Dear ‘rocker’ candidate: Leaving your name off a headline isn’t ‘political gamesmanship’

John Roderick of the indie rock band The Long Winters is running for Seattle city council and needs to have someone on his campaign staff explain that the headline writer isn’t his enemy. (Also, Roderick’s name is spelled correctly in the Seattle Times story.)

I asked the Seattle Times if it wanted to respond to Roderick’s Instagram gripe, and assistant managing editor/standard & interactivity Leon A. Espinoza sent this statement:

We are sorry John Roderick, the frontman for the indie rock band The Long Winters, saw any kind of political gamesmanship in our Local cover headline (“Burgess, rocker top fundraisers so far in bid for council position”). None was intended. Headlines aren’t designed to convey every detail, but are intended to draw readers into a story. Identifying a prominent council member by name and a lesser-known opponent by a most-interesting detail (he’s a rocker) is more likely to draw readers into the story, which serves readers, the story, and the players in the story well.

* “Seattle Times doesn’t know how to spell my name, I guess” (
* This Seattle Times headline he likes (