It’s a routine pastime among local pundits to trash opinion in The Seattle Times for being banal, internally inconsistent, factually inaccurate, disingenuous, morally repugnant, or all five at once. That’s easy, and at this point no longer news. It’s still news, however, when some of these afflictions reach the newsroom. For the latest example, see the credulous and misleading twin pieces on the 45th District race (Dhingra, Englund) ($) by Joe O’Sullivan in Sunday’s paper.
The second paragraph of the Englund profile tries hard to establish her moderate bona fides, to reassure moderate 45th District voters that she’s not one of those Republicans:
Englund, a 33-year-old who believes in human-caused climate change and supports closing some business-tax exemptions and enacting certain gun-safety regulations, didn’t hesitate.
“I am not,” she said. “ I am anything but the status-quo Republican, if you look at me.”
She believes in climate change! So voters concerned about the environment but uneasy about taxes can vote with a clear conscience. Let’s hear some more about her plans to do something about the climate!
She criticizes the increased taxes voters approved for Sound Transit 3…
To reduce congestion on Interstate 405, Englund said she would convert one of the two HOV toll lanes into a free, general-purpose lane.
And that’s it. That’s as close as O’Sullivan gets to exploring the climate issue and whether or not the “moderation” described up front has any real world implications whatsoever.
I’ll fill in the rest. Englund is going to vote for the Republican Senate leadership that doesn’t believe in climate change. They won’t allow climate bills to come to the floor, so Englund will never have to test if any actual climate legislation is good enough for her to act on her beliefs.
STB is narrowly focused, so this isn’t an income tax blog, and we don’t take an official position on that issue. But in contrast to the entirely credulous acceptance of Englund’s spin, the companion Dhingra piece refuses to believe her on the income tax.
Susan Hutchison, chairman of the Washington State Republican Party, said Dhingra and a Democratic-controlled Senate will be a blank check for Gov. Jay Inslee, and eventually will push for a state income tax.
Dhingra has said she supports a capital-gains tax, but has repeatedly said she doesn’t favor an income tax. The GOP and Englund aren’t buying it, and have made the specter of an income tax a centerpiece of their campaign.
“The Democrats have never found a single tax they don’t like,” Hutchison said.
If there is to be an income tax, Manka Dhingra is going to have to go on the record and vote for or against it. She’s unambiguously promised to vote against it. Maybe she’ll change her mind. Politicians sometimes do! Whatever O’Sullivan is doing here, though, he’s certainly not taking Dhingra at face value.
To question a straightforward pledge from one and blithely accept a contentless statement of principle from the other does a disservice to voters who might rely on the Times for information. Although it apparently escapes the Times’s Olympia reporter, voters should understand the implications of an Englund victory for transit, transportation, and the climate.
13 Replies to “Credulous Reporting on Climate”
There’s a difference between believing in “human-caused climate change” and believing in catastrophic human-caused climate change. If it’s not a catastrophe in the making, there’s no need to hurt our economy and our way of life with drastic changes. Why create certain damage now to alleviate unlikely damage later? So sayeth the Republicans.
Also the Republicans: If there’s a slight chance that a single refugee might hurt our country, we need to ban them all!
That reminds me of the joke where a news bureau receives a complaint letter from a resident about the weather forecasts saying, “I just wanted you to know I shoveled three feet of ‘partly cloudy’ from my driveway this morning.”
Questions for the candidate:
1. Republican activist Steve Bannon is compiling a list of Republican officeholders marked for primary defeat for criticizing Donald Trump. Would you volunteer to be on it?
2. Except for a bolt-action rifle or a shot-gun, during hunting season and with a license, how many tours of combat duty should be required to bring a firearm into a public place?
3. To thus create the “carry” right the Founding Fathers intended, would you ask a Republican Senate and Congress to make the draft universal? Like in neutral Surrender-monkey Sweden?
4. Would you relieve the vast majority of Washington voters of the tax burden imposed on them by “breaks” given to already-wealthy special interests?
5. Would you urge our State Legislature to support a national effort to repeal the “Citizens United” decision?
6. For I-405, would you support a compromise that trades a system of fully-reserved transit lanes for the return of all other lanes to general traffic- with carpool exceptions in these lanes decided by a public vote?
8. If “Yes” to above list, would you petition Governor Inslee for National Guard weapons and training so your supporters and sympathizers can lawfully defend your life from your own party? Your self- interest. The NRA will crown you Queen!
Great questions, Mark. I REALLY like the “Would you volunteer one!”
I’d also ask her why she disapproves of a tax voted on by the people.
She’d just spout the Standard-Issue Republican drivel that the legislature and people we’re duped by the evil-geniuses at Incompetent Sound Transit©.
Whoooo-eee. Dropped that Post Comment box and it went off! I sincerely apologize for attributing any affiliation at all to those who could threaten Ms. Englund. Or anyone else running for political office. Every citizen’s duty to physically protect by reflex.
The occupation is itself a skilled and underpaid trade. But everybody in politics…. remember that the Crash of ’29 gave Germany to Hitler. Ms. Englund, who would you support this year for Aberdeen and Longview?
Firearms? Aboard a light-rail car, small chance to “draw”, none to hit the deserving target only. Those three MAX passengers killed protecting a stranger…Ms. England, what usable defense skills should every Washingtonian come out of grade school knowing?
The Republican Party….James R. Ellis founded the agency containing Metro Transit. He bought every square private foot for the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel without Condemnation One. Ms. Englund, at a party convention, would you have spoken for him?
The Seattle Times…still time for another interview.
Hope some more people will write in on this posting. Both our major parties are in same condition as most of our infrastructure- partly as a result of this last election, but a lot more the cause of its outcome.
On climate change, here’s the answer I’d most like to hear from any candidate, including a professional climatologist:
“As with anything this massive, our best informed know relatively little.
But I’ll base my judgments as a State Representative on the information I get from those who know best about the scientific matter under consideration.
And I ask that, whatever their own views and commercial or political interests, voters and other contributors either trust the decisions I make accordingly- or take the subject up with my successor.”
Humans are too short sighted to grasp climate change, so we’ll muddle into extinction now I suppose… In the meanwhile please let me not have to drive around Seattle, more ROW transit, not general purpose lanes. Republicans are the most short sighted of all but democrats not far behind. Is capitalism compatible with sustainability? I think not…
Nope, losing Miami, Manhattan etc. won’t be catastrophic at all. Free and superior housing, occupations etc. in better locations will be provided for “adaptees” (not).
Sotosoroto, nothing is a catastrophe if one is looking from a sufficiently tiny and impoverished perspective. 112,580 deaths in one day is a catastrophe, but spread over 9 years the same excess mortality becomes unremarkable, and definitely we would not call speeding motor vehicles* “catastrophic” if we have the functional memory and perspective of, say, a hamster.
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