The Seattle Times is actively supporting Rob McKenna for governor by printing $75,750 worth of free full page ads for the Republican gubernatorial candidate, from now til election day.
The Seattle Times itself reports in Times Co. criticized for McKenna, gay-marriage ad campaigns
Dozens of Seattle Times news staff members on Wednesday were drafting a letter to Times Publisher Frank Blethen protesting the ad campaign.
This isn’t the first time The Seattle Times Co. has waded into political campaigns. For example, during the 1990s, the Blethen family, which owns a majority stake in the newspaper, sponsored political ads opposing Initiative 200, which ended affirmative-action programs in the state.
The newspaper also donated more than $6,000 worth of newspaper ads to an unsuccessful 2006 campaign to repeal Washington’s estate tax.
The story got national coverage, for example in the Huffington Post: Seattle Times Reporters Protest Their Company’s Full-Page GOP Endorsement Ad.
As Benton Strong of WA State Democrats says:
The Seattle Times announced it will support Rob McKenna with an $80,000 independent expenditure campaign. They will run a free full-page ad every day through Election Day.
That’s not journalism – that’s playing politics, and it’s not right.
The Seattle Times also endorsed Tim Eaves, the opponent of public schools champion Marcie Maxwell in her bid for re-election to the state House in the 41st LD. The Seattle Times’ endorsement of Eaves contained factual errors about Maxwell: “The decision for voters in the 41st Legislative District race between state Rep. Marcie Maxwell and Tim Eaves has been cast as a choice between either a candidate with experience in government or in business.” In fact, Maxwell is a realtor and was:
Chairman of Renton Chamber of Commerce (and long time board member / committee chair)
President of Renton Rotary Club
Co-founded the Renton Community Foundation
Co-founded the Kennydale Neighborhood Association
President of Renton Area PTA Council serving 20 local units (and awarded every local and state PTA award there is)
Government Affairs Committee for Seattle King County Realtors
WSSDA Legislative Representative for all King County school boards
Participating, active member with Newcastle, Issaquah, Bellevue, Mercer Island, and Chinese Chambers of Commerce.
Chaired Renton School District levy and bond committees
Served on statewide steering committee for Simple Majority
Brought Realtors into Simple Majority Levies ballot measure, and all local Eastside levy and bond measures
In response to the Times’ shenanigans, Dave Fish wrote:
It must be remembered that the Times always puts its financial interests first. It always supports stadiums to keep teams here to keep readers coming to the sports sections. It supported the liquor initiatives because private liquor sales equates to lots of paid advertising. (The state liquor stores didn’t). The same will happen with charter schools – think where will the schools advertise. So this may be pay-back time for Marcie since she is not supporting charter schools. So you must always read between the lines of any endorsement from them to see if there is any financial gain for them.
I’ve been thinking lately of cancelling my Times subscription of over 25 years – and switching to the NY Times. I’m serious.
Indeed, for years I’ve been calling on Democrats and progressive not to subscribe to the Seattle Times. For example, see Why no thinking, caring person should subscribe to the Seattle Times.
In 2010 the Seattle Times supported Tim Eyman’s regressive I-1053 super-majority initiative, and they opposed I-1098, the high earners’ income tax.
This is another reason why the Left needs to build its own media and another reason why we need publicly funded investigative journalism.