Seattle Mayor to Local Stations: Back Off!

By Andrew Gauthier 

The Seattle mayor’s office sent an email out to local stations on Friday morning asking them to give Mayor Mike McGinn some space.

The email, from the mayor’s assistant communications director Aaron Pickus,  was sent to KIRO, KING, KCPQ, and KOMO with the subject line “Can you please share this email with your staff?”

“As you are all aware after a year and a half of the McGinn Administration, the mayor is very accessible to the press,” Pickus writes, asking that reporters refrain from “crowding around” McGinn at public events and knocking on his door at night.


The email, which even includes stock photos depicting what Pickus believes is the right way and wrong way to cover a public appearance, is a response to the stations’ aggressive coverage of the mayor’s recent appointment of a bicycle club leader to the $95,000/year position of transportation policy advisor.

Last night KOMO sent a reporter and photographer to McGinn’s home to ask him about the appointment, after multiple calls to the newly-appointed advisor were not returned. (Video above from KOMO’s 11 p.m. newscast last night). The KOMO crew arrived at the mayor’s house at 9:05 p.m., according to the station:

McGinn was not home, but his wife and son were outside working on a car and the KOMO reporter left a business card and asked that the mayor get back to us. His wife said the mayor was expected home sometime before 10 p.m.

“Sending a camera and reporter to knock on the door of the mayor’s home at 10 p.m. to talk about a personnel decision that is filling a vacant position within our existing budget is not necessary,” reads Pickus’s email. “We want to talk to you, that’s part of the job.  That’s why I’m available at all hours (excluding when I’m going on a jog).”

This morning reporters and photographers approached the mayor at an event, asking him about the appointment. Pickus’s email was sent out shortly after the impromptu interview session.

The full email, posted by KOMO, is available here.