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January 28, 2007

Was the barista story fit for the Front Page?

Comments: 22

In his column, Mike Fancher asks you the reader to decide: Was the steamy barista story fit for the Front Page of the newspaper and the top placement on our Web site? What was your reaction to the story?

Read Mike Fancher's column on the steamy barista story.

Read the original story.

Your comments

Responses will be held for review, and we'll publish a selection.

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Selected comments

It was inappropriate, but not because it was indecent. Ignore the predictable rantings of aggrieved grannies and puritanical bluestockings (who would probably go into apoplectic shock if they read an English newspaper). The piece was just fluff, and rather manipulative at that.

Posted by Guillaume at 12:22 PM, Jan 28, 2007

The Barista story was inappropriately placed. Would it have been front page news without the "coffee with a side of sex" picture?? I doubt it. The attempt to lower your standard to the level of a British style Sun newspaper was successful. Dubious congratulations.

Posted by b beall at 12:28 PM, Jan 28, 2007

Your story on the front page was very inappropriate. When I got my paper I thought I was looking at the National Enquirer and not The Seattle Times!!

Posted by SeattkeBarista at 12:50 PM, Jan 28, 2007

When I first read this story online, I found somewhat helarious to see to what new lows the Seattle Coffee craze has sunk yet again. After I found out that this story was placed on the Front page of your paper, the backlash from the "Moral Majority" decrying this piece yet as more evidence that the world is going to the dogs, was inevitable considering how emotionally charged the strip club debate had been.

The story is somewhat trivial and inconsequential and as such has no business being on the front page, period!! The same goes for themyriad of tear jerking stories concernng kitty resuces from trees, etc. that I have found way too often on the frontpage of your paper over the yeasr. Please do us all a favour and reserve the Front page for news and place the water cooler gossip pieces in the entertainment section.

Posted by walter at 01:25 PM, Jan 28, 2007

If the definition of front page news it to get your attention to pick up the paper and read it. Than yes it was absolutly appropriate.

Posted by William at 01:38 PM, Jan 28, 2007

I found the front page selection to be an appropriate reflection of the Seattle I know and love. Only Seattle would mix their sex with their Starbucks, and be so proud of it that they had to front page it! The only part I found shocking, was that there were no reports of reciprocal coffee stands sporting scantily-clad young gentlemen!

Posted by Jalousie at 01:54 PM, Jan 28, 2007

The Hottest Coffee anywhere! However the girls are not asking "Coffee tea or Me"? What do you suppose would be the response if it was one of these Hot Coffee shops that would have been held-up and as the girl was reciting her story of an armed man holding her at gun-point while she retrieved the cash, the story captured her in her outfit. I have no doubt in my mind that no consideration for her safety would have been mentioned-but that The Seattle Times would still have come under fire for placing her picture on the front page. Sadly thousands of pictures are shown each day of violence and death; yet our society sees this as the norm. I saw nothing exceptional pornographic, compared to the Sunday paper advertisements for womens underwear! WoW!

Posted by Joe Doney at 02:18 PM, Jan 28, 2007

Sex sells.... Whether it's a newspaper or a coffee stand it works. CBS just recently had the Victoria's Secret fashion show on primetime TV in pretty much the same attire. So please people stop acting like this is your first time seeing a girl in lingerie.

Posted by Brian at 02:40 PM, Jan 28, 2007

Was the barista story fit for the front page? Ofcourse it was! Are you kidding me with all these people that are talking bout how it gives a bad image to there little 6 year old daughter, or how people complain how inapropriate the pictures were. Act like an adult, if you dont want to see it or read it, than dont!! No one is above you controling what you do with strings! You dont want to read it, dont. you dont want to see these coffee stands...then DONT go there. Everyone in the NorthWest knows how to make good coffee... i congratulate anyone out there who can think of ways to make there business more successful. Maybe some of you complainers out there need to start thinking of your own ideas to better and further your own lifes!

Posted by Brian Fantana at 02:45 PM, Jan 28, 2007

The piece was good for one I know where not to go. No pubic java for me, thanks.

Posted by jen at 03:02 PM, Jan 28, 2007

If these people have the same negative reaction to the coffee stands as they do your article, they should thank you for placing it where it would get attention. Otherwise this trend may have continued to fly under the radar.

Posted by JJ at 03:10 PM, Jan 28, 2007

Fluff. Maybe you needed to lighten things up, but the laser focus was misguided. Second story stuff.

