Media Bias, Hypocrisy and Mental Evaluations

by lewwaters

MentalI can’t help but begin feeling a little sorry for Ed Barnes, the grumpy former union thug/transportation advisory commissioner and outspoken critic seen before nearly every County Commission, RTC, C-Tran Board of Directors meeting and even before the Vancouver City Council, complaining about the naming of Don Benton to head the County Department of the Environment by Commissioners Madore & Mielke.

By my count, he’s complained close to 50 times now before the various groups, repeating himself, wagging his finger, issuing threats, denigrating all who see things differently and even declaring that neither Senator Benton or Senator Rivers should speak about the Bridge issue since neither are engineers, forgetting apparently that neither is he.

But his latest rant before the County Commission, January 28, 2014 is really a stretch, even for him.

Somehow he manages to link a tragic event in his family from 35 years ago, when his older brother shot and killed his wife then himself and how he and his family missed the early signs from back then as an example of a mental disorder afflicting Don Benton.

He even went on to state that he feels Benton, all of the Commissioners and even all of the appointed executives also undergo such a mental evaluation.

What poor Ed forgets is that if there are to be mental evaluations performed, maybe they should either begin with or include those who are obsessively focused on Den Benton, such as many from the Lazy C; Lou Brancaccio, Stephanie Rice and Scott Campbell to name a few. Also who should be included would be washed up ex-mayor Royce Pollard who also appears obsessed with this Benton appointment as well as Ed himself since such obsessive behavior as he has displayed would fit into what many of us see as mentally unstable.

But, no one at the Lazy C would dare suggest to Ed that he is getting a bit carried away when they themselves are just as carried away, having published over 60 articles directly and indirectly critical of the Benton nomination, even going so far as to praise behavior before the County Commission that they were condemning just a couple years ago before City Council when Mayor Leavitt was contemplating cutting off the microphone of citizens speaking against the CRC in citizen comments.

It was back in February 2011 when Leavitt, also known as ‘the Liar’ announced his intent to cut off the microphone and CVTV coverage of those speaking repeatedly before city council against the CRC light rail project. The Lazy C even went so far as to post photographs of the “offenders” of free speech in the paper and gave credence to the trumped up claim of they were creating “an intimidating atmosphere and a lack of true engagement with the city council.”

Listed at the top of the list was Josephine Wentzel, credited with exercising free speech before a government body some 13 times, far less than the in excess of 40 times Ed Barnes has spoken critically.

A careful review of meetings will show that there was no hostile environment created by CRC opponents that include now County Commissioner David Madore and that they were always respectful and measured, far different than the vitriolic assertions we have heard from both Barnes and Pollard.

It should also be noted that not one of County Commissioners has even hinted about any action to curtail the comments, Steve Stuart even seen snickering and smiling from time to time as they are stated, especially last year after the announcement of Benton being hired, the Lazy C actually posting how to contact the County Commission to express outrage and even when to appear before the County Commission to speak out against it.

Far different than we saw back in 2011 when the Lazy C ran John Laird’s column, With freedom comes responsibility where he said,

“The profusion of eye-rolling at local meetings is not totally the fault of the rollers. Such a reaction is hard to stifle when everyone knows what the next speaker will say before he or she begins.”

Expressing his displeasure when opponents of the CRC exercising their free speech, Laird continued,

“First, when free speech is not exercised responsibly (by citizens or by politicians, who also are capable of misusing the public forum), fewer people choose to participate in public meetings. Who could blame them? If you’re worried about getting gaveled down, or having to wait on speakers who make the same point for the 17th time and can’t condense their point into three minutes, why bother showing up?”

“Second, when public meetings are allowed to become oratorical free-for-alls, fewer people run for public office. And who could blame them as well? Instead of serving the community, they wind up listening only to a select few. And then, all we have left are the same politicians and the same outspoken dozen. Is that the best we can do, as stewards of a full democracy?”

How odd that Ed Barnes, Royce Pollard and any of the rest who repeatedly appear to condemn Benton, Madore and Mielke are exempted from such criticism by the very same newspaper.

No, instead we saw the editor, ‘Lefty’ Lou Brancaccio, upon hearing that Benton threatened Barnes with a lawsuit for slander (maybe not the wisest of moves) and ignoring that it was Barnes threatening his own lawsuits prior to that, fired up his own “I am Ed Barnes!” schtick.

This from the same Lefty Lou that previously declared in print,

“Essentially, we try not to be anybody’s friend or anybody’s enemy.”

I think we can put that canard to rest now.

And so it goes with no end in sight. The bias coming out of the Lazy C is thick enough to cut with a knife as they will no doubt continue praising such obsessive actions of Barnes, Pollard and the rest, forgetting how they weren’t so supportive of free speech when it was opponents of the CRC trying to inject some sanity into the discussion.

For Ed I can only recommend that he follow his own advice and seek help for his obsession with Don Benton and thinking he will change any minds of the growing public opposition to the light rail he supports by threatening to tell people to buy gas in Portland.

For washed up ex-mayor Pollard, also a US Army retiree, it’s time to play that old soldier thing and just fade away, you’re just not that relevant any more.

For the Lazy C, the only cure left now is for someone to padlock the front door and allow a real newspaper to come into Southwest Washington, one that understands what objectivity means.

10 Comments to “Media Bias, Hypocrisy and Mental Evaluations”

  1. Oddly, I can totally understand why a sibling of Ed Barnes might take that way out.

  2. Last week, I said for Pollard, Barnes and Jensen to fade away like an old soldier.

  3. Yesterday as Micheline and I sat at the hearing she said that she was starting to feel like what she was about to say was off topic and I said… just wait he is still talking and you’ll be fine. Seconds later he started in on his mental health rant and Micheline looked at me laughing and said “You are so right why do I question this”. I am feeling sorry for him too. He just can’t get passed it.

  4. Sorry KJ, it is my opinion that your comment regarding a sibling of Ed Barnes was totally uncool and uncalled for. I don’t care WHO the person is or who they are affiliated with. There’s no understanding ANYTIME someone takes a life whether it be his own or his family members or even someone else.

    Not cool, KJ…not cool.

  5. I am wondering if Ed Barnes and all who claim to be Ed Barnes are willing to pay for the extra funding in order to incorporate a mental health evaluation as a prerogative for any person seeking employment in a government office. Seems a lot more people are “going postal” these days. I am curious…how would Mr. Barnes feel about mental health evaluations on all members of unions as well??? Or how about a mental health evaluation on Mr. Barnes or anybody who stands up and speaks at these meetings??? Or even a mental health evaluation just to get a job at a local burger joint???

    Okay…I’m getting carried away, here.

    It’s an invasion of privacy as far as I’m concerned. How much more social democracy do we have to endure before we no longer recognize our Free Republic?

  6. For all the Ed Barneses out there….

    A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
    And no one can talk to a horse of course
    That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed.

    Go right to the source and ask the horse
    He’ll give you the answer that you’ll endorse.
    He’s always on a steady course.
    Talk to Mr. Ed.

    People yakkity yak a streak and waste your time of day
    But Mister Ed will never speak unless he has something to say.

    A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
    And this one’ll talk ’til his voice is hoarse.
    You never heard of a talking horse?

    Well listen to this.

    I am Mister Ed.


  7. Dang it, Craig…now I’ll have that song on my mind all afternoon!!!


  8. Hmmmm, maybe I should have used a photo of Mr. Ed 😉

  9. Yeah- a pix of the south end of a north traveling horse would be appropriate!

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