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Wednesday, December 6, 2006

M-SS update 1.3

Multiple-Standard Syndrome moves down the masthead
Were Newhouse brothers admitted to OHSU?

The Oregonian's Managing Editors Stephen Engleberg and Jack Hart have been removed from office and sequestered at OHSU.

Issue spokesperson for The Oregonian Andris Antoniskis, M.D., said there was little to say. However, he confirmed that the pair are the latest couplet of editors to be diagnosed with a common corporate disorder. Antoniskis disputed the diagnosis Multiple-Standard Syndrome, preferring to call it "hypocrisy at best, Double Standard at worst." He noted that forensic biologists brought in from out-of-state last month are beginning to focus like a laser and will soon determine the root cause and a definitive diagnosis.

In the last month, Oregon's anti-competitive statewide monopoly newspaper has been struck by a management crisis unlike any in the publication's 156 year lifetime. The entire senior editorial and management staff has now been removed from 1320 SW Broadway, except for Publisher Fred A. Stickel and one remaining Managing Editor, Therese Bottomly, who is mostly concerned with style.

Stickel, a transplant from New Jersey who relocated to Portland to boost profits after local owners sold out to the controversial Newhouse chain in 1950, was said to be traveling and unavailable for comment. Bottomly did not respond to email and phone requests for an interview.

Last week, four editors from The Oregonian previously diagnosed with M-SS were injected with human stem cells in a daring, experimental, first-ever surgery of its kind. An OHSU insider, speaking only on the condition of anonymity, would not comment on the status of any of the patients, and would not indicate whether Engleberg or Hart were scheduled for the surgery. The source also refused to confirm the rumor swirling around Pill Hill that the Newhouse brothers had been airlifted from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN to OHSU for the experimental surgery.

But according to a spokesperson for PHARTS, the new Pill Hill Aerial Rapid Transit System, two heavily-guarded, unidentified out-of-state visitors appearing to be in their late 70s arrived at Hillsboro airport by private jet late last week and were delivered by stretch limousine to the SoWhat district at the base of the new Tram.

There, they were given golden keys to the City and honorary certificates as the first official PHARTS passengers in a hush-hush private ceremony attended by City, County, Metro, State, and Federal elected officials and government union leaders, as well as former Mayor Vera Katz.

The two unnamed visitors became the first passengers to take the Tram ride up the hill, after its inaugural debugging last week, and be admitted into OHSU. Aerial photographs obtained by The Oregonion show evidence of heightened security apparatus, including fashion photographers and ad salesmen, in strategic defensive deployment around OHSU.

The editors' removal from office comes at an inconvenient time for The Oregonian.

The PERS crisis has blown the cover off of what now appears to be long-simmering labor unrest. Talks had been slated with Engleberg as a key participant, but his removal from office casts a shadow on potential progress or a quick resolution to the dispute.

Late last week The Oregonian began to take heat from environmental critics about its role as one of the state's leading corporate polluters, contributing to the spread of global warming and benzene. Hart, who normally controls the manufacturing and distribution side of the business, is said to be responsible for environmental compliance, but no-one knows who is in charge now.

A source deep inside the labor coalition Our Oregon, speaking only on the condition of anonymity, urged Oregonians to consider as Holiday presents - Richard H. Meeker's: "Newspaperman", Thomas Maier's: "Newhouse", or Carol Felsenthal's "Citizen Newhouse" - in order to gain a better understanding of the labor-management practices and corporate history of the Newhouse family business and The Oregonian. For the connoisseur, the source recommends John Lent's 1967 classic "Newhouse, Newspapers, Nuisances." Readers were invited by the source to shop at Powell's Books since its workers are represented by the International Longshoremen's Union.

The source said that folks need to become better organized to get behind the infamous historic secrecy of the Newhouses, whose privately-held newspaper, magazine and cable empire is said to be worth at least $20 billion, and who rarely speak to the press. According to the source, because of their wealth and power, the Newhouses' controversial business practices and tax evasion scams have always been treated with kid gloves by politicians, media, mobsters, judges and state and federal government authorities.

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