Seattle Times Refuses to Correct Obvious Error in "Watchdog Story" Cited as Reason to Subscribe to the Seattle Times


I am shocked, shocked to hear that Emily Heffter would make up facts and ignore evidence in order to carry out her bosses' political agenda of destroying a political candidate. Apparently it wasn't enough when she did this exact same thing to Darcy Burner.
Why exactly is that rag supposed to be worth $4?
Side question--I don't remember ever having to get a "customer quotation" from a sales rep in order to buy something at a Fry's store, but then I usually just grab what I need off a display and head for the registers. Do they do that if you ask for help so the floor reps get commissions?
There's some stuff at Fry's that's only available in the cage behind the registers. Typically small expensive things they don't want to easily walk out of the store. (CPUs, RAM, etc.) You ask one of the sales reps to write you up a "Customer Quotation" for one of these items and then you had it to the cashier who goes to the cage and hands that to the person working inside the cage to retrieve the item.
If you go to the times' page and click on heffter's name, you can see all the things she's written about Holland; it is easy to imagine her gleefully tippy-tappin' all that extraneous shite about how Holland resigned after the Times' hit piece. What a shitter.
Pfffft. As if The Stranger ever apologizes for taking Cascade at face value when they're demonstrably wrong.
Quite a hit piece, Goldy. If only you would pretend to conduct such in depth research for something that mattered and would stop with the logical fallacies and straw men.
(Thanks, @4. Guess I haven't bought any small expensive things--just small cheap things and a very few big expensive things.)
Uh, maybe it's my prudishness, but I notice you don't address the "lewd" photograph on the work phone at all in your diatribe over a minor purchase.
Speaking of hit pieces, I love Dominic's pathetic attempt to take down Times reporter Lynn Thompson a couple weeks ago. Despite plugging it repeatedly on here, it only managed to get two comments, one from Will in Seattle (cue sad trombone). I kind of felt sorry for Dominic.…
@9 Don't know what the photo is. But while Heffter describes it as "lewd," the report she cites describes it as "inappropriate."
And Goldy, you had a few days to defend Rob Holland after the Times "hit piece" before he decided to resign, but you didn't. Why not?
@12 I regret that I didn't. Now that I've read Heffter's piece more closely, and read the report she cites, I realize that what she's really accused Holland of is being poor.
Goldy @ 11: Fair enough, but I don't see a lot of daylight between "lewd" and "inappropriate" on Port-owned phone. In either case, the potential liability for any employer, especially a public one, seems much greater with an inappropriate photo on a work phone than confusion on a minor purchase. Martin can easily explain this situation over this purchase (which he has done) to any future employer but what's the excuse for the lack of judgement with a work phone?

And, for the record, I'm not defending The Times, as I've seen many examples of their reporting "angles" and making sure the reported facts stick with that angle, leaving out all others.
@13 That is not an answer as to why you didn't respond.
You literally believe Rob Holland is a victim of anything other than his own idiocy. LMA motherfucking O
What a bunch of dickbags. They're using silly semantics to defend their statement as "factually accurate" while ignoring that the statement is willfully misleading as written.
The article on the "green" coal lobby in the Times today is very good. Don't you think, Goldy?
take them to court.
In the old days, in Seattle, if you did what Blethen's rag did, you'd be horsewhipped, and no jury would convict the person who horsewhipped Blethen.
@14 For the record, this post isn't about Holland. It's about the Seattle Times refusing to retract a demonstrably false assertion about Michael Martin.

@15 I don't know. I was busy working on something else, probably. But had Rob come to me and made a compelling case the way Michael did, I'm sure I would have taken the time to give him a full throated defense.

But you know what? I regret responding to either you, because I don't want to be a party to driving this comment thread off-topic. The Seattle Times has refused to retract a false and defamatory assertion. That's the issue, not me or Holland.
Guess what Goldy, you don't get to dictate the terms of the conversations that happen around a Thing you wrote. You certainly get to dictate the contents of those Things, but not the discussion. Piss off.
@10) I know how to write a hit piece, and that is most certainly not a hit piece.
It's NEVER about Goldy. Right. Enjoy the "journalistic" ghetto that is the Stranger, Goldy.
@21 The Times published a "hit piece" as you call it -- but you needed Rob Holland to come forward to make a compelling case against the article? Because you were too busy to go after the Times? Sure, Goldy.
@12 and @15: Goldy was busy writing something about former Atty. Gen. Rob McKenna to bother with something that was actually current.
@9, thanks for taking more of the Seattle Times bait. Notice the lewd photo and Mr. Martin's alleged actions are separate...they are merely mentioned in the same sentence. Folks like you read it, somewhat digest it, and get the "drift." The Times enjoys plausible deniability (the lewd photo and Mr. Martin are two separate issues, it is not our fault that readers made a connection...)

