Disqus

Friday, August 02, 2013

What is the Seattle Times Trying to Do?

The Times (finally) wrote a story about the misleading flyer put out by supporters of Suzanne Estey. 

That, in fact, it was the Chamber of Commerce PAC (CASE) plus a couple of wealthy guys, Don Larson and Matt Griffin )who have created their own PAC in support of Estey called Great Seattle Schools) who paid for it.  (Griffin and Larson have also given the full $1800 each that they are legally able to for Estey's campaign.)  

The Times' original headline yesterday was "Independent group enters school board campaign with negative ad."  

It had quotes from both Peters and Estey.  Interestingly, it states that Estey "agrees with the ad's main message, although she has mixed feelings about its negative approach."

The Times then promptly tells just one side of her "mixed feelings" but not the other. 

Estey, didn't disavow the wording used saying, "I'm not going to illegally try to inhibit their freedom of speech."  That's a pretty interesting statement because she could say something like, "My supporters have the right to say what they want to but I don't support misleading or factually inaccurate statements said about my opponents."  Nothing illegal about that and it would set the tone for what she would like her campaign to represent. 

But frankly, the real story was about what was said on the flyer and who paid for it.  (Although the Times didn't seem to want to engage in any real fact-checking or they might have known that not only were there omissions but the statements attributed to Peters based on the "source" given on the flyer were factually inaccurate)

But, within hours of publishing the story, the headline changed to "School Board candidate Sue Peters Assails negative ad."  Same story, different headline. 

Now I know sometimes newspapers do this if they feel like a story is not getting traction.  But while the initial headline was actually pretty neutral, in the second headline they use the word "assails" which it a pretty heavy-duty word.  Much heavier than "enters". 

You have to wonder what is to come. 

5 comments:

Unknown said...

The Independent group enters school board campaign with negative ad is still there on the Politics Northwest blog. And the School Board candidate Sue Peters assails negative adis also still there in the Education section.
This has happened before. I think it's rather confusing.

Meg said...

Warning: candidate plug. Ish.

Sue is not a perfect candidate. Because there is no such thing. I am absolutely certain that if elected, Sue will vote in a way that I disagree with.

That said, I have seen the level of her involvement in district issues over the past few years, and I believe that she has considered her positions, and that they go beyond the issues that affect her own children. She is thoughtful, informed and broad-minded. I haven't seen any evidence of a widely informed point of view from the Estey camp.

Excuse my typos - it's late (for me), and I'm utterly worn down.

-Meg Diaz

Anonymous said...

got 2 flyers for Estey today. One from Estey's campaign which has testimonial quotes from a parent, a teacher and Reuven Carlyle on one side. The other side has a quote from Estey "It it time to get past the personal politics our Board too often focuses on and achieve real results for our kids. I wan to put my career of experience building partnerships to work so that every SPS student gets the education they deserve to reach their full potential" All pro-Estey, no Peters bashing.

The second flyer was another from "Great Seattle Schools" and is similar to the first one smearing Peters. Same anti-GF blurbs allegedly attributed to Peters, a tagline of 'More of the Same' with the school board dysfunctional blurb etc.... Just as bad and misleading as the first one.

I am glad Estey's materials aren't negative, but you really are judged by the company you keep and this is bad company for Estey to be keeping. I understand the law prohibits her previewing (and ideally scaling back) the rhetoric in the mailer but this isn't a freedom of speech issue. By coming out against the tone, tenor and misleading nature of the mailer, Estey isn't infringing on their freedom of speech. Rather she'd be exercising hers to help set a more positive tone of the campaign, and hopefully improve it. They may (and probably will) still say untrue things but Estey would be on record for not wanting to campaign that way.

-PETERS voter

Charlie Mas said...

Now, as ever, Suzanne Dale Estey's biggest negative is her supporters.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Two things.

One, as I have now said several times, this is just the primary. I might expect this in the General but not this early.

Two, it never ceases to amaze me how many smart people do not get how different School Board races are.

I also agree with everything Meg said. There is no perfect candidate for School Board because everyone has different ideas about what qualifies someone to be on the Board and what qualifies they want in a Board director.

More on this in a separate thread about the involvement of the Alliance in shaping that idea.