The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

06 June 2005

Cozy Media-Politics Ties

Hacks Play Switcheroo Game

Proper To Trade Between Politics And Journalism?

(Plus: Election Contest Decision Liveblogging Below)

A small, weekend item in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer was missed by many, yet it's another example of a dubious trend: liberal Democrats switching between journalism and partisan political positions.

The Radio Equalizer isn't aware of similar horse-trading on the GOP side of the aisle.

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire's appointment of Seattle Times spokeswoman Kerry Coughlin to be her communications director, is only the latest example of a disturbing pattern.

It's especially common in Washington state, where swapping newspaper or television journalism jobs for spinmeister openings in Olympia, or the other way around, seems to be on the increase.

Since when is it okay to switch back and forth between journalism and politics, without eyebrows being raised?

Yes, Coughlin's Times position involved serving as spokeswoman, not as a reporter, but she had close ties to journalists there. Now, she'll be able to use those long-established relationships to her advantage, in promoting the governor.

It's further evidence of the cozy ties between Seattle's liberal media establishment and Democrats in Olympia.

More brazen is former first lady Mona Lee Locke, who switched between TV news positions in Seattle, to Olympia with her husband and activism on many issues, then back to television immediately after his departure. The Radio Equalizer previously covered this issue in January.

Former Democrat Governor Gary Locke has for years, moved in elite Seattle circles with entrenched local journalists, down to living in a city neighborhood they've long favored.

A co-worker's departure from serving as a radio reporter, to a PR position in Locke's administration several years ago, first brought this issue to my attention. Not only did the newsroom fail to raise ethical issues about the move, but it became clear her working relationships with the station's reporters would be an advantage for the governor.

Think about it this way: when she calls the newsroom or sends over a fax, versus someone without this close working relationship, which one has a distinct advantage?

No doubt it's why they're hired in the first place! That doesn't mean it's proper.

As Washington state's gubernatorial election challenge is decided in a Chelan County courtroom today, readers should keep these unreasonably close relationships in mind, when digesting coverage of developments in the case.

Related: Predictions and updates on WA gubernatorial court challenge from Orbusmax, Sound Politics, Josef, Timothy Goddard, NW Republican and many others.

Election Decision Live Blogging

GOP Loses First Round In Gubernatorial Challenge

12.25pm: TVW live coverage. Looks very good for Republicans so far. We'll see how Judge Bridges's line of reasoning continues.

Later: no intentional fraud in King County, by county or by candidates. Statistical methods used by GOP for determining fraud aren't acceptible, in law or science.

Cherry-picking counties for felon voting fraud not acceptible. Felons are evenly distributed statewide. GOP placed emphasis too heavily on King County, where it knew criminal voters were more likely to support Gregoire.

Conclusions: court has jurisdiction, unless election is clearly invalid, intent of voters is not to be disturbed.

Felons votes are illegal, law is clear. 1678 illegal votes cast overall, in every category, felons= 674 + 647 (GOP figures plus Dems totals from outside of King County), deceased= 19, provisional ballots= 96+79 (King + Pierce), and other categories.

Expert testimony on how felons may have voted is ruled invalid.

Rossi received 4 votes from felons, no evidence that Gregoire received any votes from felons. No evidence that either candidate engaged in wrongdoing.

Unless improper conduct rises to an especially high level, meaning proof of misconduct of by elections officials, there isn't cause to overturn election. Standard must include effort by officials to swing election to Gregoire, with proof of such conduct.

Election can't be set aside merely because number of illegal votes exceed margin of victory.

"Proportional Deduction" method not appropriate theory to set aside election. This means there was no scientific proof that it can be determined via statistics, that Rossi actually won the election. In fact, he thinks it might have helped Gregoire, if anything.

Contest dismissed, Gregoire's election confirmed.

KING-5/NWCN-TV now using liberal partisan hack Carl Jeffers of California as an analyst, giving a horribly slanted view of the GOP's courtroom effort. Says Rossi was damaged by the case.

This is dishonest, as Rossi has not been commenting on the GOP's challenge. He's been staying out of the fray.

