The media performs an incredibly valuable role in our society. It holds the powerful accountable.
But the media seems truly perplexed that so many Americans often find it biased — and too frequently inaccurate.
Seldom have I read a column so full of inaccuracies and bias as New York Times writer Timothy Egan’s piece, which also ran in the News Tribune Aug. 12, entitled “Deep-red Eastern Washington could be ready to flip.”
It sounded more like Egan was about to flip over his desired electoral outcome: that former state Sen. Lisa Brown would defeat incumbent Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Spokane.
Let’s start with the biggest error. Egan claims that Brown was “the first female majority leader of the state Senate.”
Jeanette Hayner was born in 1919 — one year before women were given the right to vote nationally. She became the Senate Republican leader in 1979. She became the Senate majority leader in 1981.
Hayner was one of the greatest leaders in the history of the Washington state Senate. Her accomplishments deserve to be remembered by a New York Times columnist (and the fact-checkers at the TNT).
Brown became Senate majority leader in 2005 — more than two decades after Hayner. Brown became known for suing the people of Washington to raise their taxes, relentlessly pushing liberal Seattle social policy and going back on her word to protect the families of fallen war heroes from outrageous protestors.
Next, Egan asserts that McMorris Rodgers “has consistently voted for things that hurt people in her district.”
Since the congresswoman has consistently voted for a lower tax burden, fewer governmental regulations and less government interference in people’s lives, I contend she has consistently voted for things that help people in her district.
I am not sure where Egan has hung his cowboy hat during his life. I believe he now lives in Seattle. He writes for a paper based in New York City. Maybe people in those places want higher taxes and bigger government. If they do, then Brown would be their kind of congresswoman.
But for those in Eastern Washington who live in Colville, Chewelah, Starbuck and Walla Walla (whose hometown daughter — Sen. Hayner — was slighted in Egan’s column), they like their current congresswoman just fine.
Egan also fancifully asserts:“The big Republican tax cut … means nothing in places where family incomes are low.”
Maybe that’s true where he lives, where family incomes are so high that tax cuts don’t mean much. Maybe he can walk into one of those fancy city coffeeshops and pay $5 for a cup of coffee. Here — where family incomes are low — we brew a pot and carry it in a Thermos.
And those tax cuts mean a great deal to us. We can get a new set of tires, we can fill up with some extra gas and we can go watch a movie downtown.
Finally, I would advise Egan not to opine about what Washington wheat farmers are thinking about national trade policy. I am a Washington wheat farmer. In fact, I composed this on my phone while combining my wheat to sell overseas.
And from as far as I can tell from the seat of my combine, Egan doesn’t have a lick of sense about understanding wheat farmers or the people of Eastern Washington.
I would advise him to write more about fancy, coffee shop-loving westsiders.
Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, is the current Washington state Senate minority leader and former majority coalition leader.