Daily Archives: February 11, 2011

Brian Owendoff *Outed* Because He Is Conservative. Not "Accustomed" to "Portland Process"

Brian Owendoff was–the operative word here–the head of a 70 person commercial real estate firm in Portland. He was a transplant from Ohio and had, in a short time here, ingratiated himself to the power brokers, liberatti and politicos of Portland. But in his private life, like thousands of people around here, he was a critic of Portland’s leadership. He would comment on stories on the Zero’s website and took a verbal shot at the publisher of the community paper, Northwest Examiner by calling him a “flea.” Allen Classen, the publisher of the Examiner, didn’t like it and set about to find out who he was and ‘out’ him.


Bingo. He did. And published it in a scathing story. And as a result, Owendoff lost his job.
CB Richard Ellis booted him because the story had made the company look bad. It’s understandable they’d be peeved about the press story.

However, in the flurry of media stories –and even a shocking editorial in the Zero, which appeared to glory in Owendoff’s misfortune–the discussion was mostly about uncivil dialogue by people in the blogs, comments et. al. The news media outed the man because he’s “uncivil?” This is news?
To me this appears to be a case of the ‘politics of personal destruction,’ which the left claims is anathema even as it engages in it. This is politics pure and simple but I’ll get to that in a minute. 

Let’s play along with the ‘is this a real news story?’ game.

Is a grouchy commenter’s identity a news story? If so, why?
Will you be outing other commenters in the future? Why or why not?
Is the story that Owendoff is a closeted conservative?
Is he a well known public figure and worthy of the scrutiny?
Is the story that a largely unknown closeted conservative had a conflicting public life? Is this newsworthy?
Is this ‘outing’ personal score settling or is a political vendetta? In other words, why did you do the story?
Is ‘incivility’ by a private, anonymous individual news worthy? If so, why?

(The Victoria Taft Show producer, Eric Peterson, is in contact with the Poynter Institute for Media and Ethics and the Society of Professional Journalists to get reaction on this apparent vendetta. See what SPJ says below.)

Commenters on blogs and news sites aren’t held to journalistic standards. Some comments are more valuable than others, of course. Many commenters hew to higher standards of ethics and factual statements and don’t indulge in ad hominem. But comments largely lie within the realm of opinion. They fall into the realm of ‘who cares?’ Commenters sometimes fact check other commenters. Other commenters respond. That’s the rule of the wild west in the blogosphere.

But do newspapers investigate personal opinions of commenters? Why? In this case Allen Classen couldn’t handle the relatively tame comments written by the unknown commenter. He decided he’d settle a score and the Zero acted as cheerleader. Allen, I love your paper and read it regularly but criticism comes with the job. If you can’t handle it I have an asbestos suit I can loan you.

But there’s something more at play here. Pure politics. This was a collective hissing of a man who’d committed the sin of being a conservative in some insider circles in Portland. The liberatti, exemplified by Classen, collectively sniffed, ‘we can’t have THAT!’
 
Mayor Sam Adams gave up the game in a seemingly generous comment he made about Owendoff,

Adams, who met with Owendoff on Thursday, shrugged off the flap. “We all vent,” he said. “I like Brian. He comes from a city that is much more conservative. It’s taken him a while to get accustomed to the Portland process. I hope he stays on and remains involved.”

What Sam just said there was the Portland process is shut up, don’t you dare state your opinion, and suck it up. The Portland process. That’s hilarious.

It seems that Owendoff had pretty much taken the measure of parochial Portland. He made his comments anonymously. Until he wasn’t anonymous anymore.

There are differences in standards between a comment on a blog and news story, or should be. In this case the newspapers in question appear to have ceded their news coverage to the standards of the blogosphere. They’ve thrown in their ‘journalistic’ lot with the commenters. Was this a bold investigative piece? An insight into public process? Striking a blow for good government? No, it was score settling for no journalistic reason that I can think of.

It had its effect, however. It shut up a bunch of conservative folks in the business community.

Like a misbehaving puppy these news outlets rolled up their papers and slapped at the collective noses of the conservative business community. 

A man, with a wife and two kids to support has lost his job because of it.

The Society of Professional Journalist’s co chair of the Ethics Committee, Fred Brown, initially told us:

I don’t think it’s unethical to name a gadfly who prefers to be anonymous. In fact, I’d argue that it’s unethical not to identify yourself when you’re commenting publicly and trying to stir things up.

