Sunday, August 30, 2009

Reality Killed the Radio Star

The days of writing down what you listened to, or hoped to listen to, or want to promote as a formate, are done. The methods of identifying and measuring its data has changed, for the better. The old method was an asparational log/booklet that listeners would write down what the wanted the ratings to be. Now, those that take a survey wear a sensor that detect the actual radio frequency you are around.

This new method is not perfect, I would argue that the measurement taken is the maximum potential listening time. If you have ever turned down the sound because of a telephone call, or a knock at your door, then you prove my point.
Have you ever left your radio on and then vaccuumed your carpet, or mowed your lawn, or left the room where the radio is to go to a different room to do housework for 15, or 20 minutes?
I know I have.

What I think is interesting is the reality of what people really are listening to, and that is not talk radio, not to the same degree once believed.
For nearly two decades the flawed diary method indicated that talk radio was a much more popular format than it might not have been. We do not really know what the real ratings were, and to some degree we can forgive the media hyping the importance of a format because they thought the popularity of the format was something more, something worth reporting on and paying more attention to by other media.

I hope you click the link at the bottom of the quote and read the full story.

The change might not be in people's listening habits at all. Arbitron switched from its old-fashioned diary method to an electronic way of finding out who was listening to what, and when.

It used to be that survey participants had to remember their listening habits. This led to obvious inaccuracies, as people guessed and fudged. They sometimes wrote down that they listened to a station all morning when they actually were switching around. Maybe they didn't like a particular song, or something a disc jockey said, or just got bored with whatever was on.

But now that the Portable People Meters, known as a PPMs, which can be worn like a pager, are around to monitor the airwave signals instead, the fudging is gone.

In the old days of diaries, somebody could be a fan of particular talk show, and write down that five days a week, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., he was listening to that station, says Mark O'Neill, one of the founders of ROI Media Solutions in Los Angeles. He's a media consultant doing PPM consulting these days, although not in Seattle.

That method didn't reflect reality, he says.

"Not even the talk-show host's mother could listen that long to it," O'Neill says.

Monson also acknowledges the old diary system was flawed, "and it said I was the top talk show in town for 12 years. It's a new set of rules and I have to figure out how to prevail under the new set of rules."

Read the full story here, Seattle Times Newspaper: Arbitron now uses meter to measure radio listening

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Catty, borderline tacky, that is the “charm” of

Sometimes the news is just the news, sometimes it is an editorial, and sometimes it is both. In the case of Publicola sometimes just the facts might not be enough.

So, last night from the "Publicla: Seattle's News Elixir" there was a report on another online publication, For the most part this is a report of news, with some historical background information, and then it looks to me that there is some editorializing. I have set in bold where I think the news reporting stopped, and the characterization drifted into editorializing clouded in an unidentified source called "some". I don't know, maybe a Journalist can explain this to me, and correct me where I am wrong. Help, please, oh great and wise Journalists. Is this Journalism, a mycterismus, or both?

In the home page of Sandeep Kaushik has the title of "Spiritual Adviser, Guitars". Inserted into his "Spiritual" advising Mr. Kaushik drifts into an assertion attributed to "some". Is this the "Elixir" part of Publicola's motto?
How refreshing it is to have "some" as a source of derisive comments, uh, news (I don't know).

Now, we do not know who "some" are, maybe "some" had their work get poor reviews at, or maybe "some" are writers at that do not have the heart to tell Publisher David Brewster that what they are writing is "overly dry and self-consciously upper-middlebrow to the point of borderline snobbery, though the site’s worship of intellectual detachment and penchant for discursive musings", or maybe some other nameless, faceless, "some in the local journalism". Who knows?

Gates Foundation Rides to the Rescue: Crosscut Gets $100,000 Gift.
BY SANDEEP, 08/28/2009, 6:53 PM

Back in March of this year PubliCola reported that people close to, a bastion of high-minded civic commentary, were saying privately that the site might be on its last legs. Founded by David Brewster, who founded the Seattle Weekly in the 1970s and more recently Town Hall, Crosscut was conceived in 2006 in Brewster’s own image as a haven for "independent, bipartisan, ’solutionist’ politics" and analysis, as an FAQ provided on the site puts it. The site quickly emerged as a home base for Brewster’s circle of friends and acquaintances in the old school Seattle commentariat, including former Weekly editor and self-described "Mossback" Knute Berger, former Hubert Humphrey aide Ted Van Dyk, and former King Broadcasting CEO Steve Clifford. Former P-I columnist Jean Godden (now on the City Council) has contributed occasionally, as has former WSDOT director Doug MacDonald.

