The Stranger Crashed Ari Hoffman's Election Party. He Held It in an Inflatable Tavern.



So, is Natalie's style of journalism to go where she isnt invited and annoy people?


@1 - You say that like its a bad thing.


You should have stuck around for some food.


The drama here was riveting. Also, what of the food? What was it? What to drink? So many questions.



She's cute and seems funny, so she's probably the best one for this beat. Lester might get beat up.


What? No one bouncing off the walls?
What the hell kinda 'tavern' was that?!

Awesome Detective work, Nathalie.
Have you awarded yourself a Badge, as of yet?

(You do carry Personal Protection. Right?)


Utter dreck. The Stranger needs to live up to its journalistic aspirations or fold its tent.


"Hoffman invited me to stick around and grab some food." Given The Stranger's laugh-up-one's-sleeve snarkiness to Hoffman throughout the campaign, this would suggest the man has some basic decency, more than you or the other journalists you communicated with. And given that he indeed did have to endure real death threats, there's no need for anyone to mock him after his loss. Surely, he overrated himself and his chances, and obviously you and all voters have every right to prefer a different candidate--but why did you go there, Natalie? To prove to hip friends how disdainful you are of anything conservative or conventional? To be one more snarky smartie winning progressive brownie points? It's one thing not to trust the sincerity of his offer--but at least he offered. He got crushed in the election. He was hurt and disappointed. He's understandably not everyone's favorite candidate--but your article seems too much like piling on. Hoffman's not hip or cool or edgy, but he endured death threats, not to mention endless mockery and disdain from the left. How about engaging a conservative in a serious dialogue about policy, not looking for opportunities to merely appear objective as you giggle about the un-hip conservative (an inflatable tent business!!) who (ha-ha!) lost.


@8 If you’re going to address the writer by name at least spell it correctly.


How about engaging a conservative in a serious dialogue about policy

@8 she spoke with him and he declined to let her write about the conversation. Are you suggesting she should have disrespected his wishes and wrote about their conversation anyway? If he were willing to speak on the record she could have had a conversation but it was his choice not to do that. (And the invitation to food was clearly not an invitation to do that.)


@9. You are right. It was late, and I thought it was "Nathalie," and, indeed, it is. Sorry.
@9 & 10. I stand corrected if I misunderstood Nathalie's intentions and Ari Hoffman's responses, but the piece reeks of condescension and distaste. Hoffman represents everything The Stranger and many of its readers mockingly scorn, and while The Stranger did not celebrate the various death threats Hoffman and his family endured, its reporters expressed minimal outrage over them (or the desecration of the cemeteries that contributed to Hoffman's running in the first place). And their coverage of his campaign was extremely negative and mocking. Why would Hoffman embrace a reporter from a journal that had ridiculed and disdained him, that routinely calls anyone conservative a "fucker" or "asshole," that reveres indie hipsterism while practicing the worst kind of conformist, "but I am a progressive!" approval-seeking? Of course, he was mistrustful. How and why on earth would he not be? And he was being trounced in the election. The whole piece seems like it is beating a dead horse. Nathalie is more fair than some other Stranger reporters might have been, but the piece comes across as condescending and disdainful (the tone would likely have been far different were Hoffman a Sawant ally). And remember, Nathalie chose to leave, citing lack of trust in Hoffman's sincerity. Despite Nathalie's having crashed the party, Hoffman let her stay. This is no magnanimous gesture, but it is some basic decency, no matter what his attitude was about an interview. Nathalie early in her piece cites critical comments by other journalists about Hoffman, and these are typical of The Stranger's attitude, too. Yes, Hoffman could have provided an address, and Nathalie at least wasn't openly disdainful to him. Fair enough. But this is after months of constant harsh, mocking negativity from The Stranger. Hoffman's patience had undoubtedly worn thin. How about acknowledging that he had good reason for this? Anyone--left, right, or center--would feel this way after having endured what he and his family endured. Seattle does not easily forgive the sin of conservative challenge; it must be intimidated into silence, to make sure it never again dares question ruling liberal orthodoxy. Well, here's to genuinely defiant independents willing to publicly take a conservative position. Seattle needs more of them. The hard right can be vicious and hateful, too, of course--but what Hoffman endured illustrates the right has no monopoly on campaign cruelty. How about an article about that, not a pathetic post-election party?


Poor form, Nathalie.


