Vesely retires

Seattle Times editorial page editor Jim Vesely is retiring Friday.

HA regulars might have started to suspect by now that, while I’m an avid reader, I’m not always a 100 percent fan of his editorial page’s opinions or rhetorical tactics. But I’ve never met the man, so I can’t really argue with Times’ publisher Frank Blethen when he describes Vesely as “one of the … most decent people I have had the privilege to work with.”  Enjoy the fly-fishing Jim.

But while I don’t have much to say about Vesely himself, I am intrigued by the closing line in the lengthy editorial heaping praise on the man and his career:

The Times has not yet named a successor for Vesely.

Hey Frank… I think it’s well past time for another mid-life crisis, and I’m exactly the person to lead your editorial page through it. Get in touch.  You know how to reach me.

Over at Publicola, Sandeep’s got a good summation of the Times’ editorial leanings under Vesely, and where the page might move under his successor.


  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Give it up, Goldy. Even you can’t save Frank from himself. The Times editorial page is a basket case.

  2. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The edit function on this blog is all over the map. Sometimes the “edit” button doesn’t appear at all. If it does, clicking on it may make the screen go dark, or have no effect at all, or the little window comes up but never opens, or any number of other things. Over half the time, clicking on the “save” button doesn’t save the edited comment, it just sits there doing nothing. But Goldy’s edit function isn’t the only thing in my life that doesn’t work. The plumbing down in my hole doesn’t work right, either. My new digital TV doesn’t work (the picture keeps breaking up). AOL doesn’t work. Private health insurance doesn’t work. Torturing innocent people to get information they don’t have doesn’t work. Torturing guilty people to get information they do have doesn’t work, either, because they’ll just lie to you. Republican government doesn’t work. Above all, I don’t work! Why should I work, when I make more money and pay lower taxes by not working? No one should work. The incentives in this country are screwed up. People who work get the lowest pay and highest taxes. People who sit around telling other people to work get most of the money and almost none of the taxes. It doesn’t make any sense to work under a system like this. I’m not the only one who realizes this. Have you tried finding a good plumber lately? You can’t get a plumber because they’re all too busy flipping stocks or distressed real estate to waste their time fixing plumbing that doesn’t work. I’m just gonna have to shit on the park grass that people walk on.

  3. 6

    ivan spews:

    I worked with Vesely for several years. I do not share his politics, but he is a reasonable, decent man who treated everyone with respect and commanded respect in return.

    He managed to do so even despite fulfilling the prime prerequiste of his job — keeping his lips constantly and firmly connected — with epoxy glue if necessary — to Frank Blethen’s ass.

    I’m a little surprised that Jim lasted as long as he did, because he certainly has a well-developed sense of journalistic principles and ethics, whether others share them or not.

    His predecessor, the odious Mindy Cameron, had no principles or ethics whatever, and not a scrap of intellectual integrity, except to promote her own advancement.

    That’s more in line with what Frank likes. Lynne Varner could get Jim’s job. She’s exactly Frank’s type of amoral toady, but she probably lacks the Cameron’s appetite for malice and vindictiveness.

    As for you, Goldy, Frank would rather go broke than hire you, even if you bought your own epoxy glue.

    I congratulate Jim for leaving on his feet, and I wish him well. It’s hard to conduct yourself with dignity when your job is to represent an incompetent, impotent, paranoid sociopath, but Jim carried it off with a goodly measure of class.

  4. 7

    Mark1 spews:

    You Goldy? Ha. Thanks for the hearty laugh! Since you can’t make in the world working or as a lawyer, what makes you even think you could do this? Man, you’re funny!

  5. 8

    Particle Man spews:

    Ivan said it all. The job is to give the readers the false impression that the editor has any say and then to facilitate the scam that the Times has run for years, when it comes time for political endorsements.
    Jim may be a decent guy but he polluted his profession by putting up with and aiding all this crap.

  6. 9

    ArtFart spews:

    4 Everything’s kind of crumbling, isn’t it? Real life is starting to look like a dystopian world out of Blade Runner or Brazil.

    Where the hell is Archibald Tuttle, now that we really need him?

  7. 11

    Seattle Jew, a true liberal spews:

    With Little Respect Due (WLRD) or WADR ,, who cares??

    Actually aside from his desire to be paid for his work, I suggest that the Times take Goldy’s offer seriously.

    Why should the ST spend anything on editorial page writers?

    Does anyone buy the ST to see what these people think? When did any of the Times’ editorialist writers achieve prominence in any sphere other than writing editorials for Mr. B?

    As the Times has decayed, what is left is a skeleton crew of AP people who reformat the AP wire and plagiarize the press releases from assorted interest groups. Does anyone actually think that the editor of the ST has MORE information at his or her hands than the Shark or Goldy?

    To be fair and balanced in n an era when it is likely that the next Presidential and VEEP candidates for the Republicans will be Glen Beck and Sean Hannity, I ‘spect a lot more folks would buy the Times if the editorial page featured not just the esteemed founder of HA, but his peers from bloggerdom.

  8. 12

    ArtFart spews:

    The Times’ “finest hour” in recent years has to be the series they did last year exposing the all-too-chummy relationship between Doug Sutherland’s office and the timber industry. Researching, documenting and producing that took quite a bit of time, talent and money–and the guts and legal resources to be ready to fight a suit if any of the parties involved thought the paper didn’t have all its ducks in a row.

    Whether Fairview Fannie will bother to do anything like that again, now that they essentially have no competition, remains to be seen.

  9. 13

    ivan spews:

    All the editorial page personnel at the Times were reporters or editors before they took editorial page jobs. Whereas I worked with some of them, I can tell you that some of them were pretty good at it.

