Posted by: sweeneyblog | June 7, 2013

Friday Odds and Ends: Healthcare and the Herald

Hello Loyal Readers,

Our theme for today’s Odds and Ends is ignoring reality (except for the first item), but before I get into it, I just want to thank everyone who has made a donation to the Political Junkie in the last couple of weeks. Your financial support means a great deal to me and allows me to expand my capabilities here on this blog. Thank you.

First, I want to highlight our new tab, here on the Political Junkie. I’ve created an index for all my reporting on the proposed jail, so when you are looking for information on this subject, you can access it quickly and easily.

Meanwhile, a new study confirms that the Obamacare birth control mandate will have a drastic effect on reducing the number of abortions in America. Apparently, if you provide people with affordable or free birth control, it reduces the number of unwanted pregnancies which reduces the number of abortions. I know this is a shocking fact for some people, but it is true. The Obama administration is on track to become more effective at reducing abortions than eight years of the supposedly pro-life Bush administration.

Julie Shirley, Exec Editor with the Bellingham Herald

Next, comes a story of our local media.  Bev Smith, a retired teacher out of Ferndale, sent in a letter to the editor discussing Sen. Doug Ericksen’s comments at his town hall in March. The Bellingham Herald refused to print them because they had no record of the event occurring because they did not send a reporter to it. I spoke with Julie Shirley, Executive Editor at the Bellingham Herald, and she confirmed their policy. They will not print letters that discuss events they did not cover in the paper.

At a time with dwindling newsroom resources (seriously, John Stark and Ralph Schwartz produce fantastic work for the time they are given), it seems rather short-sighted to take the “we didn’t see it, it didn’t happen” approach. Community insight to events should expand people’s perspective on events, and I hope the Bellingham Herald reconsiders its policy.

Finally, rumor has it that Dan Robbins requested a job description for port commissioner two weeks after filing week. Not terribly inspiring considering  you should probably know what you are signing up for before you jump in, however, I will be setting up an interview with him soon and getting more details.



  1. So, no letters to the editor on events not covered in the herald BUT STILL ALLOW ANONYMOUS comments! WOW.

  2. Thank you Riley, you have uncovered The Bellingham Herald’s policy of the three monkeys-see no news, hear no news, write no news!

  3. This policy seems like a pretty good way of ensuring that information the Herald’s editors don’t want disseminated is not. Or a deliberate policy of non-relevance for the paper – providing advertizers with distribution for their ads, and keeping any information they don’t approve of out of the paper.

    What on earth is the reasoning behind this policy? Is it just bad dad ego?

    Pretty sad commentary on the increasing irrelevance of the print media.

  4. Didja see the Herald report on the oil spill drill the other day at Whatcom Creek?
    The one with floating booms to catch the bitumen slurry from Alberta’s tar sands carried by the Kinder Morgan pipeline that doesn’t float and not a word of that actual fact in the entire article?
    Maybe if they’d left the reporter at home,
    the entire incident could have never happened.
    I also have a hard time believing that Ericksen’s and Buy’s comments about education aren’t so widely known that a writer could fairly reference them obliquely if necessary to get her point across in an acceptable LTE.
    Words are clever fellows willing and able to fool even a Herald OPed editor.

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