Time For the Columbian to Clean the Egg Off of their Faces

by lewwaters

After the Columbian’s hit piece against city council candidate Josephine Wentzel yesterday, basically labeling her a liar over her claim of being a CASA Volunteer because she no longer replies to them, Wenzel now leaves the Columbian with eggs dripping off of their faces.

See also:CASA confirms Wentzel’s participation as sworn in volunteer

“However, CASA Program Director Jo Waddel confirmed in writing today that Wentzel participated with the Clark County CASA program in 1995.”

“Wentzel volunteered sixteen years ago, a time in which all CASA records were not input into a computer database, but instead administered via hard documents, some written by hand. At that time, the courts allowed the use of assumed names for privacy purposes and due to situations that might require volunteers to investigate a child’s situation and report to the court as they monitored case progress.”

Will the Columbian and Andrea Damewood now issue a retraction a prominently as they did and apologize for their hit piece? Or, will they continue in demeaning Ms. Wentzel as they have since she stood up on behalf of taxpayers?

UPDATE: The Columbian sort of admits their mistake, but continues the twist. Wentzel was volunteer 16 years ago

Wentzel Press Release

18 Comments to “Time For the Columbian to Clean the Egg Off of their Faces”

  1. Personally, I didn’t doubt Josephine’s word. It is however nice to see the confirmation in writing from the YWCA. Now is when we demand that the Columbian print a retraction of their story, and not on page 43 – but on the same page that the original story ran. I’m not a print subscriber of the local gossip rag, so I have no way to know what page the story was actually on. Since the Columbian wants us to believe that they engage in “investigative journalism”, true investigators take responsibility when they get it wrong.

  2. I can understand Josephine’s reasoning, but I think it would have been easier, and better for her campaign, if she just would have spoken with Andrea.

    I don’t think Andrea owes her an apology. She did give Josephine an opportunity to respond after all. She called and left her a message and sent e-mails to her work address and her personal email address. Lou Brancaccio also called and e-mailed her. Then they held the story an extra day just to give her time to respond. She didn’t.

  3. Craig, how do you just turn a blind eye to the absolute vitriol they have thrown against her since day one?

    I had a similar experience last year with KGW and believe me, they will never receive an interview with me again.

    This falls squarely on the Columbian due to their vitriolic treatment of any opposed to CRC and Loot Rail is indicative of how the public is distrusting the Columbian more all of the time.

    There is much more here than just this one incident, it is just the latest. It was grasping at straws to further discredit her and it has backfired.

  4. I hear you Lew, but Andrea Damewood has always been fair to people she’s covered and on topics she’s covered. Look, we all know where John Laird is coming from. He gives lip service to fairness but there’s never any substance to his ‘fairness’. The others I think should get the benefit of doubt as to what their intentions are.

    I see Andrea has already posted a follow-up.


  5. She used to be, Craig. I have been disappointed in seeing her leave her objectivity I used to praise her for on the curbside outside the Columbian offices.

    She assured me in email that she was still objective, but I fail to see much if any at all lately.

    There was no need for the Columbian to engage in character assassination against Josephine as they did when they endorsed Hansen.

    If Hansen was any sort of decent man, he would have denounced their vitriolic assault against her.

  6. Good for Josephine in providing the proof which should have been given to the Columbian in the first place. Unfortunately without an apology printed in plain view for everyone to read it’s too late.

    One of these days Clark County might actually get the opportunity to have a real newspaper using ethical, more professional means to cover all sides of an issue. What we have now is a pathetic excuse for a local rag.

    After this upcoming election stay tuned for more of the same as Turlay, Wentzl replace the incumbents and a more fair balanced City Council takes over. They’ll have a field day trying to discredit every logical vote the new Council members will make.

  7. I’d like to know when Lou Brancaccio and the Columbian will give Bart Hanson the same anal examination they are giving the other candidates they do not approve of. Bart is as big of a partisan Dhimmie and Mayor Progressive’s hand picked boy, but all we get is this vanilla puff-piece “reporting” about what a nice family guy he is, and nothing else.

    I wish Josephine Wentzel the very best along with Bill Tulay and I hope they both prove to be the monkey wrenches in the gears of the same old BS downtown. Nothing would make my day more than to see them both on City Council, sending Jeannie Stewart some badly needed reinforcements.

