The weirdest press release of the day comes in two parts. Part one, at 3:53 p.m. today:

Mayor Murray mourns the loss of Jim Diers

SEATTLE (Feb. 27, 2014) – Seattle Mayor Ed Murray had the following statement today regarding the death of Jim Diers, former Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Director and community advocate:

“I’m very saddened by the death of Jim Diers. He was an innovator in bringing communities together and made a significant contribution to the foundation that makes Seattle special. His work with neighborhoods was passionate and progressive. His service to this city was unmeasurable. My thoughts go out to the Diers family. He will be missed.”

And part two, at 4:22 p.m.:


The Mayor’s office was mistakenly informed of the death of Jim Diers. He is alive and well.

How did this happen? I'll update this post as soon as I find out. In the meantime, congratulations on being alive, Mr. Diers.

UPDATE 5:26 p.m.: The mayor's office hasn't returned repeated requests for comment, but in the meantime, a message from Jim Diers himself on his Facebook page:

I'm getting inundated with messages asking if I am alive. Apparently, the mayor issued a press release mourning my death. I genuinely appreciate the mayor's concern, but I want to assure you that I am very much alive.

I returned from work in Ontario at 1:00 this morning, participated in a conference call at 6:00 a.m., gave a talk in Tacoma, and am now preparing to teach my class at the UW tonight. I'm dead tired today, but otherwise, I'm feeling great! Thanks, everyone, for your concern but I really don't have any time for death.

UPDATE 6:21 p.m.: Mayor Murray's communications director Jeff Reading, by way of explanation, politely states the obvious: "This office did not adequately confirm what was sent in the press release."

And this concludes tonight's hilarious episode of Press Release Schadenfreude. Tune in next week!