(photo: the package is misleading)Then Rep. “Transparency Dave” Reichert (WA-8) totally busts himself, bragging to a roomful of Republican PCO’s that his pro-environment votes have all been tactical to keep environmentalists and their money off his back in his swing-y district.
It’s all in a piece of clear, but damning audio leaked to David Goldstein at Horsesass.org last week.
The local exceptions? The Seattle Times, and local broadcast news. We get broadcast: commercial radio and teevee cover few politics except elections, and big events rip & read from the AP or Fox News. They figure their low-information audiences don't care (and besides, there are puppies dying somewhere in the world, and kittens being adorable on YouTube). Public radio's KUOW and KPLU are too timid and stodgy to go with a story like that unless someone as mainstream as themselves (like the Times) goes first.
So much for the "dominant liberal media." Certainly no local talk radio host in this market would bring it up. (They're nearly 100% conservatively fair and balanced, so we had no expectations).
Hell, what's not to love about this story? It's a politician's embarrassing, cynical hypocrisy from his own lips, and there's audio! It's so 2010! Incumbents are loudly being held foots du flambé across the board. Why wouldn't The Times go with it?
Could it be the messenger?
It's true The Times has long supported the 8th District GOP haircut and lauded his “conscience-driven independent streak.” That could be embarrassing for them, but that Goldy broke the story was probably its kiss of death.
Going back at least to the era of now-retired publisher Frank Blethen, there’s been a vindictive, judge-the-message-by-its-messenger streak to the Times, and Goldy frequently pulls their stiff old tail. Guess that's reason enough for to commit an act of journalistic malpractice and to ignore a significant, and very newsy political story.
The magnificently coiffed and ineffective Reichert (known to local cops as "Sheriff Hairspray") is again facing a tough election, this time against Democrat Suzan DelBene. His strategy has always been to duck challenging debates, and interviewers who ask hard policy questions; to allow himself to be fellated by "friendly media" (Dori Monson, John Carlson, Dave Boze). We now see another tactic: mollification of tree-huggers by a few easy yes votes.
Will it work again? Probably- as we've said, his hair is marvelous and he can count on the endorsement of The Times.
(Note: we admit it, we added the word 'sex' to the headline to get your attention. We were going to change it but we forgot and the blog went off to the printer. Sorry.)