Clark County’s Most Mis-Reported Story In 2011

by lewwaters

2011 will soon be finished. In just a few hours it will be 2012 and we can hopefully put 2011 behind us. Let’s all face it; it wasn’t that good of a year. We had many downs and few ups and the reporting on those ups and downs didn’t always seem to balance.

As you all know, just a couple weeks ago we asked What Was Clark County’s Most Mis-Reported Story In 2011? The response was phenomenal from readers and I cannot disagree with a single suggestion received in comments or in my email.

I also cannot say that every article in the Columbian is “mis-reported” either. After all, they do a pretty good job of keeping us abreast of cars being towed when they appear abandoned, house fires, traffic accidents, mayors stripping in public and any perceived slip of the tongue made by Clark County Commissioner, Tom Mielke.

I also must credit Andrea Damewood for her digging deeper into and exposing the attempt to create an issue where there was none in the August ‘Suits & a Keg’ event held in the refurbished Artillery Barracks in the historic Vancouver Barracks.

But let’s face it, there were several stories of importance that just went nowhere. They apparently were dropped or heavily biased to drum up support through misguided fearmongering to further a pet agenda, such as the strong support to ensure C-TRAN got more of our money and not informing the public that C-TRAN was sitting on several Millions of dollars they hope to use on plunging us deeper into economic turmoil by dragging Portland’s financially plagued Loot Rail into Clark County.

We saw a lot of drama unfold over a proposed tax increase on entertainment to fund a brand snaking new stadium be built in an already cramped are for a baseball team from Yakima that hasn’t turned a profit in 9 years back. Questions went unanswered on the necessity and just how much Vancouver’s Mayor, Boss Tim ‘the liar’ Leavitt knew of the deal and why County Commissioner Steve Stuart seemed so hell bent on it being built.

Dreams of all of the money the team would generate go up in smoke when we consider that if they are so profitable, why Yakima wasn’t fighting harder to keep them there. But, it went right down to the wire as we saw Stuart throw a little hissy fit when fellow commissioner Marc Boldt cast his vote along with that of Tom Mielke to defeat the tax.

The year also saw the abrupt departure of 49th legislative district representative, Democrat Jim Jacks as he abruptly and with no warning, abandoned constituents’ mid-session, only to wait over a month to admit only to his being an alcoholic. Citing “no paper trail,” my super buddy Columbian editor Lou Brancaccio strongly defended the paper’s lack of interest in pursuing the story any further, neither confirming or denying the multitude of rumors floating around Olympia of Jacks’ alcohol fueled misconduct directed at female legislative staffers.

One bright spot in this saga was after I made the comparison to how the Columbian covered the resignation of Republican Richard Curtis in 2007, 14 articles in 5 days, Stephanie Rice informed me in the comments, “there were not 14 articles in five days, at least not all from The Columbian,” that I was able to list the titles, authors and dates the Columbian published all 14. Her reply was actually very funny as she then claimed, “sorry Lew, I didn’t know you were counting columns and editorials.”

2011 also saw the continuation of acerbic political page editor John Laird’s “hounds of whinerville’ depiction of conservatives who dared disagree with his “non-biased” but decidedly liberal left winged rhetoric, adding “BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything)” to the fray.

The Columbian had a heyday as arch enemy and favorite boogieman, successful businessman David Madore briefly threw his hat in the ring for Port Commissioner. The non-favored status seemed to be transferred for a while as his employee and fellow critic of the CRC, Josephine Wentzel ran for and even though she did not win, made a very impressive showing in her effort to defeat incumbent Bart Hansen for his city council seat.

Then too, we saw the very lop-sided reporting as the local newspaper of record gushed glowing over the malcontents of the Occupy movement after not seeing a previous Tea Party rally that drew nearly double the number of attendees as “newsworthy” the year before. Several efforts to bolster the sagging interest in the movement fell flat as the lopsided coverage soon ceased and dwindled away.

