Advice From One Journalist To “Another” – Night Flyer, You Embarrass Yourself!
How do you know when you are on the right path? Do you seek guidance? Trust your gut? Some may never know and as they move forward they represent true courage.
Aaaaand then there are those times when you know you are in the right place simply by how unglued and immature the opposition becomes in how they treat you. I do believe I'm on the right path.... since the latest edition of the "night flyer" is dedicated to attacking me!
What's the night flyer? From the website "It was in August of 2020 that Project NightFlyer was born. Project NightFlyer aims to equip the average layman with principles, tactics and tools to effectively inject truth into our community. The truth will set you free." But wait, If all that's true, how come this one-pager latest edition is so false? Stick around...
Night Flyer? Just Who Flies At Night?
Owls fly at night. They are the good guys. Nature has equipped them with the vision, hearing, and specialized feathering to be one of wildlife's most efficient hunters of mice, rats, and other vermin. They symbolize wisdom and the seeking of knowledge
But they aren't alone in the night sky. There are bad guys. Vampire bats also come out at night to ambush the innocent, drain them of their life force, and spread disease and death. They represent fear and intimidation. Too dramatic? Ah, allow me this moment of melodrama. I'll explain as best I can and then you can decide if THIS particular "night flyer" is more bat than bird ... or vice versa.
What Are We Talking About?
I will try to be brief -like that ever happens -.you can read more details if you like:
HERE It’s Tricky. Talking About Dirty Politics Without Spreading Mud
HERE Yakima Councilman Jason White In Spotlight Again – What Did The Judge Say?
& HERE A Court Order Helps Keep The Lid On Yakima’s Council Confrontation
At the end of the July 6th City Council Meeting, Councilman Jason White (showing up to represent District 2 for the first time in more than a year) made some serious and some quite inappropriate charges against fellow councilmember Soneya Lund.
By the time the dust had settled, White had posted a portion of a potentially illegally recorded phone call to his Facebook page. (no official declaration has been made yet by the County Prosecutor) White says the call was proof of his bribery allegation against Lund. In support, he also posted the contents of a "flyer" from some entity calling itself "project night flyer". Physical copies of the flyer were deposited on select porches and doorsteps around town under the cover of darkness. (isn't that more Bat than Owl?)
The contents of the flyer listed a number of allegations of crime and bad behavior stemming from a text or email exchange, that allegedly took place between Councilwoman Lund and Xander Deccio, the husband of Janice Deccio, candidate for council in district 4. In the days that followed, after what Ms.Lund said was an intimidation confrontation by a Jason White supporter, Lund ought and was granted a Court Order of Protection or restraining order against Councilman White. The Order was reviewed today, August 2nd, in another appearance before Judge Roy with Jason White in attendance.
Councilwoman Lund says the Judge extended the order for another three weeks and according to Lund, the Judge also said he had received some kind of contact from a Jason White supporter which made him "uncomfortable" and so as result, in moving forward. the case will be heard in three weeks by a judge from another county. What the??? Sounds strange but that's all I know at this point. I have also been told that Mr. White posted some kind of live Stream to his Facebook about this, but I'm blocked so you will have to find that for yourself.
All that and just in time for the Primary Election tomorrow. Is it a coincidence that much of the information released by night flyer's previous flyer through Jason White's website references individuals seeking election and not on the slate of candidates recommended by Mr. White?
Dave's Turn To Be A Target
So on to the flyer that was on the KIT doorstep this morning. (I guess Lance orgot to put out the garlic on the door last night!)
Since KIT's reporting and my commenting on the Council confrontation story, the night flyer has taken the position that I'm a hypocrite, ranking with the likes of CNN and the legacy media. The author makes the charge but seems to forget the word has a specific meaning. It's not just a word with which to club or insult someone without calling for an example. A hypocrite is someone who "puts on a false appearance of virtue" and a person who "acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings." I am not at all conflicted or contradicted in what I have said and written so far about Mr. White and his allies. FYI - we have dedicated many a conversation to the wholesale journalistic sell-out by CNN and the Lame-stream media.
The night flyer accuses me of "worshiping the disease-corrupted temple that is our city council". That's some serious writing right there, but I think the amount of legitimate criticism we have leveled at the city council's behavior and decisions over the last 30+ years I have spent in media in Yakima, dispels the idea of "worship". War-ship, maybe, but certainly not worship!
What else does the night flyer charge?
Night flyer says I ignored addressing a bunch of text/email type conversations in my interview with Ms. Lund. That is perhaps the only TRUE thing he said in this latest flyer attacking me and here's why I didn't bring them up. There is a collection of texts or messages that a freedom of information act (FOIA) request has turned up (not sure as requested by whom) that are alleged to be a conversation between 4th District Council Candidate Janice Deccio's husband Xander and Ms. Lund.
For the record, Lund denies the allegation and says her city phone was stolen and not in her possession at the time of the exchange. Mrs. Deccio says she was asleep and not involved in the exchange and Mr. Deccio says he assumed he was in a conversation with Ms. Lund because he never considered the possibility that it might be someone else. The FOIA request generated the circulated details of that exchange. I said in print and on-air that there should be some serious accountability for whoever was involved.
(just curious-who requested the FOIA specific to the time period and people of the exchange? Theoretically, ONLY the two parties involved would have even known it ever occurred. It wasn't Mr. Deccio and Lund said the other party wasn't her...and neither had any motivation to release it ...So how did anyone even know to go fishing in that particular FOIA pond--curious?)
What "appears" to be evidence?
