Extra Fizz: Stranger Loses Well-Sourced Crime Reporter

By Josh Feit September 17, 2009

Yesterday afternoon, The Stranger decided to give Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, the paper's well-sourced crime reporter, his walking papers.

Jonah, who has the chops of a hard-boiled 1940s reporter with one of those over-sized "Press" cards leaning crookedly in his fedora, is actually an amiable, young hip-hop dude. It just so happens he has a talent for charming confidential police reports out of reluctant desk sergeants and vice cops.

Full disclosure: I was Jonah's editor for over a year at the Stranger. I still remember when Jonah managed to get hold of a teen prostitute's "John" book and started dialing numbers that the SPD, who'd also seen the book, never bothered to call. Jonah interviewed "Johns" who'd had sex with the teen and filed a story on the SPD's lackadaisical approach to prosecuting men when it comes to underage prostitution. For Jonah, it just was another bit of routine undercover reporting.

His last post on the Stranger's Slog yesterday was (as usual) a  scoop on an SPD arrest in the high-profile string of armed robberies in North Seattle.

Earlier in the week, Jonah trashed mayoral candidate Mike McGinn for being MIA on crime issues.

I've asked the Stranger for a comment, and I'll let you know what they say.

Update: Stranger editorial director Dan Savage would not comment.
Filed under
Show Comments