UPDATE:  On the program, however, Brown, a semi retired Denver Post columnist, noted he hadn’t actually read the comments made by Mr. Owendoff and that the newspaper bore some blame for allowing anonymous comments. He noted that Mr. Owendoff wasn’t a public figure and agreed that, while a mild curiosity, this story wasn’t particularly news worthy. Until Owendoff was retaliated against and fired, that is.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Brian Owendoff *Outed* Because He Is Conservative. Not "Accustomed" to "Portland Process"

Brian Owendoff was–the operative word here–the head of a 70 person commercial real estate firm in Portland. He was a transplant from Ohio and had, in a short time here, ingratiated himself to the power brokers, liberatti and politicos of Portland. But in his private life, like thousands of people around here, he was a critic of Portland’s leadership. He would comment on stories on the Zero’s website and took a verbal shot at the publisher of the community paper, Northwest Examiner by calling him a “flea.” Allen Classen, the publisher of the Examiner, didn’t like it and set about to find out who he was and ‘out’ him.


Bingo. He did. And published it in a scathing story. And as a result, Owendoff lost his job.
CB Richard Ellis booted him because the story had made the company look bad. It’s understandable they’d be peeved about the press story.

However, in the flurry of media stories –and even a shocking editorial in the Zero, which appeared to glory in Owendoff’s misfortune–the discussion was mostly about uncivil dialogue by people in the blogs, comments et. al. The news media outed the man because he’s “uncivil?” This is news?
To me this appears to be a case of the ‘politics of personal destruction,’ which the left claims is anathema even as it engages in it. This is politics pure and simple but I’ll get to that in a minute. 

Let’s play along with the ‘is this a real news story?’ game.

Is a grouchy commenter’s identity a news story? If so, why?
Will you be outing other commenters in the future? Why or why not?
Is the story that Owendoff is a closeted conservative?
Is he a well known public figure and worthy of the scrutiny?
Is the story that a largely unknown closeted conservative had a conflicting public life? Is this newsworthy?
Is this ‘outing’ personal score settling or is a political vendetta? In other words, why did you do the story?
Is ‘incivility’ by a private, anonymous individual news worthy? If so, why?

(The Victoria Taft Show producer, Eric Peterson, is in contact with the Poynter Institute for Media and Ethics and the Society of Professional Journalists to get reaction on this apparent vendetta. See what SPJ says below.)

Commenters on blogs and news sites aren’t held to journalistic standards. Some comments are more valuable than others, of course. Many commenters hew to higher standards of ethics and factual statements and don’t indulge in ad hominem. But comments largely lie within the realm of opinion. They fall into the realm of ‘who cares?’ Commenters sometimes fact check other commenters. Other commenters respond. That’s the rule of the wild west in the blogosphere.

But do newspapers investigate personal opinions of commenters? Why? In this case Allen Classen couldn’t handle the relatively tame comments written by the unknown commenter. He decided he’d settle a score and the Zero acted as cheerleader. Allen, I love your paper and read it regularly but criticism comes with the job. If you can’t handle it I have an asbestos suit I can loan you.

But there’s something more at play here. Pure politics. This was a collective hissing of a man who’d committed the sin of being a conservative in some insider circles in Portland. The liberatti, exemplified by Classen, collectively sniffed, ‘we can’t have THAT!’
 
Mayor Sam Adams gave up the game in a seemingly generous comment he made about Owendoff,

Adams, who met with Owendoff on Thursday, shrugged off the flap. “We all vent,” he said. “I like Brian. He comes from a city that is much more conservative. It’s taken him a while to get accustomed to the Portland process. I hope he stays on and remains involved.”

What Sam just said there was the Portland process is shut up, don’t you dare state your opinion, and suck it up. The Portland process. That’s hilarious.

It seems that Owendoff had pretty much taken the measure of parochial Portland. He made his comments anonymously. Until he wasn’t anonymous anymore.

There are differences in standards between a comment on a blog and news story, or should be. In this case the newspapers in question appear to have ceded their news coverage to the standards of the blogosphere. They’ve thrown in their ‘journalistic’ lot with the commenters. Was this a bold investigative piece? An insight into public process? Striking a blow for good government? No, it was score settling for no journalistic reason that I can think of.

It had its effect, however. It shut up a bunch of conservative folks in the business community.

