Thoughts on the Lazy C’s New Editorial Page Editor

by lewwaters
Greg Jayne

Greg Jayne

Today, Sunday August 4, 2013, not a date that will live in infamy, but a day that marks a big change down at the local newspaper of record, the Columbian that I refer to as the Lazy C for their past efforts at ignoring much to promote a primarily leftist agenda, as we see the initial editorial of Greg Jayne as the newly installed Editorial Page Editor.

Jayne comes from the Sports pages of the Lazy C and since I don’t follow much about sports, I’ll take others words of how good he was covering sports. All I have heard was good concerning that.

But, he has left those days behind and assumed the position held for many years by the acerbic, acid penned John Laird, noted for his vitriolic attacks against citizens the owner of the paper would have liked to buy the paper or subscribe.

Greg Jayne would do well not to follow Laird’s example of frequently labeling those that hold a different view in such a denigrating manner, as did Laird.

I am pleased to read in his inaugural editorial, Spurring community engagement still name of the game:

“I always will be willing to listen to you” and “I never will be beholden to one particular position.”

Those two points alone have been sorely lacking for far too many years when it to came to political points of view with the Lazy C, his predecessor known for bullying those who dared disagree with the stated position of the paper.

But he is wrong in assuming the Columbia River Crossing light rail project is dead. It is merely in a coma for now, proponents still working feverishly in the background to breathe new life into it and still force Portland’s financially troubled light rail on us, against our wishes.

Greg mentions,

“I recently ran into an old friend who mentioned that she was appalled at citizens’ lack of engagement with — and knowledge of — what is going on in their communities. Smart, educated people, she said, were unaware of actions taken by the county commissioners or the city council, things that impacted the daily lives of residents.”

While he correctly states, “That certainly is not unique to Clark County; it is an epidemic throughout this country,” he need look no further than his own chosen profession for any lack in citizens’ awareness of what is going on.

After all, who has been charged with keeping citizens’ “informed?”

That’s right, he and his fellow “journalists” that have for far too long decided what the public is entitled to know dependent upon their own personal views, that are all too often biased towards the left side of politics, evidenced nationally by the lack of objective checking into the qualifications of Barack Obama while diligently seeking to turn over every speck of dust imaginable that could be found on his opponents Vice-Presidential selection in 2008, Sarah Palin.

Add his own employer to that count.

Locally, since its inception, the Lazy C has supported the CRC, the very subject he said “was always there, always available, always ready to provide a commentary that was certain to rankle somebody on one side of the debate or the other.”

Rarely did the Lazy C report objectively on the mounting questions, the overstated benefits claimed, the shady dealings involved to force the light rail voters rejected before on the community, even the lies told by now Mayor Tim Leavitt to wrangle his way into the Mayor’s seat. No, the Lazy C made bare mention and when they did, more often than not it was to demean citizens and officials with the audacity to speak out, Jayne’s predecessor labeling all who disagreed “Hounds of Whinerville,” “Ankle Biters,” “Cockroaches,” “Banana (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything),” “Political Piranhas” and more.

That is no way to “Spur community engagement.”

It is to shut up the opposition.

I am cautiously optimistic to read Greg Jayne saying,

“I do have visions of helping the Columbian to fight the good fight of informing the public. If the Clark County commissioners are afflicted by cronyism or if a mayoral candidate disingenuously runs on a platform of preventing tolls on a new bridge, we will call them on it.”

I say “cautiously optimistic” as looking back on Editor Lou Brancaccio’s Saturday Press Talk: Changes at The Columbian we read,

“I still don’t think everyone in the public understands editorials or opinion pieces. Although John wrote virtually all of our editorials, those unsigned editorials — or opinion pieces — were not necessarily John’s opinions. They were the editorial board’s opinions. And John was only one-fifth of the editorial board.”

“So, yes, John sometimes wrote editorials he didn’t agree with.”

“By the way, I should also tell you editorials are not necessarily my opinion, either. I’ve personally disagreed with more than a few editorials.”

Sorry, but if you pen an “opinion piece” and assign your name to it, you own it, it’s yours.

This blog and others like it are our opinions, nobody else’s. We that write blogs own the words and are accountable for them. We own up to them and do not cower from what we write when someone disagrees. We do not fall back on the cowardly words Brancaccio wrote above.

When I see the name and photo of a person affixed to an editorial, it is they alone who I hold responsible, no one else.

Are we now to think that Laird’s choice of “Hounds of Whinerville,” “Ankle Biters,” “Cockroaches,” “Banana (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything),” “Political Piranhas” and more wasn’t necessarily his opinion, but that of the entire editorial board?

If that is how the editorial board of the Lazy C views citizens in Clark County who saw through the smoke screen of the CRC and worked diligently to counter the papers apparent agenda, Jayne’s claims of “I always will be willing to listen to you” and “I never will be beholden to one particular position” are hollow.

