Given we're still four months away from the presidential election, the fact that The Stranger continues to find ever-deeper depths of atrocious political journalism should be enough to alarm even the most ardent defenders of this rag. I'm speaking, of course, of this week's feature story, wherein ADRIAN RYAN—gay, incomprehensible, drug-addled, and gay—is unleashed upon the unsuspecting community of Butte, Montana, to cover a campaign visit from Barack Obama. Those who have accidentally suffered through Mr. Ryan's exhausting tripe (scrawled, no doubt, with a flaming pen) by now know to stay far clear of the carnage, but those who have yet to be violated should take heed of this warning: To wade into the muck of Ryan's writing is to abuse and befoul your very soul.

Elsewhere this week we find JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE—whose moniker is as absurd as his reporting is laughable—bemoaning the fate of "Seattle's last newsstand." Sadly, this is not the most inconsequential story this week; pieces by JOSH FEIT (whose exit from this paper will apparently take eons), DOMINIC HOLDEN, and ELI SANDERS (whose normally dim political reporting absolutely shines when placed alongside the others) further solidify The Stranger's news section as a place where good grammar goes to die, and solid reporting is avoided like a rabid raccoon.

Thankfully, there is a morsel of pleasant news to report: BRADLEY STEINBACHER, managing editor of this publication, has tendered his resignation. Unsurprisingly, it was immediately accepted. Word has it Steinbacher has found a more lucrative line of work and is getting out of journalism entirely—the best thing to happen to journalism in years. Though not the most outspoken member of The Stranger's staff, Steinbacher shares much of the blame for this paper's many crimes. Fans of cinema in particular have much to slight him for, as he's used his rarely sober perch (both as reviewer and, during one particularly disastrous stretch, film editor) to further undermine that which Pauline Kael made art, and Roger Ebert used to educate the masses. If Charles Mudede offers film criticism at its most obtuse and lazy, Steinbacher offers it at its most knee-jerk, blatantly jealous, and overly negative.

Of course, Steinbacher has marred more than The Stranger's film section. Fortunately for him, space constraints limit me to detailing just three of the most egregious examples from his 14-year adventure in the gay pamphleteering industry. In a headline in 2004, he famously vowed "Seattle Is the Only Home I've Ever Known. If It Doesn't Build the Monorail, It Can Go to Hell." (Steinbacher continues to live in monorail-less Seattle.) In 2003, he wrote a fairly informative guide to the clitoris in a Back to School issue that his girlfriend probably wishes he had read at least once while sober. And finally, in 2006, in a misguided attempt to win a Pulitzer, Steinbacher applied Bengay to his own rectum and then reported on the effects. (Sample sentence: "JESUS CHRIST, MY ASS IS BURNING!") In short, he will not be missed. recommended