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Thursday, February 1, 2007

GOP Ally: The Seattle Times

posted by on February 1 at 14:11 PM

Coordinate this, Luke.

In the recent interviews I’ve had with new Washington State GOP chairman Luke Esser (here, here, and here), he’s stressed that he wants the state GOP to have a communications person down in Olympia coordinating its message with the GOP legislators.

Well, here’s your first assignment, Luke: All the Republican members of the state house judiciary committee voted against the student press bill —a bill that would protect student newspapers (high school and college) from censorship.

Currently, federal law provides a baseline of protection for the student press (school administrators have to show that the objectionable article upends community standards). The proposal in Olympia would—as states are allowed to under our Federalist scheme—provide more rights to students, raising the hurdle for legit censorship so school administrators would have to show that the objectionable article actually disrupts the learning environment.

Your caucus is for scaling back first amendment rights, Luke. Actually, that might not seem so out of sync with the GOP, but here’s the problem with your assignment, Luke: Your mentor, Republican State Attorney General Rob McKenna, has given his full support to the bill.

So Luke, get right on that will you please. Write up the GOP speaking points that contradict freedom loving Rob McKenna. Get busy coordinating with that mainstream caucus of yours.

I guess, it won’t be too hard, though. Your GOP caucus does have an ally: Those staunch defenders of the free press over at the Seattle Times provided a draft for you today—publishing an editorial against the free press bill.

First Amendment footnote: The student free-press bill is simply an attempt to return to the
Tinker Standard that was established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1969—a decision that was scaled back by the more conservative Hazelwood decision in 1988.

RSS icon Comments


I applaud the Times for their willingness to allow student papers to share the mantle of wussy, establishmentarian journalism.

Posted by Roger | February 1, 2007 2:40 PM

Luke should first quit his full time in Rob Mckenna's office since he is taking his $84,000/year in state pay while running the State GOP which is a full time $85,000 position.

Posted by Particle Man | February 1, 2007 3:06 PM

With a background as both a student journalist and an AP stringer, let's hope Esser's view dissents from those of the mealy-mouthed Republican cocksuckers on the House Judiciary committe (Rep. Rodne's thanking of Upthegrove for the "important" bill, shortly before trying to tear it apart).

With their editorial, The Seattle Times joined a club populated by only one other newspaper in the state (Aberdeen World? Longview News? Can't remember). And who says snobby urbanites look down on the values of rural America?

Posted by Servile Intern | February 1, 2007 3:37 PM

I'm on Josh's side in this one. Good work. Did you see the last line in the Times editorial? Students should work with their "superiors." Sheesh!

Posted by ivan | February 1, 2007 3:53 PM

The deadender Reds were against freedom of the press before they were for it.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 1, 2007 4:15 PM

The real GOP ally is the majority of Democratic politicians who are bungling fixing the Viaduct. If Gregoire loses in '08 -- and drangs down the national election -- she will have only her own mis-steps to blame.

Posted by David Sucher | February 2, 2007 7:17 AM

"Mealy-mouthed Republican cocksuckers?" Thanks for putting that stereotype that AP reporters are leftwing hacks to bed, dude.

Posted by DJ | February 4, 2007 11:12 AM

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