This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 7, 2004 11:05 PM. The previous post in this blog was Hold still, for Pete's sake!. The next post in this blog is Busted. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, May 7, 2004

Vocabulary check

A 35-year-old mayor repeatedly screwing a 14-year-old babysitter is not an "affair."

A monopoly newspaper with old-boy-network ties calling it that is not "journalism."

Comments (8)

It's not just the Oregonian, Jack. It is every news outlet across the NW right now.

Actually, at least one (and it might have been two, but I'm tired and wasn't keeping track) of the late-night newscasts here in Portland got into this exact point.

God, no kidding. I thought the same thing. They seemed to be taking a "tsk, tsk, he's an unfaithful husband" route, as opposed to the more appropriate "he's a child molester" route that I would have taken. This "affair" was a FELONY. If you know some fourteen-year-old girls, you know that they do not resemble adult women. They are KIDS. I recall having the same conversation with someone one time when a twelve- or thirteen-year-old girl was kidnapped by an adult man, and the press around here insisted on explaining that she went of her own free will, and he was her "boyfriend." Idiots.

Guys who wait until they think there are no more potential criminal ramifications to their behavior before coming clean and then claim that they've only been hiding the truth for so long because they were so sad for their families and didn't want to hurt their friends? Do not impress me.

And yes, the Oregonian fell down, and fell down badly.

Neil's behavior is despicable.

However, I am equally outraged that it took 20 years for this story to break. From what I've read, this story could have come out 15 years ago.

It seems tome, nothing significant has changed, in order to bring this story to light. Neil started to take the wrong political turn and WW busted him for it. I'm glad they turned him in, but I am not impressed that WW waited 20 years to do it.

Isn't that the same crime Michael Jackson is accused of? I wouldn't call it an "affair".

No, Nate. Jackson is accused of being a homosexual pedophile. Neil Goldschmidt is an admitted heterosexual pedophile. I guess they must be different.

I'm a former Portland resident, so I don't read the Oregonian as often as I used to, but I had the same reaction to the use of the word "affair," so I wrote the authors of the article. Here was Harry Esteve's response:

"Thanks for the note. You may not have seen follow-up coverage, but we changed our vocabulary significantly on describing the sexual contact
between Goldschmidt and the girl. Also, in our defense, our lead paragraph in most editions does not use the word 'affair,' although it is used subsequently. The headline was unfortunate.
--Harry Esteve"

Yes, unfortunate.

And from Gail Hill:

"You're right. Subsequent articles have said that Goldschmidt had sex with a teenager. And that it was statutory rape. 'Affair' was the term
Goldschmidt used, and we should have made that more clear."

The word "affair" was used eleven times in the May 7th article (as well as once in the headline), and none of those were quotes from Goldschmidt.

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