When the Fringe Defines Who is Fringe

by lewwaters

Columbian FishwrapIt seems wherever we look today, those who disagree with the powers that be are labeled “fringe,” meaning far out of their self-described norm. But funny that those who cry others are “fringe” fail to recognize that they are often more out of line with the long held norms that made the American experience as great as we once were.

Case in point, the Columbian newspaper, the local newspaper of record for Clark County Washington. It is not without reason that I often label them the unofficial daily newsletter for the Democrat Party.

No better example could be given that what we have often read from editor Lou Brancaccio, who tries to hide his own fringe left views in his weekly columns or, if stories I’ve heard around town are true, his treatment of others.

Lou has long held a dim view of blogs, assuming that is bloggers responsible for the falling revenues of the paper as subscriptions continue to fall. That most news items are thinly veiled editorials when the story is political never enters his mind nor does it occur to him that people are turned off by their “hit pieces” against some candidates, most often Republicans that run on traditional values.

Candidates and elected officials like State Senator Don Benton, County Assessor Peter Van Nortwick, District Attorney Candidate Brent Boger, City Council Candidate Josephine Wentzel, County Commissioner Candidate Alan Svehaug, blogger Kelly Hinton and current County Commissioners Tom Mielke and David Madore are just a few who have been targeted by the Columbian’s ‘poison pen’ in the papers quest to proved ‘fair & balanced’ coverage, as Brancaccio laughingly calls it.

Some even took the position of minimizing their contact with the paper during campaigns, knowing they will not receive fair coverage, greatly offending Lou. For some reason, he seems to feel they should freely submit to their abusive coverage and thank them for it.

We see a prime example of just that in Lou’s Saturday February 16, 2013 editorial, Press Talk: Two guys who speak out about a real fringe leftist, 49th Legislative District Representative Jim Moeller and County Commissioner David Madore, a successful businessman transitioning into the Commissioner seat being he was just elected less than 2 months ago.

The gist of the editorial is how although these two men are polar opposites politically, both freely speak their minds and stand up for what they believe. While there is no disagreement that both do stand on their values, reading through the editorial reveals the subject concerns recent coverage of Commissioner Madore through a series of short videos Brancaccio produced over coffee where Madore was asked some things not directly connected to his position on the Board of Commissioners.

Questions that will undoubtedly give the Columbian an archive of material to use against him in future efforts and in any candidate he may choose to support, primarily in the cities efforts to oust current mayor Tim Leavitt who disenfranchised citizens by freely lying his way into office.

On those interviews, this blog posted An Open Letter to Commissioner Madore cautioning him to not be so forthcoming on future plans unrelated to his Commissioner duties, reminding him to “keep his cards closer to his chest” in that regard. Telling him that who he may or may not support in future elections is none of the Columbian’s business.

In an obvious response to that post, we read in today’s editorial,

“The fringe right feels Madore needs to keep his pie hole shut because surely the left will get hold of something he said and use it against him. Plus, the fringe right just doesn’t like the media. We’re all a bunch of communists down here at the paper.”

While I am flattered to see that Lou is apparently still following my blog, as he is free to do, I find Lou’s defense most comical considering in between the posted interviews and his editorial, they did just as I said they do.

Two posts appeared on their All Politics is Local blogsite that they opened on the papers site, presumably to counter more independent blogs such as this one and Clark County Politics.

Stuart responds to county’s CRC opposition concerning a recent resolution adopted and signed by both Commissioners Mielke and Madore when the third Commissioner, Steve Stuart was out sick. The resolution opposes the CRC which has been a very public stand of both Mielke and Madore and not of Stuart who agrees we must have the deeply in debt light rail from Portland brought here. A view shared and promoted by the Columbian.

We also see Parks talk likely to get more direct that takes a stab at Commissioner Madore’s efforts to bring Parking Fees at our parks to an end so more people can enjoy the parks we all pay for. They had previously posted about Madore’s announcement on a radio program that he had identified where several thousand dollars could be saved, but made sure to include when pressed for details, he didn’t have any, referring back to staff.

It is comments like that where I felt the need to remind Madore to “keep his cards closer to his chest” as the Columbian did just as I said they do, used it against him and his efforts and you can be sure that if he runs for reelection in 4 years, it will be brought back out.

I like David Madore and find it very refreshing that he is doing what he can to keep campaign promises. Promises that many on the left dislike, including many down at the Columbian.

But it hardly makes me any more “fringe right” than any of the 84,370 voters who elected David Madore, many of whom likely were once subscribers to the Columbian.

Lou also comments under his editorial,

“I am arguing that he should be more forthcoming, as he is now. Moeller and Madore aren’t frightened by the fringes. They speak their mind and we all should encourage it and ask others to do the same. To suggest otherwise is to embrace suppression and when we ask for that we’re asking for trouble when it comes to our government.”