Back in June 2012, I was contacted by a prominent firm in Lake Oswego, Oregon that was preparing a pitch to, an idea to build the site into a more newsworthy venue. I was asked if I was willing to come on board to write opinions as I do with this blog.

I said I would be more than willing to write opinion pieces for, provided I had complete freedom to express my opinions as I do on this blog, stating that is what makes this free blog site work, my expressive freedom. I also said I wanted my blog to remain separate.

The firm agreed and I never heard another word, leaving me believing that did not like the idea of freely writing opinion pieces as I do here.

I don’t know whether that is the case or not, but that is how I view it. Retaining my freedom to express myself is more important than any minimal sum of pay we discussed.

Greg Jayne indicates a similar view in his inaugural editorial to that freedom. He tells us, “I will ensure that the Opinion page continues to reflect a wide range of thoughts and a wide range of backgrounds…”

That alone would be a welcome change down at the Lazy C, a more objective view of local and national politics.

Whether or not it will actually happen remains to be seen.

For now, I welcome Greg to the fray with hopes he can make the changes he mentions.

12 Comments to “Thoughts on the Lazy C’s New Editorial Page Editor”

  1. I simply hope that not every editorial will have a sport oriented analogy. I can’t hope for open honest reporting since this man is not a reporter and history recently has proven he works for a paper which doesn’t really report the news in even the columns which should be news articles… they report news with a slant leaving out important connectors for the people to have real ability to follow the dots.

  2. He’s got the job and his goals stated are recorded

    And rest assured, me and others are here to hold his feet to the fire as well

  3. About 10 or 12 years ago in a rare show of transparency The Columbian decided that their readers would like to see the authors of editorial comment. This went on for about a year and then Lou decided that there was safety in anonymity and did away with signed editorials with the explanation that editorial comment was the joint opinion by the entire staff. Try getting an unsigned letter published even though it may be the joint opinion of one’s entire family.

  4. Sounds like the usual platitudes from a new editor. I wouldn’t expect any real changes at the Columbian, as the bias is built in from top to bottom. The problem with almost all of the big media is that the staff reflects near zero political/philosophical diversity (though most go through the motions of having a politically correct distribution of various genders, races, and national origins). When there is no political/philosophical diversity, it becomes an echo chamber where each individual staffer thinks they’re advocating a “middle of the road” opinion.

    I’m reminded of remarks made by my first wife many years ago. She was certain that McGovern would put Nixon out of office. She was employed as a clerk in the County Welfare Office — and “all her co-workers agreed with her.” Strangely, none of my co-workers held that opinion — and, of course, Nixon won re-election.) This is a classic example of the echo-chamber effect.

    What is sad, is the reflection that this new editorial page editor makes about people unaware or not paying attention to actions taken by [various politicians] that have impact on our daily lives… but he fails to make any comment about the fact that politicians of any sort ought not be “taking actions that have impact on our daily lives”… The totality of government does far to much and passes far too many laws, rules, regulations that attempt to coerce us into behaviors that they (the politicians and pressure groups) find desirable. The role of politicians ought to be to protect the liberty of the citizens, so that they may pursue happiness as each sees fit.

    All the Columbian has done is to rearrange the deck chairs on their particular Titanic.

  5. at The columbian just the national media politics are always portrayed as in a sports analogy:ie: – “win at any cost – ” the left sox vs. the right sox – it’s just how the sonsabitches play the game and have turned this nation into the giant mess that it has become

  6. should read:”the columbian, just like the national media”

  7. it’s just a “big ball game” to the Left

  8. Some great sports writer have gone on to be great editorial page editors and have done a fine job of editorializing. Ronald Reagan learned the craft of communications as an announcer and took the habits formed then when later he wrote a weekly column which researched and explored the issues that made the bulk of the Reagan philosophy, his Governorship and his presidency possible. So there is hope. Why look at that radio talk show host good old, what’s his name, who done ditto’d the data stream Reagan began.
    While I will not hold my breath due to the publisher and owner of record, there is always hope.

  9. Greg may have good intentions but he still works for “the Snake,” Lou Brancaccio, and for the same publisher who recently got bailed out of bankruptcy by who knows who. Andrea Damewood showed us that mere reporters must leave the Lazy C if they want to practice the Fourth Estate idealism that drew them to the profession in the first place.

  10. She certainly has not been the same reporter that she was working for them. Her parting article was a blast against me so I did not expect to see this change in her.

  11. This Bozo still claims that people cancel their subscriptions “because the paper is too conservative”I suppose that there are maybe one or two morons that might try to get away with that Bullshit.but I defy any Leftist sonuvabitch to try to prove that assertion to anyone’s, this guy looks more like the same old, same old Bullshit.

  12. “Black is really white and white is really Black” typical Leftist Pukes

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