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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Caldwell story goes international

Readers around the world are now being drawn to this tawdry tale. We've been trying to lay off, but so many people seem fascinated by it. Why?

Comments (24)

"We've been trying to lay off, but so many people seem fascinated by it. Why?"

Sex. Power. Embarrassment.

Just the stuff of literature for hundreds of years.

I kinda chuckling here. Of course this is interesting Jack! Not relevant to anything bigger, but interesting from the human drama side of things.


Everyone is wondering if Neil G is going to take over the Bob Caldwell scholarship fund.

One more causality of defunding state education?

Strangely enough I was reading this story on Salon when I saw the story.
It's funny how moral conservatives don't see the clear link between economic inequity and cultural decline. But hey, just so long as our markets are free, right?

If there weren't family involved it would be rather like a B movie or TV script. It isn't supposed to happen in real life - prominant man has heart attack while in a compromising situation. Like chuckling at a funeral when you recall something funny the deceased person did in life, you know you aren't supposed to make jokes at a serious time, but it really is absurd. Caldwell sounds like he was a very nice person, and I hope the best for his family.

Random, I agree.

The obvious selling point is sex, plus a few colorful details to up the entertainment value for the reader. Then there's the reoccurring theme when these so-called pillars of the community turn out to have no better morals than your average person on the street - and often much worse - all while they lord it over the rest of us about how respectable they are.

As a comedy writer, I can attest that the single greatest engine in the business is hypocrisy and there's something profoundly hypocritical about the staid Oregonian offering scholarships to students while their editor is trading school books for sexual favors - if that part is true.

I would also hesitate to believe the details so quickly. One could call it prostitution but it could be any number of things. It could just be good lovin' gone bad.

Finally, these things are a natural for comedy. Sorry, but it's a fact. Somebody asked what happened to the story on the Oregonian's website, and the response was, "They pulled it." Maybe if Bob had done that, none of this would have happened.

It's the high-profile hypocrisy. This is the Newhouse paper that called child rape "an affair" but pushed religion. One could go on with examples.


Moral conservatives don't see any clear link between economic inequity and cultural decline as there is none.

While one might contend publishing the DUI is justified as a deterrent on future conduct, who is punished by publication of his "manner" of death? Probably his three daughters, wife, & elderly mother who survive along with his young object of affection, to suffer from unwarranted & unwanted notoriety. As an esteemed colleague of mine once said "Don't seem right!"

As the link mentioned, the Oregonian did not mention the DUI arrest. And that was from a crash behind a strip club. Maybe this was not the first time he strayed from his wife.

So there is the sex. And the age difference. And the hypocrisy. And the sorta-cover up of the first revision of this story (died in his car). And the previous cover up of the DUI. Many areas of interest.

I guess another angle would be the possibility of Caldwell being blackmailed, or his editorial stances being swayed, by people who knew what he was up to after hours.

Abe, Looks like this story certainly implies one? No? broke girl needs textbooks she can't afford meets a creepy guy forty years older who has other needs too?

But don't take my word for the connection there is a very old American tradition of moral conservatives who bemoaned urban inequities and corporations as leading to Moral depravity. (See for example, Williams Jennings Bryan). But this isn't exactly new. Christ clearly had views on moneychangers, camels, and eyes of a needle.

Its only in our hackneyed political tradition that our "moral conservatives" trumpet the very practices that promote inequity--which in many cases leads to desperation--which sometimes leads to some newspaper suger daddy heart giving out above some broke college student.

what he was up to after hours

Except, as it turned out, he wasn't up to it.

That blackmail angle was a fear with JFK. I read that the intelligence community was concerned. Of course, he was humping everything but the Capitol Hill Rotunda.

I don't think the editorial stance at the Oregonian is blackmail-worthy material. I guess it's possible. Maybe if you were a governor who had a past with a 14-year-old you could buy some protection...hypothetically of course.

I wouldn't go that far with it though. These stories thrive because the readers get a laugh out of them. The last one that really went global from these parts - and I'm paid to track this stuff - was that clown who urinated in the Mt. Tabor reservoir. That went to a lot of countries. India. Australia. That jerk really got us some embarrassing exposure.

Of course, Sam made it to the talk show monologues but that was before.
That was another one with plenty of screenwriting details starting with Beau Breedlove himself.

So far this is only in the Daily Mail and the Huffington Post. I'll know more when my wacky news premises arrive from the home office tomorrow. If it makes it there, you'll see it bounce around for a few days.

If it shows up in the radio stuff, I'll respond, but I will not be contributing to it on TV, unless one of the late night hosts fires first. After that, I'm sorry, but business is business.

There was a time when I was so tired of Oregon getting slammed for Tonya and Packwood..(there's that Bob name again)...that I deliberately made every Oregon joke about Big Foot. It worked. I sold a few. But that was then, and I can no longer afford to be that sentimental.

It's a cliched example of a member of the 1% (literally) screwing a member of the 99% (but convincing himself that he's helping her). Then it takes a twist and ends up playing out like a modern day morality play.

Power, privilege and double standards. Notice how his paramour could have been charged but got off on a technicality (he died before he paid her)?

Its like a train wreck - I don't want to look but I can't help myself.

Darn it, where are my manners? I forgot to acknowledge one other sex story that got some play for good old Portland recently.
Remember the couple in the car last month? She was naked with duct tape on her mouth and they were playing a sex game where he kidnaps her? I think it was a Valentine's Day thing and somebody called the cops.
That made it to at least 75 countries. Sorry to overlook you, kids. Now get dressed and knock it off.

"Its like a train wreck - I don't want to look but I can't help myself."

It's the fifth most commented story - on the San Francisco Chronicle web page.

Um...Does anybody else see the irony of the bOregonian editorial stance on 'Doonesbury' and the situation with their OpEd editor?

Or, is that just me?

"Sex sells." I don't think the hypocrisy belongs to the late Mr. Caldwell; it belongs to all the rest of us.

What godfry said!

"The evil men do lives after them"... I hate this story. Not for him, or the O, but for its impact on his family. The last thing they need is to have shame piled on top of the grief of their loss. They are the powerless ones here.

His wife says that Bob would have understood the need to report the story.

Personally, I feel badly for the surviving members of his family; death is hard enough to deal with, without the dressing.

Given the Zero's history of coverups involving sex, however, the attention is understandable.

As a popular sticker once read, "If it matters to Oregonians, it's in The Washington Post

I have to admit that it's actually refreshing to see a paper taking the initiative to admit something like this, rather than letting Willamette Week run with it and make everyone wonder what other coverups are going on. The problem, though, is that compared to truly corrupt publications, the guys at the O are pishers.

It's not enough just to hide embarrassing stories that belong on the front page back in the obituaries, for instance, so Editorial can say "Hey, we regretted our error." A really good response to a story like this is to print a lot of fake letters to the editor, written by staffers, asking "why are we wasting time on this?" and claiming a sudden demand for "real news". Then, if anybody dares point out the hypocrisy of how this should be quiet if it's the editor of the publication but not if it's anybody else, flood any commentary with ad hominem attacks from the editor's and publisher's friends, as well as any sycophants desperately hoping to get jobs at said publication. See? You can learn something from Dallas after all.


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