Initially intended as a for-profit venture, the site is privately criticized by some in the local journalism world as overly dry and self-consciously upper-middlebrow to the point of borderline snobbery, though the site’s worship of intellectual detachment and penchant for discursive musings—heavy on context, relatively light on news—has also won it a core of dedicated readers, mostly among the over-50 set.

In any event, Brewster’s solutionist politics turned out to be something of a buzzkill when it came to advertising sales, and the site rapidly burned through several hundred thousand dollars in seed capital drawn from monied Old Seattle benefactors.

By this May the Seattle Weekly (long since sold by Brewster, and currently owned by the nation’s largest alt-weekly chain, Village Voice Media) was also picking up indications of trouble, reporting that Crosscut was having difficulties paying its freelance writers. Brewster, however, was undeterred, hinting at the possibility of better days to come in an e-mail to his contributors. "I’m waiting for a decision on a lead gift that would really launch us, so I hope I can send good news and catch up with past-dues. Thank you very much for staking me and Crosscut," Brewster wrote.

He is waiting no longer. Indeed, happy days are here again for Crosscut; solutionist politics may not have won over many advertisers, but it apparently strokes the intellectual erogenous zones of program officers at major philanthropic foundations. According to two knowledgeable sources, Crosscut, now refashioned as a non-profit venture, is about to receive a $100,000 grant from the Gates Foundation (the Seattle Foundation is also involved) that will ensure the stie’s continued survival for some time to come.

Though the grant is still being finalized, new signs of life at Crosscut are already apparent. As Josh reported a few days ago, Mark Matassa, a talented former Seattle Times , P-I , and Los Angeles Times editor, will be joining Crosscut on September 15 as deputy editor, a half-time position. (Matassa has been a member of PubliCola’s advisory board—not a paid gig—but is now stepping down to take the Crosscut gig; he was not a source for this post).

What other changes the new funding will bring remain to be seen. In response to an inquiry about the new Gates Foundation funding and its implications for the site, Brewster politely declined comment. “I have nothing to announce at this point,” he wrote in an e-mail.

Ok, that must be Journalism. I read Publicola, Crosscut, most of the other stuff I have feeding my little blog. Sure, I give my opinion on my personal blog, here, and I am not passing it off as News or Journalism. I am writing to remember, and refine my fleeting thoughts, and give my opinion. I am not qualified by training or experience as a Journalist. I have been writin' 'n stuff, for a couple years, n' such (and have a BA in Communication). So, forgive me if I do not always recognize Journalism when I see it.

Hey, did Sandeep Kaushik mention that was not much more than a spin-off of until a private investor dumped a pile of money into it?
Huh, that's weird.

So, "some" readers of the story took issue with the manor of characterization of, Lucky for "some" the writer responded with an explanation of his views of

10. Sandeep says:
To be clear about a couple of things:

I do think David Brewster is a talented guy, who has done a lot to add to the civic discourse in Seattle. I come from a pretty upper-middlebrow background myself — spent a lot of time in graduate school working on a history Ph.D. I never finished — so I am sympathetic to efforts to elevate (and intellectualize) the discourse. And I like him personally.

Second, I think the Gates grant is great news. I’m glad to see that Crosscut will survive. We need more media choices in this town, not fewer. Also, there has been a lot of talk in the journalism world about how the old advertising based model is irreparably broken, and great hope has been pinned non-profit public interest journalism filling the void. But aside from a handful of much-hyped examples, I haven’t seen much evidence that such a model is viable. So David’s success in finding foundation support is notwworthy — and a feather in his cap.

The criticisms expressed in the post above is stuff that one hears pretty commonly in local journalism and civic circles about Crosscut. Not to say that those perceptions are anything close to universal — Crosscut has its share of fans as well. Perhaps not surprisingly, the public radio/public tv crowd appear to be big supporters. Steve Scher, the host of KUOW’s “Weekday” comes to mind — he’s even written several pieces for the site.

