The Seattle Times editorial board has published a correction today regarding a school scheduled for closure: “It is the Old Hay building, not John Hay Elementary.”
That’s okay. Mistakes happen, and it’s always good form to correct them. No biggie.
But as long as the Times’ editorialists are admitting their factual errors, it sure would be refreshing to see them admit their editorial errors as well. You know… those times when their opinions were just plain wrong.
For example, take this bit of oh-so-conventional wisdom from a February 13, 2008 editorial:
The transit-only folks delude themselves if they believe voters killed last fall’s “Roads and Transit” ballot measure because they didn’t want the roads. They do want the roads. And the idea of combining transit and roads was right. Both are needed. The ballot measure failed because the light-rail part was too expensive and created a tax that was too high.
In hindsight, with the subsequent passage of the transit portion of the measure, and by a comfortable margin, the opinion leaders at the Times look pretty damn out of touch. But it didn’t take much hindsight to pick apart the Times’ analysis, for as I wrote at the time:
Um… when the Times says voters “do want roads,” and the “measure failed because the light-rail part was too expensive and created a tax that was too high,” they’re basing those assertions on what? Polls? Intuition? Gentle assurances from John Stanton over foie gras and Chateau Lynch-Bages at the Rainier Club? A public opinion fairy they plucked out of their ass?
Yeah, that’s right, Prop 1 failed solely because of the rail portion of the package. All those polls that showed RTID dragging the measure down, and all that opposition from anti-roads advocates like the Sierra Club — that had absolutely nothing to do with Prop 1’s failure. Jesus… talk about deluded.
Of course, nobody’s perfect, and even I got it wrong on this issue, insisting during the months leading up to the 2007 measure that the powers that be would never allow a transit only measure on the ballot in 2008. My bad. But at least I admitted it.