JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Seattle Times out with early smear as Democrats fret over Tiffany Smiley threat

Sep 26, 2022, 5:35 PM | Updated: Oct 20, 2022, 3:16 pm
smiley woke...
Tiffany Smiley's campaign received a cease and desist from The Seattle Times for using their logo in this campaign ad. (Courtesy of the Tiffany Smiley campaign)
(Courtesy of the Tiffany Smiley campaign)

Republican Tiffany Smiley is closing in on incumbent Democrat Senator Patty Murray. It’s causing so much consternation that The Seattle Times is smearing Smiley much earlier than anticipated.

David Gutman wrote an editorial smearing Smiley. But the paper presents it as a news feature. The article frames Smiley’s campaign as focused on what Gutman strains to claim is a misleading criticism of Seattle. He calls it “an old GOP tactic” in the biased headline.

The smear was one of many picked up by Democrat politicians and party leaders to attack Smiley. That was the intent.

Seattle Times, Democrats pretend all is well in Seattle

Smiley is running a campaign ad focused on Seattle’s crime crisis. In it, she points to one of the five local Starbucks shops closed due to safety concerns. But to Gutman, the crime argument is overstated.

Gutman notes that there are other Starbucks near the closed one, including some in grocery stores. He fails to mention the crime plaguing that neighborhood.

Sure, Seattle is experiencing record-high homicide rates two years running, but Gutman found a snide comment by a partisan, Democrat communications consultant that he follows on Twitter.

Alex Koren implies Seattle is safe, which allows Gutman to lie through her.

Gutman doesn’t note that Koren is the consultant campaign manager for then-Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez, who is also responsible for the city’s current crime trajectory.

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Old left-wing media tactic: criticize Republican threats

Somehow, Gutman couldn’t find a single Seattleite to quote who shares concern about crime. They must not exist. After all, it’s just an “old GOP tactic” to lie about Seattle.

State Senator Joe Nguyen (D-White Center) used the Gutman editorial to criticize Smiley for “talking **** about the largest city and economic engine in this state.” He downplayed the crime crisis by saying, “we might not be perfect,” since he’s a big reason why the city is experiencing so much violence and bloodshed.

But the editorial is an example of an old left-wing media tactic: criticizing Republican threats in news pieces.

Patty Murray is a 30-year veteran of the Senate. You’d think Gutman and others could find something she’s done to analyze critically. Not for Gutman or The Seattle Times. Though he did have time to criticize Joe Kent, Republican congressional candidate in a city the Seattle Times rarely covers (or remembers).

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The good news

There is some good news for Smiley.

The timing of the smear suggests Democrats are concerned that she’s gaining momentum. It’s not even October and The Seattle Times is already out to get her? They must be looking at the polls.

The last two major polls looking at Washington, Trafalgar and PPP, show Murray with just a six-point lead. Smiley underperformed in the primary because of Democrat anger after overturning Roe v. Wade, leaving abortion access to the states. Murray, up against a first-time candidate, should be leading by much more.

Murray — and her media supporters — know Smiley is charismatic and offers solutions to problems Murray helped cause. The more people who see Smiley, the more likely they will be to vote for her. It’s why Murray dragged her feet in accepting debates, finally choosing to take on Smiley only after ballots are mailed out.

It won’t be easy for Smiley to win, even though Murray has been ineffective as a Senator. Washington is unapologetically blue and Seattle voters love to play the martyr. They’re pretending abortion rights in the state are at risk, so they’re pretending to be feminist freedom fighters (though don’t ask any to define a woman). But if the knives are out this early, Smiley is doing something right. And this race is winnable.

Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison is failing on transparency, says Jason Rantz

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Rantz: Seattle Times out with early smear as Democrats fret over Tiffany Smiley threat