While the Nickels administration has been fairly effective at describing homeless encampments as dangerous, disease breeding havens for the drug-using criminal class in the print media, and in the Seattle Times in particular, yesterday's coverage of the Real Change Organizing Project protest encampment and rally was, from a City perspective, way off script.
Radio play was remarkably sympathetic and in-depth. Liam Moriarty's excellent KPLU coverage came in addition to a shorter piece within their regular newshour, so that was a two-fer. Our Organizing Director Rachael Myers went head to head with City Human Services Director Patricia McInturff on KUOW's popular news talk show The Conversation. Both delivered their messages like the seasoned pros they are, but the call-ins that followed leaned very heavily Rachael's way. I did twenty minutes on KIRO710's popular Dave Ross show, and was able to deliver some of the deeper context that's been missing so far. The interview on this clip follows Ross' opening monologue on the perplexities of the "pay it forward" coffee craze. There was a nasty bit on Dory Monson's KIRO Talk Show, but that's predictable. Peter Steinbrueck took that one on. A braver man than I. When I checked, the podcast wasn't up yet.
Television coverage was just as good. Q13's coverage was sympathetic in the extreme, and caught a good bit of the amusing Tim Ceis ambush yesterday morning. Michelle Millman at KIROtv did us right, and KING5 did a strong piece as well. While Ken Schram's KOMO monologue on symbolic help to the homeless wasn't part of our coverage, you'll want to watch it anyway. In the print realm, the PI ran a balanced piece with a photo on page one that wasn't bad at all, even if they did completely follow the City's framing. They also won my love and respect by printing an amazingly on-target guest editorial by a former greenbelt camper. The Seattle Times resisted the temptations of pack journalism and blew us off altogether. Guess my corporate lapdog poll hit a nerve.