Q: Mr. Federal Way, what do you think about City Council candidate Roger Flygare blaming the paper recently after being accused of violating an election state law?
A: First of all, for those of you not caught up on local political chicanery, here’s the CliffsNotes version. Flygare, who has run for various offices four times before — all without any success — told the Federal Way Mirror in an email back in December that he was no longer going to try to get appointed to Kelly Maloney’s seat after she left for greener pastures. Now here’s the important part: He did say, however, he planned to announce he was running for election sometime in 2017. Here’s the kicker and the point of contention at hand: Some dude from a public watchdog group with plenty of righteousness, and even more time on his hands, reported to some state governing body in charge of these things that Flygare did not publicly file for office within the allowed time frame after going public. The watchdog maintains that Flygare actually went public with his email in December, which the Mirror reported. Flygare says, no, he didn’t officially declare until last month, and, further, not only did he not violate any laws, it was actually the Mirror’s fault for causing all the confusion in the first place and blah, blah, blah.
So, what does Mr. Federal Way think? That Flygare has employed the oldest trick in the book — blaming the media. This is hardly a new trick. President Trump employs it on a regular basis, with The New York Times and The Washington Post his favorite targets, aside from Democrats. Even before taking office, Trump has blamed practically everything from losing popularity to mismatched socks on the media, and The New York Times and The Washington Post, specifically, calling them false and dishonest (among other things) and accusing them of publishing fake news.
(By the way, not only are those newspapers only good for lining the bottom of bird cages, their reporters are so incompetent, the coverage so flawed and the editors so inept that each publication was awarded with Pulitzer prizes this year — covering Trump and his Russian doppelganger, Putin.)
But getting back to Flygare.
The point Mr. Federal Way is trying to make is that Flygare is hardly the first, nor will he be the last, political figure to blame the newspaper after something doesn’t go his way, like after going oops. Someone shoots off their mouth to a reporter and regrets it later — blame the press. Someone doesn’t double check whether Bowling Green is in Kentucky or Syria — the newspaper printed alternative facts. Mr. Federal Way’s personal favorite is the tried, true and trite: Those statements were taken out of context.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, next time take some Pepto before opening your mouth in front of a reporter.
Is that Mr. Federal Way’s only opinion? Nope. To more discerning observers, Flygare’s comments could also be considered pretty stupid, especially by people less generous than Mr. Federal Way. Besides the obvious reasoning for such an assessment, isn’t Flygare aware of that old adage of not picking a fight with people who buy ink by the barrell? If Flygare really wants to get elected, perhaps he should not go out of his way to antagonize the local newspaper, especially when all it did was repeat what he wrote in an email. It’s not like staff dragged up old articles on Flygare from a previous ill-fated campaign, rehashed old accusations leveled at him, maybe about his military service or some such sort, and refreshed the scent of that old dirty political laundry for readers. And while Mr. Federal Way is not suggesting the Federal Way Mirror staff would do something so dastardly as to weigh his past accountability, transparency and integrity with his current qualifications for serving in public office, Flygare would be smart to recognize it is always possible. Plus, Flygare will no doubt want to curry favor with the Mirror editorial board in hopes of garnering an endorsement. Perhaps he should think of that. Anyway, it’s a long way off until votes will be tallied and Flygare learns whether he’s a five-time loser or not. If he were smart, Flygare would try to use the remaining time by engaging the newspaper with new dialogue, new ideas and new reasons why he should be elected. Let’s see if that happens.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, what do you and Mrs. Federal Way like to do for fun when the weather is nice?
A: None of your business.
Have a question for Mr. Federal Way? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff produced.