Again, Lou is dead wrong on arguing for being more forthcoming. Oh, he thinks David Madore should be, but he has not shown any effort for Jim Moeller to be more forthcoming. If he had, there would have been coverage that Moeller’s efforts for increasing Domestic Partnership laws were in fact incremental steps towards full blown Homosexual Marriage, as many of us said and was often denied.

There would have been more coverage of Moeller’s efforts to implement a confusing candy tax in his campaigns, or his intention of suing voters to invalidate their votes if a citizen initiative didn’t go his way or even that any Democrat candidate who opposes the CRC would be thrown under the bus for holding an opposing view.

While the paper may have taken a token opposing view to some of the efforts of Jim Moeller, they only did so after the fact. There was no pressing for Jim Moeller to be more forthcoming, even when a $1.5 Billion budget gap was placed on the back burner in order to push homosexual marriage before dealing with the state’s economy.

Lou Brancaccio can label decent citizens who see the CRC will bankrupt this community and who see through the bias of the Columbian as “fringe” all he wants to.

Those who no longer buy the newspaper and seek fair reporting elsewhere know who is really fringe.

6 Comments to “When the Fringe Defines Who is Fringe”

  1. Precisely.

    We all know that is no lie, exaggeration or twisting of the facts Brancaccio will not utilize against those on his enemies list.

    We also know that if you carry the rag’s water: rabidly support the CRC, the rip off of taxpayer-financed downtown redevelopment and taxpayer paid hotels, silencing the voters who want a say in this waste of billions… if THOSE are your positions… then they’ll knock over a 7-11 to support you, which is why, for example, they so rabidly support Herrera.

    Brancaccio is his own worst enemy. Rumor has it that the ownership may be coming to realize that. But until they come to understand that in reality, there is only ONE definition for “even-handedness” and Brancaccio’s constant lies about his documented lack of it was not helped today.

    At all.


  2. We have to remember that Lou Brancaccio is under the thumb of The Columbians owner, Scott Campbell. If he were to write any criticism of the CRC, ICC, CREDC, or the Chamber of Commerce I have no doubt he would be shown the door. I for one wonder if he believes all that crap he puts his name on or is only trying to mollify the boss. Campbell is deeply involved in the aforementioned groups and woe to him who would speak badly of them and work at The Columbian.


  3. I think The Columbian is the most despised community newspaper in America.


  4. There are many areas the Columbian could bring up with Jim Moeller to get him to be more forthright. One for instance is his legislation authored by him last year to advance the ability of aliens in our country having the right to bear arms. We can’t process their identification to prove who they are but we must now sell them guns. In light of all the current hoopla I think that bill would blow up in his face.


  5. There is no reason that a conservative should subsidize the existence of media that consistently criticizes conservative views and/or policies. I dropped my subscriptions to the leftist “main stream” media nearly ten years ago — and I have to admit that I don’t miss reading all that garbage — and I save a few bucks too. (I get my news mostly from the Internet.)

    The left (and that includes the Columbian) does not have any compunction about smearing and denigrating those who disagree with them. Indeed, it is often the first or second option used. (Just look at the anti-Romney campaign.) Indeed, when I debated on an online forum with members of the left, arguments that started out as logical, reason and fact filled discussions often ended up with the lefty making an ad hominem attack on the character of the more conservative debaters — those of us on the right (or libertarian) side of the issue generally accepted the inevitable attack as an admission that the lefty had run out of any competent arguments to make for his/her viewpoint. This is quite frequently seen in the leftist media when the pathetic “reporters” run out of “talking points” distributed by their masters.

    When the Obamatons claim that “the tea party” or x or y group are “racists” — that’s a sure sign that they’ve run out of ideas.


  6. Let me put it this way. Lou thinks it is ok to simply just sit every single day and meat out 2 to 4 minutes of that interview via youtube. And then, he just sits there online eighteen hours a day moderating the comments section after he copy and pasted the same templated comment from the other three videos he has done.

    Now tell me? Why would I want to the subject of his video tape? Why would I want to give him ammo to direct, aim and fire at me at any time this man wants? then be able to dredge up at any time in the future, if he so desires to make Madore’s life miserable AFTER he leaves office?

    Now tell me, he has forty minutes of this video. Has posted only about ten or so minutes left. Lou can sit there and meat this out for several months if he so likes. Doubt Madore has much he can do about it now that it is recorded and he is a public figure.

    I guess David hasn’t learned the same lesson that some of the above people have learned like Don Benton and Tom Mielke. May it is going to have to take some thing serious for him to finally learn the lesson some of us have learned the hard way.

    And to KJ Hinton’s comment. May be I hope that the paper’s owners understand what some of us have known for what? Years? And Lou has been around since 1996 or so, when Scott finally became the head honcho over there. Willard might be further right that, as long as this man does not step over the owner’s or the owner’s family toes, he has a job secure for life or until he wants to retire….


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