Clark County Citizens were also treated to the indispensible dissemination of irascible city council woman, Jeanne ‘Gavel Down’ Harris can finally go out to bars, no longer fearing being trapped by the obnoxious smoke her parents subjected her too, thanks to the banning of smoking in bars, restaurants and outdoor parks in Vancouver.

On the national news front, we see a growing national story still ignored by the ‘C’ as more and more it looks like a scandalous involvement of White House personnel were involved in gun running to drug lords in Mexico in what is largely know, outside of the offices of the Columbian as “Fast & Furious.” Maybe there isn’t enough of a “paper trail” for that growing national scandal either?

Yes, there were several local stories in 2011 that went mis-reported or not covered by Clark County’s ‘Big C.’ Likewise, several stories were first broke on local blogs or reported by media sources outside of Clark County before the ‘Big C’ decided to report on them.

It was from all of these stories, and some not mentioned this time around that the editorial board of Clark County Conservative (me, myself and I) had to choose from. We gathered together in our editorial board room, aka the bedroom and occasionally the bathroom just off of the bedroom in my home, to compare notes and decide what the most mis-reported story of 2011 was.

It was no easy chore as we had several juicy stories that never were to choose from.

For assistance in making the decision, we channeled the spirits of past media greats such as Walter Winchell, Edward R. Murrow and the king daddy of all mis-reporting, Walter Cronkite to reviewed each recommendation.

Recognizing how well informing the ‘Big C’ has been on towed abandoned vehicles and seeing the claims of “we’re not biased” since they endorsed Republican George W. Bush in 2004, we made our decision.

When it comes to political stories and political agendas in Clark County, the hands down unanimous decision was, “ALL OF THE ABOVE.”

Happy New Year everybody and let’s pray and work for a much better 2012.

7 Comments to “Clark County’s Most Mis-Reported Story In 2011”

  1. There is a “bright spot” for Clarke County in 2011, Lew. The Columbian has kept it’s steady march towards total suicide and oblivion throughout the year.

    The Columbian was forced to limit reader comments to Facebook after the community filled the blog and print editions with caustic comments about the bias of The Columbian.

    The Columbian can no longer hide behind the facade of trying to be “fair & balanced”. It has been caught with it’s “pants down” too many times.

    The employees of The Columbian chafe every day under the maniacal “dictates” of the management and has become a pretty miserable place to work. Tensions are high and nerves are stretched to the “limit”.

    This blog and others have done more to inform the community than The Columbian ever thought of doing.

    “From the ashes of The Columbian will rise the truth and the freedoms that all Americans are entitled to”.

    Thank God for the Internet.


  2. Hey Jack, Maybe if more Columbian employees were given pages upon pages of evidence of misconduct, prescription fraud, thievery, misappropriating funds, directors retiring unexpectedly (the list goes on), they to, could land a pretty good job at the county. Sometimes, it is not who you know, but what you know!! Way to go Jeff.


  3. Every time I write the Columbian I have to go through three to four rounds and prove my data or they won’t print my letter to the editor… citing liable issues.
    Pretty ironic since they don’t hold themselves to account for any of their stories nor their lack of story.


  4. Lew, thank you for the wonderful blog post.

    Carolyn, every thought of starting your own blog? Why depended on a one sided conversation??


  5. This blog is a thousand times better than The Columbian’s blog. The truth is spoken here and we’re not afraid to engage people or to have people engage us in discussion.

    You’ll notice that none of the Elitists dare to show their faces here. To put it simply, they’re too scared to show their faces where they can’t control or censor the conversation.

    That’s why we are better than they will ever be.


  6. Carolyn Crain, you are not alone! Many times I have gone after the reporter for their errors and the hand feeding of information by those that have no clue what they are doing. A prime example was the issues on McCann Road and again the County wasted staff time and the fact staff directed to work with just a handful of folks, no public notice. I had to sent off a 60 page Power Point to the AG office! Then there was the no Public Notice the first time the County wanted to put a fee on the Septic Tanks. There is also the ‘NIMBY’ folks that tried to shut down the Value Motel with the Three Creek Committee, cleaning up Hazel Dell and screwing up everything!! The C just hand feed news to the masses that read it.


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