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October 30, 2008 1:23 PM

H.A. Seattle, Locked Out

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

I went to a Dino Rossi news conference yesterday at his lawyer's offices in downtown Seattle. Inside the door, past the anti-Rossi protesters, was blogger David Goldstein, of the Seattle lefty blog Horse's Ass, along with Josh Feit, formerly of The Stranger. The lawyer's office was on the third floor, and Goldy was saying his reporter, Feit, had been denied admittance.

I went up to the third floor with Goldy, and told the woman handling the matter who I was, and he said who he was. I had to show ID--which hardly ever happens--and I was in. Goldy was saying that he was part of the Seattle media, too; that he had been barred from news conferences before because he wasn't "paid media," and so he had retained Feit, who was therefore paid media.

I was behind the woman. I said that I knew Goldy and could vouch that he was who he said he was. She wasn't interested. I don't think she had any discretion in the matter. Goldy had to go out.

Of course he was sore about it. Being an employee of a big paper, I have hardly ever had that happen to me. The one time I remember was in the 90s as a business reporter being denied entry to a stockholder meeting of the Fisher Companies, which was then under SEC rules a public company. I was furious--shaking--and a good deal less polite to the Fisher vice-president who kicked me out than Goldy was yesterday--and I don't regret anything I said to that Fisher man, or about him, thereafter. My experience wasn't exactly the same as Goldy's, but close enough.

Obviously, a lawyer holding a press conference in his private offices may let in who he likes and exclude who he likes. It may well be, as Goldy suspects, that they excluded him because he's anti-Rossi, and because his style of expression is less than genteel. Maybe even the name of his blog has something to do with it. But for the record: Goldy is part of the media in Seattle. People who follow politics know who he is. They read him. Whether Feit is paid, or how much he is paid, is beside the point. We are not media because of how much money we make, or that we make any at all. We are media because of what we do.

Goldy, or his man Feit, should have been let in.

P.S. Here is Feit's blog entry on the Rossi deposition. Here is the Times' editorial on it.

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