And I like Crosscut better than some of its critics do. Brewster’s work is often insightful, though I think marred at times by his reliance on the off the record conversations with a relatively narrow range of older Seattle voices. I don’t agree with Skip Berger on much — I don’t mourn the loss of some ugly-ass building Ballard that housed a Denny’s, so much as I mourn the loss of a Denny’s in Ballard — but I also think he’s smart, prolific, informed, full of ideas and a talented writer. Some of the coverage on Crosscut has been excellent; for instance, former Wall Street Journal reporter Bill Richards’ reporting on the Seattle Times’ finances. Austin Jenkins, the Olympia correspondent for public radio, has contributed some solid work as well.

But in my estimation there hasn’t been enough news content on the site. I do think Crosscut would benefit greatly from more original reporting, and less bloviating from the Friends of David. The hiring of Matassa may be an indication that David agrees.

One final criticism of Crosscut: the site would benefit from being more transparent about its funders and other benefactors. So far as I know, David has never revealed who sits on his board, for instance. Here at PubliCola we’ve tried to be transparent about how we operate, where we get our money and how we deal with conflicts. I’m not at all concerned to see that a foundation is funding a media site, so long as that is openly disclosed. Every media site is open to criticism about its revenue sources abd its potential conflicts — its not like all of the Seattle Times’ rules and protestations of ethical rigor protects the paper from widespread public suspicions of the Blethens’ influence over the thrust of their news coverage. Now that Crosscut has moved to non-profit status, I think we’ll see more transparency — I suspect David will have more to say about the changes to his site once the Gates grant is finalized.

Sandeep says: To be clear about a couple of things:

Gosh, thanks for clearing that all up. I thought for a second "some" were random media people milling about outside of your house. Turns out, "some" might just might include Sandeep Kaushik.

I guess the answer to my question: Is this Journalism, a mycterismus, or both? might be both.

Don't get me wrong, I am happy for both online publications, that they have funding to keep doing that. They have to make a living somehow. I do not know, I am no Journalist.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Moving my stuff: MOHAI Development Project at the Naval Reserve Armory in Lake Union Park - Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.

The Seattle City Council Parks and Seattle Center Commmittee is holding a public hearing regarding MOHAI Development at Lake Union Park. The public hearing is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.
The notice is also available online:

Please email us or call 206-684-8888 with your comments or suggestions. If you want to unsubscribe from this agenda email list, please reply to the email and put unsubscribe in the subject line.

Thank you,
Administrative Support Team
City of Seattle
Parks and Seattle Center Committee
Tom Rasmussen, Chair

Notice of Public Hearing

Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) Development Project at the Naval Reserve Armory in Lake Union Park

September 29, 2009 – 2:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall
600 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA

The Seattle City Council's Parks and Seattle Center Committee will hold a public hearing
regarding proposed legislation that would allow the Historical Society of Seattle and King County (doing business as The Museum of History and Industry, or "MOHAI") to redevelop the Armory in Lake Union Park as a regional history museum. The legislation, in the form of a project development agreement and a long term ground lease, would provide City funds for the rehabilitation of the core and shell of the Armory building for museum use. MOHAI would be responsible for funding interior improvements at the Armory, including exhibitory infrastructure. The City funds principally will be derived from the acquisition or condemnation by the State of Washington of the current MOHAI museum facility (owned by the City) in McCurdy Park, which
is needed for replacement of the state's Highway 520, in addition to approximately $1.2 million for the project from prior City funds provided to MOHAI for unrealized development of a downtown museum site.

Additional information about the MOHAI Development Project is available in Clerk File No. 310147 at the Office of the City Clerk, Floor 3 of City Hall, 600 4th Avenue, (206) 684-8344,

For questions about the MOHAI Development Project call Marshall Foster, Office of Policy and Management, (206) 684-8413.

Access to City Hall is via 4th or 5th Avenues, between James and Cherry Streets. The City Council Chamber is accessible.

Pay parking is available in SeaPark garage between Cherry and James Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Those attending the budget public hearings receive a special rate of $3. Tell the garage cashier as you exit the garage that you attended a City Council public hearing and you will receive the special rate. Please note that this garage closes at 10:00 p.m. Handicapped parking ONLY is available in City Hall.
See - "Parking at or near City Hall" for more information on how to access handicapped parking.

Print and communications access is provided on prior request. Please contact Nancy Roberts at (206) 684-8146 as soon as possible to request accommodations for a disability.