Sue them, the first mistake was shoddy journalism that appeared in the article. The failure to step up and apologize/make it right is in my opinion, an ongoing effort to damage Mr. Martin when the facts are clear that his story, the report from the Port, and his efforts to correct this matter have all be brought to the attention of the Times. If he gets a lawyer, things will probably change real quick.
I don't know, Goldie, if you don't defend Holland and indict the Seattle Times and David Brewster at Crosscut, I have done so for its own and my sake.

I could go on at some further length, but do so in my letter to Westneat at……
@28, you are a simply awful writer. You don't even get Rob's name right.
So sue the hell out of them. I'm pretty ignorant of the legal system, but it seems to me that you could make a nice mess of things if you're falsely accused.

And the Seattle Times? I haven't read that Republican garbage in years, and you shouldn't, either.
The only person who would have cause to sue the Times would be Holland or Martin, not Goldy. Holland wouldn't sue them because other outlets were saying the same things. As far as Martin, unless you're a public figure, damage to your reputation isn't a good legal cause of action.
That Fry's "receipt" stuff is completely stupid. Fry's gives you that slip for all sorts of reasons. I've been there just asking questions about specific boxed products on the shelves, and the person who helped me then printed one of those little slips up once I'd decided on which one I was going to buy. I think they must use it for giving credit to the salesperson who helped you. The name you give them for that slip means absolutely nothing. The reporter is an idiot to keep referring to it as a receipt, and she's an idiot to refuse to retract the false claim.

He should sue, AND demand a front page retraction in the settlement.
Goldy @ 21 & abject @ 27: You are both correct, I was combining the two issues, which wasn't the point of this post or about Martin. My apologies.
Despite my adoration of goldy and his work, as I read on and on about this $30 battery the following came to mind almost simultaneously
1) this is what we talk about while I drive past discount gun retailers next door to the grocery store?
2) have heard a lot worse about much better (think Elliot Spitzer)
3) wish my vibrator batteries lasted as long as this $30 battery fiasco story is going on and on :)
Sent with a hug and hopes for your quick return to hardass truth telling on what really matters in this really strange planet called Seattle.
Great reporting all around SLOG and've broken this $12.00 scandal wide open. Meanwhile there's arenas downtown, $200 million dollar tracks to be laid, tunnels to be dug and snow in the mountains.

You've all done your go home before Marissa Mayer takes your laptop and smart phone away.
Nobody will read the Times anymore anyway.
Thanks Teslick @34, that was big of you (and I mean that). Meanwhile, @31, you have this legal thing backwards. Public figures must prove malicious intent to win in a defamation suit (knowing the facts were wrong, were going to be damaging, and publishing them anyway). Non-public figures such as Mr. Martin have a much lower burden. Accusing someone of criminal activity (using some else's credit card without authorization) may or may not satisfy this burden. Point is, if I am famous I have a much harder time proving you are defaming me than if I am a normal citizen such as Mr. Martin. You have it exactly bass-ackwards in terms of what needs to be proven.
Even the language the Times uses is misleading. Camera equipment implies hundreds of dollars of equipment. Camera battery implies $10-$30. Camera battery is fewer words than camera equipment, so why not just call a spade a spade?
Goldy sure does have a lot of obsessives who follow his articles around.
The Times does this on a regular basis. I write about public education and I have told the Times - especially their editorial board - that they have had certain details factually wrong. Given them evidence, pointed them to the people who could give them the evidence and yet they stubbornly ignore it.

It will take a lawsuit to make these prideful people see the error of their ways.
I find it interesting that none of the comments critical of me or my post actually attempt to argue that I got it wrong, and that the report actually says what Heffter says it says.

Still no retraction, by the way. Which is curious, because it seems like such a minor, simple request.
Goldy, has anyone ever told you how tiresome you are?
@43 Yes. But personally, I never tire of being right.
Someone prove that our favorite Mouseketeer is not a Times reporter
Well I'm not saying annettefunicello is a TImes employee and I'm not saying annettefunicello isn't a Times employee, but she sure is mad about Goldy pointing out stupid shit at the Times. But you gotta hand it to her, "oh yeah well your last article didn't get very many comments," is a pretty devastating rebuttal.

