Willful deception: Eyman deliberately misattributes degroatory comment about himself to Seattle P-I

Rethinking and Reframing

As we have previously documented on numerous occasions – both here and at the NPI Advocate – Tim Eyman is no fan of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The publication, formerly Seattle’s oldest newspaper and now its most-visited online-only news source, has consistently opposed Eyman’s ill-conceived initiatives over the years, and it also exposed his illicit money transfers from his campaign committee to his own personal bank account in a stupendous article written by Neil Modie nine years ago this month.

No surprise, then, that Eyman rarely misses a chance to demean the P-I in some way. Today, he did so by misattributing something a P-I commenter said to the P-I itself.

Here’s the subject line of his email:

Subject: SEATTLE PI: “Yes, I think Eyman should be retired or taken out and shot.”
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 14:21:25 -0500

If you were looking at this subject line, you might be led to believe that a P-I columnist, or someone working for the P-I, had written those words. But if you open the email, you’ll notice a longer version of the quote is attributed to “Donald”:

“You have an article in the paper about Tim Eyman … It ended with, has he done enough for the state.  I think he’s done it to the state.  Yes, I think Eyman should be retired or taken out and shot.” – Donald

No citation was provided for the quote, which initially made us wonder if it ever existed at all. However, our team was able to track it down after just a little bit of searching; it’s from a P-I “Soundoff” from July 11th, 2003.

Obviously, Donald’s rhetoric does not represent what the Seattle Post-Intelligencer believes as an institution. Nor would most progressives consider shooting someone to be a remotely acceptable means to an end. True progressives are against violence, and don’t condone the extreme, un-American idea that “second amendment remedies” should be used to intimidate or eliminate political opponents.

Eyman himself uses the same kind of derogatory hyperbole when talking about people who stand in his way, whether they be elected leaders, public servants, or activists. Permanent Defense has an archive of Eyman emails going back many years, and we can readily produce venom-laden messages authored by Tim and sent to his supporters, reporters, and state lawmakers.

Before Eyman condemns a commenter for wishing that he be “taken out and shot”, he should look at his own past invective and tone down his language.

Hate speech is a precursor to violence. And more violence is the last thing our republic needs.

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