Usually the Seattle Times is quick to tout the new additions to its editorial board, while lauding the contributions of its departing editorial columnists. But after only six months on the job, Erik Smith was suddenly disappeared from the editorial board over the weekend, entirely without comment or explanation.
What kind of a cowardly newspaper would do something like that?
Whatever our political differences (and they were profound), our personal interactions were always friendly and professional. As an editorial writer Smith may have been wrong about everything, but he worked hard at it, and was certainly the most prolific member of the editorial board during his brief tenure.
That said, Smith was also the author of the paper’s breathtakingly dishonest and inaccurate “death tax” editorial. So while as a fellow ex-newspaperman I can certainly empathize with Smith, as a media critic I won’t miss him.
Maybe you and the Stranger staff cost him his job with all of the tirades about how the paper should just fold because you disagree with their opinions.? If that is the case, I guess anyone espousing their opinion is fair game as far as untimely terminations or requests to “move on” are concerned.
@1 I doubt it. But I’ve been meaning to write a post for some time about why I think the unsigned editorial is hurting daily newspapers.
Perhaps there was a separation agreement.
Did you pick up the phone, call the Times editorial page editor and ask the question?
I still do not understand your obsession with the Times. Is this a billiards move to get them to hire you?
There has to be a better use for your talents.
Looks like the Washington Wire is no longer heartlessly right-wing enough for the Blethens.
@3 I provide links for a reason. Trying clicking through them.
Roger Rabbit spews:
“Smith was also the author of the paper’s breathtakingly dishonest and inaccurate ‘death tax’ editorial.”
Well, THAT couldn’t have been the reason they sacked him.
@7, of course not. The sources were double-checked and everything.
R L spews:
Kinda OT, but speaking of people disappearing from The Stranger “without comment or explanation,” whatever happened with Daniel Henderson? She was an editor for a minute even, then gone entirely.
SGT B spews:
Smith doesn’t do unsigned anything – that’s one of his strongest attributes: one knows where one stands with him; whether one agrees with him or not, he’s got that old-school journalistic integrity.
He understands the “game” too well, he knows that there’s no such thing as a secret in his profession, and, from a purely technical point of view, the “markers” don’t match his writing style.
He got silenced, and anyone who really considers themselves “real journalists” will put aside the skinning knives and (a) follow the stink to its upstream source, and (b) throw the man a golden rope, because you know that the return is going to be 24 carats once he gets back in the saddle. (Again, even if you don’t agree with him, he’ll give you a good, honest debate…)
@10 Unsigned editorials may not have fit Smith’s style, but that was part of his job description. He wrote unsigned editorials.
I’ve no idea what the circumstances behind his departure were. If he wants to share, he knows how to get ahold of me.
SGT B spews:
You know more about what constitutes “journalism” than I, as I have a galloping allergy to most things related to “the press”, but I still think that he’s getting the shaft…
I never met Erik Smith, but I know several people who know him. I never agreed with a single thing he wrote — neither his assumptions nor his conclusions — but after reading his stuff every day at Washington State Wire, I was glad the Times hired him, because his work demonstrated that he is a professional journalist, and he brings a lot to what he does. Because of that, he made us liberals have to work a lot harder to rebut what he wrote.
That’s a GOOD thing. We HAVE to be better if we’re going to prevail in the political arena. Smith was quantum leaps better as an editorial writer, and more effective as a conservative voice, than the nasty, dyspeptic misanthrope he replaced, Bruce Ramsey.
I believe also that Smith was quantum leaps better than the rest of that sorry editorial staff put together (not counting the two newest hires), and his work certainly ran rings around that of the bumbling Kate Riley. I wonder if this is why he was sacked, because he was too good for that editorial staff, and was making them look piss-poor in comparison.
I think she said she found a better job with a bigger media outlet.
@9 @14 Danielle left entirely of her own accord. Wouldn’t want to put words into her mouth as to why.
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