Why Isn’t the Columbian Asking the Questions?

by lewwaters

I remain amazed at the glaring disparity displayed by the Columbian in coverage of the resignation of Democrat 49th legislative district representative Jim Jacks, compared to the coverage given Richard Curtis’ resignation in 2007 and a few other conservatives they seemingly did not take a shine to.

What amazes me the most is Columbian editor Lou Brancaccio chiming in on a comment I left addressing the disparity on a post at their blog portion of the online site by Marissa Harshman, who I consider one of the better staff writers in regards to fair coverage and objectivity.

Besides Lou not being known to comment often in that area of the site, some of what he said in the comments has me questioning once again, the claim of an “unbiased newspaper.”

As readers know, I am one of those questioning why the abrupt quitting by Jacks is not more of a news item, considering the suddenness of him quitting and letting it be known he did not want the reasons discussed publicly. Comparing that to the Columbian’s coverage of the 2007 resignation of Republican Richard Curtis elicited from Brancaccio,

“here’s the difference in case you don’t understand it. There simply is no paper trail in the Jacks story. There was an enormous paper trail in the Curtis story. And it was Curtis himself who began the paper trail by filing a police report.”

Asking whether it has to written down on paper in ink before the paper actually goes out and questions people, since the Capital Campus was teeming with word on the why’s when Jacks abruptly quit, drew the reply,

“You’re stuck on the wrong side of this one Lew. We ask questions all the time. Guess what we don’t always get answers. When you’re dealing with stuff like this unless there’s a paper trail or unless the guy talks or unless someone who has been impacted talks, you ain’t got nuttin’ except speculation [and] rumor, something that’s OK for you and commenters to deal with, but not OK for a real journalist to deal with.”

I can only imagine how much Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew would have loved that journalistic attitude back in the early 1970’s.

By example, following the “paper trail” in 2009/2010 on the Brian Baird Death Threat saga, it was nearly 7 months later, March 12, 2010 before the Columbian let it be known that the so-called threat Baird claimed and came under fire for not wanting to hold a face to face town hall in August, was closed and deemed no serious threat, 2 weeks after local blog Clark County Politics let it be known, following the same “paper trail.”

Correspondence between Brancaccio and I in October 2009 left me feeling as if they were dragging their feet on the story, much as I feel in the lack of coverage over Jacks abruptly quitting on his constituents.

A question I posed to Lou of, “are the ‘five W’s of journalism’ just a tired old movie line after all,” went unanswered.

Lou says, “We ask questions all the time.” I am left wondering just what sort of “questions” are asked, given numerous examples of the disparity between coverage of incidents between politicians of the 2 major parties.

Has anyone questioned any one making comments up around the Capital? Did anybody press party officials, reminding them that constituents are left with no representation and should be let known why, much as media types and leftwingers all across America did when Republican Sarah Palin resigned as Alaska’s Governor?

Given the suddenness of Jack’s quitting so soon after being reelected, hasn’t any down at the Columbian wondered whether or not Democratic Party officials knew of Jacks pending resignation last year and realizing it was an election year filled with discontent towards Democrats nationwide, kept Jacks in the race to retain the seat through the election, resigning soon after and allowing the Democratic Party to appoint a successor from the Democrats and not risk losing the seat to a Republican?

Sure, it’s all speculation, but wasn’t questioning such as this by those “real” Journalists what brought down a president in the early 1970’s?

I may be one of only a few questioning this abandonment of constituents by Jim Jacks, but that does not negate the questions that should be asked by responsible Journalists.

If we have a “right to know” when a Republican County Commissioner has a beer with his lunch, when a Republican candidate experienced some personal problems after a bitter divorce, when a Republican candidate for the legislature fails to reregister a truck immediately, or the accounting department of a successful Republican businessman, who just so happens to oppose the projects of the Loot Rail mafia and backed other Republican candidates didn’t get all of their taxes paid right on time and when a Republican candidate who happens to know a blogger through past business dealings and is linked to that blogger because he drives a truck for her in parades, don’t we also have a right to know why a Democrat representative abandoned us mid-session, leaving us without a representative in Olympia?

And, Senator Craig Pridemore, who was calling for more openness and transparency just weeks ago, finds the matter a humorous base for an April Fool’s joke is hailed by the Columbian as “Well played?”

We aren’t just “well played,” we are “well hosed” too.

10 Comments to “Why Isn’t the Columbian Asking the Questions?”

  1. Gee. Think ol’ “Lightening Lou” will swing by here as well?

    Like

  2. I believe he feels he spanked me well enough on their site.

    I don’t spank all that well, though.

    Even if nothing comes of this, I have saved all of his comments and others too and will gladly roll them out the next time to a trash & bash on a Republican.

    A blind man can see the disparity in coverage.

    Like

  3. Gee Lew, it’s pretty obvious what The Columbian was “up to”. Mr. Brancaccio gave you a “hint” when he said: “there’s no paper trail”.

    That’s exactly the problem.

    First you need to realize that the “paper trails” from Curtis and Dunn were originally “created” by The Columbian.

    Then you notice that The Columbian ignored “rumors” about Jacks’ “behaviors” for quite a while, and therefore “created” no “paper trails” right up until the time that Jacks resigned. Obviously this was deliberate by design.

    Now that Jacks is out of the picture, The Columbian sees itself as “justified” in just letting the matter “die”. After all, “there are no paper trails” because they didn’t “create” any beforehand like they did with Curtis and Dunn.

    Conclusion? The Columbian just sat back, gave plenty of time, and knowingly let the affair slide “under the rug” until after it had reached “critical mass” and Jacks resigned on his own.

    Obviously what went on with Mr. Jacks was damaging enough to cause him to resign abruptly without being hounded out by The Columbian like Curtis and Dunn were.

    That in itself says a great deal.

    But this way, The Columbian can hold itself “harmless” because “there is no paper trail”.

    The Columbian plays a nasty game. Now you can see it for what it is.

    Like

  4. Jack, it’s highly doubtful they would have ever “hounded” him over anything.

    Funny part is, they don’t even realize how they support my words by sending Lou to engage me on their blog.

    I doubt he has ever commented on any of the posts there before. At least, none that I can recall.

    But, I still wonder if it wasn’t known all along whatever it was the finally came out enough to force this resignation wasn’t known all along, but hushed up long enough to get him reelected so the Dems could appoint another Dem and keep the seat.

    No “paper trail” on that either, though. 😉

    Like

  5. I’m sure it was known all along and it was hushed up to keep the seat. One thing that’s obvious about many Democrats, they band together like robots to protect their own whereas Conservatives generally leave each person to fend for themselves.

    It’s a basic make-up difference in human beings.

    Like

  6. Btw Lew, that’s a politically incorrect picture. “CBS” is backwards on the mike and he has a cigarette in his fingers. My goodness.

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  7. Yes, I know. I reversed it to have him face the text and chose it because he did have the cigarette in his hand. I also wanted to see how long before someone ‘questioned’ the photo. Guess we are the curious ones, right?

    I remember seeing him on the news when I was young and I don’t recall him not having a cigarette in hand.

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  8. Maybe there is a paper trail? Staff complaints might be a public record somewhere that is available if the name is redacted.

    If there are credible witnesses to bad behavior, these are of interest as well.

    If the “personal” reasons for resignation are highly inappropriate behavior, this should not be kept secret from the public.

    Like

  9. I have no doubt that the real story will eventually come out, but it will be well after everyone has “forgotten” that Jacks was even in politics.

    That’s what The Columbian and the Democrats are hoping for.

    Like

  10. It’s already pretty much a “Jim Who?”

    Like

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