Written and e-mailed comments are welcome until Friday, October 2, 2009, 5 p.m. You may mail comments to: Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, P.O. Box 34025, Seattle, WA 98124-4025. Fax comments to (206) 684-8587. E-mail comments may be sent to: or other Councilmembers whose e-mail addresses can be found on the Council webpage

Publication Ordered by Catherine Moore, Interim City Clerk

. . .

The proposal is to move MOHAI

Why I think Edward B. Murray should be Mayor of Seattle

Not for the Joni Balter reasons (the un-entrenched are not worthy), but because State Route 520 bridge is the next big thing heading toward the Seattle tax payers, the state, and the Montlake neighborhood.

This is a billion dollar decision that will last half a century. Of the candidates, or potential candidates. You know the details of this better than the rest, having served as state chair of the House Transportation Committee.

A poll taken to gauge Ed Murray's viability as a write-in candidate for Seattle mayor shows the state senator finishing in second place, behind Joe Mallahan and ahead of Michael McGinn.

But when people are reminded who Murray is, a long-time lawmaker, he finished first, Murray said Thursday.

Murray, who said he was encouraged by the survey's results, said he'd decide next week whether to seek the city's top job against the environmentalist McGinn and businessman Mallahan. He said the poll results showed that up to 70 percent of voters would consider his candidacy.

"That shows softness all over the place," said Murray, a Democrat who represents Seattle's 43rd legislative district.SeattlePI.COM: Murray, considering mayoral bid, encouraged by poll result

This will be on the mayor's plate in a hurry, and the city needs an advocate that knows the issue inside and out.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Publicola: More than Just Labor Leaders

Mayor Ed Murray?

I would vote for Ed Murray over all of the primary candidates, and the boy king Peter Steinbrueck. I wondered a month ago why Murray [thanks xteve] did not run.
Still wondering.

Last night, State Sen. Ed Murray (D-43) confirmed the theory we floated yesterday afternoon : Labor leaders are interested in having him run as a write-in candidate for mayor.

Murray said he’s open to  the idea and he’s meeting with supporters this morning to hear them out. He also said the contingent includes more than just labor leaders.

He also confirmed something else we’d heard: There are other names on the list. He did not know who.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Monday, August 24, 2009

The Secret Life of (Dorsol) Plants

The election numbers were released today, nothing really changed. Laura Onstot at the SeattleWeekly marveled at the distant but respectable showing of third place finisher in the Seattle City Council Position 8 race, Dorsol Plants. Placing third is not what is newsworthy, doing it with $7,000, and holding down a full-time day-job is.
Bloom won a trip to the general, but raised eyebrows when he only managed 18 percent of the vote (at last count) despite his long-standing local ties, a $69,000 fundraising effort, and cable television ads. Plants ran his campaign on a shoestring, raising less than $7,000. But he worked hard, attending every campaign forum and local political event he could while holding down a job at the Family and Adult Service Center trying to get homeless vets some kind of employment.
The Daily Weekly: The Other Incredibly Effective Low(er) Budget Candidate

Point taken, and well made.

The Bloom campaign is "The Reform Candidate".
Neighborhoods is the theme, and the reform goes like this:
City administration has focused on an expensive development plan for South Lake Union and Mercer Street designed to help big business without regard to the larger needs of our city.
Bloom: Issues & Ideas

Bloom is endorsed by Nick Licata. Both should be experiencing an identity crisis. The champions of downtown lost in one mayoral contest. So, are the reformers going to have anything to reform? If that is their raison d'être then should they exist?

They have to do more than oppose somebody that used to be mayor, they have to be for something with an actual plan for making it happen. Everybody is for "affordable housing". Dorsol plants came in third and that is his job.

Where does money come from, are the sorces of funding willing, or have they been overtaxed?
All you "reformers", your excuse for not making happen your asparations happen will be leaving. Not getting something done now is on you.

Lastly, it is unlikely Nickels and Drago supporters will support Mike McGinn, even if Joe Mallahan is going to kill the Mercer rebuild. If Mike McGinn gets 45% of the vote I will be shocked.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

water under the burnt bridge

And now, a word about Facebook:
"Seattle Politicos" fb group had an after the Primary. I was unable to attend for family reasons. What is interesting is that I think most FB affinity groups do not get a write up in the local media. Maybe they do and I just never noticed. Anyway, here is what I missed:
Doors at 6, keg from Fremont Brewing Co. tapped at 6:30. Candidates who’ll be on hand include City Attorney contender Pete Holmes, Position 4 candidate Sally Bagshaw, and Position 8 candidate Robert Rosencrantz.