    And well done on this one too Lew. This is not the first time you’ve caught this crew and I do not expect it will be the last. I’ll bet you a burger that you get denounced personally in Saturday’s paper.

    Heads up for more incoming flak…..

  8. It wouldn’t surprise me at all, Bob.

    Brancaccio and I have already gone round and round in comments on this one.

    Lou usually doesn’t jump into comments unless they fear the commenter is making sense and garnering support.

    And yes, I’d like to see Bart’s reply to “have you stopped beating your wife” too.

  9. Hey Lew…nice discussion on the C. It appears you have ol’ LouBoy in a dither. I have to agree with Craig regarding Andrea’s writes, though. She asked for information, gave a time frame for a response, didn’t get the response in the time frame, put the article in the paper. She THEN went ahead and posted the next article showing clearly that Josephine in fact DID volunteer at CASA. So the attempts to throw mud in the face of Josephine to throw question in the wind ended in the face of Andrea, but at least she had the decency to display the information to the public rather than not writing it at all. Lew, I’m not sure if other writers would have done such.

    And the timing for the attempted mudslinging was impeccable by Andrea. Could it be there might have been an ulterior motive by Andrea with regards to the timing of information gathering, press time and the end result when the information gathered was way off base? I wouldn’t put it past her to be honest.

    BTW, anybody notice the resemblance of another FB commenter…to someone who used to be in the Forum till recent days??? Here’s a hint…Nice sailor’s cap. Hmm…he writes the same comments we used to have in the original comment sections and in the forum…had a bone to pick with Madore…

    Could be I’m working right up his…er…ahem…


  10. I’m sorry but I agree with Craig Sayer and GoldenOldie, though I am disappointed in Andrea’s reporting of this.

    But ONE Thing I have direct feeling, Lou would be prattling on in the comments if he didn’t fear a lawsuit or some other thing bad was going to happen to him like when he went after Brent Boger??

    Honestly, this whole episode smacks of Lou’s interference and hand-me-down projects. And some of the facts used in a similar style reminds me of the scales he used to get other reporters to do. this same thing.

    You know, that story also looks in familiar structure to some of Kathy Durbins work. Could Lou have been doing some ghostwriting? Just curious….

  11. I do not think that it is Jodephine’s obligation to do the investigative reporting for the Columbian and after the other really horrible articles they wrote I wouldn’t give them the time of day let alone anything that they could screw around and twist or take out of context.

  12. That was a “fine exchange” with Mr. Brancaccio, Lew. You’re absolutely right that this was obviously a last-minute attempted hatchet-job by The Columbian.

    I think it was also a bit of arrogant “bullying” by The Columbian, as in: “you either talk to us and do it our way or we’re going to try to label you as a liar because we think we’re the only place that anybody in Vancouver gets their gets their news”.

    I can’t say that I blame Josephine Wentzel for thumbing her nose at The Columbian’s arrogance, especially after the way they have treated her and have failed to run articles critical of their “favored” candidates.

  13. From personal experience, I know that when a “reporter” has an agenda, all facts can be distorted, ignored, or simply misrepresented. Kathie Durbin is my case in point. She intentionally exploits her position as a political writer to assassinate candidates, mostly passive-aggressively, but in my case, as a liar. She is not held accountable, and she deserves her fate in hell. I will NEVER speak to her as a candidate again. Ms. Wentzel did the right thing by refusing to answer to her attackers.

  14. Lou doesn’t realize it yet, but I suspect they will see more candidates not willing to deal with them directly over their past ill-treatments of candidates they do not prefer.

    This notion that everyone must because they are the only game in town is obsolete. While we may not enjoy the circulation of a newspaper yet, blogs and Couv.com and other sites are growing. My hit counter has tripled in just the last week, so I can imagine how others are growing too.

    The sad part is people realizing they can get a more objective view on things from biased bloggers.

  15. In the first place, newspapers have absolutely no business “advising” the community on who to vote for. Newspapers should present only true information and facts, and leave the decision-making up to the individual voters.

    The idea that newspapers should have “opinions” on the candidates is totally bogus upon it’s face.

    What has evolved is that newspapers have turned political races into “sports matches” and now act as “cheerleaders” for their “team” by biasing the content of the newspaper instead of just perfoming the basic function of providing truthful news and information.

    No wonder most people no longer believe anything printed in the newspapers.

