erik lundegaard

One Moment from the Seattle Times' coverage of the Schrier-Rossi Debate You Won't Hear More About

Here's another example of what's wrong with the mainstream media. Not to mention the Republicans. Not to mention the Democrats. 

It's from the Seattle Times' coverage of the recent debate between Republican Dino Rossi and Democrat Kim Schrier for the U.S. 8th congressional district seat in Washington state. It's an open seat after Republican Dave Reichert, who's held the seat since 2005, decided to step down. The district was created after the 1980 census and has never not been held by Republicans. 

Vote Democratic 2018Here's the coverage. It's from a piece by Jim Brunner entitled “4 moments from the Rossi-Schrier debate you may hear more about.” It's his second moment: “TWO: An insult to farmers?” It goes like this:

Asked about problems with the U.S. guest-worker program, Schrier said the system doesn't work well for farmers or immigrant workers. She said the system “can lead to sort of a pattern of indentured servitude, where a worker is sort of held hostage by a potentially abusive farmer, or farm owner.”

Rossi responded, “I don't believe our farmers are abusive” and that political posturing has prevented the kind of immigration reform the country needs.

I don't even need to know the details of the U.S. guest-worker program to see what just happened there. Schrier said the system can lead to abuses. She's raising a hypothetical with one possible farmer. Because farmers are human beings, with all the possibilities contained therein. Rossi twists her words so that her one hypothetical farmer becomes all farmers.

And does Brunner or the mainstream media clear this up? The opposite. 

On Thursday, Andrew Bell, Rossi's campaign manager, pointed to Schrier's comment as evidence she's out of touch with the 8th District. 

“Calling farmers abusive seems a strange way to court voters in a district that is rural,” he said, adding that the campaign already has heard from farmers offended by the comment who are considering how to respond.

And do the Dems fight back by pointing out what I just pointed out? The opposite. 

Schrier's campaign backed away some from the statement Thursday, with Rodihan saying, “that's not how she would normally word it.” Rodihan said the larger point is that the farmworker visa program “is broken and both workers and farmers believe the program should be fixed.”

Except Schrier didn't word it that way—Rossi did. He twisted her words, the media didn't clarify, the Dems backed down. Way of the world. Since fucking forever. 

The Republicans do this all the time—when it suits them. An immigrant commits a crime, all immigrants are bad. A Muslim commits a terrorist act, all Muslims are bad. A white guy goes into a black church and kills everyone in there, whoops, what a crazy, mixed-up kid. 

Yesterday, The Seattle Times editorial board officially endorsed Dino Rossi for the 8th district. Yesterday, I spent most of the day in the 8th canvassing for Dr. Kim Schrier. Because we need a check on the real abuses of the Trump administration, and Dino Rossi will most assuredly not be that. 

More than anything, though, I'm tired of this pattern: where language and logic is held hostage by abusive Republicans and remains unclarified by the hapless media. Sadly, that's not close to a hypothetical. 

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Posted at 01:57 AM on Sun. Oct 21, 2018 in category Media  

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