So, they drank some beers.
And. . .
Mayoral hopeful Mike McGinn chatted up potential supporters, along with fellow tunnel-hater Mike O'Brien. O'Brien's competition for Richard McIver's city council seat, Robert Rosencrantz, got behind the keg and started pulling pints, which never hurts your electoral chances.
The gathering was hosted by "Seattle Politicos." A testament to the organizational power of Facebook, the Politicos is basically a collection of online "friends". Members include reporters, candidates, consultants, campaign volunteers and enthusiastic participants in democracy. Vulcan lobbyist Dan McGrady created the group, which now assembles semi-regularly for drinks, elbow-rubbing, and occasionally awkward encounters between competitors.

O'Brien and Rosencrantz weren't the only people there who will be facing off in November. City Attorney hopeful Pete Holmes and incumbent Tom Carr both showed up. Holmes only stuck around for a few minutes before heading off to a meeting of the 46th District Democrats to hunt for votes.

But the big talk last night wasn't opponents awkwardly mingling around each other, it was who the former mayoral supporters will back now. McGinn suspects it will come down to their position on the tunnel--Mallahan supports it, McGinn will try to stop it. Because of his support for public transit and former role with the Sierra Club, McGinn thinks he'll pull off the environmentalists.

The bigger question is the unions. Labor unions have actively supported the tunnel project, but also launched their own ad campaign against Joe Mallahan in the days before Tuesday's primary.


The upside to not going was that I could read about it. The down side is that I missed out on the beer.
Maybe next time.

On another Friend note: Nick Licata held his own (55%) against two challengers; Jessie Israel (29%) and Marty Kaplan (14%) (source: King County Elections). A hefty lead for Licata to take coming out of the primary. Jessie Israel has her work cut out for her if she expects to unseat Licata.

I think it is unlikely that she wins, but, what does Licata run on? Nickels is gone. The Mercer project is dead if Joe Mallahan becomes mayor (see story here).
He reiterated his opposition to the Mercer Street Project, saying it wasn't well financed. He said the $70 million in levy funds committed to the project should go where they were originally intended, to fixing roads and sidewalks.
Licata worked pretty hard to popularize his opposition to some projects, and then complained that he was unfairly being painted by his opponents as an obstructionist. Well, now, he may not have a foil to make and unmake his reputation on with both Greg Nickels and Jan Drago not running campaigns (neither will be mayor).

My guess is that the identity crisis will hit in about a month when he is trying to redefine himself in the absense of Greg Nickels.

For Nick Licata, the Nickels era is a mixed metaphor now: it is water under the burnt bridge.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Monday, August 17, 2009

A question about endorsement deliberation method at the Times

Mr. Blethen,
Inquiring minds want to know, and I am bothering to ask, what was the deliberation method used in determining the Times Editorial endorsement in this year's mayoral race?

I speculated: Was it a process intended to produce a duell endorsement, or did they (you all) have a pretend democracy and invited John Gastil in to count votes and give them heck when they strayed from Robert's Rules of Order? I speculate.
Was I close?

Thanks, and have a great day,
Mike Baker
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I BCC'd this email to my blog.

You are welcome, America!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sonicsgate Trailer, full viewing 10/12/09 at siff

So, how does the media event on 10/12/09 Impact the Seattle and King County the elections being held three weeks later?
Since so many media members are in it there will be a great deal of attention to this event by the media.

iPhone users, there is a YouTube link at the bottom of this post.

Sonicsgate Trailer from sonicsgate on Vimeo.

The SONICSGATE documentary film premieres for free on the internetz Monday, October 12.

Peep the trailer live in HD at

Featuring exclusive HD interviews with more than 35 key characters including Kevin Calabro, Sam Perkins, Brent Barry, Desmond Mason, Nick Collison, Doug Christie, Jamal Crawford, Aaron Brooks, James Donaldson, Slade Gorton, Paul Lawrence, Brad Keller, Tom Carr and Chris Van Dyk. 

Special Preview Screening October 9 @ SIFF Cinema in Seattle (321 Mercer St.)
Tickets on sale now at the SIFF Website

$5 -- includes admission to Sonicsgate Afterparty at Spitfire! (2219 4th Ave)


I lifted this text right off   WATCH TRAILER HERE and the countdown clock.