@10. What I'm ultimately suggesting is this: The Stranger staff might try not routinely calling public figures they dislike (particularly centrist and conservative ones) "fuckers," "motherfuckers," "assholes," "corporate bootlickers," and all the rest. Create an atmosphere of thoughtful consideration of diverse views, not demonizing disdain for anyone deemed (boo! hiss!) a centrist or moderate. It's one thing to have a left-wing bias. Fair enough. That's The Stranger's editorial stance, and there's no reason it shouldn't be. But... everyone deemed non-left-wing (The Seattle Times, Jenny Durkan, Ari Hoffman, et al) or white and rich (e.g., Magnolia) need not have abuse heaped on them. The Stranger in tone is similar to Fox News. The editorial stance is different, of course, but the tone isn't. Hatred, dehumanizing abuse, skewed misrepresentations, and ugly stereotypes: Fox News and The Stranger are blood brothers. And there is no good reason for this. None. Everything now is about taking a hyper-dogmatic stand, doubling down on it, abusing opponents, and laughing at every chance at "enemies." Do conservatives hate The Stranger and won't talk to its reporters? Well: both should look in a mirror. On the right: quit giving Fox, Breitbart, and Trump a free pass. And on the left: quit giving The Stranger and similar publications a free pass when they routinely misrepresent and stereotype and pour out odium for cheap laughs. It goes both ways--denouncing evil on "the right" doesn't justify your own. I suspect Nathalie Graham is a considerate person, and it isn't her fault Ari Hoffman mistrusted her. But look at the history of how The Stranger treats "enemies." Why would any local conservative want to talk to anyone on The Stranger staff, given the expletive-laden abuse, the simplistic stereotypes. And that starts at the top, not with Nathalie Graham. Now, on to the general election.


Sheesh, Piece was pretty dang snarky. I was at the event an watched Natalie's interaction with Ari. She was implicitly drawing attention to herself by appearing nervous and halting in her interactions with guests as well as Ari. His offer of free food and a drink was legitimate. The event was a friendly community gathering. The stranger did absolutely mock the death threats against Mr Hoffman. On July 17th the stranger listed their endorsements for the election. The byline for for members of the Stranger's election control board contained the usual names of their reporter's along with the addition of "Ari Hoffman's neighbor". That little bit of abject sarcasm was making light of the actual death threats that were leveled against his family. I don't care who you are or who you vote for, but that smacks of the same cynicism as the people who yell "lock her up" at trump rallies. I am a liberal, and neighbor of the Hoffman's. The abject hate coming from people I usually agree with is the flip side of the same coin as the MAGA crowd who thinks Hillary Clinton set up a child trafficking ring in the back of a pizza shop.


@10 She didn't respect his denying her an invitation to his private party. 'Nuff said.



Right on! You nailed it, thank you.


You reap what you sow, Safe Seattle.

Classic alt right trolls. Vicious personal attacks, potty mouthed insults, doxing, veiled threats, and not-so-veiled threats. And then whine like little bitty babies when you get so much as a whiff of your own medicine. It's like foul-mouthed Trump clutching his pearls over a woman of color in the Congress dropping an f bomb.

Another election, another repeat of the same lesson: you're not fooling anybody. You never fooled anybody. This shit doesn't work. The fake "Moms of Seattle" front didn't work. The fake Speak Out Seattle front didn't work. Everyone knew it was Safe Seattle. The concern trolling doesn't work. Trumpers pretending to be moderate Democrats doesn't work. Eastside suburban Republicans pretending to live in Seattle doesn't work. Photoshopping tents onto playgrounds doesn't work. Using a fundamentalist Christian's disingenuous "support" of Israel, using your one black friend, as a shield for your racism doesn't work.

All these ploys to fly under the radar, all this projection of your own nasty behavior on to your opponents, none of it works. Try being honest. I'm not saying your right wing Trumper agenda will ever win any elections in a liberal city. But at least you could lose with a shred of dignity.


@16: Thank you!
@17: I thoroughly detest Trump's manner of abusing opponents and rousing supporters. I am not a fake, not a puppet, not a mouthpiece for a right-wing or any-other-wing movement. I can and do think for myself, and there are many like me in Seattle. Moderates are not Trump-lite cowards; they recognize life is often complicated, and listening is the first and best way to learn. Here's to people willing to challenge orthodoxy--and willing to admit when they're wrong. Both political extremes would do well to emulate that.


A couple things stood out here:

1) The Stranger did indeed mock the death threats Hoffman received. Hoffman made a big deal out of an anti-semitic death threat made to him on 8chan, where someone identifying themselves as "Ari Hoffman's Neighbor" posted photos of his house and said they wanted to kill him.

The Stranger apparently found it funny how concerned Ari Hoffman was about racists on 8chan making death threats towards him (gee what could go wrong there) and decided to include "Ari Hoffman's Neighbor" in their list of SECB members.

Obviously The Stranger is never going to apologize for this but I'm not going to let Nathalie Graham gaslight all of us into forgetting that this happened.

2) Does anyone remember the original reason Hoffman got into politics? It was because he runs security for a Jewish cemetery, and kept having to deal with homeless vagrants trespassing in his cemetery, using it as a toilet, camping there, having sex, littering and trashing the place, not to mention RVs parking all along the road next to it. The city laughed at him and refused to help, and Sawant even demonized him in an e-mail. All of this was back when he was just trying to get some damn help. So he hired private security guards for about $100K and sued to make the city cover the bill. It was only after he lost his lawsuit that he decided to run for city council.

To date I have never seen The Stranger address this story or try at all to make the case that Hoffman was in the wrong. Instead they've consistently treated him like he's some conservative shock jock who popped up out of nowhere to bear the SAFE Seattle emblem.

3) This article reminds me of the time Ansel Herz, when he worked for The Stranger, went down to the Amazon HQ, acted super hostile, and tried really hard to bully employees into providing incendiary quotes on-the-record. None of them obliged, so he took a photo of a Porsche and slapped it at the top of a content-free "fuck you Amazon" article.