    Goldy dumps on Joni Balter, and rightly so, for her reaming of the SEA. But Joni Balter at one time in the past was a damn good reporter before she became Frank Blethen’s conscienceless shill.

    I don’t expect ignorant, clueless, bloviating morons like Seattle Jew or John425 to know the difference, and they never fail to show the world that they don’t.

  10. 14

    Seattle Jew, a true liberal spews:

    13 Ivan

    I am impressed that you can spell bloviating. O’Reilly likes that word too!

    Lampoonery aside, if I wanted to find someone with expertise, why would I choose to read the ST editorial page? Is there someone there with expertise in government, environment, civil rights, economomics, or public policy?

    If you need help finding good opinions on the web, give me call. There are many bloggers whose expertise FAR exceeds that of the ST editorial board. Hell, for all the acrimony I have with Lee, when did an editorial on drugs in the ST come close to the quality of Lee’s analyses? The Times’ editorials on taxes, conclusions aside, do not compare with Goldy’s pieces on the same subject.

    Here is a quick test for you. Read Publicola for three days and the Times for the same three days. Then tell me which one of these media is doing a better job of reporting ?

    Where I assume you and would agree is that most other bloggers are bottom feeding off of the work done by a diminishing pool of traditional reporters. If I owned the Times, I would keeping only those editorialist and columnists who offer something that benefits heavily from reportage, Whatever and wherever possible, I would put my resources into the reporters and their editors.

    Enough bloviating for you?

  11. 15

    ivan spews:

    Seattle Jew @ 14:

    Take your “quick test” and shove it up your ass. Publicola is graffiti on the bathroom wall put there by stupid children, and promoted, for some insane reason, by this blog’s owner, who only ruins his own credibility by doing so.

    The politicians are already spinning poor little Joshie like a top and feeding him disinformation that he breathlessly reports as news — like Jan Drago’s push poll.

    You are about as ignorant about journalism as you are about politics, and I don’t know why I bother with you.

    I need help from you finding good opinions on the Web about like I need Ebola.

    Newspaper editorial boards are made up of former reporters and editors. They are there, ostensibly, because they can report on and synthesize the output of subject matter experts and put it into a somewhat coherent editorial statement that reflects the views of their publishers.

    For more subject matter expertise, there are guest columnists. This is the formula at every newspaper in the world.

    Of course, in your ADHD-riddled little brain, it’s all about YOU and YOUR world, where relationships exist that don’t exist anywhere else, and somehow it compels you to project them onto the rest of us, some of whom have actually *worked* for newspapers, and therefore know better.

    Stick to molecular biology where you know something, and quit trying to tell the rest of us how our world works, when you so manifestly haven’t got a clue.

  12. 16

    Particle Man spews:

    Ah, a dust up between two jewish bloggers and not a word of Yidish.
    And I thought I was going to learn somthing today.
    Heck, I already knew Seattle Jew was a dingdong and Ivan…well Ivan is Ivan.
    No one can say that he does not get politics or the paper reporting world. Just a little tough on Josh though. He is providing some content even when he shows that he lacks depth, like when he wrote about the Hands Off Washington days.

  13. 18

    Seattle Jew, a true liberal spews:

    Is “Ivan” a yid?

    Sad, but so are Arlan Spector, the former Reprican and the deer-eyed Cohen of VA, poster child for Reprican reform. The incredible team of Repricans who chose and promoted Sarah the Palin for Vice Commander in Chief was, from what I have read, entirely drawn form Repubiyidden (William Krystal, Dick Moeeis, et al.).

    Interestingly, now that Spector has seen the light, the GOP is now as Yidden frei, at elast at the Senate level, as the community of cardinals. Since the Reps put a step and fethcit in as the GOP party chief, maybe they will let Mr. Cohen run for Prez with Bobby, the Catholic from India? Then the bigots will have nowhere to go!

    BTW, with Souter’s exit I think all of the Justices may be either Yids or Catholics .. with the Yids to tghe left and the Papists to the right! I guess That One better find hisself either a librul, gay, hispanic catholic or we will get another Yid on the court and have an open Jewish-Catholic schism.

    As for your great knowledge oif journalism, it seems as if you may be partly illiterate. Perhaps that ios why you still read the ST?

    Funny that you are down on Josh Veit. Maybe he provides you with too much information? That certainly is not a problem with the experts you seem to believe write ST editorials!

    Being serious for a moment …

    The first couple of weeks of P-cola worried me. Seemed too much line the Sranger w/o its Savage bite. I thought Sandeep was especially puerile.

    Since then, Pcola has really grown. If you have another source for real information on state politics, why not be generous enough to share it?

  14. 19

    ivan spews:

    SJ @ 18:

    Do you find it sad that I am Jewish? Yes, I have another source for real information on state politics. Unlike you, I am active in the Democratic Party, at the district, county, and state levels. This gives me access to legislators and executive branch staffers. I get my information from them directly, from their aides, and from other party activists who have access to information. It also helps that I was a professional journalist in this state for most of my working life.

    Plus, I talk to N in Seattle and Particle Man a lot. What more does anyone need?

    I never said, and don’t put words in my mouth, that people who write editorials for the Seattle times are “experts.” I don’t rely on them for my information.

    As for my being “partly illiterate,” at least I know how to spell William Kristol, Dick Morris, and Josh Feit. If I am “partly illiterate,” what does that make you?

  15. 20

    Particle Man spews:

    Seattle Jew at 18: As I read your post I was humming that catchy Adam Sadler holiday tune.