Mayor’s Office Asks Seattle Weekly To Correct Prostitution Story*

The fight between the city and the Seattle Weekly–and their corporate overlords at Village Voice Media–continues.

Mayor Mike McGinn’s office sent an email to Seattle Weekly Managing Editor Caleb Hannan Wednesday afternoon, asking the paper to correct facts in their story, “Real Men Get Their Facts Straight.”

Yesterday, the Seattle Police Department provided me with data, which shows that SPD made nearly twice as many recoveries of juvenile prostitutes as the Weekly and Village Voice have given them credit for.

When I emailed Hannan for comment on the mayor’s request, he told me in an email “the mayor’s office hasn’t reached out to me or anyone else here. I won’t have a reaction until they do.”

However, Mayor McGinn’s spokesman Aaron Pickus provided me with the email he sent to Hannan yesterday:

Hey Caleb,

Following up on our chat just now, even though it’s a national story, we’d like a corrected chart to be run locally in the Weekly. I look forward to speaking with the reporter who worked directly on the story, but could you run the corrected numbers in the paper next week and online? You could also use the numbers for 2010 and 2011, if you wish.  Here they are:

2007 – 20 arrests/recoveries, 2008 – 30 arrests/recoveries and 2009 – 40 arrests/recoveries. 

Seattle Police arrested/recovered 81 underage prostitutes in 2010 and 24 year to date in 2011. 

Please let me know when you can correct the chart online and in the paper.

Many thanks Caleb,


The mayor’s office is working on setting up a meeting with the Seattle Weekly’s parent company, Village Voice Media, but one has not yet been scheduled.

More as this develops. 

*UPDATE: The Seattle Weekly has corrected the facts in their story, and posted this note:

These figures include both arrest and “recoveries,” which means underaged prostitutes who are removed from the street by police and taken, in most cases, to emergency shelters. The Seattle Police Department no longer distinguishes between the two.

Seattle PD initially furnished Village Voice Media with FBI arrest data, but asked that the chart be updated to reflect their new terminology.