New York Times, is that the best you can do?

The New York Times loves to write about Washington State, and Seattle in particular. Don’t believe me? It reviewed Where’d You Go Bernadette? twice (exactly once more than I’ve written about it). It employs Tim Egan and lets him live there year-round. It recently devoted wall-to-wall coverage to just a single Seahawks game. And then there was the paper of record’s Pulitzer Prize-winning effort to document an avalanche near Stevens Pass (which I have also also written about). If you haven’t noticed for yourself, you will soon.*

But for all its fascination with the Pacific Northwest, the New York Times can certainly come off as rather tone-deaf to the sensitivities and realities of the region. Consider an article it published back in December about my current home, For ESPN, Millions to Remain in Connecticut. More particularly, consider this brief excerpt:

The state’s generosity toward ESPN, a multibillion-dollar conglomerate, is not unlike the treatment other major companies have received in Connecticut and throughout the country, like Boeing in South Carolina and General Motors in Michigan.

This article came out scarcely a month after Washington’s legislature approved $9 billion in tax breaks for Boeing that not only far exceeded anything South Carolina has ever done for the company but actually amounted to the largest state-tax subsidy for a private company in American history. I mean, I wouldn’t necessarily say we’re particularly proud of it — but still, Boeing is not to South Carolina like GM is to Michigan. Sorry. (That last word was actually the Times apologizing.)

Which brings me to today’s update concerning the horrific avalanche near Darrington:

The Oso landslide brought down something like three times the volume of mud as there is concrete in Hoover Dam in one momentous cascade. . .

Memo to the writers and editors and readers of the New York Times: here in Washington State (a name I’ve also also also written about), we have a term for “something like three times the volume of concrete in Hoover Dam” — I believe the precise phrase would be “something like the volume of concrete in Grand Coulee Dam.”


*OK, so you’re going to have to take my word for it, but – as a close observer of all things Seattle in the New York Times – you should.

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