Lou Brancaccio and Chicago Bullying Tactics?

by lewwaters

UPDATED after post

Week after week, Republican Brent Boger, losing candidate for Clark County Prosecutor faced the scorn and biased slapping handed out by Vancouver’s bankrupt newspaper, the Columbian. After a reluctant co-endorsement in the primary election, I just can’t recall a kind or even handed word published about Mr. Boger, a Senior Assistant City Attorney.

For whatever reason, Boger lost the race to Democrat Tony Golik.

You would think the Columbian would be happy the candidate they backed easily won the election and move on, but not so in regards to Managing Editor Lou Brancaccio who seems unable to resist taking pot-shots at others in our area.

If you remember, it was Brancaccio who penned columns attacking blogger Kelly Hinton and falsely trying to smear Republican candidate for the 18th legislative district, Ann Rivers, who won in her race, by linking the two of them.

Brancaccio continues his journalistic assaults in today’s paper with a column, “Ya gotta love our politicians!” where his opening shot is, you guessed it, another pot shot at Brent Boger.

Boger, like most other political candidates, develop some thick skin to this type of journalistic misfeasance. However, for reasons he and his wife have been discussing for some time, Boger decided to cancel his subscription to the local paper today. On his facebook page, Boger made a comment of, “Looking forward to returning to private life. Cancelled my Columbian subscription today” earlier this morning. No reason given, no anger expressed, no slapping back at the Columbian, just a plain simple comment.

Apparently seeing, or being informed by someone about the cancellation, Brancaccio decided it just isn’t right that someone who has been continually bashed by his paper and undermined in their campaign, ridiculed and mocked on a regular basis should decide to cease contributing to his paycheck.

In the comments section of the article linked above, the 11th comment showing states,

“Hey all. I’m doing a follow-up column to this one for Saturday. It’s about folks — in this case Brent Boger — who canceled his subscription to The Columbian after this column appeared. Probably because of this column mostly but we also didn’t endorse him.

I liken this to the old thing when we were kids and we’d show up in the empty lot to play baseball and one kid would bring the bat and ball. Most of the time, no problem.

But every once in a while the kid with the bat and ball would threaten to take his bat and ball and go home if he didn’t get everything the way he wanted.

And that’s my view of folks who cancel their subscriptions over something they don’t like in the paper. Hey, buck up. You’re not always going to get your way.

Your thoughts?

If I get something good (usable) I might include it in my column. Thanks.

Lou Brancaccio (Columbian Staff) — November 4, 2010 at 1:46 p.m.”

Brancaccio is actually whining over one citizen cancelling their subscription? One citizen that was their target for weeks?

A call to Boger revealed to me that the cancellation has been a frequent discussion between Boger and his wife for quite some time, seeing the journalistic talent displayed in the Oregonian as superior.

Brancaccio would have you believe that his one column is why Boger cancelled, which just isn’t so. However, if it were the reason, does Boger deserve even more ridicule because he decides to take his paycheck elsewhere? Is this the way they teach you in Chicago? Subscribe or else?

Showing just how low-class and tasteless Brancaccio’s comment was, is seen in a reply to Boger on his facebook comment from Democratic state Senator Craig Pridemore,

“You still read The Columbian? You ran a good campaign, Brent. Don’t listen to Lou — they hate people who serve.”

Careful Craig, you’ll be the next one to be on the pointed end of Brancaccio’s poison pen.

Will Brancaccio begin seeking out any and all who cancel their subscription to ridicule in a weekly column in hopes of coercing them to continue buying the paper?

Will enough citizens stand up to this journalistic thuggery to force Brancaccio into a daily column mocking cancellations?

In defending his comment Brancaccio says,

“I’m just pointing out something interesting that goes on more today than it used to. If you don’t like something you read in the newspaper, cancel. I’m making the argument (discussion) that we should be able to agree to disagree without just walking away.”

What Brancaccio fails to grasp is that the Columbian is a product, a commodity that is sold to the public. As with any product that promises some level of service, in this case news and commentary to customers for a fee, if the customer is no longer satisfied with that service, they go elsewhere and should be able to without facing public mocking by the very product they are dissatisfied with.

Lou also first says,

“People are free to subscribe and not subscribe as they wish.”

Shouldn’t they be free to do so without being hit with,

“that’s my view of folks who cancel their subscriptions over something they don’t like in the paper. Hey, buck up. You’re not always going to get your way.”

Hey Lou, buck up. You’re not going to get your way in increasing subscriptions this way either.

See also Clark County Politics

Boger, Jollota, Betty Sue dislike BrancaccioBoger, Pridemore dislike Brancaccio

UPDATE: I have to give Brancaccio credit. Saturday’s column contains, “Was I too tough on him? After getting into several discussions on this topic and listening to several of my critics, I’d have to say the critics were right and I was wrong.”

13 Comments to “Lou Brancaccio and Chicago Bullying Tactics?”

  1. Lew, Thank you for stating it so nicely what I have heard for YEARS since I was a kid that moved down here. I don’t plasterize the former editor, though I may have not agreed with his ideals he displayed.

    But Brancaccio takes the cake for being a bully & the columbian pays his salary to allow him to do it. I am not sure at what point a man goes low enough to attack another community member without provocation OR ANY justification at all. Our local people might consider this person almost to be the level or below of a Clark County Jail inmate.

