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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Re: No Longer the Stupid Fucking Credulous Hack of the Day: Paul Shukovsky

posted by on September 10 at 18:40 PM

UPDATE: All these posts asking reporters for both sides of the story on pot enforcement, insight into whether or not breaking down pot growers’ doors actually makes a dent in the pot market, a quote from someone in a group that disagrees with our war on pot… it just may be working. Or maybe it’s a fluke. Either way, as wisepunk points out in comments, Paul Shukovsky’s article has been updated:

Seattle defense attorney Jeff Steinborn, who frequently takes drug cases, said Wednesday: “Is there no real crime out there? By golly, I guess we’ll be safe from the giggles and the munchies for a while.”

Steinborn, who is a member of the national board of the marijuana legalization group NORML, decried the “amount of resources they’ve expended to enforce a law that every government study for the last 160 years says should not be.”

Keep it, Paul Shukovsky!

You’d think that since the PI’s Paul Shukovsky reported how agents “swooped down” on pot growers for “Operation Green Reaper” in April, he’d attempt to figure out what the impact of the first set of busts were. You know, why are we doing this? Is it working so far?

But, of course, if he’d even asked the agents what they sought to achieve then, he’d be forced to answer those question now. But he did neither, because he’s a stupid fucking credulous hack.

The mistake Shukovsky and other SFCHs make is to argue that this is a regular crime-n’-punishment story. Someone gets busted so outline the offense and talk to the authorities. But this isn’t like other crimes. It’s not like murder, rape, or theft—crimes with victims. The victims of pot growing, in the relatively rare cases when they exist, are people who dunnit to themselves (we don’t lock up people who eat their way to a coronary), or people got hurt because pot is illegal (when it’s sold on the dangerous black market). The latter problem is one that we created—it can go away—but crime reporters take this approach more arrests are the solution. Otherwise they’d ask, “Why are we doing this? Is it working so far?”

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i changed my PI subscription to fri.-sun., and they just called up & gave me the whole week for the lower price!

but i don't want it. i read the NYT because i am a latte liberal.

Posted by max solomon | September 10, 2008 5:07 PM

Uhhh I think that the SFCH is working. They have updated the article with quotes from NORML. I don't believe it.

Posted by wisepunk | September 10, 2008 5:36 PM

Whoa, unfair, ugly and unprofessional comments about Paul, who recently won the Edgar A. Poe MEMORIAL Award, which recognizes excellence in coverage of news of national/regional significance. I'm waiting for the Stranger to actually answer the questions you pose. Or perhaps that would be too much real work?

Posted by mark | September 10, 2008 6:03 PM

Wow, I actually read the article this time. I agree that a less toe-the-line approach is called for, but I was REALLY surprised to see the reporter repeat the DEA's comment that the growers appeared to be of Vietnamese ethnicity. WTF? If you think they belonged to some race-based gang or mafia, say so. It's not even that surprising to hear the DEA say it... but why would you print it in a newspaper article? Lame.

Posted by leek | September 10, 2008 7:04 PM

There will be more joy on Slog for a single Stupid Fucking Credulous Hack who repents then for ninety nine responsible reporters who do not need to repent.

Posted by east coaster | September 10, 2008 7:59 PM

Congratulations, Mr. Holden. I said this was the wrong way to go about it, and it looks like I was wrong.

Posted by elenchos | September 10, 2008 9:32 PM

Well, also, practically all of the commenters there (some of whom are from here, of course) said the same thing. Maybe they listen to their own commenters even more than they listen to Slog.

Posted by leek | September 10, 2008 10:30 PM

We already had a budget crisis in Seattle and in King County.

These arrests made it WORSE.


Posted by Will in Seattle | September 10, 2008 10:51 PM

Go team peer review and public critique

Posted by drew | September 11, 2008 10:55 AM

Fucking right on point keep up the good fight Dom!

Posted by dale | September 11, 2008 11:09 AM

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