When a business columnist took on real estate
Jon Talton, who writes a business column for the Seattle Times, writes about his time writing a business column for The Arizona Republic from 2000 to 2007 and how it ended due to his alienating real estate executives in the Phoenix area.
Talton writes, “Could I have found a way to stay?
“It’s a question I’ve pondered for years (I’ve been writing for the Seattle Times for more than a decade now, my longest tenure at any paper).
“It’s not as if I didn’t come to understand the peril of writing about Arizona as it was (and is). There’s a reason that E.J. Montini, known for his merciless takedowns, or Laurie Roberts, who writes regular outrage columns, never take on the real estate interests. But I did. Relentlessly. I did the same with the crazy reactionary politics that had taken over Arizona — I had grown up a Goldwater Republican, remember. ‘Real Estate Industrial Complex’ and ‘Kookocracy’ made me more enemies than I realized, no matter how many readers were delighted by the terms.
“And it’s not as if I was always ‘negative,’ as my traducers complained, whatever that word means. I was the first and most constant supporter of TGen, ASU, the downtown Convention Center, and light rail (I take special pride that WBIYB). I wrote honest but largely favorable profiles of people such as the late Paul Fannin — even a fair shake for Jon Kyl once I had a column on the op-ed page. I worked hard to stay on the good side of the LDS.
“I also knew that a drumbeat began soon after my arrival to have me silenced or fired.”
Read more here.