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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How the O has failed us

Here's a perfect example of what's wrong with Portland mainstream media, particularly the moribund monopoly daily newspaper. The city and Tri-Met are caught in obvious hanky-panky with money, and the young reporter asks a few reasonably tough questions. But then he receives totally disingenuous and largely incomprehensible answers, and rather than push harder, he just prints them.

There are two and a half decent reporters left at the O: Ted Sickinger, Maxine Bernstein, and half the time Joseph Rose. The rest are deadwood and tender young shoots who do more harm than good. We all should pray that the two and a half get enough encouragement and compensation that they don't go over to the dark side, government flackdom.

UPDATE, 11:57 a.m.: Right on cue, here's another example -- a warmed-over press release from City Hall. It's so blatant. Sadly, the O is mostly brain dead.

Comments (9)

"Gustafson said TriMet originally wanted $1.5 million for the training. "We asked for some more serious audit work from TriMet," Gustafson said.

Said Greg Jones, an administrator at the Portland Transportation Bureau, "We pushed back, said this doesn't look right. It's high.""

I did a double take when I read that. When even PBOT is calling TriMet out on its wasteful ways something has gone seriously wrong. Surely there's a story that needs to be reported right there.

More from T.O. Puffnstuff:

Multnomah County, Metro win top honors in national audit competition

And more idiotic replicant "reporting" just a few minutes ago:

Girl's death prompts officials to build Southeast Portland sidewalk
April 03, 2013 at 11:32 AM

To wit:

Near the end of the news conference things went off script when an angry father who heard about the event drove across town to berate city officials for ignoring street safety at the expense of other projects.

Earlier, Hales explained the city is confronted with two conflicting priorities: street maintenance and street safety. He said 11 pedestrians have been struck and killed by cars this year, and that pedestrian safety must be first priority.

There are no inherent conflicts between "street maintenance" and "street safety."

Portland: The City That Blows Smoke Up Your Ask

Joseph Rose Did such a good job exposing the overtime abuses at Crime-Met, the O took him OFF the beat.

The TRANSPORTATION cost overruns of the streetcar (which Rose easily has easily out walked) SHOULD have been assigned to the TRANSPORTATION WRITER, ROSE.

Which leads me to wonder who called up the assignment desk at the "O" (can be read as "ZERO") and asked Rose stick to AUTO TRAFFIC JAMS?

And let us not forget with worthlessness of the Big O's so-called competitor, Pamplin's Community newspapers. Especially, the totally useless Lake Oswego Review.

Good to see praise for Maxine, who has a tough beat. Some days you could wish she were at city hall, but then you have to wonder who would then deal with the thin-skinned police.

"Earlier, Hales explained the city is confronted with two conflicting priorities: street maintenance and street safety . . ."

What to do? What to do? Why not ignore both and go for bicycle bells and streetcar whistles? Even Hales acknowledged that this is what has been happening under the Adams regime.

While I agree with you on the three reporters mentioned, I feel you left out two significant truth-tellers by not including Nick Budnick and Beth Slovic.

I'd put Budnick and Slovic in the halfway-decent category with Rose -- not up with Bernstein and Sickinger, but the occasional burst of quality. But where the heck are they? Do they even work there any more?

Pamplin has become a major disappointment. The whole "public-private partnership" with Metro makes it clear that it is not a news organization any more. What a dreadful sellout that was.

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