Earlier, I posted a few questions for the Seattle Times regarding its new political ad campaign. Now the Inslee campaign has... seven more questions:
This morning the Seattle Times ran a full-page ad supporting Republican Rob McKenna which was paid for by the Times Company itself. This unprecedented move raises serious questions about who prepared the ad and who participated in its publication.
"Copy for the ad had to be written, artwork had to be prepared by someone," said Jay Inslee Communications Director, Sterling Clifford. "It is difficult to believe that none of the Times' supposedly neutral newsroom resources were used for this partisan ad."
Seven questions for the Seattle Times:
1. Who in the corporate management made this decision for the Seattle Times?
2. What employees of the Seattle Times company were involved or knew about this decision?
3. Are any members of the editorial staff involved in this decision?
4. Who in the art department was involved in this? Who was involved in placing the ad? How did they create the copy? How did they come up with the issues listed in the ad?
5. Does the Seattle Times company plan to continue to do this in sync with, or regardless of, their editorial decisions?
6. Do they feel that their readers should be exposed to the political affiliations of the company's corporate leadership?
7. Does the company feel that this compromises the independence of the reporters it pays to write for the company's paper?
In a belated announcement, the Times Co. admitted the ad is part of an $80,000 independent expenditure funded by the Times on behalf of McKenna. That puts the Times among the top three partisan groups propping up the McKenna campaign.
"The Times asks readers to trust its reporters and trust its objectivity," Clifford said. "The Times' management has made a decision that raises serious questions for the people of Washington."