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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Today’s Seattle Times Opinion Pages

posted by on April 23 at 15:05 PM

Okay, today’s opinion pages in the Seattle Times are better than yesterday’s. Of the four pieces on Tuesday’s Seattle Times opinion pages, three had already run in the New York Times—one was three days old (four if you count when the column went live on the web).

Today’s opinion pages are a bit better—no, I take that back. They’re worse. There’s only one syndicated column—a day-old piece by Froma Harrop (“Raising the political bar in Minnesota”), which was originally published in the Providence Journal yesterday—and three original pieces. One is by Times editorial columnist Lynne K. Varner (“Getting testy over WASL leaves students still at risk”), in which Varner sets up a straw man and bravely slaps him down. (Uh, Lynne? It’s possible to be for high standards and against standardized tests like the WASL.) As for the other two pieces, well, they ought to be paid advertisements.

Our first oughta-be-a-paid-advertisement is by anti-tax crusader Tim Eyman (“Washington state’s taxpayers have reached the tipping point”). Tim’s very original observation? Why, Washington state taxpayers are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore and—no way!—Tim is running an initiative campaign right now that’s really gonna show those douchebags in Olympia and blah blah blah and here’s my website. Shouldn’t Eyman report this piece as an in-kind contribution?

And today’s final piece is by Kathleen Connors (“Korean free-trade pact important for Washington”). She’s the president of the “Seattle-based Washington Council on International Trade.” Connors’s piece is about Korean free-trade pact and guess what?!? She’s for it! No way! WAY!!! The president of the Washington Council on International Trade is for a free-trade pact—click this link and prepare to have your minds blown, mothafuckers!

Well, at least I think Connors is for the Korean free-trade pact—I mean, that’s the impression I get from the first two paragraphs, which is as far as I could make it into Connors’s piece. I challenge anyone to read Connors’s entire press release—excuse, opinion piece, “special to The Times”—without nodding off. If I may tweak a phrase: Connors is Ambien in print.

So there’s less syndicated stuff on today’s Seattle Times opinion pages. But, sheesh, I’ll take days-old Kristol/Dowd/Brooks/Herbert/Kristof over this crap.

RSS icon Comments



There's a reason that no one reads the Seattle Times anymore.

Can you forgive them for their insane 2006 election endorsements? That was "buh bye" for me.

Posted by Original Andrew | April 23, 2008 3:18 PM

The P-I runs Amy Goodman. And has an actual editorial cartoonist.

Posted by DOUG. | April 23, 2008 3:50 PM


yet you've obviously forgiven Dan for his pro-war on Iraq stance?

Nice work kid!

Posted by Jeff | April 23, 2008 3:51 PM

I still haven't forgiven me.

Posted by Dan Savage | April 23, 2008 3:53 PM

@4 You made what you thought was the right decision based on the available information at the time. Hindsight is always infuriatingly 20/20.

p.s. I think you are right about sex robots of the future, though. They will definitely not be limited to human form.

Posted by PopTart | April 23, 2008 4:18 PM

Jeff @ 3

Dan has the decency and integrity to admit that he was wrong, which is something you'll never in a million years hear from the Seattle Times editorial board (or the NYT for that matter), or more specifically, the people charged with word-smithing Frank Blethen's Caligula-style self-contradictory and illogical royal proclamations.

Posted by Original Andrew | April 23, 2008 4:23 PM

You asked for it, you got it.

Posted by Joe M | April 23, 2008 4:27 PM

I want a daily that has nothing but local and regional news, the local/regional angle on national and international news, and local/regional cultural reporting. Add in some opinions and essays by talented local writers (who are not political flacks) commenting on everything local/regional, and you'd have something worth buying.

In the age of new media, there's no reason to syndicate content from elsewhere. Instead, a paper can provide an online portal with an RSS reader, and provide RSS feeds for its own content. Then each user can customize his or her own syndicated content. Then the daily can put up a few non-intrusive ads on the RSS site and get paid for every page view, even when a user is just using their view of the site to access completely external content.

The paper version can just have the local content without any syndication, providing a convenient way to read the daily when computer access is lacking, while also providing a way to advertise the online site that is the real driver of revenue.

One reason The Stranger is so valuable is that with all of its faults, it provides some locally-oriented content. The dailies need to learn from successful weeklies and even the better blogs, while still retaining the things they actually can do well--such as professional reporting.

Posted by Cascadian | April 23, 2008 4:49 PM

Hey Stranger staffers, if the Times/PI suck so bad how come all of your resumes are currently on file?

Posted by Hmmm.... | April 23, 2008 5:12 PM

If you didn't read the Seattle Times in print today, you missed their version of the crashing-to-Earth-Soyuz-capsule story, "from Seattle Times wire services", which differs from any online version of the story I could find this morning. In the print version, the Times writers point out that the malfunctioning Soyuz capsule is about to become the cornerstone of the US manned space program in T-minus a year and a half when our shuttle fleet is grounded and NASA has to start hitching rides with the Russians. In online sources, that final, jarring line in the story seems to have been scrubbed by NASA PR people.

Posted by Peter F | April 23, 2008 5:13 PM

I count 13 people on their editorial staff - according to their web site. Six of those are writers. So why are they running warmed up copy most of us have read somewhere else? Aren't their writers paid to WRITE?

Seems like a company that's fallen on hard times would take a look at its dead weight and start trimming staff from there. Their editorial writers, assistant this-and-that, are all overpaid kiss-ups.

Posted by Gone | April 23, 2008 5:58 PM

Wow, this is like the first time I've ever seen a post referencing Tim "Darth Vader Costume Boy" Eyman not draw a whole series of whiny, bitchy responses from him. He must spend his entire life self-Googling.

Posted by Geni | April 24, 2008 1:56 PM

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