Check out the video on YouTube:

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

James Donaldson recommended by 46th LD Republicans

As reported by Mike Seely at the SeattleWeekly, James Donaldson is a big man with a big reach all the way to the 46th Legislative District Republicans (not that there's anything wrong with it).

So, why the power move to the Right?
Donaldson doesn't have the cash on hand to match his rivals' air games, which has his camp putting a good amount of faith in direct mail and turning out three oft-overlooked constituencies: (1) Republicans, (2) members of Save Our Sonics, which endorsed Donaldson last week and has 15,000 members, according to Donaldson campaign manager Cindi Laws, and (3) "20,000 WSU alums" who live in the area, according to Laws (Donaldson graduated from Wazzu). Will this be enough for Donaldson to make the finals? We'll soon find out.
SeattleWeekly: Republicans Dig Donaldson, And Hopefully Area Wazzu Alums Will Too

See the full list of recommendations from the 46th LD Republicans here: 46th LD Republicans (Seattle, WA) -

As I read mostly James Donaldson's 134 point plan I thought it had a "republican-ish" feel to it.
Read it here.
Hopefully Publicola did not exclude Donaldson from its "special series of Q&As this weekend with the four major candidates for Seattle mayor" because Donaldson was reaching out to Republicans.

At the time of their story Donaldson was 3rd in the polls, and yet he was excluded from being in their top 4.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Seattle Times, and all local media publish KIRO newsroom dirt, calling it news: Susan Hutchison

Maybe, I see two points where this could be news: Behind the scenes look at media that seldom reports on itself; what kind of person Susan Hutchison might be.

Susan Hutchison, now a candidate for King County executive, was so stressed about having been replaced as a news anchor at KIRO-TV that she took medical leave in September 2002 and never went back to work at the station before she was terminated in December of that year.

Media gawking.

The records show that during a tumultuous time at KIRO — amid low ratings and staff changes — Hutchison's supervisors lost faith in her ability to stabilize the station's viewership. And after being demoted from the anchor's chair, her supervisors said Hutchison's behavior caused her to lose credibility with them.

Media gawking.

King County Superior Court Judge Timothy Bradshaw agreed. "The openness of our courts is constitutionally mandated and is a vital part of state history," Bradshaw said in his ruling.

Ok, but sealing, unsealing records is not news. What is news is that Hutchison has avoided being in open public forums early in her campaign, and has refused to submit questionaires, at least that is the charge from the person hoping to challenge Hutchison in the general election, Dow Constantine.

Dow Constantine is using this subject as a means to present himself as the presumptive opposition, and win the second spot in the August 18th King County Primary Election.

Hutchison had been fighting release of the records.

In a written and videotaped statement after the judge's ruling, Hutchison said her lawsuit against KIRO prepared her for public office:

"There is no doubt that the hard road I chose in fighting against discrimination so many years ago also prepared me for the rigors of this campaign, and the demands of serving in public life."

The "demands of serving in public life" are that you are no longer a limited-private person that can only be reported on in the media in reference to your job reporting the news. You chose to be a public servant, and a politician lives a life that is pretty much an open book. That is the one of the major "demands of serving in public life", and you, of any candidate, must know that as a fact.

We, the people, demand to know what kind of person is representing us (at least your news profession has made that argument). This may be the actual news part of this melodrama, that, and that she is now a Public Person.

Susan Hutchison's court case being opened may be intrusive to her, or embarrassing, or whatever. After many years of reporting the news she, of any first time candidate, must know the limits and demands of private information that has been submitted in court.

She chose to run for PUBLIC office.

Why do you think so many people are not willing to put up with their lives being an open book? It has been news people prying open people's lives, like Hutchison did for twenty years at KIRO TV, that has Hutchison in this position.

Hutchison's statement Friday claimed she is still muzzled by a 2005 confidentiality agreement with KIRO and unable to discuss the case and KIRO's allegations about her.

"My lips are sealed even as these documents are unsealed," Hutchison said in her statement.

But Bradshaw, the judge, said, "As to the muzzling argument, it is sufficiently clear that's not the case."

KIRO's lawyer Bruce Johnson maintained, in a letter to the court, that Hutchison was free to talk about the case; she just can't discuss details of the settlement she reached with KIRO.

