If you call up a reporter and curse them out for writing something about you that you don’t like, they will almost certainly publish a follow-up story about it, and you will like that even less. (This rule applies to this night blogger and reporter too, so please be kind—for both of our sakes!)
Washington State Representative Jenny Graham, a Republican, showed little regard for this simple and finite rule of journalism when she called Inlander reporter Daniel Walters one day in August to express her displeasure with a piece Walters had just published about her sharing conspiracy theory blog posts on Facebook.
When Walters reached her for comment for the original piece—to inquire as to why she was posting articles that, for example, claimed thousands of missing children “end up in sex dungeons to be exploited and repeatedly raped by ... demons”—she responded to his request, telling Walters in an interview that trafficking is a serious problem and that it’s her job to get “feedback” from her district on such issues.
But not long after the piece featuring her quotes went live, Walters picked up a call from Graham and was met with shouts of “You cocksucker! You cocksucker!” She then proceeded to leave him the following voicemail:
“Daniel, you lying piece of shit. You’ve done it. You have started it. Don’t you ever call me again. Do you understand? Don’t you ever — and you tell your buddies not to call me either. It’s on. If you think for one minute you’re going to pull this crap and you’re going to walk away from it, you’re nuts.”
Graham has since dedicated more than a dozen Facebook posts and comments to insulting Walters, calling him a “lying piece of dung” and accusing him of not caring about victims of human trafficking. She has also threatened to retain a lawyer to sue the Inlander for the story.