We all had a good chuckle yesterday over Seattle Times editorial board member Jonathan Martin's unselfconscious post about the "The Stranger’s obsession with the Seattle Times." Martin attempted to use our crappy search engine to find the number of times we've written about his paper since the beginning of the year (he says 22) compared to the number of times we've written about, say, "Ed Murray" or "the homeless" (Martin alleges 16 and 7, respectively).
How many hours did he labor over Slog, typing in search phrases? Geez... talk about obsessed.
But as usual when it comes to his editorial board, I question Martin's math. I can't make our search engine work any better than Martin, but I'd be damn surprised if I've personally written fewer than 22 posts critiquing the Seattle Times this year. And if I'm obsessed, it's not like I'm unaware. In fact, I'm frequently taunted for my Seattle Times posts within the office (fuck you, Paul). Indeed, a few years back, after forcing their hand on a particularly big story, I printed up Seattle Times business cards with the title "Volunteer Ombudsman."
So yeah, I'm a bit obsessed with critiquing the publication that claims to be our state's unchallenged paper of record since it successfully drove Seattle's other daily out of business.
That said, 22 posts on one subject may seem like an obsession to somebody like Martin, who only has 39 bylines since January 1, but it's a drop in the bucket within the context of the 3600-plus posts that have scrolled through Slog over that same period. I mean, a little perspective. As of yesterday afternoon, the Seattle Times entire seven-member editorial board had only generated 199 bylines this year, compared to 372 from me alone. Sure, when you throw in their approximately 200 unsigned editorials, they collectively have me beat. But not Paul, whose freakish 777 bylines this year (and counting) nearly doubles the combined output of the Seattle Times ed board.
I'm not saying Martin and his colleagues are lazy. But if his paper can afford the luxury of a seven-member ed board, surely it can afford to hire a real ombudsman instead of relying on volunteers like me to keep it honest.