Literally the story here is that Nathalie was explicitly uninvited to Hoffman's party due to the aforementioned 8chan-racism-is-a-funny-joke position, she scammed her way into showing up, Ari told her he didn't want to talk on the record but politely offered her some food and let her stay as long as she liked. She didn't get any content so she just filled the article with jokes about his inflatable pub until she reached her daily word quota.

Is this what The Stranger is? Is this what journalism is? Is this what Nathalie wants to be doing with her life?


By the way for those of you wondering what ever became of Ansel, he's now a "digital director" for Bernie Sanders, which mostly means he spends his days on Twitter sniping in the other candidates' replies and trying to get ten likes on his tweets.

Such is the lucrative career of a Stranger alumnus.


@19. Thank you for stepping up and setting the record straight.



I was hoping for that insufferable little dipshit to be laying at the bottom of the ocean or interred in a landfill, but this will suffice. Thanks for the update!


Is there another publication in town which routinely needs to be corrected to basic facts and their standard retort is "uh, we never wrote that" followed by everyone else "yeah you did" .

"The SECB is Lester Black, Chase Burns, Christopher Frizzelle, Nathalie Graham, Katie Herzog, Jasmyne Keimig, Laurie Saito, Eli Sanders, Rich Smith, and Ari Ho man’s neighbor."


"...not to mention endless mockery and disdain from the left." Death threats are both immoral and a crime, but mockery is a form of free expression and disdain is a matter of personal belief. Sounds like we have yet another right-wing snowflake on our hands who wants automatic respect and participation trophies from everyone.


hospitality vs a mean spirited "journalist" with nothing to do and no where to go on a Thurs evening....trying desperately to make a name for herself and ultimately failing due to high school quality writing and just plain stupid comments.


ok it was weds night. but she most likely carried on with her insults thurs night and beyond


Ugh. Journalism? My kids were more serious journalists working for their middle school paper. And you got in a dig at the police, how edgy! But most petty of all, you lied. You indeed did make fun of the threats to Ari Hoffman and his family by his 8-chan consulting neighbor. You did this on July 17th when you wrote that the Stranger Election Control Board included "Ari Hoffman's neighbor."


"I thoroughly detest Trump's manner of abusing opponents and rousing supporters."

And yet you don't think Ari Hoffman and his pals at Safe Seattle, David Preston, Harley Lever, and the rest of that expletive-spewing, mud-slinging crew, and the photoshopping, suburbanite propagandists posing as "moms" of Seattle, haven't earned every bit of that same kind of abuse? You get what you give in this world, SS.

"not a puppet"

Sure you are, Donald. We all see you.

Let me get this straight. You guys think you got your ass handed to you because the Stranger was mean? That's what you're going with? No wonder you never learn.


You lost because your ideas are unpopular. Nobody's buying.
You suffered an embarrassing loss because you're never honest about who you are, about what your actual agenda is, and about 1 above, that Seattle ain't buying any of it.

The Stranger has been snarky for going on 30 years now. Seattle accepts that, and even sometimes loves them for it. If you can't deal with it, maybe Seattle isn't your town. Oh, wait, hardly any of you live here anyway, do you? Yet here you are, where you weren't invited, and feeling strangely unwelcome. Maybe if being told to go fuck yourself hurts your feelings so bad, you could stop meddling in the politics of a city you have nothing to do with.

Bunch of crybabies.


17: And, while it's horrible anytime that a cemetary is actually "desecrated", that's not what happened here-what happened was that homeless people, having literally nowhere else to go, ended up sleeping on the cemetary grounds. Calling THAT "desecration" doesn't work. Insinuating that there was some sort of anti-Semitic intent in the fact that the homeless, in this case, were sleeping in a cemetary which happened to be Jewish, when in point of fact it was happenstance-it's not as if they COULD have slept in a Catholic or Protestant cemetary but passed those up specifically to sleep in this particular cemetary-doesn't work. Nasty, intimidating comments of the sort made by Hoffman about progressives, about people who had done nothing to deserve those comments-comments then minimized by falsely implying the comments were jokes-doesn't work. Implications that the Left in Seattle were to blame for the homeless being in the cemetaries where Hoffman is in charge of security don't work.

Get real, Troll Contingent:

Hoffman didn't get the coverage he got in The Stranger because he was conservative-he got it because he was an abusive, confrontational jerk who was lashing out at people he had no reason to lash out AT.

And the comments The Stranger made regarding threats against Hoffman they were strictly about the comic irony of a right-wing website issuing threats against a right-wing candidate. Nobody was joking about the possibility of Hoffman's FAMILY being threatened. Nobody thought it was funny that the man's innocent relatives may have received threats.

Hoffman based his candidacy on attack politics. He offered no positive solutions to the city's problems, only retribution against people with nothing.

He offered no constructive suggestions, for example, on where else to house the homeless who ended up in those cemetaries-he simply wanted them driven the fuck out of town as if they were vermin.

Hoffman brought his electoral fate on himself.