  16. As someone who was a victim of a Columbian hatchet job during this election cycle, I can understand why candidates would not want to speak with the Columbian. When I went in for my “editorial board interview”, with my opponent in the room, Lou opened the discussion with 81/2 x 11″ copies of some questionable photos that had been on my personal Facebook page. By starting the meeting off with that information, Lou insured that nothing that either I or my opponent Dale Rice said while discussing the real issues of the campaign mattered. My opponent had been afforded the ability to know the questions prior to the interview, and I had not. I know this because Mr. Rice had notes written about what he was going to say in each of his answers. In a meeting after the interview, reporter Tom Vogt attempted to further character assassinate me by asking pointed questions about my status as a recovering drug addict. He was disappointed when I was open and upfront about my recovery, which is about to move into it’s 6th year. He also assured me in that one-on-one meeting that the Columbian didn’t dig up that information on their own, that someone spoon-fed it to them. Yet they wanted to make it sound and look like it was yet another great piece of investigative journalism by Mr. Vogt.

    Did I lose some votes as a result of my poor decision to post those parody pictures in the first place? Sure I did. Should it have been talked about? Sure, it should have. I’m just not sure that the front page was the place for the article OR the two follow-up articles that they chose to print – also on the front page. What troubles me about this whole affair is that Columbian did in my case, and also in the case of Josephine, go out of their way to make sure no discussion was had of the real issues in the campaigns they sought to derail. The reason? Because on the issues, they knew that their “favored” candidates would lose. Jospehine’s service as a CASA 16 years ago and my idiot decision to put some parody pictures on Facebook are NOT issues in the campaign. In my race, the low 64.1% on-time graduation rate (lowest in the 10 comparison districts) and high dropout rate of 5.6% (highest in the 10 comparison districts) – along with a bloated administrative budget while cutting classroom programs – those were the issues. But you can’t find anything in the Columbian that addresses those issues or how Dale Rice and/or myself stand on them.

    I too long for the day when there is a second newspaper here in Vancouver. The time for Lou, John Laird and the “good old boy” network that pervades the Columbian should be over.

    Finally, thank you to Lew for his insight and common sense reporting of these issues both here on the blog and in comments to the Columbian. I’m proud to say that Lew has become one of my friends through our relationship online and I look forward to being able to discuss issues with him – should I win election to the school board on Tuesday or not.

  17. Bob and all ~ If you don’t all ready know, KPAM has a new radio station KKOV that is being marketed as a vancouver washington station. David Madore has his website, facebook and some christian based work with WAY-FM.

    Along with Kelly, Lew and Democracy4Vancouver, there ARE many options out there for getting news OTHER than the Columbian. The DailyInsider, ClarkCountyLive, DailyCouve and so many others?

    And now with the Vancouver Voice gone, along with several others attempts within the past decade to try and make a secondary monthly or weekly paper work here. It further proves there simply is not enough of a market for a paper based news media here in Clark County.

    Its just plain too expensive to hire quality reporters and other employees and print off some thing off that would make enough money to be able to survive without some form of regular cash infusion by someone who felt it was their right and duty or they feel they want to by choice cover the operating expenses.

    If you look within the past three years, the columbian has been in bankruptcy once due to an owner error and there has been some other newspapers within the pacific northwest that have closed for the same reasons listed above.

    I personally do believe a Facebook, WordPress or online only offering is about the only way to effectively counter this money loss. You don’t have to pay a significant payroll of staff to distribute, gain advertisers and effectively help you manage and generate the content.

    If someone wanted to, they could effectively create what the columbian is doing with decent local advertisers and possibly compete with a lower cost platform than they are using. They’re still top heavy with an expensive offset press operation and distribution system, sales force to try to gain advertisers who are more and more moving to Craigslist and other alternatives, middle management and a very small photography staff with all of its salaries and health benefits.

    Honestly, I have seen multiple examples locally that have shown me over and over again that the newspaper COULD be beaten into submission by a corral of bloggers and free media online options, if they so chose to come together to put that newspaper in its proper context and leave it with no other option.

    But what its going to take is enough people saying enough is enough and I doubt that line is there yet….

  18. Newspapers are passe’ Jeremy. The only thing that would have kept them alive is if they started printing the truth and quit trying to direct, socialize, and destroy this nation.

    Newspapers have made themselves obsolete and are now making themselves very unwanted. Just give them time and they will all go away.

    Newspapers and the Media are just two more things that the Left has destroyed in their suicidal quest to take over America.

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