    Maybe someone needs to take this bully on & put him in his place once and for all. Maybe the newspaper can send him to the YW for “sensitivity trianing?”

    Boger & many other people have not deserved Lou’s wrath. I am seriously sick of reading his crayon missives like he is someone who is holier art thou. I am beginning to wonder what Scott Campbell sees in this fellow to keep him gainfully employed.

    You know, I have read his columns and ideals since he became editor in 1996 was it? And its 2010. Why does one have to put up with such theivery of character assassination without data to prove his point?

    Honestly, I all ready stopped getting the paper a decade ago. Maybe I’ll just have to let the elite here in Vancouver have their own little newspaper and stop reading it on the bus or cafe’s that I frequent.

    Because in all honestly, this man is not even in touch with his own, let alone his communities real reality.

    As I say some people, I wonder if “his reality check bounced at the bank of common sense.”

  2. What sort of surprises me, Jeremy, is Brancaccio seems offended now that I called him on it in the comments section.

    Funny thing is, I know he can do better, I’ve seen it.

    I was even starting to think he was moving a bit towards the center.

    I was obviously mistaken.

  3. LB reminds me of a domestic abuser.

    They never think they’re wrong. They ALWAYS think they’re doing the right thing. And they don’t care who gets harmed in the process.

  4. Funny that he denies a whole column dedicated to Boger canceling his subscription is in any way a threat, or warning if you will, to others who might be planning on canceling theirs too.

  5. Honestly, how can Lou feel like he can dictate to anyone including the local politicians who or what they can read? I have known other conservative & non-conservative people that have done the same thing for the almost the same exact reason that Brent did.

    They just simply get sick of it. I have been wondering a long time when Lou would be held to account for this behavior & when they finally would have enough of it. No one deserves to face a bully, not Brent, not ANY community member unless there is some just cause or real fact.

    There is a real connection with Golik being called out & yet, the newspaper won’t even do an expose on it. IS Lou hiding some thing?

  6. Why does an employee of a newspaper have the right to divulge the business dealings of a customer with that newspaper..anymore than my doctor’s nurse making public my medical history to every one of his other patients?

    Way over the top this time & it will come back to bite him!

  7. To be fair, Susan, Brent did make a comment on facebook that he canceled his subscription. It isn’t a secret.

    Still, to have the managing editor declare devoting an entire column to his cancellation and stating it is due to a current column is over the top and grossly uncessary. The entire column today is nothing more than to continue kicking Boger around.

    In my estimation, that is what is wrong with journalism today. Too much unneeded snarkiness.

  8. Thanks for your ongoing efforts in facilitating a dialogue about the state of the media in Vancouver. Every one of us should be able to discuss things in an open way, without resorting to name-calling or bullying from anyone involved. I am thankful we have a Free Press in this country, which includes the rights of individual citizens to challenge their government and any other institution of power (such as a media outlet).

  9. Thanks, Jay Bee. I agree, a “free press” is essential in our nation. But, that freedom they have, and we have too, should not include an editor using it to further a personal grudge or just attacking a citizen (including a former candidate) for the sake of attacking.

    Brancaccio has crossed the line in this one and the saddest part is he refuses to even see it. Many of Boger’s political rivals are siding with Boger on this one.

    If Tony Golik had any class, he would publicly condemn this cowardly hit piece of Brancaccio’s too.

    I’m still waiting to see anything from him.

  10. Great points about the privilege of being “the press” and the obligation not to abuse it or use it for personal, petty purposes. Is this what our forefathers envisioned for this great right? I would argue it’s a franchise that belongs to the community, not a few individuals. There is also a fine line between being a bully and being a coward who ignores the masses at their peril.

  11. In my view, the press does have a responsibility to each community and the national media has a responsibility to the nation to report fair and accurate news. While I agree that editorials are not necessarily news, they should be of some benefit to the community.

    Brancaccio’s continued smear and attack against Boger does nothing to better our community and degrades it instead.

    He didn’t opine about Boger’s politics or stand on issues but instead ridiculed him personally after he lost an election and then, adding insult to injury, states he will devote a whole column to Boger cancelling his subscription, without even asking why he did so.

    Hence my question of is that a threat to others who might consider cancelling their subscription. In essence, ‘cancel and I’ll publicy smear you in my column.’

  12. Well Lew, you have shared an excellent example of the Chicago Bullying Tactics…and that’s only one example. There’s plenty more we could discuss including how David Madore has been treated including the consistant “error” by the news(?) company to label him as an “Anti Bridge” activist. That one cracks me up every time since it clearly shows the manipulative tactics coupled by untruths utilized in order to sway the opinions of the community by the news company who USED to represent Clark County. I’d sure like to see them try to quote Mr. Madore in a past comment saying he was Anti Bridge.

    Ohhh, the examples could go on forever, couldn’t they!

  13. David Madore is making sense and spending his money to reveal what should have been made public long ago. This whole boondoggle stinks to high heaven, in my estimation.

    So, they must demonize him as he is gaining ground and they are losing.

    And yes, it is a total lie that he is “anti-bridge.” Nothing could be further from the truth as most of us advocate a third or fourth bridge across the Columbia.

    Don’t expect help from Oregon, though. As they did with the I-205 bridge, they will fight more bridges tooth and nail.

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