I’ve often mocked the editorial judgment at The Seattle Times e.g. for never covering Microsoft’s $1.51 billion Nevada tax dodge ($4.37 billion if you include impacts from lobbying) – likely due to their cozy ties with Microsoft’s tax dodger in chief Brad Smith or when the paper endorsed George W. Bush for President in 2000 or when it paid for ads for Republican Gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna to prove how effective newspaper advertising is (McKenna lost). I’ve even called the recently launched paywall at The Times a public service – for protecting unsuspecting non-subscribers from reading their “journalism”. However, I was not prepared for this today: the front page story in The Seattle Times was that our beloved co-op will no longer take returns more than one year after purchase.

What Passes for Front Page News at The Seattle Times

What Passes for Front Page News at The Seattle Times

Don’t get me wrong – Seattle loves it its REI, our greenish consumer coop for mountain gear. But, front page news? Really? Maybe if this was Nordstrom (which became legendary for its practice of no questions asked returns), but REI? If you’ve ever looked for signs that corporate consumerist culture had co-opted the media, The Seattle Times would like to say – yes, we have been.

So, while the legislature remains in extended session because it still can’t come up with a budget because, in part, it’s missing $1 billion dollars the State Supreme Court has ordered it to find for education … you might think The Times might want to give its readers some context for this deficit, or Microsoft’s role in it (since Microsoft and it’s Chairman Bill Gates love to preach the importance of properly funding education). Or, if that’s just too racy for you, here are a few stories from The Stranger from Monday that The Times could have put on the front page instead:

Or, perhaps:

The Seattle Times is a laughing stock at this point. It’s quickly becoming a pathetic waste of ink.

Posted by Jeff Reifman

Jeff is a technology consultant based in the Pacific Northwest.

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