Q: Mr. Federal Way, I heard District 30 Sen. Mark Miloscia recently apologized for trashing the Mirror on social media. What’s the deal?
A: Before answering this question with the wit and wisdom you’ve come to expect, Mr. Federal Way did some careful research to get the facts straight because facts can be stubborn things.
Let’s get some background info out of the way: The Washington Newspaper Publishers Association’s Olympia News Bureau has been sharing its coverage of the state Legislature with the Federal Way Mirror and other Sound Publishing titles.
As such, the Mirror posted a report online Jan. 23 by the bureau’s Taylor McAvoy with the headline “Hundreds gather in Olympia for 40th annual March For Life.”
The 347-word article offered a brief overview of bills and the reasons behind their opposition by the demonstrators. The bills, according to the article, are “aimed at broadening access to contraception and abortion services.”
The story was shared on Facebook by a local resident who thanked the Mirror for running it. That’s when District 30 Sen. Mark Miloscia chimed in on the thread.
After skimming the article, Miloscia called it unfair and concluded that “the pro-abortion side got 21 lines in the article” while “the pro-life side got only 9 lines.”
The remarks from the state senator caused other people in the thread to pile on with remarks such as “so much for non-biased ‘journalism’” and “kinda pathetic Federal Way Mirror!”
The only problem with Miloscia’s observation? He was wrong. After a phone call from the Mirror’s publisher, Miloscia admitted he was wrong and even posted an apology (unedited for your pleasure):
“Ok, I am going to have to eat a little crow here—I got it wrong. The Mirror called me out me on my metrics and they are correct. 10 lines were Pro March, 6 negative, and the rest (14) should actually be considered Pro since it just identified the specific bills and sponsors many marchers and speakers were protesting. So a 24 to 6 line ratio is actually a very good ratio for any article and more than fair for our side. Apologies to the Federal Way Mirror and to reporter Taylor McAvoy for getting it wrong—no excuses.”
Even though the damage had already been done, Mr. Federal Way appreciates Miloscia’s willingness to say sorry for discrediting his hometown newspaper on social media. Seriously, when’s the last time you heard a politician admit he was wrong, then publicly apologize to a community newspaper?
Miloscia, however, is not getting away without a few pokes from Mr. Federal Way. First, he refers to “lines” from Democrat lawmakers as “negative” and claims run-of-the-mill facts about the bills “should actually be considered pro.” If memory serves, facts are neither “pro” nor “negative” – they’re facts. After reading the article more carefully, Miloscia says it now has a “24 to 6 line ratio” that is “more than fair for our side.”
In reality, the article doesn’t favor one side over another. It simply recaps the gist of a protest. Read the article on p. 22 in this week’s paper and judge for yourself.
Miloscia may be a Republican, but he also represents thousands of constituents who agree with the “negative” side of this issue. If Miloscia truly wants to set an example of integrity in Olympia, he would cut out the partisan tribalism and push for compromise between both parties. Now THAT would make District 30 and Washington state “great again.”
Q: Mr. Federal Way, who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?
A: None of your business.
This column is staff produced. Got a question for Mr. Federal Way? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.