seattle Times should focus on news gathering and bag their endorsements altogether.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky | October 25, 2006 6:09 PM

Josh, you don't like the Times endorsement. Get over it already! You're getting stale!

.....and none of this will get you a job at the P-I.

Posted by Josh, get a life already! | October 25, 2006 8:48 PM

Hmmm, hel-lo one of the biggest things about ANWR that seems to get swept under is Cantwell incurring the wrath of Uncle Ted, Ted Stevens of Alaska, who held up appropriations for Hurricane Assistance over a fricking tiny ass bridge in the hinterlands. Let alone his invective about crippling our ferry system because Cantwell stepped out of line.
Barely anyone, Dem or Repub, stands up to or visibly near Ted Stevens. He rides herd over an enormous pork barrel. So McGavick's got the legs to do it? Leadership indeed - he's new so he's got to be better WTF?

Posted by Stone | October 25, 2006 10:58 PM

You know, if the Seattle Times editorial board is so clearly beholden to executive dictate, just shut it down.

Saves money. Saves newsprint. Replace it with "Blethen's Blog" or something.

The Stranger is shining on this one -- you've really found a major weak point in the Times' foundation, and this endorsement (and its dramatic contrasts with the board's previous positions) is likely to haunt the Times well after Cantwell wins the election.

I'm not kidding here -- this is a really serious issue. A credible newspaper is built on a foundation of integrity and the Stranger has shown a spotlight on a major crack in the foundation of the Seattle Times.

This may just be getting started.

Posted by M4 | October 26, 2006 12:11 AM

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