The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

08 May 2005

Times: Spokane Mayor Must Resign


Seattle Paper Again Oversteps Bounds

Can you imagine an Eastern Washington newspaper calling for the resignation of Seattle's mayor? The Emerald City's liberal, elitist establishment would be laughing for weeks, if they ever heard about it at all.

So why is it okay then, when the situation is reversed, with the
Seattle Times calling today for Spokane Mayor Jim West to step down after being outed as a gay, making chatroom and in-person visits with adult males?

It's called arrogance.

We all have our opinions to express, but the Times wants to lecture citizens outside its readership area and doesn't understand the distinction, because conceit is in the way.

Here's my take, not to be pushed on anyone in Spokane:

The only confirmed transgression, so far, was in using his work computer to participate in these sites. Hate to break the news, but if we start removing government officials who view personal sites on company time, there won't be any left.

So we can assume the Times will now lead a crusade to have all government employees and elected officials sacked for this reason? Don't hold your breath, too many Democrats would go down the tubes.

Allegations of 1970's-era child molestation is not cause for resignation, either, unless there is an admission by West, or some other evidence emerges in this distinct matter. Are child molestation accusations always proven true? Just ask the residents of Wenatchee, Washington, about that.

As for West being a hypocrite, show me a politician who isn't.

In their zeal to pick off prominent Republicans from public office, the Seattle media has lost sight of what it's actually calling for: a mayor's removal for being outed as homosexual.

It's fair and proper for Americans from different sections of the country to express opinions about this matter, but it isn't reasonable for an elitist Seattle newspaper, to dictate to Spokane residents how they should deal with the situation. It's their call.

Especially sad is the distinction between the reporting staff, who took pains to be fair, and the paper's increasingly
Post-Intelligencer-like editorial page.

What troubles me most is the hysteria generated by the media about this situation, to the point where both sides, have not been thinking clearly.

Liberals have put themselves in a weird position, where they could score a few points talking about privacy and tolerance, instead they can't see past their irrational anger toward Republicans.

Many in the GOP, on the other hand, have been so quick to chop this guy's neck off, they aren't taking account of how fair that is, either. Do you really turn on your own people this easily? How about due process, rather than sheer panic?

Update: additional allegations made against West which are fuzzier in nature, but piled on top of the other revelations, may very well be enough to bring his political career to a quick end. And, Spokane officials will investigate violations of the city's email policy.

My point remains, nonetheless, that this is Spokane's call and not ours to make. It seems more likely now, however, that West will step down on his own very soon. He has an opportunity to tell the truth, if there's anything he needs to reveal to a concerned public.


  • The publisher of the Spokesman Review is on the Seattle Times board, or at least used to be. Stacey Cowles.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 08 May, 2005 20:21  

  • Is she the one in the plush top-floor apartment in Spokane's city center?

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 08 May, 2005 21:14  

  • Hate to break this to you Brian, but the Seattle Times is sold all over the Spokane area, not to mention the entire state.

    So the Times is not so out-of-line to have an opinion on this matter.

    The story on West has never really been a secret in the gay community. Nobody really cared until he became a public hypocrite.

    When a group of gays started talking about a gay community zone in Spokane, he came out blasting the idea talking some drivel about preserving traditional family values.

    This has nothing to do with West being gay or bi-sexual. The issue is saying one thing and living another.

    West is not the only public figure in Washington with a "secret life". The difference is that most of the others are not being hypocrites.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 09 May, 2005 09:25  

  • The Seattle Times is found at newsstands and paper racks in British Columbia (cost: a loonie or more), as well, but I wouldn't call it a Vancouver paper.

    It might be available in Spokane, but that's not it's prime readership area and the number of copies it sells daily is probably tiny compared to the Spokesman-Review.

    It's not the place of the Times to dictate to another city, hours away, what to do about their mayor.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 09 May, 2005 11:38  

  • It has been a few years since I lived in Spokane but the Seattle Times was not a prominent paper there. I hate to break to the western Washington elitist but the ST isn't the NYT of Washington.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 09 May, 2005 17:04  

  • Don't look for this to cause much of a stir, Brian.
    As seared of conscience and reprobate of mind as most of "the Left coast" has become since 1980, I would not be surprised to see sodomite pride marches supporting the NAMBLA-poster-child mayor.
    After all, perverts must procreate somehow, when their irrational/empty-headed emotionalism based fear prevents them from doing it normally.

    By Blogger Galt-In-Da-Box, at 10 May, 2005 00:10  

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