What happened to diderot?

By Don Varyu

Oct 2019

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othing.  I’m still here.

When I began the Cascade Review, I decided to use a pen name for a number of reasons.  Foremost was my desire to keep content separate from personality.  Ideas and opinions, in my mind, should live on their own, aside from whatever inferences you might make about the author. Anyone’s thoughts should be divorced from assumptions about gender, age, race, personal history or political affiliation. That’s why I decided to publish anonymously.

After all, a good idea is a good one no matter who says it.

And yes, so is a bad one.

I worked for 20 years as a journalist, concluding with seven years as the person who ran the TV news department at KING-TV in Seattle. It was my good fortune to work there with professionals more accomplished than me.  It was their effort that earned recognition in that era as the best local TV news department in the Northwest for six consecutive years; and in one of those, as the best in America. 

Life is funny in how your timeline can double back on itself. And that’s what happened to me with this issue of Cascade Review.  Each of the main contributors here is someone I worked with previously at KING. Mike James, the subject of the first Someone You Should Know, was already a media luminary when I arrived. There was Brian Huotari, who conceived of the idea for this first video segment, as well as shooting and editing it. John Sandifer, who could have easily excelled as a reporter in the days of Front Page or All the President’s Men, was also on site the day I walked in the door. And during those years, I hired reporter Linda Byron—by far my best decision in that job.

It seemed fair that if these pros were putting their names on their work, so should I. 

My career has included wire service reporting and writing, as well as news show production and news management jobs for both ABC and NBC in Chicago.  After an ownership change at KING ushered me out the door, I moved on to work as a speech writer and strategist for consumer clients, including many dear friends at Nintendo of America.

But, why “diderot”?  Denis Diderot was a French philosopher and writer in the 1700’s.  He created the first encyclopedia that included entries from guest contributors. In that sense, it mirrored my goal for the Cascade Review. As a journalist, I also relate to one of diderot’s most famous quotes: “Those who fear the facts will forever try to discredit the fact-finders.”

So, there you have it.  diderot has moved on.  From this point, I’ll be known by my own name.

But it’s still me.  And I continue to value every one of you who takes the time to listen to what we have to say.



Don Varyu

Redmond, WA

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