Governors at 4th Annual Gridiron West Dinner
governors of Washington State -- Al Rosellini, Dan Evans, John
Spellman, Booth Gardner and Mike Lowry -- were "toasted" at the
Washington News Council's 4th annual Gridiron West
Dinner on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2002.
The event was a
huge success and
kudos are pouring in from
those who attended. Gov. Gary Locke and his wife, Mona, also
participated in the gala event at the WestCoast Grand Hotel in
downtown Seattle. About 450 people came to the dinner, which has
become a not-to-be-missed evening featuring tributes, comedy and
Egan, of Microsoft's Government Affairs team, emceed. Song
parodies from "The Sound of Music" were sung by David and Lisa
Koch of Cabaret Productions, with Bruce Hurlbut on the piano.
Songs included "The Sound of Schmoozing," "You Are 92, Going on
22" (for Rosellini), "The Friendly Governor" (for Lowry), "Dough
Re Mee" (for all the governors), "How Do You Solve a Problem
Like Tim Eyman?" For
teams "toasting" the governors were: (Rosellini) Adele Ferguson,
longtime statewide columnist and Sid Snyder, State Senate Majority
Leader; (Evans) Joel Connelly, political writer for the Seattle
Post-Intelligencer and Ralph Munro, former Secretary of State;
(Spellman) Slade Gorton, former U.S. Senator, and John Carlson,
KVI radio talk-show host; (Gardner) Joni Balter, Seattle Times
editorial writer and Norm Rice, former Mayor of Seattle; and
(Lowry) Shelby Scates, former Seattle Post-Intelligencer
political reporter, and Sam Reed, current Secretary of State. The
governors all had a chance to respond to their "toasters" -- and
did so, with gusto! Some
of the toasters even toasted each other -- such as Ralph Munro's
reading of a hypothetical story by Joel Connelly.
The dinner was an all-Washington menu, with salad, entree and
dessert featuring state food products. Washington wines were
provided by Chateau Ste. Michelle, Stimson Lane Wineries. A wide
range of guests from politics, media, government, business,
foundations and academia attended again this year.
included: At the "Gubernatorial" ($5,000) level: Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation, King County Journal Newspapers, PEMCO,
Microsoft, and Northern Trust Bank. (Northern Trust also
generously hosted a private reception before the dinner.)
At the "Judicial" ($2,500) level: The Boeing Company, The Gallatin
Group, Puget Sound Energy, Sandy Schoolfield & John Kechejian, and
Weyerhaeuser. At the "Legislative" ($1,000) level: The Benaroya
Company, Carney Badley Spellman, Dan Evans Alumni, Gorton Legacy
Group, Merriman Capital Management, Moore Ink., Premera Blue
Cross, Republican Radio, Bill & Jill Ruckelshaus, Seattle
Post-Intelligencer, State Farm Insurance, Wes Uhlman &
Associates, University of Washington, Washington Agriculture Legal
Foundation, Washington State Farm Bureau, Washington State Grange,
Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, Washington State
University, and The Weiss Company.
Council thanks all of our table sponsors for your generous
support! Proceeds from the event benefit the educational programs
of the WNC, including public forums and the Dick Larsen
Council also wants to thank David Horsey, cartoonist for the
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, who did the marvelous drawing of
the former governors for our invitation and program. The P-I
also generously provided 500 reprints of a Sunday "Focus" section
package on the former governors that were given to all guests.
and its Publisher, Peter Horvitz, kindly ran two free
advertisements about the Gridiron West Dinner the week before the
event. Vintage photos of the former governors came from the files
of The Seattle Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
collection at the Museum of History and Industry. HistoryLink.org
also provided photos. Finally, the Gathering of the Governors and
its founder, Caroline Holmes, provided invaluable assistance and
Past Gridiron West dinners have "toasted" prominent
journalists including local television anchors Jean Enersen, Kathi
Goertzen and Susan Hutchison (2001); veteran columnist Emmett
Watson (2000); and political reporters Dick Larsen, Adele
Ferguson, Mike Layton and Shelby Scates (1999).
