Letter-to-Editor: Slanted, negative coverage of Councilman Binda

Hi — It’s about time the NAACP got involved in the spread of negative press about Councilman Josh Binda. Are you planning to cover that?       

Your coverage of the saga of Councilman Binda has had a very negative slant from the start — from picking at his campaign financing and on. You’ve focused on EVERY difficult breath he’s taken — including quotes of “….ummmm…” in your last story. Everything that could be construed as doing the wrong thing in his capacity as councilman — even as a candidate. 

You’ve picked the most conservative members of the Lynnwood City Council — Jim Smith and Shannon Sessions — to be the members you quote about his conduct. Have you ever reported on any of their questionable behavior? What about the possible conflict of interest between our past mayor and the establishment of the new drug treatment center on Hwy 99? Surely that relationship was formed while she was still mayor.

I agree that Binda’s conduct hasn’t been above reproach. However, he’s young and new to politics. I hoped for a “cleaner” representation, but there you are. Nevertheless, please review everything you’ve written and his adversaries you’ve quoted to see if you could have written about his behavior in a more neutral way. 

There’s been a national problem about repressing Black political participation and establishing punitive rules that are tricky to follow. Has a friendly Council member ever offered to mentor him? Does he have a chief of staff with political experience who could guide him?

 I’ve noticed a very conservative slant to most of your reporting. I hope you can be more open to fairly and thoughtfully reporting all sides of the stories you cover. 

And, regarding your Letters to the Editor column, I can’t recall seeing a single one. I try to read your paper every week. You say that you will include them depending on space available. I haven’t bothered to write because I couldn’t see a way to be published. 

I hope you take this to heart. I don’t think the NAACP would have wasted its time and resources to become involved if there wasn’t a serious case to pursue.

Thanks for considering more balanced reporting in the future, including what you report about why the NAACP has become involved.

Catherine B., Lynnwood WA 98037

Editor’s Comments: In reading your letter, I are not sure you may be aware that elected officials and community leaders have stated publicly their attempts to “mentor” Councilman Joshua Binda. A city council member does not have an assigned chief-of-staff as this is a local city position.  Typically, chiefs-of-staff (or executive assistants or similar roles) are provided to elected officials at the county, state, and federal levels of government. 

The Lynnwood Times, along with other media outlets in the area, did report about Jim Smith’s alleged racial incident for requesting the mayor’s executive assistant to produce a report that was within the role’s job description. We also reported on the NAACP launching its investigation of media outlets and elected officials for alleged “misinformation” surrounding Lynnwood City Councilmember Josh Binda.

Below are supporting links that may shine a light to the aforementioned:

The Lynnwood Times is unaware of any “questionable incident” involving Councilwoman Sessions, would you email us on this? Also, what is the conflict of interests between the former mayor and the newly proposed opioid treatment program on HWY 99? Also, are you referring to former Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith?

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