Herman- To my friends (and former friends) in media: a message of tough love
This weekend, I did something that made a lot of people in media uncomfortable: I audited the homepages of local media and shared my analysis on Twitter. I did this in order to share how heavily the media distributed the story of the $200,000,000 fraud enabled by Jay Inslee’s incompetence and arrogance–I found the results disappointing for Friday and a part of the weekend.
This is unquestionably the top story in the state, but, black bears on freeways, Ryan Leif’s latest troubles and yet another apparently crazy man in Seattle making crazy threats all, on one outlet or another, far outranked the incredible story of this fraud. One angle of this story alone is enough to tell over the entire weekend. ESD Director, Suzie Levine, has a background in technology and data storage. Yet, she allowed her division to function without commercially available anti-fraud software that would flag sloppy fraud attempts like the Nigerian fraud team used to destroy more lives.
Members of the media, people I know, people I respect, some people I don’t know, were not at all happy with me for turning my analysis on them.
That’s okay. All of us in media need to accept criticism of our work.
I addressed this in detail on my radio program, Tuesday morning. If you care about media, or, have ever lost a friend over an opinion (I lost two over my assessment of the media’s water carrying for Jay Inslee) I encourage you to listen,.
Criticism of my work is fine; I read it, and, unless it’s obvious trolling by a paid sock puppet, I am happy to discuss it.
An Independent, Skeptical Press Is a Key Pillar to American Society
While criticism of my work is cool, what I will not accept is people who accuse me of “hating the news media”, or, “serving up faux outrage to [my] ‘right-wing base.’” I have the deepest possible respect for an independent press, we must have it to enjoy the fruits a functioning Republic, but: we – don’t – have – that right now. I love my friends who work in media, but: they can – not – see the several, clear, hurtful ways they have lost the trust of people like me and my listeners.
They told us for three years Donald Trump was a Russian asset, and, never apologized for that. They precious little minutes of air or column space looking into the Obama team’s use of the national security apparatus of the United States to spy on a political rival; CNN still has James Clapper, a proven liar, on TV to opine on the Trump administration against whom he attempted a soft coup, or, at the very least, a severe handicapping.
The local media openly lied to parents about the sex-ed law Jay Inslee shoved down our throats. The media ignored it, or, pretended it did use a framework, CSE, and providers like FLASH and 3Rs, that has such perverse curricula that Jim Fuda, with Crime Stoppers Global Solutions says it will make it easier for pedophiles and sex traffickers to abuse children.
The local media continue to lie to parents about the chemical and medical mutilation of children being pushed in Seattle’s so called mental health community and by Children’s Hospital and Mary’s Bridge. To my knowledge, only my show and Dori Monson’s have mentioned the incredible fact that little kids, thirteen year olds, can get cross-sex horrmones shoved into their bodies without the permission of parents when every bit of research show kids are 80% – 95% likely to overcome the gender dysphoria that leads kids to want to take such a drastic step. How can the media claim independence when they find a mold infestation at Children’s Hospital huge news, but, not the chemical and, eventual, surgical mutilation of children suffering from a very treatable mental condition similar to anorexia?
The media has earned our distrust … AND I love journalism and my friends and I want them to wake up and become independent again.
We Need a Strong, Skeptical, Independent, Honest Press
When the media is skeptical of all politicians and uses their talents, I stand in awe; I cannot do what they do, with their level of detail, and care, and teamwork.
By Sunday morning, there was some stellar work, and, I called that out.
The Seattle Times showed what these incredible investigators can do at their best; my celebration of their work is featured in Legal Insurrection’s write-up about it.
Brandi Kruse, who had already recorded an interview with Jay Inslee before the news broke about the $200,000,000 fraud, was, to my knowledge, the first journalist to get a one on on with Inslee during his shutdown swindle. Brandi was tough and fair and Jay Inslee was petulant, immature, defensive, shrill, empty and duplicitous; he fought straw men–”we are not going to put older people on desert islands for the rest of their lives”– and asked us to chase red herrings; it was glorious to see this empty man, bereft of anything even remotely close to leadership skills (save bluster and physical height), show himself for what he has always been: a rank seeker of power for power’s sake.
These are examples of a written piece and a TV piece that should make every American (save the Inlsee team), proud.
They are not the only examples: Hanna Scott of KIRO Radio has asked Inslee multiple times about the disparity between how he treats big business and smaller ones. A reporter from the Everett Herald has consistently asked about why Inslee treats government construction, which he allowed through out his shutdown, differently than private, which he largely banned. There are other reporters who ask these types of questions and, just as he did with Brandi Kruse, Jay Inslee refused to answer, he filibusters, makes up straw men and lies. Worse, Inslee’s people will not allow the media to ask follow-up questions
These instance should remind us of what news media, at its best, can do.
It was also a reminder of what has been entirely lacking during Jay Inslee’s shutdown: a passionate, tough, fair questioning of the motives of Inslee and the science and data he pretends to use in making decisions like pretending buses full of people are safe but golf courses area deadly: no one believes that to be based on science.
