Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Uninvited guest

So the Oregonian sends a reporter, uninvited, to a private meeting where Ron Saxton is scheduled to speak.

The reporter is asked to leave. That makes it front page Metro news.

What's the deal? The headline in the paper reads "Conservative Coalition Hears Private Speech," as if Saxton was there to issue some kind of secret message. The article of course then gets to quote Kulongoski's staff, who of course says the meeting was filled with people from the "far right wing of the Republican party."

Puh-leeeeze. First of all, Harry Esteve from the Oregonian was not invited to this meeting. If he wanted to come he should have called Jason Williams, who arranges it every month.

Second, this is simply a monthly meeting of people involved in various conservative/right leaning activist organizations where they update each other on what is going on. Any given month there will be representatives of the Republican party, homebuilders, college Republicans, Assoicated Oregon Industries, Freedom Works, BrainstormNW Magazine, Cascade Policy Institute, my own organization the Oregon Education Coalition, etc.

Each month there are invited speakers who may be politicians, candidates, or people connected with issues that are currently in public debate.

But the Oregonian obviously wants to paint this meeting as some kind of secret right wing extremist cabal, and then connect Ron Saxton to it, with the ominous overtones that the group was going to hear some "private message."

Well, I wasn't there yesterday, but a few weeks ago I was there when Ron was one of the invited speakers. He spoke for about 3 minutes, then he answered questions.

It's ridiculous that this should have been front page news, as it is entirely manufactured. What is the news? That right-leaning activists meet monthly to keep each other updated? Yawn.

Or is it that Ron Saxton was delivering a 3 minute speech to a group that met behind closed doors? No news there, either.

Or was it that the Oregonian reporter came to a private meeting and was asked to leave? Is that news?

What a crock.

13 comments:

Charlie said...

The Big 'O' is coming down solidly in Teddy K's corner and can't wait to announce it's endorsement....like anyone really cares who or what they endorse.

Sandy Rowe and company are really getting tiresome.

MAX Redline said...

I'm reminded of a Beatles song:

Cry, baby cry
Make your mother sigh
You're old enough to know better
So cry, baby, cry.

Steven Maurer said...

"Front page news"?

You keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means.

To me, and all other members of the reality based community (that is to say - people who aren't modern Republicans), today's front page news is "OHSU picks president from its own ranks", "Drug pricing clobbers uninsured", "Deadly train blasts hurl Bombay into chaos", "U.S. gives detainees Geneva protections", and "The toughest easy money an addict ever earned".

Why? Well, because that News is on the Front Page of the Oregonian. You know, "Front Page News".

The Saxton story, on the other hand, was on the bottom half of section B-1 (continued on B-10).

Now, ignoring the fact that current Republican leadership and reality are like two ships passing in the night (something that's certainly not news), let's talk about the real question - is deliberately telling a reporter that he is unwelcome to cover a speech made by Oregon's Republican Gubernatorial candidate something that's newsworthy?

Personally, I say it is. But not for the reason others might suggest. The message I get isn't that there are still true believers among the big-borrow/big-spend/big-nobid contract/big-cook-the-books Republican interest groups. The real message is that they're losing so many people that the only ones left are making ameturish mistakes.

Here's some advice from the loyal opposition - the last you'll every get from me - DON'T piss off the mainstream media. You ESPECIALLY don't do that when you're dealing with a 'still pining for Tom McCall' Moderate GOP paper like the Oregonian. Those people want to be on your side. You're just so far off the deep end, anyone whose business is accurate reporting of facts simply can't be.

I'm only giving you this sound advice because I know you'll never follow it. On the Democratic side of the fence we're getting more than a trickle of moderate former-Republicans. Keep up the divisiveness and alienation, and that trickle will turn into a flood.

Just - keep pissing off the Oregonian, OK? It would be really nice to get them on our side - so they would do puff pieces on the Democratic party instead of Republicans.

Anonymous said...

I thought Judges were non-partisan?

Charlie said...

Hmmmmm....lil Stevie is a tad nervous about that wild eyed right wing cabal.

He should be. They are far more centric than the folks Stevie runs with....and that spells success at the ballot box.

Rob Kremer said...

Steven Maurer:
Thanks for the advice.

I specified "front page Metro." Later, when I used the term "front page," I assumed readers were bright enough to remember that it was Metro section. Bad assumption perhaps.

"...deliberately telling a reporter that he is unwelcome to cover a speech made by Oregon's Republican Gubernatorial candidate ..."

This was hardly a speech. It was a meeting, to which the Oregonian was not invited, yet showed up without so much as asking.

And if they are going to pitch a fit because they were asked to leave a meeting that they were not invited to, then so be it.

But thanks for the advice. Have fun with your "more than a trickle" of moderate Republicans.

And read the Willamette Week this week. We're gaining on you.

Kari Chisholm said...

One item: The event was listed as a public event on Saxton's website. So that, um, makes it a public event...

Rob Kremer said...

Kari:
How does a candidate listing an appearence on his calendar make it a public event? Even if his online calendar specifically identifited it as "public" (which it didn't) that doesn't make it a public event.

It was a private lunch, mistakenly listed on his calendar. When Esteve showed up, it was explained to him that it was private and he was not welcome. Sorry he had to waste his time, but mistakes are made and this one was a minor mistake by a campaign staffer.

Why is that such big news? The Oregonian referred to it again today in the article about Teddy K keeping his base. As evidence that Saxton was catering to his base, Esteve mentioned that Saxton gave "a private talk to a coalition of anti-tax, property rights and other conservative groups this week."

Get over it!

Chris McMullen said...

BTW, The Metro section of the Oregonian has the highest readership -- more then the 'A" section.

So much for Steven's lame argument.

Tom said...

Kari,
Have you any concern about the many BlueOregon posts on this topic simply making things up?

Or is this standard operating procedure for you and your camp, given your track record?

Many of them are just plain rediculous but you're down with that heh?

rickyragg said...

"...making ameturish mistakes."

Well put!

Anyone who writes and believes words like: "...Moderate GOP paper like the Oregonian.", hould be careful tossing off accusations about being "...so far off the deep end..."; a position on which Maurer demonstrates he is well qualified to comment.

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