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I want to avoid the political on here. You know how the old cliche goes about not discussing religion and politics.

But when something this egregious comes up, it’s hard to ignore it.

Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger — I won’t bother to link, as they’re getting enough traffic as it is — published an article entitled “Hell Houses.” Given that title, you’d assume this had something to do with grandiose Halloween displays. Instead, it’s a photoessay of several Seattle-area homes with prominent, easily visble signs supporting Republican candidates. Included in the article are the homes’ exact addresses.

I’m not going to presume what the staff’s exact purpose was in doing so. So let me ask the question. What would the point be in printing the addresses of private residences that feature Republican campaign signs? What exactly are they implying their readers should do?

I’m a staunch defender of First Amendment rights, particularly for the press. But what do you do when the press neglects its principal role of public information clearinghouse and moves into the advocacy forum? And just to clarify, if this weren’t advocacy on the part of The Stranger staff, why else would they title the article “Hell Houses,” print exact addresses, and describe the displays (and the people that put them up) in such fiercely negative terms? For that matter, where is the corresponding article and photoessay about equally ghoulish displays of partisan Democratic support?

What public purpose does this serve?

UPDATE: Unsurprisingly, the Stranger has now pulled the article from its website.



  1. What reason could there be except to facilitate violence against the homeowners, their families, and /or their property?

  2. Well put. I agree with you and jonolan.

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