I’m definitely one of McGinn’s biggest supporters. But I don’t cover all or even most of the McGinn stories, and I was all set to pass on the story about how the city pulled ads from The Seattle Weekly. I mean maybe he should have waited until after the meeting, but it’s pretty clear that backpage.com’s policies are a problem. And the city doesn’t have an obligation to spend money advertising with them.
It seems like such an obvious thing that of course you can get behind it. But then I went on Facebook and Twitter where I saw that some people I usually like, despite disagreeing about McGinn in general, had a lot of nonsense to say. So, I just want to address a few things:
This isn’t about silencing an opponent in the media. The Seattle Times still gets advertising money from the city, as it should. If VVM and backpage.com can do a better job of making sure its ads are from people 18 and older, they’ll probably get advertising money back. If not, then we can demonize McGinn.
The mayor isn’t picking and choosing what weekly papers he’s supporting. The Stranger has policies in place to ensure people in its adult service ads are over 18. Even if they didn’t, 2 wrongs don’t make a right.
This isn’t about sex negativity. Good lord.
This may be a part of McGinn’s brash style. As I said, I understand the argument that he should have waited until the meeting with them. If you’re not a fan of that style in general (although I am), I can see why you wouldn’t like the way he made this decision. Still, it’s the right call and not even close.
Finally, nobody thinks this move will solve child prostitution, in general or in Seattle. But the cynical bullshit machine always makes similar arguments for inaction on every issue. Instead of evaluating this on if it’s good policy smart people, who I generally like, are evaluating it on if it’s perfect policy. No, it isn’t. Nobody expects a single move to solve everything. It’s part of a larger strategy that also includes adding cops to troubled areas and updating the SOAP (not the mayor’s office, but a city policy).