David Postman — former Seattle Times reporter and current Executive Director of Communications for Jay Inslee — evidently has a lot of extra time on his hands. Either that, or he really regrets giving up the newspaper life to serve Inslee, a move that can only be characterized as an intellectual downgrade.
How does SHIFT know?
Postman, presumably with nothing better to do, spent April 11th (a Friday) editing a blog post written by another former Times writer, Brian Rosenthal. Postman petulantly remarked in an email obtained by SHIFT that he “took the liberty of updating your [Rosenthal’s] A-F blog post from the other day,” Postman appears to have taken considerable issue with Rosenthal attributing support for a letter-based school performance index to Inslee.
Slashing through references to “Inslee’s position” and replacing it with “The Seattle Times’ position” or “Inslee supported” with “The Times’ supported,” Postman removes any mention of Inslee’s former support of a school performance rating system that uses “A-F” letter grades as opposed to “exemplary, very good, good, fair and struggling.” Curiously, Postman also removes quotes Rosenthal attributes to both Inslee and his chief-of-staff.
At issue is Inslee’s flip-flop on his support of the A-F school performance index. While on the campaign trail, Inslee championed the rating scheme and guaranteed his full endorsement. His campaign website vowed to “institute a system of public accountability that gives a grade to every high school, middle school and elementary school.” By way of clarification, Inslee told both reporters and advocacy groups that the “system of public accountability” meant an A-F letter grade.
Candidate Inslee — willing to throw his support behind a popular policy to avoid showing his lack of support for any other school reforms — advocated the A-F school performance index. Governor Inslee — afraid of countering the wishes of the teachers’ union which generously supported his campaign—took the first opportunity to distance himself from the “system of public accountability” he once adamantly supported. Ladies and gentlemen, liberal progressive leadership at its finest.
Thus, Postman—obliged to perform the considerable undertaking of diverting attention from Inslee’s messy tracks—took his frustration out on Rosenthal. By replacing references to Inslee with the Times, Postman essentially accused The Seattle Times of flip-flopping on the same issue. It’s a turn-the-table stretch at best, but Postman makes the pathetic attempt admirably.
After scratching out no less than 10 lines, Postman offers the following alternative,
“The Times made no suggestions of how to perfect the bill that it believed three months ago was a flawed and wrong-headed approach to improving school performance. The Times also did not explain the editorial board’s flip-flop.”
For Postman’s future reference, here’s the simple difference between Inslee’s flip-flop and the Times’ supposed flip-flop. Inslee made a campaign promise, which he quickly broke after becoming the governor of Washington State. The Seattle Times—prominent newspaper though it may be—did not make a promise while seeking election to the highest office in Washington State nor is it now the governor of Washington State.
Check out Inslee detailing his support for the A-F school performance index:
You can view Postman’s email to Rosenthal below.