How Far Will The Seattle Times Go for a Pulitzer?

Part 1 in a Seattle Weekly investigation.

Pulitzer-bait season is upon us once more, and The Seattle Times is again angling for journalism's ultimate prize. Boldly, Fairview Fanny's editors have chosen to tackle a complicated, recondite subject that defies comprehension by the average reader. Here is a case where Frank Blethen and his minions have courageously invested time and resources to shine a light on a murky, impenetrable realm, where unsuspected truths lie hidden from common sense.

Last week the paper essentially bumped all news off the front page in favor of "Miracle Machines: The 21st-Century Snake Oil" and its startling series of revelations. Turns out spark-emitting "energy machines"—not approved by the FDA, not used by doctors, and operated for profit by cross-dressing swindlers—don't cure cancer or have any proven health benefits. Who would've guessed? We're as surprised as you.

Does it matter that the evil transvestite behind one such scheme is based in Budapest, not Seattle? Does it matter that no reputable local physician or medical institution is pushing such a patently phony device? No, the Times is undeterred in its pursuit of journalistic excellence. And thanks to a special Seattle Weekly investigation of this Seattle Times investigative series, we've discovered what topics its crack team of reporters next plans to probe in a shocking, multipart exposé:

•Shortage of Puget Sound land, not influx of greedy Californians, to blame for rising real-estate prices.

•Contrary to assertion by Chopstix, piano is not the new rock and roll.

•Hooking up at Peso's revealed to be not a function of suddenly getting better looking late in the evening, but the result of sixth margarita.

•Magician's assistant is not actually cut in half during stage act. Exclusive photos taken after performance reveal assistant in Vegas hotel bar with torso intact, not bleeding and bifurcated.

•Tiny clown car revealed not to actually contain quite so many clowns as circus-going children believe. (Parental discretion advised; see related series on Santa Claus, tooth fairy.)

•No, Matt Hasselbeck can't carry the Hawks by himself.

•Pro wrestling is actually staged. Turns out those beefy grapplers really don't hate each other, and many have prior dramatic training. Also: Steroids likely involved.

•No matter what Cesar Millan says on Dog Whisperer, your mutt will get on the couch while you're at work. Related: If it smells like urine, he peed in your house.

•Penis will not actually grow 3 inches thanks to pills offered in e-mail solicitation.

•Getting to market first and mercilessly leveraging that position, not superior product design, has made Microsoft software market leader.

•Sonics' chances this season not that great.

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