RTDNA calls for Rep. Matt Shea’s resignation from open records panel

RTDNA calls for Rep. Matt Shea’s resignation from open records panel

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has called for Rep. Matt Shea’s (R) resignation from a panel formed to create new open records rules for Washington Legislature.

The call for resignation comes after Shea made derogatory comments toward the media last week at a Liberty or Death pro-gun rally.

During the Aug. 18 event at Franklin Park, Shea stated journalists are “dirty, godless, hateful people,” and accused them of “defending tyranny.”

State Rep. Matt Shea says “media and the left” are responsible for defending tyranny. Calls the media, including the journalists here today “dirty, godless, hateful people” #kxly pic.twitter.com/ggzAwYkJg8

— Hawk Hammer (@HawkKXLY) August 18, 2018

Shea, who represents Washington’s 4th legislative district, is one of 8 Washington state lawmakers named to the 15-member task force in charge of figuring out how Washington Legislature should keep and disclose public records.

“It is very difficult, if not impossible, to imagine that Rep. Shea can be a fair arbiter on the matter of open records when he has expressed such extreme anti-news media sentiments,” said Dan Shelley, RTDNA Executive Director. “His remarks were not just impolitic; they were indicative of his deep-seeded contempt for responsible journalists’ constitutionally-guaranteed obligation to seek and report the truth.”

Gov. Jay Inslee has also called for Shea to removed from the task force. However, House Republican leader J.T. Wilcox has said Shea will remain a member of the group.

State Rep. Matt Shea’s comment should disqualify him from serving the #waleg public records task force. There is no excuse for condoning such ill-informed and radical rhetoric from the House GOP caucus chair. We must protect #freepress and freedom of speech.

— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) August 21, 2018