I have penned many a rant complaining about the way the media covers Tim Eyman, specifically how they continue to give undeserved credibility to his bullshit numbers.
A great example was earlier in the year, when I sent out repeated emails to the media regarding Tim’s claim that I-892 set aside $11 million a year to treat problem gambling. I showed that using Tim’s own revenue projections, the number was less than $4 million. I showed my math. I explained that Tim apparently didn’t understand his own initiative, and was calculating on the wrong number.
And then, a reporter who was certainly familiar with my missives wrote:
The measure would also earmark 1 percent of those funds for problem gambling treatment, an amount Eyman says would total about $11 million, though critics say the number is greatly exaggerated.
I’m sure he thought he was being objective… but a truly objective and responsible reporter would have fact checked Eyman’s numbers before presenting them as remotely credible, especially in light of the indisputable math I had presented.
(Just like the Seattle Times should have fact checked Eyman’s patently false claim that Dave Ross had endorsed I-892. You know… they could have actually given Dave Ross a call, and asked him.)
I dredge all this up because I actually want to compliment a reporter for covering I-892 responsibly. In today’s Bremerton Sun, Susie Oh show’s you the right way to frame Tim’s unsubstantiated claims: “Pull the lever: Slots vs. Taxes“.
Susie repeats Eyman’s revenue claims, but does not present them in way that makes them appear equally credible as the OFM projections. There’s a good reason for this: the OFM shows its math, Tim does not.
Tim Eyman is an admitted liar who has made a career of deceiving voters, contributors, the PDC, and the media. And journalists are deceiving themselves if they think simply putting his claims in quotes somehow constitutes objective reporting. Tim’s numbers are based on rhetorical expedience, not research. Knowing this, it is time the media starts holding him to higher standard.
I-892 has been a grand deception from the start… a gambling initiative, masquerading as a tax cut proposal, masquerading as an appeal to racial hatred. Nothing Tim says can be taken at face value.