Typical Seattle media bias. How is Jeffers a legal expert on this matter? How does he have the political credibility? Last year, he was a one-topic talk host, with weekly Kerry infomercials.

Jeffers given a tremendous amount of time airtime, despite the lack of credentials to cover this case for television. KING/NWCN can do better than this level of coverage.

Clear Seattle media gloating emerging quickly.

GOP already preparing appeal to WA State Supreme Court.

Jeffers and other partisan hacks predict GOP will win over only one or two justices. They give no reasons for this, citing nothing about the makeup of the court's justices, previous decisions, anything. They're just pulling this stuff out of you-know-where. Viewers are let down.

Other analyst thinks voters won't understand decision, because they can't or don't care enough about it.

Update: They're obviously thrilled at Seattle P-I and Times. P-I shows dancing, embracing Democrat lawyers.

Evening Update: Rossi won't press ahead with WA supreme Court challenge, it's over now. The bigger picture is whether Gregoire will ever win over the public, a majority of whom have repeatedly told pollsters they don't believe she won fair and square. Ultraliberal Seattle P-I editors so happy, they ran tomorrow's editorial a day early, here. Typically partisan language from America's most slanted daily newspaper.

Welcome Michelle Malkin, Orbusmax, GOPBloggers, Free Republic and other readers.


  • How about Tony Snow for the GOP? Or Bill Kristol? Or Roger Ailes?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 June, 2005 13:15  

  • Did you notice the use of the pronoun "we" By FOX channel Asman?

    DAVID ASMAN: You're the chairman of the rules committee. Did Senator [Bill] Frist [R-TN] have the votes to end the filibuster?

    TRENT LOTT: I believe that he did. It would have been very close. We would have probably gotten a 50-50 tie vote, with the vice president breaking the tie. Perhaps we'd have had 51 before it was over. I do think it's a rule that should be in place because what the Democrats have been doing is not, you know, protecting a rule, they have been causing something different. The filibusters on a serial basis, federal judicial nominees to the appellate courts, was unprecedented for 214 years. So, to put that rule in place saying that it only takes 51 votes to confirm these judges was something I thought we should do. Remember now --

    ASMAN: So, Senator, if we should have done it and if we had the votes to do it in the Senate -- if you guys in the Republican Party did -- then why did you need a compromise?

    LOTT: Well, you know, I would argue that we probably should have gone forward with the vote, all things considered.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 June, 2005 13:35  

  • Anyone else with a comment on media coverage of the decision?

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 06 June, 2005 14:05  

  • Anon, aren't your examples mostly of people who went from commentaries for one medium, to another?

    Mine are of people who were reporters or in management positions, taking part in Democrat partisan politics.

    In Locke's case, it was journalism to politics, to reporting again.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 06 June, 2005 14:22  

  • Give it up. You're a shill for the Republicans. If it isn't Republican it's of no use.

    Stu Padasso

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 June, 2005 16:21  

  • Ed Penhale (very liberal scribe for the P-I) and Hal Spencer, another liberally slanted reporter from the AP both took jobs as flacks with Gov. Locke's Office of Financial Management.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 June, 2005 16:25  

  • Did you know that as soon as Gary Locke was elected to the governor's mansion, his man in charge of media relations for the Spokane area was given the job of Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Seattle University. At the time Dean Loh only had a MA in Journalism I believe. I don't know what kind of donated paperwork he has been given since.

    Keep up the good work

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 June, 2005 20:10  

  • I think you should check into the KING 5/NWCN websites and how they don't hyperlink to conservative commentary on yesterday's tragedy...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 07 June, 2005 12:18  

  • If you're looking for examples of going from media positions to formal political jobs and back, head over to and search the site for the term "revolving door". That's what they call(ed) their column in their Mediawatch newsletter that tracked such things. It even had a total running count with it... this was back in at least the early 90's, I think.

    Here is just one example of what you'll turn up with it:

    I suppose if you want the total figures, you could just call up Brent and ask ;)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 20 June, 2005 21:46  

  • (dohs) That's the Media Research Center at

    Maybe next time I'll make a post without a mistake in it... hey, we can hope!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 20 June, 2005 21:48  

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