Saturday, April 21, 2007

My run-in with a guy from the P-I

Today I went to the Puyallup Spring Fair. It's a springtime family even that is held about 50 miles south of where I live in a town called Puyallup (say PEW-AL-UP).

I came upon an exhibit for the Seattle P-I. If you've lived in this area the "P-I" is one of the two lame newspapers in this area more formally known as the Post-Intelligencer. It is owned by the Hearst Corporation. Though it's one of the northwest's oldest newspapers it hasn't been a viable newspaper since I was in elementary school. To explain it further they have a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) with the Seattle Times (the other lame paper in town) which enables them to stay in business. This JOA is basically code for "we'll keep your irrelevant publication alive and barely breathing by taking over everything except your editorial board." The editorial board of the P-I is so left-of-center that it makes the New York Times board look like Fox News.

I love belittling the P-I at every chance I get. So when the guy at the booth asked me if I took the paper I just had to have a little fun. I told him I didn't and I couldn't believe what he said next:

"Are you against knowledge? Do you like being mediocre and not knowing what's going on in the world?" I was stunned. This guy wanted a war of wits and I was in a mood.

I said, "I thought the P-I only printed a paper on Tuesdays."

"That's my point you don't know much about what's going on in your community; we're a daily newspaper." He continued his lecture about how much smarter he is.

I said, "I thought you guys were bought out by the Seattle Weekly." I admit this was a cheapshot and was clearly intended to make fun of him. In fact the Seattle Weekly is a tabloid style weekly that covers mostly local issues from a socio/political opinion journal style and has its last several pages devoted to escort service ads.

"Well, there you go again, spouting your ignorance." The guy shot back.

Finally I told him I was joking because he got a bit out of control. I told him I knew they were owned by Hearst and pretty much everything I just shared with you in the first paragraph. I didn't see the need to press him since he was obviously agitated but this didn't stop the guy from insulting me more.

"Not taking the paper is like accepting you don't want to know what's going on in the world and you just want to settle on being ignorant everyday. Why would you want to live like that?"

I told him that it was that type of arrogance which is leading people to find other types of information sources and the very reason why he probably won't have a job in the next couple of years.

This is probably where it went bad.

"Come say to my face that I won't have a job next year!" He stood up. He's about six foot and large...I'd guess his genealogy traces to the Pacific Islands...don't know for sure...probably ignorance from not reading the P-I but anyway. Anyway he's bigger than me but he wouldn't be the biggest guy I've Sunday-punched out of necessity.

So I said to him, "Lucky you work for the paper you can start scanning the want-ads now." He pretty much berated me for the next three minutes while I asked for his business card which he wouldn't give me. I sent a few more cheapshots his way and he continued to call me stupid for not taking the paper.

I know his first name and I could call the newspaper and make a complaint about the unprofessional behavior of their employee but to be honest what's the point? Only Grump and a handful of other Puget Sound area people actually read the P-I and his behavior, while unbelievably stupid, is predictable and normal among lefty Seattleites. I don't claim to be a victim any way...I meant to mess with him but before I could even get started he started insulting me because I told him I didn't take a newspaper. I was surprised at the level this guy was willing to escalate rhetoric (not to mention trying to physically intimidate me) when his job is to convince people to take a dying newspaper. Believe me when they print their last edition (which won't be too far into the future) I'll buy it and use it as toilet paper.

So there you have it. Some guy at the Seattle P-I thinks I'm ignorant because their useless newspaper doesn't land on my front porch every morning. Yeah, I'm the ignorant one.


Ronald said...

I used to take the Seattle P-I when I lived in King County but only because I wanted a morning newspaper. Possibly only the San Francisco Chronicle is a more liberal newspaper.

Personally I feel that the Seattle Weekly is a better value since it's free. Funny he called YOU ignorant...he got what he deserved.

Anonymous said...

If not reading the newspaper makes you ignorant then I guess he doesn't read the paper either. Like you said though he better start getting familiar with the want ads!

queenbee said...

What a joke! No wonder they're a daying newspaper. Keep us posted if you decide to report that jackass.

Tim said...

Why does that guy think being insulting will convince people to take his newspaper? Using the newspaper as toilet paper will make Cheryl Crow happy I bet.

Alex said...

Has the PI seen this?

lynda said...

what an ass! i think you should still report him. his behavior is absolutely unacceptable and i would think his manager would want to know about it to pull him from these events. that's not helping them make sales with that attitude.

Gwen said...

I laughed when I read this. What kind of question is "are you against knowledge?" What a pompous ass.

Dave Johnson said...

You should have shot back, "Well not reading my blog makes you ignorant."

That would have shown him what was what.

Tracy said...

I've received many messages and emails saying that most of you think I should have reported this guy. Let me tell you why that's not my interest.

1. I posted this to point out his desperate, arrogant and out of touch behavior which parallels that of his employer.

2. I was not offended by him and was willing to trade jabs with him. If I had walked away offended and intimidated then I would have a gripe.

3. There is an irony that while he was calling me ignorant I was using satire to make fun of him...and when he realized it made him mad.

I was also asked how I knew his first name. The gal he was at the booth with said it while trying to get him to stop badgering me. That's how...and by the way his name is Eric.