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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Home cooking can't hide it

Newhouse monopoly yields ethics, hypocrisy woes
Rowe, editor of The Oregonian, draws attention to Oregon

Oregon's unique, quirky journalism has gone global ... but the timing couldn't be worse. On the eve of the Pulitizer prize awards, The Oregonian and its billionaire owner Si Newhouse - with three nominations - wish they weren't getting the extra attention right now.

First, was the Tom Hallman bribery scandal, with a union pension fraud criminal right out of central casting buying off a Pulitzer prize-winning reporter, and the resulting whitewash.

Now, it's Editor Sandra Mims Rowe's carefully-worded "new directions memo" - deconstructed earlier this week by Jack Shafer in Slate/The Washington Post. Shafer's blistering critique has circled the internet and even leads the United Kingdom's Sports Journalists Association site today under the headline "Managementspeak and the unreadable memo."

Oregon's statewide monopoly daily, the state's dominant news organ, has engendered a nearly-universal ROFLMFAO response in the journalism community. Alone in rushing to Rowe's defense is the Portland-based, self-styled "progressive" blog BlueOregon.com:

"Normally, we ridicule media companies that indulge in corporatese because it signals a move away from serious reporting - as if the jargon can conceal the reality. Rowe's email, to the contrary, is a call for more and better reporting. The language of the memo may be regrettable. The message isn't."
However, BlueOregon principals and The Oregonian have long failed to disclose that they are co-investors in the unlicensed political campaign venture known as Our Oregon.

Led by the most powerful government unions in the state - AFSCME State Council 75, the Oregon Education Association, and SEIU Local 503 - Our Oregon is known as the 800-lb. gorilla of Oregon politics.

In a leading-edge, public-private application of highly successful "private equity" investment techniques, the political consortium is spearheading a statewide government shift toward radical socialism after its success in the 2006 elections.

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