Of Good Friends and Frenemies

by lewwaters

It looks like my ‘super buddy’ Lou Brancaccio at the Columbian has done it again. In calling for “no more cheap shots” and previous “warning” only my wife and I to “keep it constructive,” while ignoring “cheap shots” from others, ‘super buddy’ Lou pens his post election assessment of one candidate and one supporter in Before the election completely fades

In reality yet another slap against successful businessman David Madore, their favorite boogieman they frequently rail against and Josephine Wentzel who they thoroughly trashed throughout the campaign only to whine about when she broke off contact with them.

Lou offers them both and the rest of the community his ‘expert’ advice on how they should act, apparently according to his Book of Hoyle if they wish to campaign in Clark County again. Right off the bat we see him falling back on “Blame the messenger rather than the message” since Josephine had the audacity to call the paper on their very slanted coverage of city council candidates.

Apparently he never learned that if someone’s message is continually blocked, twisted, spun and demeaned at every step, the messenger does share a lot of blame for it not getting out. Of course, when you seek to maintain a monopoly on messaging in the community and control the dissemination of information, little things like bias are not so apparent to the biased ones pretending to be objective.

Long before Josephine entered the city council race she and the rest of us have been heavily demeaned with the Columbian’s efforts to marginalize and denigrate our thoughts, primarily on the mega-million dollar Columbia River Crossing project and Portland’s financially troubled light rail being shoved down our throats. “Ankle biters,” “Hounds from Whinerville,” “The BANANA Bunch (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything),” “NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard)” and “ CAVE (Citizens Against Virtually Everything)” are just a few of the labels the Columbian’s editorial page editor John Laird has hung on people in the community his paper doesn’t agree with.

Keep it constructive, right Lou?

Repeatedly claims of the obvious bias at the Columbian are countered with “”we endorsed George W. Bush in 2004” or a few far left fringe leftists claims of the C being “biased towards conservatives.” My ‘super buddy’ Brancaccio is quick to point out the couple leftists making that claim to support his own claim of not being biased.

Apparently lost in their complaints that Josephine cut off contact with them is how they had no problem with other candidates who declined interviews with online news Couv.com solely because David Madore started it. Couv.com never attacked any candidate for their views as did the Columbian.

For example, in endorsing Bart Hansen over Josephine Wentzel, the paper said, “challenger Josephine Wentzel has emerged as a toxic influence at council meetings, a chronic complainer whose frequent trips to the podium have followed a pattern of unproductive negativity” and “Wentzel has shown no capacity to cooperate with any elective body. Her obstructive, combative approach does not fit well in collaborative community discussions.”

Of Hansen they could only praise, in spite of his lack of historical understanding displayed when he took offense last year over claims of how Southern Democrats once used permitting to deny Black Americans their right to assemble and gain civil rights in the 1960’s or how he has no clear understanding of “expressive gatherings,” political free speech rallies should protected. His frequent sarcasm towards constituents does not show on their radar.

Knowledge gained of Hansen playing political parties to his personal advantage was made available only at their online blog while condemnations of Wentzel were published in the print edition as well as the online version.

The Columbian was quick to devote an entire column to finding that Bill Turlay had misread city business license requirements for his small business, even bringing it back up in endorsing his opponent, Anne McEnerny-Ogle.

When allegations and concerns of past conduct by Ms. McEnerny-Ogle surfaced, scant mention was made deep in a Columbian article accompanied with a quick comment from a co-author of a past memo claiming McEnerny-Ogle should not be returned to a commission position she held. The actual documents were not made available to the readers.

I do not bring that up as any personal condemnation of Anne, who I also like, but as an indication of how our supposedly un-biased local newspaper covered candidates.

Even more revealing of our ‘super buddy’ at the Columbian is a little quip contained at the very bottom of the November 12, 2011 Cheers and Jeers column where the Jeer “Oregon public employee unions for suing to block release of public employee pension data” adding “The public deserves to know what it is paying for, and to whom.”

Where is their “investigative journalism” when it comes to where $140,000,000 has gone into the dark hole of the CRC, that they support? An in depth article this past June appearing in Oregon’s Willamette Week, A Bridge Too False was supposedly refuted by the Columbian over one lesser claim, ignoring the more relevant claims.

Why did it fall on David Madore to hire an independent forensic auditor to examine and go through a document dump of records requested to independently see where that much money has gone, and where has the Columbian’s support for such an audit been? Where was the coverage of the Bridging the Gaps events held revealing results of the audits?

Where was the Cheers & Jeers Jeering when David Evans & Associates, the single largest recipient of funds paid so far in the CRC filed a lawsuit to block the release of records indicating what our tax dollars were paid to them for?

After all, didn’t our ‘super buddies” at the Columbian just tells us, “The public deserves to know what it is paying for, and to whom?”

And now, my ‘super buddy’ Lou Brancaccio is scolding the community, telling conservatives how we should campaign and never again back away from the Columbian if we expect “fair coverage” and if their coverage is largely critical, denigrating and twisted, it’s our fault for having our values and not their biased coverage?

That doesn’t sound like a “good friend” talking, but more like a “frenemy.”

8 Comments to “Of Good Friends and Frenemies”

  1. Brancaccio = Leprosy on the body politic.


  2. Gee. One off-year election and the pompous asses down at The Columbian think that they have “regained” their “lock” on the news and their “power” in the community.

    My “advice” to The Columbian: “enjoy it while you still can boys, because yours is a dying empire”.

    Let’s start informing the advertisers who are buying ads on The Columbian of what a despiicable rag they are supporting. Join me in running The Columbian out of business. Clarke County will be far better off without the Elitist bastards.


  3. In the early 70’s I had the opportunity to visit East Germany and observe the lives of the people there. This was pre-Wall-fall. Notable was the absolute restriction to information and self-expression to the citizens behind the wall. The question I pose is this: how is it any different when the major media sources in Clark county impose their own “wall” ? The Columbian will not allow you to respond to attacks from left-leaning posters, but all day long will allow them to denigrate you personally and your views.


  4. I guess a few arrogant SOB’s think that they can still tell everyone else what to “think”. Thank God that the Internet has reduced them to being just little common schmucks like everyone else.

    More and more the “power” belongs to the people, not just a few arrogant, Elitist bastards that run a newspaper.

    Newspapers have become the biggest enemy of America.


  5. Wow. Great job of turning over the rocks Lew. I think Couve.com should hire you as their editorial writer! We need someone to balance out John Laird (although I don’t think you have it in you to be as mean-spirited and contemptuous of others as John is…you’ll need to work on that.)


  6. And shall we add that 2/3 of the news THEY DO print in the regular paper never sees the light of day in their web editions. That means less than 10 percent of their actually daily news and other coverage is just short snippets of what they print on soy ink offset pressed paper.

    SO do tell me how this online editions they make online has any valuable discernible points when most of it isn’t even online? And it means I have to waste a daily dollar to find out that 10 percent they post. And then they just pull the rest from regional and state sources like McClatchey, Seattle Times, Tribune and possibly Scrippts Media papers and finally from the AP if they can’t find filler..

    So do dare tell me this paper is even worth reading online anymore? The only reason I even interact over there is that the owner pushes money around the community….


  7. Rest assured that the public can see The Columbian’s smartassed “opinions” come out both online and in the printed editions, Jeremy.

    Just keep spreading the word of what a bunch of Elitist, arrogant bastards they are.


  8. The Columbian is a dying newpaper, as are many of the other publications of the liberal “yellow press”. Thanks to the internet, conservative talk radio and blogs, we no longer have to rely on either the Columbian or the Oregonian for our local political news.


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