Does The Stranger still do "No You Shut Up" in the print version? It should feature this thread along with "[ed: annettefunicello is TOTALLY NOT a Times employee]" after her comments. :D
@46 Nowhere in the report does it say that annettefunicello is not a Seattle Times employee. Infer from that what you will.
Let's run a poll!

In fact, several polls on interesting key trolls. "Is ____________________ a troll from the Seattle Times or City Hall?" -- which is easy for you to know because IPs, but play along here -- and then ask folks who say "yes" to reply with who they think the troll really is.

Or maybe you could round them up into a tournament style elimination and at the end you basically work to out them. A sort of reverse "Outing Lurleen", if you will.

Thanks for giving truth a voice, Stranger. And, Goldy, thanks for the naming what the real criticism was of Holland in the Times' article (sure the Commissioner had some problems, but the real meat of their assassination is aimed at his economic situation).
@42 Sure, of course the report says what is says. What the report doesn't do is directly address the assertion in the Times article. That an allegation is found to be unsubstantiated is not evidence that that the alleged action did not take place. It could mean they bought his just-so story, didn't have further evidence, and decided to let it go. And, sure, maybe his just-so story is really what happened. But, a line on a powerpoint slide containing the word unsubstantiated is not a direct refutation of what the was written by the Times.
@51 Can you read? The article claims that "The report ... found that Holland once allowed a friend, Michael Martin, to use his Port credit card to buy camera equipment at Fry’s Electronics." But the report did not find that. The article is factually wrong.

What is so hard to understand about that?
@42 Not a minor, simple request. I mean it should be, but you've got to remember that you're asking two proud idiots to admit they were wrong and apologize. Needs to happen, but will require some top-down force. Look at the Keagan email. These two are not backing down.

I was thinking about this some more today, and it reminded me of a Mitch Hedberg bit: 'I was taking a physical and they were asking me 'yes' and 'no' questions. But they were really strangely worded. Like, "have you ever tried sugar-- or PCP?"'

Hefter is doing the same thing. By everyone's admission, including Hefter's, the photography eqpt. purchase amounts to nothing more than a guy buying something at Fry's. But when Hefter tells it in her article, she attaches it to a lewd image on a company cell phone, with absolutely no legitimate basis for doing so. Now the joke is, 'have you ever kept porn on a company cell phone-- or bought something at Fry's?' And Martin is standing there like, 'WTF does this have to do with me and why is my name being associated with a porny cell phone in the Seattle fucking Times??' And when he asks for a retraction, Hefter just goes, 'but everything I said was true-- you did buy something at Fry's this one time.' And then all the competent people in the room facepalm while Hefter just stands there looking smug, feigning ignorance of her obvious breach of ethics.
Very neatly packaged, @53. Pretty little bow, even.
@54 Glad you liked it. In the spirit of printing corrections, that should be Kreamer, not Keagan. Also, Martin never made a purchase at Fry's, he just held on to a battery for long enough to earn a customer quotation in his name. Kudos! But Matt Kreamer refuses to believe that the customer quotation is anything less than prima facie evidence that Martin made the purchase, and switches his defense to the the fact that Hefter never called the purchase "unauthorized." The Hedberg argument responds to this second defense, after erroneously caving on the first.
@55 The other amazing thing about Heffter and Kreamer's insistence that Martin used Holland's credit card is... who uses somebody else's credit card these days? They ask for ID. They have you sign. This isn't 1985. Martin using Holland's credit card is the least likely explanation. It just doesn't make sense.
@56 The only explanation I can think of for this whole thing is that Hefter preferred the way her paragraph sounded when she included the bit about the Fry's purchase. If you reread her article and leave out the Fry's bit, the revelation of the lewd image comes off as quite jarring in terms of the flow of the prose, and somewhat inappropriate given its immediate context in the article. Clearly, Hefter really wanted to get the words "lewd" and "image" into her piece, and I'm afraid she decided Mr. Martin's reputation was a small price to pay to do so with minimal disruption to cadence and context.

But the bottom line with this piece is that the Seattle Times is reporting that the consultant's report "found that" 3rd party credit card use occurred, when in fact it found the exact opposite-- that potential 3rd party use was "unsubstantiated." On factual grounds alone that merits a retraction-- ST reported the opposite of the truth to their readers and are ethically obligated to correct themselves. But if that wasn't enough, Hefter drags down an innocent name with her lazy reporting and still won't fix it. And her boss has her back all the way. It's crazy.

It's like ST has a hit list. And much like Obama's kill list, any military age males whose reputations are killed or maimed in pursuit of a hit are simply counted as enemy combatants. Sorry, Michael Martin, but you were in the kill zone. You just go down as an enemy combatant in the official ST records.