Posted by Mat Chavez at 03:41 PM, Jan 28, 2007

For your next story, you should investigate the customers! It would be an interesting story to read if there are any trends regarding their economic background, jobs, marital status, etc...

Posted by Soren at 03:49 PM, Jan 28, 2007

To call the picture "filth" is an extreme reaction. This sort of story isn't Front Page material because it isn't "news" but "life." The front of another section, perhaps--or even better, the editorial pages with an analysis (and denunciation) of the use of sex/the female body to sell a product.

Posted by RaGena DeAragon at 04:51 PM, Jan 28, 2007

I love that most of the bad responses were from girls and the men were like who cares. I personally thought it was a great change from all of the horrific things that go on in our state and nation. I guess some of these people would rather read stories on how cops killed a thief or more boring stuff on Bush. I did not see this big of a response when the times was reporting on strip clubs. A newspaper can only give so much bad news sometimes its refreshing to just see something different. Come on Seattle I thought we had more progressive thinkers.

Posted by Jamie at 08:28 PM, Jan 28, 2007

This is Seattle. A story about coffee makes for the front page.

I find it utterly laughable that anyone would desire to keep their scissors handy to prevent their children from seeing a photo of a woman serving coffee in her underwear. Usually the front page has really fun stuff that I'd rather my child see: lovely sights such as hate crimes, child molesters, and dead soldiers.

Serve me a side of joyous sex any old time.

Posted by Ruby at 09:00 PM, Jan 28, 2007

I thought this was Seattle? Not the bible belt...When people freak out about a story about some teenagers wearing revealing clothing to make a few more tips selling coffee...

Better take all the murder and death stories off the front page too along with the war...

Oh and you better cover your kids eyes at the mall when you walk by Abercombie, or Victoria Secret...

Better yet, stop them from looking at billboards and some ads on bus stands. And TV only can be turned on between 6am and 9am.

Might as well just cancel that internet connection.

Better yet.. just move to North Korea, you'll be safe there!

Posted by Lawrence at 12:06 AM, Jan 29, 2007

If its inappropriate for 6 years olds to see an article like that on the bottom of the front page...

I guess it must be a genius child to have read it or even understood what the story was even about...

I know my 6 year old doesn't go to school until he has had his double mocha non-fat and reading the paper about the daily events...

Posted by Tson-Lin at 12:13 AM, Jan 29, 2007

Sure, why not? The baristas were wearing more than most bikini clad ladies you see on everyday TV shows and commercials. It is something interesting and unique. I don't particularily agree with these porn-coffee shops, but I never realized they existed I do. It's a good thing; now when I visit my family in Seattle I won't accidentally stop at those places with my Mom.

Posted by Wes from Michigan at 05:54 AM, Jan 29, 2007

I think most could see alot more of this attire if they sat 15 minutes at the Mall.

And I am not talking of legal aged Barista's either. I am talking about 8-15 year olds dressed like this.

Get a clue America, you reap what you sow (or sell).

Posted by Chris Nichols at 08:54 AM, Jan 29, 2007

I am ashamed of this story not because of its content but because I am a journalist. In the column addressing this story, the paper hides behind the fact that it covered both sides of the story. Any novice writer should know that if an issue has an opposing side, it should not be buried in the 26th paragraph. The fact that neighbors were unhappy about the coffee stands at the very least warranted a subhead. Plus the story makes it sound like these two people are the only ones against the stands, which your reader feedback has very strongly proven to be inaccurate. You missed the story and played into the bsuinesses' PR hype. Shame shame shame.

Posted by Dana at 08:42 AM, Jan 30, 2007

As a transplant on the East Coast, a college student in Washington DC, I regularly tell people that I am from Seattle and I am proud of that fact. My family is still in Seattle and I read the regularly to stay connected with home. I was well aware of the Barista Story and had even discussed it with my parents, but when my boss mentioned it in a morning meeting today, for the first time I was not proud to be from Seattle.

Turns out the story was included in The Express, a free version of the Washington Post that is read by nearly everyone who commutes by Metr, by my estimates a good third of the city. While in a local paper, a story like this may bring insight into our community, when it is picked up by a major national paper it degrades our city.

I personally would rather have Seattle be known as the home of the Space Needle, Starbucks, and McDreamy than as a place that has settled for promoting soft porn with our morning cup of coffee.

Posted by Ashley Howard at 03:04 PM, Feb 01, 2007