Seattle P-I Editor Now Outdoing Fairview Fannie For Narcissism


(McCumber's a lover)

My favorite David Horsey cartoon (I've been unable to locate it online) ran many years ago, during some dust-up in the JOA battle, and it showed a version of former Seattle Times exec Mike Fancher as Fairview Fannie, looking into a mirror and saying "I Love Me!" It perfectly captured the oppressive narcissism of that newspaper, the only one in the country (as far as I know) to run a weekly column by an ombudsman-like figure (i.e., Fancher) whose job wasn't to critique the paper but to tell readers how gosh darn great it was (in case that wasn't immediately obvious to you).

The P-I was right to make fun of the Times back then. But sadly they've now switched roles. Fancher has retired, and P-I managing editor David McCumber, whom I once heard criticizing the Times for this very same character flaw, has now taken on the holy task of praising his own paper to the skies. Witness today's "Editor's Addendum" from him, explaining just how great their Gang story is, on the off-chance you didn't grasp how truly "ground-breaking" it is for a reporter to hang out with gang-members and record them saying things like "You do what you got to do." (Almost as good as the quote in McCumber's column from the reporter's editors: "Get inside, get as much of this as you can get," they told Rowe. You can almost hear the music swelling.)

I admire the reporter's access, but did anyone learn anything from that story they didn't already know? Fantastic photos, though, for sure.

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