Slog tipper Sarah points out that the Seattle Times is trafficking in fear:
A man who gave his name as Justin said he used to work at Cafe Racer. He said a friend was wounded in the shooting.
"It's one of the few places I thought things like this couldn't happen," he said. "They play folk music. Everybody's nice."
But Michael Henderson, who lives a block away, said he's seen what appeared to be fights or other disputes at the cafe, which also serves beer.
Henderson said some of the people who hung out at the cafe "look a little different, like they were having problems."
They've since updated the story to read: "But Michael Henderson, who lives a block away, said he's seen what appeared to be fights or other disputes at the cafe, which also serves beer." First of all, I'd like to congratulate The Seattle Times for finding the one guy in Seattle who has bad things to say about Cafe Racer. That's some fine, Fox-style "fair-and-balanced" journalism. Henderson shouldn't be chastised for this—the Seattle Times has a long history of putting the blame on the wrong individuals after a terrible tragedy. Six years ago, just after the Kyle Huff shootings, they published a paranoid editorial asking idiotic questions:
Beyond the raw, ugly mass murder, this event forces every parent of a teen or young adult to sit down and ask: Where exactly do you go at night? Do you really know the people with whom you are attending a party?
Obviously, not every teenager who goes to a dance or party is looking for trouble. Police found marijuana, beer and wine at the home.
The dance, called by some attendees a rave, seemed to be a peaceful event where perhaps drug and alcohol laws were violated but no violence or arguing was reported. Still, teen dance rules in our city must be thoroughly reviewed to see if they go far enough to protect young people.
(My rebuttal to that dumb editorial was published in my Party Crasher column at the time.) This Cafe Racer-blaming is more fearmongering bullshit from the paper that basically did everything but call for a house party ban after another senseless tragedy. Fomenting fear and distrust toward an establishment that's become a second home to cartoonists and writers and artists and music-lovers is irresponsible and stupid.