After Bradshaw's ruling, Jon Rosen, Hutchison's lawyer, said he expected Hutchison would rebut some of KIRO's claims.

Hutchison's campaign manager insisted that Hutchison was still unable to talk about the lawsuit because of the confidentiality agreement.

"As far as we're concerned she's still bound by it. We don't believe he (Bradshaw) has jurisdiction to release her from the confidentiality agreement," said Jordan McCarren.

Seattle Times: Hutchison had stormy relationship with bosses

The fact that she still refuses to recognize the legal and political situation for what it is, out in the open and being controlled by her opponents.
Not every political novice fails to see the open life they have willingly chosen, in this case Hutchison is attempting to deny information her profession has made a living exposing.

This should not be news, and not controlled by her opponents, and that says more about Susan Hutchison than anything printed in the Seattle Times. She worked for KIRO TV for twenty years and does not know how the manage information others may use against her. Pathetic. How will she advocate for King County in unpopular media environments? Will she depend on the kindness of the media, or county executives of other counties competing for state dollars? Good luck with that, Hutchison.

We need a leader that can manage people as well as sensitive information, personal or public. We do not need a show pony, but a work horse.

Too harsh?

I read in a story about Ross Hunter that he was checked out by his doctor and does not have CANCER.

That is revealing, and that is owning information in the public sphere. Not only did I not have to see a document, but the context that the personal facts were reported were directly from the source.

Own your public life, or somebody else will.

And that is the news.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Endorsement filler 2009, I have voted!

I have endorsed two candidates on some higher profile races. Now, I am down to filling in the ovals and thought I would throw in the last two names of each race that I have not already written about.

King County Executive: Ross Hunter and Fred Jarrett as the top two primary candidates.

Court of Appeals only has two people running, flip your own coin, or write me in, I can be Appealing, sometimes.

Port of Seattle, Pos 3: Rob Holland, or Al Yuen

Port of Seattle, Pos 4: Tom Albro, or Robert Walker

I endorse Mallahan and McGinn as the top two for Mayor of Seattle.

City of Seattle Council Pos 4: Sally Bagshaw, or David Bloom

City of Seattle Council Pos 6: Marty Kaplan, or Jessie Israel

City of Seattle Council Pos 8: Robert Rosencrantz, or David Miller.

The plastic bag tax: a great thing to do, the dumbest loop-hole riddled method to make it happen.
Did you know that a business with annual gross sales of less than one million dollars get to retain 100% of the total amount they collect?
Your King County voter pamphlet, page 21, section D, item 1.

Not only will many local businesses I go to be required to account for a tax they keep, but that more then covers the cost of that bag.

Just ban the bag, and give sponsored reusable bags to every home.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Seatthe Times: Opinion - Endorsements are a vibrant contribution to community deliberation at election time

For-profit newspaper industry wants the feedom of the press, including advocating for candidates in there editorial pages, while also benefitting from the tax status of a not-for-profit organization.

Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., came up with a bill that would change the tax code to allow newspapers to become 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. I commend Cardin for trying to use legislation to perpetuate a vital part of American democracy. So what's the problem? If the bill passes as is, any newspaper that opts to become a nonprofit will not be allowed to endorse candidates in political elections.
Seattle Times' Ryan Blethen.

So, what's the problem?
An advocate newspaper in that instance might become 501(c)(4) - lobbyist publication. And what stops a 501(c)(4) from claiming to be a 501(c)(3) non-profit?
How about churches that cross the line to advocate directly for candidates with endorsements.

Newspapers have worked very hard to put themselves in this box, independant of other organizations, to be free in the free market. The market has shrunk, so now you want it both ways, to be picked by the government as worthy of 501(c)(3) status, without that intrusive regulation that would prevent a newspaper from becoming a schill.
Being a schill is not only distasteful (Armstrong Williams), but actually against the LAW.

How could a not-for profit both take money in direct payment from a person or business and express an honest and independant newsroom and editorial board?
Blind trust and blind faith?
Not likely.

There is a helluva lot of regulation, law, and plain old common sense that has made things the way your industry has wanted it for almost 100 years.

I have a great idea, how about just starting with the current legislation. This arrangement has not hurt NPR, has it?

Then, maybe, the non-profit newspaper would at least pretend to strike a balance in reporting.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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