Press Talk: Poker, print & politics

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian Editor



In some ways poker, print (newspapers) and politics are a lot alike.

No matter what hand is dealt, you keep at it, there’s almost always a love/hate relationship going on, and everyone is quick to point out your mistakes.

So with that in mind … deal!

Double up and catch up!

On occasion, I go up to La Center to contribute to the tax base. Last weekend was one such occasion.

I’m speaking about poker, of course, and I do love/hate the game. Love the competition. Hate the tax contributions.

So my favorite dealer — Billy — says I should write something about poker in my column.

I tell Billy — who is a regular Columbian reader — I once wrote a piece after I had a royal flush dealt to me. The odds, by the way, are 650,000 to 1!

So I’m here asking Billy for just one more royal flush. I’ll sneak it into my column, I promise!

Print that story?

Vancouver resident Sandy Hadenfield, a nice lady I’m sure, sent us a letter complaining about our putting a story with the headline “New jobs report ‘downright dismal'” on the front page. It appeared right after the Democratic National Convention ended.

She was certain it landed on the front page because we have some sort of conservative agenda. (I guess she felt it made President Obama look bad.)

She went on, “I don’t recall seeing a ‘Clinton Nails It!’ (headline) after President Clinton’s speech elucidating the economy from a more thorough analysis.”

Thanks, Sandy. The story landed on our front page because we believed it was important. If you find someone out there who doesn’t feel the economy is the most important issue in country, please send them my way.

Oh, and if I could please suggest one very small bit of advice?

Suggesting a headline that connects the former president and the words “nails it!” … well, I’m thinking I might get some grief from my liberal friends.

Just sayin’.


This is the race that keeps on giving … us material. And who am I to ignore it, right?

Let me set the scene of this very close county commissioner race.

David Madore is challenging the incumbent Marc Boldt. Madore sought — but did not receive — the endorsement of Commissioner Tom Mielke.

Mielke — in his own tight race for re-election — is remaining neutral, and objects when he sees a sign go up with both his name and Madore’s name.

Madore says it’s a private citizen who posted it and he ain’t tellin’ a private citizen what to do or not do.

I land on Madore’s side on this one. I repeat, I land on Madore’s side on this one.

But then Madore posts it on his Facebook page.


Look, Madore has no control over what a private citizen does but he can control what he puts on his Facebook page. I asked Madore about this on Friday. He said he has lots of folks sending him photos and he puts them up on his Facebook page. But, I asked, knowing Mielke didn’t like it, did he even consider taking it down? He said if Mielke had even hinted at wanting it down, he would have taken it down.

Fair enough, but if it were me, I wouldn’t have waited for the hint.

Just sayin’.

Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor. Reach him at 360-735-4505, or Twitter: