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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Willy Week hit piece targets BlueOregon

The guys at Willamette Week, whose news coverage often seems to us to have an ulterior motive, today rip into the well known "progressive" blog BlueOregon, accusing it of being biased in favor of the paying clients of its editor, political consultant Kari Chisholm. WW ace Nigel Jaquiss takes exception to the blog's favorable coverage of congressional candidate Brad Avakian, at the expense of his rival, Suzanne Bonamici.

Bonamici has used Chisholm in the past, but for her congressional race she's reportedly hired "Winning" Mark Wiener, the established heavy hitter among political gurus in town. It would not be surprising if Wiener gave Jaquiss the "story idea."

There's also a little jab at the end of the article about BlueOregon getting less traffic than this blog. What relevance that has to the favoritism charge, we don't know. But for the record, we do get more traffic these days -- including during election season. Our readership outpaced BlueOregon's every month for the last 12, including last October and November.

Anyway, if it's true that in politics every knock is a boost, it should be a nice day for Chisholm, whose frequent conflict-of-interest disclaimers have become a comedy staple in the Portland blogosphere.

Comments (27)

Any time Willy Week strays from its usual "Isn't the editor's nose a little prettier than it was last week?" onanisms, you can guarantee that there's an ulterior motive. Of course, the crew could be taking a cue from the Oregonian: suck up to the right politicians, and get a cushy publicist job when the paper finally craters.

What I find amusing about BlueOregon is their total absense in addressing anything ever critcized here by the full spectrum of folks.

Instead Kari and company align with every corrupted boondoggle and cockamamie policy making them the puppets of Portland's Haliburtons and lunatics.

Their omission of so many discussions makes them the most obvious bias machine in state.

I love Steve Novick saying, "BlueOregon looks like it’s supposed to be independent."
You mean some things on the Internet are misleading? Thanks.
That explains so much.

Whether it matters to you or not, you enjoy a measure of popularity amongst independents, Libertarians and Libertarian-like people, and even some conservatives. I don't think Blue Oregon can make that claim. That's where you beat them. Broader appeal. Because whether you like it or not, you have a streak of Libertarianism in you, Jack.

No wonder traffic is down.

If you can't write about scandals involving Democrats, you really don't have much to write about.

Curiously, around the same time BlueOregon moved to Facebook logins for comments, the number of posts on the blog dropped to about one a day.

If you cut out Carla Axtman's Republicans-Are-Douchebags rants, then you're down to about 2-3 posts a week.

I don't understand why people flock to read points of view with which they agree, and stay away from those with which they disagree. If you won't open your mind, at least know your enemy.

It's a quality thing. I disagree with you on much, but I read you. And some others. But I stay away from mindless invective, and that also includes from sources I might otherwise agree with.

Most people are either not smart enough or comfortable enough to want to know the enemy. I am on the email list of one of the worst right wing email lists (by my standards) (that is not of full on Aryan Nation quality) in the US because I do want to know what is up with them. I have to try not to gag when I read that garbage but it is enlightening.

As for BlueOregon, it is so definitely a mouthpiece, that only the faithful would read it.

But even a lot of your readers won't go outside their comfort zones. E.g. can any of us see Gaye attending a service in an Isalmic Temple or just talking to a local Moslem leader?

And most people don't have the ability to agree to disagree just in general. I have some bottom lines, but I can be friends with folks who don't share my views. When I was in college many of my friends utterly hated other of my friends because of the diverse set of viewpoints.

count me as a dedicated conservative Bojack reader/commenter.

I get more timely information on local politics here than anyplace else, generally with a more detailed explanation of the subplot/backstory.

What "Mister Tee" said.

No question about it. When it comes to local politics, you da man.

Most of my friends are progressive. I'm definitely not. I read Bojack because he tells it straight and his syntax, semantics and grammar are superior to the other stuff published in Portland.

I always hoped that site would have been a whole lot sexier with a name like Blue Oregon.

Can't say I get turned on by obsessive party loyalty to a dysfunctional system.

I imagine Kari muttering to himself, "They want an endorsement of Bonamici, here's their f-cking article on Bonamici."

I thought Jeff Smith was a Blue Oregon guy...if so, why would WW do a hit piece on it after fluffing him for so many weeks?

I agree with Jack, which is why I went to Lars Larson's (this area's version of Rush Limbaugh) facebook page. It actually came up as a link. After scrolling down his ramblings to his devoted followers, I found his Sunday posts about redneck hunting, my words not his. I tried to follow it, but I can't. There, C.W. Jensen, former Captain with the Portland Police Bureau, and spokesperson at large, commented that 'meat is murder', to which Larson liked, then C.W. Jensen: 'hahaahaha. once you have killed a human, everything else is easy'. Then there is some religious backtracking by Lars, and I just can't figure it out. Very curious by someone I would say likes to incite people.

I forgot to add that Lars Larson also liked, the thumbs up on the facebook page C.W. Jensen's second post of hahaahaha. once you have killed a human, everything else is easy. Disturbing.

Can't say I get turned on by obsessive party loyalty to a dysfunctional system.

Do blue oregon folks have rose colored glasses on?

Just don't suggest that the authors over at BO act with more transparency with regard to their article motivations. I drew the wrath of Ms. Carla for that one.

Consider myself a conservative. But I find Willamette Week one of the best works of journalism this state has to offer. Jack's Blog is great also. But The Big O, and many of Pamplin's local cheat sheets are not worth lining the bird cage.

There's one reason Willamette Week will always get props from me: John Callahan.

I miss by buddy. Talking to him on the phone was an exceptional treat, as was meeting his family at the service.

Willamette Week will always deserve respect for putting up with the occasional outburst for running his stuff.

I winged a speech at the theater in the Northwest where they had the public memorial, and I've never done that before, but I had to. John Callahan was one of the great humorists ever.

As I said that night, "He was our Lenny Bruce." The man got a fan letter from Richard Pryor. Deal with that.

This isn't really news. Anyone who reads that site much will notice that Kari Chisholm uses it to promote his candidate clients. I think that's okay, as long as it's disclosed, which it always is. Nobody (with any sense) goes to BlueOregon for a comprehensive unbiased look at Oregon politics.

Is the impression on Blue Oregon then that the D candidates do no wrong?
It is one thing for Kari Chisholm to disclose and not be unduly negative towards his clients. What I do not understand are the others who comment, surely they must have something to say about critical issues and try to hold the D's accountable for actions or lack of actions? Guess those old days of a Democratic platform that meant something are no longer. I also tire of diehard D's excusing the current D's now by prefacing that the R's are worse.

Nobody (with any sense) goes to BlueOregon for a comprehensive unbiased look at Oregon politics.

Good lord, I should hope not.

It is a blog. It is therefore NOT unbiased.

It is a blog run by volunteers. It is therefore not comprehensive.

Responsible media consumers should be reading multiple sources.

What I do not understand are the others who comment, surely they must have something to say about critical issues and try to hold the D's accountable for actions or lack of actions?

Well, if you read our comments, you'll find that there's quite a lot of diversity of opinion - and quite a bit of arguing.

Kari Chisholm,
We have so many critical issues in our city and admit I don't read Blue Oregon much anymore, but when I did, I just didn't see those issues discussed. For example, water rates increasing 85% in five years, has there been a discussion about something so vital to our community? Has there been a discussion about Hayden Island or other environmental matters? Has there been discussion about the cost of light rail, the urban renewal areas?

Are the people engaged at Blue Oregon happy with the Democratic Congress?
At this point, I am disappointed with Congress period, and that includes the D's and the R's.

Yeah Lucsadvo, could we imagine you hanging out with some anti-gay bible/Koran thumpers, just to get out of your comfort zone?

I go out of my comfort zone plenty enough in this town, just trying to convey my buyer's remorse about our sham of a "president", or talk about the evils of public employee unions, or why Islam is what it is, not socially acceptable.

I was at my sister's yesterday. She still keeps the NYT headline with Obama's picture announcing his election on her coffee table. She shares a house with our old friend/adopted family member from West Africa; the three of us were students together and shared an apartment in college. The dinner conversation, when it comes around to politics, which it always does, gets very, very spirited. Thankfully my sister is an atheist, so we have some very solid common political ground. (Not that I am a committed atheist like she is. I take great solace in clinging to the fence).

By the way Lucs, you can't just "attend a service" at a local mainstream mosque. You have to convert, and then do a lot of ducking and squawking, to attend a service. Unless you are talking about the Ahmaddi Rizwan mosque, which I have been meaning to visit for some time. Those folks are a very welcoming, liberal, pleasant group. They consider themselves Muslims and hold themselves out as such. Problem is, they are not viewed as Muslims by the mainstream, and are regularly murdered and bombed in their country of origin. Pakistan passed a law in 1974 declaring them "non-muslims". Pakistan has had one Nobel prizewinner; the epitaph on his tomb initially read "First Muslim Nobel Laureate" but, because he was Ahmadi, the word "Muslim" was later erased on the orders of a local magistrate, leaving it simply as "First Nobel Laureate".

Yep, quite a time we live in.

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