Dino Rossi finally talked to a reporter! Unfortunately, it wasn't me. And doubly unfortunately, it looks like he lied again.
'A few people, mainly from Seattle and other parts of the state not in the 8th Congressional District, started to flood our Facebook feed with hateful comments,' Rossi said. 'When comment threads degenerate into pure abuse and name-calling, we hide the entire thread (even if the initiating comment was not itself offensive, but only sparked the offensive comments).'
That piece was published last Friday, March 2. To see if he's telling the truth, let's look at a post he wrote on February 20:
Here's a screenshot of the original post with three initial comments. As you can tell from the timestamp, these three comments were written within the first 25 minutes of the post's publication:
And now here's a screenshot of the same post about 15 minutes later:
As you can see, Rossi or his social media manager hid the first three comments from you. You can tell they were hidden because the reply to the pro-Dino comment that now shows up when you look at the post refers to the three earlier comments you can no longer see.
Now, let us review Rossi's own criteria for managing unsavory threads.
1. Are these people mainly from Seattle and other parts of the state not in the 8th district?
No. According to their Facebook profiles, two of the three commenters live in the 8th district. One user even mentions that her children go to school in the district.
2. Did the comment thread "degenerate into pure abuse and name-calling?"
Again, no. The three comments hidden above are not hateful, nor is anyone calling anyone any names. The commenters are simply asking Rossi about his policy positions and his affiliations with gun advocacy groups. These are questions he'd have to answer all the time if the people of the 8th district make the grave mistake of electing him as their representative. The fact that he's already trying to silence and erase critics who live in his district, or critics who send their children to school in his district, should serve as a big red flag for everyone in his district, even his supporters. Not everyone who votes for Rossi will agree with him all the time. If those people want to be heard when they disagree with him, they should also be concerned that his impulse in these situations is to hide and not engage with his critics.
I wrote to Rossi for comment, but I haven't heard back. I will update this post if and when he ever says anything to me ever.
In the meantime, here's the full thread, just in case you live in the 8th district and you want to, you know, engage.