The event was televised statewide by TVW. Please check
www.tvw.org for rebroadcast schedule or information on how to
view the archives or order a videotape.
NOTE: If you're not on our mailing list and would
like to receive an invitation to next year's event, please send
your mailing address to
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at
Jim Lehrer endorses WNC.
The host of the popular PBS program "The
NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" strongly endorsed the Washington News
Council at a
Seattle luncheon hosted by KCTS-TV at the Harbor Club on Oct. 2.
he thought of news councils in general and the WNC in particular,
said: "It's a great idea. I fully support what you're doing."
Lehrer said news councils can help the profession of journalism.
that journalists criticize what everybody else does, but when
criticizes them they object. "That's hypocritical," he declared.
"I don't know what journalists are afraid of," he added. He said
journalists hide behind the First Amendment and say no one can
their work. "That's nonsense. That's not what the First Amendment
Lehrer said he supported news councils on one condition: That they
have any enforcement powers. "They shouldn't be able to order the
do anything. But to hold the media up to public discussion and
accountable is fine. That's healthy."
He said that public exposure and feedback
are good for journalism and
journalists should welcome that. "They are free to report the
results of a
Council decision, say they disagree with it and stand by their
"The media may not like news councils, but
they should be more willing to
admit mistakes, make corrections and explain themselves," Lehrer
concluded. "That's where a news council like yours can help. I strongly
For photos, click
Five New Members Named to WNC
Washington News Council has added five new members. They are:
Suzie Burke (Public Member), President and Owner, Fremont
John Dimitriou (Public Member), Owner/Operator, Jazz Alley.
Carver Gayton (Public Member), former Commissioner,
Washington StateEmployment Security Department.
Cyrus Krohn (Media Member), Publisher, Slate.com.
Ted Van Dyk (Media Member), Columnist, Seattle
For a full list of Council members and their biographies, click
Luncheon Held to Honor Dick Larsen Scholarship winners
This year's Dick
Larsen Scholarship winners were honored at a WNC luncheon on June 28:
Steven Freiderich, a junior at the University of Washington, and Sarah
McGuire, who will be a freshman at Washington State University this
fall. Each was awarded a $2,000 scholarship by the Council in May. The
scholarship was created in 1999 to honor the career of Dick Larsen,
longtime political writer, editor and columnist for The Seattle Times
who was known for fair, accurate and balanced reporting. Larsen also
worked in politics and public relations. He died in April 2001.
Attending the luncheon were Deanie Larsen, his widow, and Grant Larsen,
his son, along with several members of the Washington News Council.
Freiderich's editors at the Puyallup Herald, where he works part-time,
and McGuire's parents also attended the luncheon at the Pyramid Alehouse
to Gridiron West Dinner Given Away at Muni League Lunch
Two tickets to the WNC's 4th Annual Gridiron West Dinner were
presented as door prizes at the Municipal League's annual Civic Awards
luncheon on June 21. The News Council donated the tickets to the Muni
League. More than 500 people attended the luncheon at the Westin Hotel
in Seattle, including WNC President Eddie Reed and Executive Director
Co-Presents CityClub Forum on Talk Radio
The News Council was a co-presenter of a CityClub forum on "Talk Radio:
Who Are These Guys?" at Town Hall Seattle on June 7. The panel included
John Carlson of KVI, Dave Ross of KIRO and Steve Scher of KUOW, and was
moderated by Joni Balter of The Seattle Times. About 100 people attended
the panel discussion, including WNC members Herb Robinson and Mike
Poulson, and Executive Director John Hamer.
Presentation to Green River CC Journalism Students
John Hamer spoke
to three journalism classes at Green River Community College on June 5.
This is the third year in a row that Journalism Professor John Knowlton
has invited the News Council to make presentations to his mass-media and
media-ethics classes. Hamer explained how the News Council works and
answered questions from students.
