Another note from Chris Anderson
When we get two personal e-mail messages in as many days from the publisher of the O -- well, that's something to blog about. In the latest, he responds to our speculation that he wanted to have the paper endorse Romney over Obama but was ordered not to do it by the corporate brass back in New Jersey:
Thanks for posting my note.
I don't propose to engage in conversation every time you refer to The Oregonian. I'm not a regular reader of your blog, for better or for worse. Maybe I should be!
Having said that, I do want to respond to your provocation about The Oregonian's foregoing an endorsement in the presidential race. As any member of the editorial board who was there will tell you, I met with the group six months ago to discuss whether we would endorse Mitt Romney in the Washington Republican caucuses. (I don't know exactly who proposed that idea; I simply heard from Bob Caldwell that it was on the table for discussion.) That's when I told the group that not only was I opposed to endorsing Romney but also that I didn't think we should bother to endorse anyone in the fall.
My point of view, as I have expressed to anyone who wants to pay attention, is that I want our editorial and commentary content to be mostly local. We can have an influence on local matters to a far greater extent than on national issues. As I said to one of our associate editors, Supreme Court justices don't get up in the morning and check The Oregonian to see how they should rule. Similarly, Oregon voters aren't waiting for a proclamation from us to determine their choice for president. On the other hand, we might be able to convince Oregonians to vote a certain way based on our knowledge of the candidates, the issues and what we think might be best for the future of our state.
I have never discussed the editorial policy of The Oregonian with our owners. They have never, directly or indirectly, given any direction with respect to any aspect of our news or opinion/commentary content. An examination of the editorial positions of the various Advance newspapers will support this statement. There is no "Advance editorial position." Unlike my previous employer, where the owners dictated the editorial and commentary philosophy of all the company's newspapers, Advance's owners believe that editorial policies are best determined locally. Regardless of how people feel about our positions, at least they should know that the decisions are Made in Oregon.
N. Christian Anderson III
President & Publisher
1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201
Not only does he respond to our speculation, but he reveals a bit of a new overall track for the O. Interesting stuff, and we're grateful to have it.