I thank every reporter who has asked that man a tough question, now, we need your entire news organizations to start pressing Jay Inslee on a shutdown that is, with every passing hour, less defensible.
What Would Skepticism Look Like?
Our state has been locked down for over two months. But, not our entire state; Jay Inslee’s friends and political allies have been fine. Here are some questions I ask constantly on my show; why has the mainstream media not delved into these in the form of in depth investigations?
Why are people being charged property taxes, when teaching is not happening in many–if not most–districts? How many people are paying taxes and receiving nothing in return?
How much money have taxpayers spent to keep government employees paid at full rate, compared to the amount of money the citizens of this state have lost, due to Jay Inslee’s shutdown?
People are allowed to ride around on buses and trains–which Inslee decreed essential–but, they cannot attend AA meetings and group therapy. With suicides in Yakima up 30% since Jay Inslee’s shutdown, and 600 Physicians Say Lockdowns Are A ‘Mass Casualty Incident’, why hasn’t Jay Inslee allowed more therapy options, including group therapy?
The Big One: WHAT data, Jay?
Jay Inslee pretends to operate on data, why not ask him about some of the newest data?
Japan, like Sweden, appears to have beaten the virus having never shutdown, or tested. Why is Washington still shut down?
An Oxford epidemiologist, speaking about the COVID-19 lockdowns, agreed that, ‘We might have done better by doing nothing at all.’ Why is Washington state still closed?
A Nobel Prize-winning scientist explains why COVID lockdowns may have cost more lives than they saved. Why is Washington state still closed?
European politicians are actually blaming each other for the insane lockdown idea while US politicians double down. Why is Washington state still closed?
A former professor and chief of a medical department at Stanford University has joined other medical professionals who insist, since kids are at near zero statistical risk, schools should open, a position bolstered by a study submitted for peer review at the NIH indicates asymptomatic people do not pass the virus on to others. Jay Inslee, why are the schools closed?
It is far past time for the media, in op-eds, feature pieces, to press hard on the entire reason for the shutdown that is effecting every single Washingtonian–save state government workers and allies of Jay Inslee, like Planned Parenthood.
Equally, it is crazy that my little, one host, one producer show can have credentialed expert after expert on to present these absolutely, transparently data-driven opinions against Jay Inslee’s shutdown, but, our local media has not written multiple articles, or produced broadcasts, pushing Jay Inslee to answer us, with data we can see, why, with the death rate for folks under 70 less than the flu, he still refuses to open this state.
Enough With The Academics, This is a Note to Friends and Former Friends in The Media
It was the words of friends that matter to me.
Some of my friends in news media are disappointed in me, some are feeling hurt. People have told me in public; Brandi Kruse believes I have been disingenuous in critiquing the media and wants to me to apologize to reporters.
I actually think an apology would be nice. Local journalists are working hard during an unprecedented situation with a million angles to cover and small staffs. I’ll be the first to say there are a lot of things the press should be criticized for, but this was not one.
— Brandi Kruse (@BrandiKruse) May 24, 2020
Jillian Raftery tells me it is untrue that there is a propaganda of silence perpetrated by the media media regarding the abject lack of logic regarding Jay Inslee’s shutdown of Washington state. I believe fully that Jillian and her team are producing pieces about the Nigerian fraud; I hope they will also question the entire theory driving Inslee’s lockdown. I have also audited the Q13 website, from what I see, neither the Inslee fraud nor the greater questions I present are important enough to rank as a web feature.
So don’t say we’re ignoring it. You are saying that! Which is so disappointing as we are constantly. working. on. it. We haven’t stopped. Thursday – two reporting teams devoted to it. More on Friday. And we continue to respond to the thousands of calls and emails we are getting.
— Jillian Raftery (@JillianKIRO7) May 23, 2020
People I don’t know well, but whose work I deeply respect, seem to think I was falling apart this weekend. Jim Brunner, of The Seattle Times, (one of the authors of the terrific piece digging into the Nigerian fraud), was blunt. I love this tweet very much, because, this man loves his craft and his paper and because, in a later tweet, he told me they were not done with Inslee yet … and, boom, on Sunday, they came out with work I wish I was half capable of providing.
Todd get your head together. Seattle Times posted this news yesterday and swiftly sent breaking news alert. It’s been top read story on site. Also I first broke story on this situation in early May and have advanced story continuously.
— Jim Brunner (@Jim_Brunner) May 23, 2020
Those are some of the public admonitions I have received.
Some friends have told me in private that they are hurt; a person I love, adore and respect has asked that I not “throw my colleagues under the bus.” I am waiting until we see each other face to face to respond.
These emails, tweets and phone calls matter to me; I don’t have many friends, I love the ones I have and I love journalism. I will not hold back from telling the truth to my friends, or, about what I see in going in in journalism.
You, my friends in journalism, are hurting us–small government, conservative Americans–and you are hurting respect for your craft.
Jay Inslee’s shutdown is political there is no science behind his decisions.
If you disagree, prove me and Doctor Scott Atlas wrong. I, for one, will thank you for it.
Listen to the Todd Herman Show weekday mornings from 6 – 9 a.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.