The night flyer says the leaked phone call and acquired message thread is "evidence" of --notice the careful wording here-- "what appears to be bribes". Just an FYI news note to Mr. night flyer and all the other bats out there who want to do journalism, we don't report on charges stalled out at the level of "what appears to be" something - at least not without a much greater and more credible source than Mr. White or a nighttime porch prowler, not when it comes to someone making salacious, insulting and inappropriate comments directed to other respected and innocent community leaders. CNN would do that. I won't. If good people will be collateral damage - humiliated or embarrassed by the text conversation, then based on our news guidelines and personal values, it has to be over something that obviously rises to greater community significance than what we know of this -- so far.
Show me more evidence of the crime of bribery and we'll cover it. Any investigations, charges, proposed censures or sanctions (White tried to censure Lund at the council but the motion died for lack of a second) ...bring forth anything more official, other than the batman's infrequent flyer or Jason White's unsubstantiated accusations and we might have a legitimate story.
Vengeance Is Mine
Jason White has written he is seeking "vindication." With all due respect, this smells more like vengeance than vindication because again, words have meaning and vindication means "proof that someone ...is right, reasonable, or justified." The Council found White was not reasonable or justified in April of 2020 and he was censured by a vote of 5-2 for his Facebook comments on a separate LBGTQ matter. See the Yakima Herald's coverage of that HERE
Look, late-night bad behavior online, even if by people who should know better, is ugly gossip and all in very poor taste and out of respect for some of the individuals that the night flyer's previous "flyer "mentioned, we won't be mentioning any of it-- UNTIL there is more to report.
Is Dave a Fake and a Fraud...and Worse Yet, A Democrat?
The Dave Ettl night flyer flyer says I am a fake and a fraud. Ouch - so far, allegations without examples. But a fake what? Apparently, a fake conservative! Night flyer writes, "Not only is Democrat Dave playing interference for the corrupt liberals that are ruining our city, but he is actively deceiving the public through omission." News flash - we have been for years, critical of the council, not running interference. Night flyer, you gotta get out more in the daylight to see what's going on...but then there is that whole vampire/sunlight thing...
20 Years on Conservative NewsTalk KIT should be some kind of credential, shouldn't it? 20 years as the warm-up act for Rush Limbaugh should count for something, No? Do millions of words spoken in defense of conservative values and policy mean anything? Apparently not to a mindset that makes the far-right look like the neighbor next door. I am not the extreme right, nor do you have to be in order to be considered a conservative unless of course, you are Jason White and his supporters, including the night flyer. Example - You don't want a vaccine -don't go to a shot location and get one, Just go on about your life. The left wants to force you to get one and that's wrong and to Jason, shot centers are in his words "genocide centers". Is that any less wrong than the left? If you want the people to decide, let them and leave them alone.
However, my contribution by way of decades of conservative conversation with the community cannot be erased by someone not paying attention because they sleep in from 6 to 9 am, missing the show, after being up all night passing out unsolicited "flyers".
Take Action Now
The night flyer wraps up this edition with a call to action. He urges you to write or pick up the phone (509) 972-3461 and call my boss, Nik Krastins to demand that I issue an apology to a good man like Jason White for "slander and deception to the public at large."
If you believe as the night flyer does, please call. I'm sure Nik will find the suggestion that I'm a democrat as ridiculous as any serious listener to KIT possibly could. We do have a few democrat listeners, not many, but a few and they will be more than happy to confirm I'm not on their team.
Who's Sorry Now?
An apology? Am I sorry? I AM sorry for the people of District 2 that they didn't select a better representative of who and what the district is about. I am sorry the recall Councilman White lawsuit failed. I'm sorry the City Charter has to be amended to require future councilmembers to actually show up and do their job, based on Mr. White's dismal track record. I'm sorry our City has had to endure the personality-driven infighting and lack of cohesion on the council that has further reduced confidence in the leadership of our city. I'm sorry BS was involved from the start. But...it's August and the election is 3 months away so we can ALL chill til then can't we? Night flyer, I won't write 2-thousand word blogs if you won't. Deal?
How Do They Know?
Finally, the night flyer says, "The public record office has been inundated since our last publication* with the requests for the emails, something the average citizen is willing to do but not democrat Dave who claims to be an actual journalist but won't even send an email to verify whether something is true."
First, should he even know that? Does the public records office have a policy of chatting up all who seek their services? Should there be an expectation of privacy? How does the night flyer know if I or anyone else specifically have or haven't requested the info? Who is keeping track and who is telling who? Transparency is important, so release the info...but release the names of those seeking the info?? That doesn't feel right, does it?
Night flyer says a FOIA request would "verify whether something is true". Maybe not. Just because there is a record of a conversation doesn't mean anything in that conversation is "true" other than its true words were written or exchanged. Just as when the night flyer writes, there are words, but "truth" is not always evident.
publication* which I assume means a one-sheet typed up and hand-delivered to specific locations after sunset (say, isn't that when vampire bats come out...after sunset??)
Why Do It?
Hey Dave, why not just write this off as someone's bout of bad behavior and move on? Why give them the dignity of a response? You do know this won't solve anything, don't you? And my all-time favorite admonition - Don't get in the mud with pigs, you'll just get dirty and the pigs love it! With apologies to all the owls, bats, and swine out there, I am responding because I hate bullies and intimidation and cowardly insults delivered in the dark.
The community deserves better. The community deserves answers. This isn't the way to get them.
Mr. night flyer, I cordially invite you to come on the show, the KIT Morning News, and talk about your mission, your methods, and what it is you hope all of this will ultimately accomplish. Tell us why an approach fine-tuned by generations of Junior High Girls is supposed to contribute something of substance or value to the future direction of the City of Yakima. Don't hang with the bats, seek to share knowledge and wisdom... if it's there to share.
If you are pushing truth as you say, TRUTH is an easier sell in the sunlight.