Revealed biased opinion

Even that bastion of liberalism, the Seattle press, covered the first Washington state gubernatorial debate fairly straight, but not The Herald, (“Round 1 for governor candidates,” Sept. 29, news story).

Though the AP wire story was written without the benefit of Herald news staff influence, the head and caption, supplied late at night by a Lockestep slotman, weren’t. The headline writer’s overblown description of the governor: “Incumbent mostly sticks to his script,” was more or less defensible; the Carlson construct wasn’t: “Challenger fires sarcastic barbs at every opportunity.”

In the first place, that just wasn’t true, but could a Herald head writer really care?

The most important point, however, is that The Herald’s tautological tradition of mixing fact and fancy continues to spill over from the editorial page, this time onto page one.

Is The Herald required to file a Public Disclosure Commission form when it makes such an obvious – and very valuable – donation to a candidate running for office? Perhaps the law should be revisited with regard to publishers’ in-kind contributions.

More pointedly, has anyone at the newspaper ever seen a copy of “The Elements of Style” by E.B. White? It is the bible for serious news writers and, included in the book’s List of Reminders is the simple admonition: “Do not inject opinion.”

Especially when one isn’t clever enough to disguise it.

Snohomish County Republican Party

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