Back on January 18th, King County Assessor, Scott Noble, a Democrat, was involved in a motor vehicle accident that injured two women and himself while driving under the influence of alcohol. This story was first reported in this February 24th article in the Seattle Times, over five weeks after the incident.
On March 6th, Noble was charged with two counts of vehicular assault; the next day, State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz urged Noble to resign, citing Noble’s failure to make a timely public statement about the incident, the distraction of an impending trial, and Noble’s need to continue his recovery from his rather serious injuries. I agree wholeheartedly with Pelz (a first, I assure you), but that’s not my point.
One has to wonder what the reporters at the Seattle Times do each day. If anyone is monitoring the Police Blotter, either they’re not making a very good job of it or they were deliberately protecting an elected official who was allegedly involved in a vehicular assault.
Then I noticed that in the March 7th article, Noble’s party affiliation wasn’t mentioned until nearly halfway through the article, word 159 of 335. When I checked the March 6th article, I found that his party affiliation wasn’t mentioned until nearly the end of the article, 317 of 396.
Curiosity aroused, I checked the February 24th article. Astonishingly, in the story that first broke the news, Noble’s party affiliation was never mentioned. Contrast that with the article published in the Times breaking the news that King County Councilwoman Jane Hague had been stopped for a DUI in July of 2007. Hague’s party affiliation was mentioned just under halfway through the article, word 79/170.
Normally, conservatives can only shake their heads sadly (or shake their fists) and say, “You know what they would do if that were a Republican.” This time, we have a similar incident within recent memory that can be provided as evidence. I wish that such egregious examples of pro-Democrat bias were uncommon, not only in the Seattle Times but in many if not most other major newspapers. Unfortunately, they are all too common. If they weren’t, perhaps Ryan Blethen wouldn’t be using his column for a series articles pondering the fate of the nation’s newspapers.
Full Disclosure Clause: While King County voters elected in November of 2008 to change the law and make the Assessor’s office non-partisan, Noble first won the office in 1992 and has been re-elected since that time as a Democrat.