Moines Rotary Club Learns About News Council
John Hamer spoke
to the Des Moines Rotary Club on May 29. About 50 people attended the
luncheon event. Hamer explained how the News Council began, how it
operates, and answered questions from club members.
Busy Month for Washington News Council
April was an extremely busy month for the News Council. On April 9, we
co-presented a CityClub Luncheon with Daniel Schorr, National Public
Radio commentator, at the Seattle Sheraton Hotel. Several Council
members attended the luncheon and a private reception. On April 10, John
Hamer flew to Pullman for the Edward R. Murrow Symposium at the Murrow
School of Communication, Washington State University, where Schorr
received the Murrow Award at a dinner. Hamer met with WNC Member John
Irby, Journalism Professor at WSU, and with members of the Murrow School
Advisory Council. He also hosted a WNC information table during the
symposium. On April 11, a Student Mock News Council Hearing was arranged
by John Irby. His class considered a hypothetical complaint against KCPQ-TV
(Channel 13), which in November 2000 broadcast a report that suggested
drug and alcohol abuse was rampant at WSU. Former Spokane
Spokesman-Review Editor Chris Peck moderated the hearing. The students
upheld the "complaint" by a unanimous vote.
Students in Prof. Tomas Guillen's journalism class at Seattle University
on April 17 considered the case of Hubert Locke vs. The Seattle Times,
which was adjudicated by the WNC last October (see Complaints
Resolutions page for details). One student played the role of Locke and
another played Mike Fancher, Times executive editor. They based their
arguments on the actual letters between Locke and Fancher, which are
part of the official WNC case file. The student panel denied the
complaint by a 4-2 vote, which was the same conclusion reached by the
full Council last year. About 30 students observed the hearing, which
was moderated by John Hamer, WNC executive director.
On April 29, John
Hamer spoke to WNC member Cliff Rowe's media-ethics class at Pacific
Lutheran University in Tacoma. The next day, Rowe held a Student Mock
News Council Hearing in his class. As a result of these visits, several
students applied to be summer interns at the News Council, and two were
ultimately chosen: Sally Scott of WSU and Hazen Hyland of PLU.
"Media Coverage of the War on Terrorism: Is It Accurate, Balanced, and
That was the topic of a Public Forum on Feb. 25
co-presented by the Washington News Council with the World Affairs
Council (WAC). An experienced panel of journalists discussed the role of
the news media and how journalists responded to the events of September
11. The panel included Enrique Cerna of KCTS-9, Jim Mallery of The
Seattle Times, Dave Ross of KIRO radio, and Joshua Trujillo of the
Seattle Post-Intelligencer. John Hamer, Executive Director of the
Washington News Council, was moderator. The event was filmed by TVW and
a videotape is available. Call 206-262-9793 for details. In addition,
the WNC and WAC jointly produced a 45-page curriculum guide for high
schools, "Teaching Media Literacy Through the Topic of Terrorism." For
copies, call 206-441-5910.
WNC Annual Meeting Held in Seattle
The News Council's
Annual Meeting was held on Feb. 23 at the Pyramid Alehouse in Seattle,
downstairs from the WNC's office. A quorum was present, and the
following officers were elected: President - Eddie Reed; Vice President
- Herb Robinson; Treasurer - Walt Howe; Secretary - Sue Frause. The
Council discussed a wide range of business items and program activities.
Drosendahl, Reader Representative at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer,
joined us to talk about his new job and to answer questions from WNC
members from 11 to noon.
Mock Student Hearing Held at Everett CC
A Student Mock
News Council Hearing was held on Jan. 25 at Everett Community College.
Journalism Professor Mert Marrs' class considered the case of "Hubert
Locke vs. The Seattle Times," which was adjudicated by the News Council
in October 2001. Marrs represented The Times and Cliff Rowe represented
Locke. The student panel denied the complaint, John Hamer, WNC executive
director, and Marisa Dorazio, WNC spring intern, also attended.