I’m still waiting for the Seattle Times editorial board to take me up on my 5,001 protester challenge. I promise to bring 5,001 protesters to Olympia to rally on behalf of an income tax, if they promise to credulously editorialize in favor of our populist movement should we hit the turnout target.
Yeah, sure, I know that a mere 5,001 citizens out of a state population of over 6.5 million may not seem like much of a “movement,” but that’s still one more than the low bar set by the Times in regards to last week’s teabagger rally:
… when organizers get 5,000 people to come to Olympia on a workday, it is evidence of a strong feeling.
Funny thing is, the Times hasn’t always sold populism so cheap. When 40,000 people peacefully marched in Seattle to protest WTO, only to be met with tear gas and billy clubs (and yes, the overwhelming majority of marchers were peaceful), the Times didn’t embrace the populism of the moment. No, they demonized and ridiculed labor leaders and environmentalists for their “narrow point of view,” calling their message “shameless,” “dishonest,” “distorted, “canned,” and “99-percent fact free.”
When in years past, tens of thousands of people have turned out to protest education cuts or immigration policy or the Iraq war, where was the Times editorial arguing that this should be enough to stop lawmakers in their tracks? Likewise, where is the populist embrace from the Times when labor manages to turn out teabagger-plus-sized crowds at the state Capitol?
Agreeing with the teabaggers is one thing. The Times’ editors are entitled to their opinion. But in light of the much larger rallies the ed board has either willfully ignored or contemptuously mocked, spinning this unimpressive made for TV event into some sort of populist rebellion is disingenuous at best, and delusional at worst.