Washington state lawmaker calls journalists ‘dirty, godless, hateful people’

Washington state lawmaker calls journalists ‘dirty, godless, hateful people’
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A Washington state lawmaker recently referred to journalists as "hateful people," according to The Spokesman-Review.

State Rep. Matt Shea (R) reportedly made the remark during a speech at a gun rights rally in Spokane on Saturday. 

Shea allegedly defended gun rights and free speech, but criticized the press, including those at the event, as "those dirty, godless, hateful people."

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He reportedly has a contentious relationship with the press and routinely declines to offer statements for articles.

Shea is currently serving on a public records task force aimed at assessing how the Washington state government should handle its public records, The Seattle Times reported.

The task force was convened after the state legislature was hit with a lawsuit brought by news organizations questioning its exemption from Washington’s Public Records Act, the Times reported.

State House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox (R) told the Times that Shea has had “specific incidents” with news reporting.

The public records task force co-chair, Rep. Larry Springer (D), said the group is "absolutely committed to a fair, deliberate, open, inclusive … process," the Times reported.

The Times last month reported that Shea, alongside three other Washington state lawmakers, regularly blocks journalists and constituents from his public social media accounts. Shea did not comment for the report.  

Polls have indicated voters are increasingly wary of the press, with nearly one-third of Americans agreeing with President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE's characterization that the news media is the "enemy of the people" in a recent Ipsos poll

Republicans, in particular, agree with Trump's charge that the news media is the "enemy of the people," with 51 percent of Republicans reporting support for the statement in a recent Quinnipiac poll. Just 5 percent of Democrats and 24 percent of independent respondents agreed.