Our good friend Tim Eyman showed up at the Secretary of State’s office this morning with only a “thin handful” of R-65 petitions. A veteran Capitol press corps reporter tells me that Timmy basically just used the assembled print journalists and TV cameras as an opportunity to plug his other initiative. He says he’ll be back tomorrow at 4pm. Uh-huh.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
I’d been predicting R-65’s failure for weeks, and told anybody who asked that I thought today’s event was a stunt along the lines of I-864. My reporter friend acknowledged: “Good call on your part.” Yet, the reporters still showed up and gave Timmy the forum he wanted.
Over on Slog, The Stranger’s Eli Sanders is justifiably outraged over being lured down to Olympia on a lie. The assembled reporters were furious, Sanders reports, but Eyman was unapologetic. “There’s no such thing as bad press, that’s the reality,” Eyman told Sanders.
So to my friends in the media I’d like to suggest that you take Timmy at his word one last time, and refuse to give him any coverage at all. Zero. Zilch. Nada. No clips on the news, no column inches in the paper… not even to curse him out. The guy just dissed you. (Again.) Don’t reward him.
Can the press resist? Sanders wonders the same thing:
Bottom line: This was one of the most unprincipled press conferences I’ve ever seen, and my sense is that the reporters whose time was wasted this morning are furious. I hesitate to even write about it, given Eyman’s “no such thing as bad press” mantra, but I do think it’s important to give a sense of how dishonest he’s willing to be in order to get a camera in front of him. It will be interesting to see how the dailies and the television stations handle this stunt