Like a misbehaving puppy these news outlets rolled up their papers and slapped at the collective noses of the conservative business community. 

A man, with a wife and two kids to support has lost his job because of it.

The Society of Professional Journalist’s co chair of the Ethics Committee, Fred Brown, initially told us:

I don’t think it’s unethical to name a gadfly who prefers to be anonymous. In fact, I’d argue that it’s unethical not to identify yourself when you’re commenting publicly and trying to stir things up.

UPDATE:  On the program, however, Brown, a semi retired Denver Post columnist, noted he hadn’t actually read the comments made by Mr. Owendoff and that the newspaper bore some blame for allowing anonymous comments. He noted that Mr. Owendoff wasn’t a public figure and agreed that, while a mild curiosity, this story wasn’t particularly news worthy. Until Owendoff was retaliated against and fired, that is.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Governor Gregoire Honors Illegal Aliens

Ignoring the fact that Washington State is deeply embroiled in the worsening economic decline, it is utterly unbelievable to see a group of about 400 people marching upon the capital in Olympia opposing budget cuts intended to close the multi-Billion dollar budget gap.

Even more astonishing, many in the crowd appear to be in the country ‘ILLEGALLY!’ As such, they are lawbreakers! Illegal aliens!

We recently saw in a Seattle Times report: “An estimated 230,000 illegal immigrants were living in Washington state in 2010 — 35 percent more than three years earlier,” with the claim by state senator Val Stevens, “the illegal-immigrant cost to the state is $272 million a biennium for such functions as social services, health and corrections.”

At the rally, illegal immigrants gathered to “urge lawmakers to oppose cuts to medical interpreters and health care for kids and fight bills that require immigration status checks before issuing driver’s licenses.”

While illegal aliens whine and cry for public tax dollars to support them, information entered in Immigration Form I-864, sponsorship of a legal immigrant states, “The information will be used principally by an immigration judge, USCIS or a Consular Officer to support an alien’s application for benefits under the Immigration and Nationality Act and specifically the assertion that he or she has adequate means of financial support and will not become a public charge.” (pg 9)

Democrat Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, attending the rally sponsored by OneAmerica said, “I know about the critical role immigrants play in the economic and social life of our state. The well-being of Washington State is intertwined with the well-being of our new American communities.”

Is she seriously claiming the well-being of the state depends on lawbreakers that add millions in dollars of expense to budget? Is not such dependence on our tax dollars becoming a “public charge?”

Republican Senator Joseph Zarelli injects a little sanity noting, “Too much burden is being put on the average ­taxpayer, and they can’t afford it, to pay for something that shouldn’t really be their responsibility.” He goes on to say “legislators [have] a responsibility to make sure immigration laws were upheld.”

Currently, there is a bill before the state senate, SB 5407 requiring applicants for a drivers license to “show proof of their legal presence in the United States.” Washington State and New Mexico remain the only two states that allow Illegal Aliens “to get a driver’s license and use it for identification.”

Claiming how important Illegal Aliens are to the state’s economy, one construction worker at the rally said, “Without a driver’s license, who can go to work?”

With the states continuing unemployment numbers, I would imagine a lot of citizens and taxpayers seeking jobs would use their legal drivers’ licenses to return to work.

Left out of the equation at the rally is the rate of crime committed by Illegal Aliens.

Yana Cosme, Multilingual Services Coordinator at Tacoma Community House and an immigrant herself (I assume legal, although I don’t know), said, “many of the clients she works with rely on the Department of Social and Health Services’ Naturalization Program and many can’t afford the legal help they need to get citizenship.”

The in excess of 13% unemployed in Clark County and in other counties around the state cannot afford much right now either, but we are having to tighten our belts while those who are in violation of our laws by being here hold rallies in Olympia asking for more!

Such an event was held in Clark County this past Saturday, February 5, 2011 and billed at Citizenship Day and “hosted by Clark College where volunteer attorneys, paralegals, translators and other community resources offered free consultations and assistance with filling out citizenship applications.”

Also sponsored by OneAmerica, we read, “90 percent of the funding for Citizenship Day programs and other naturalization services comes from the state and is likely to be eliminated in the developing Washington budget.”

Saturday’s event provided free legal help and advice for about 70 people, including those who live in Oregon, not Washington, many who originally entered our country illegally, but have taken steps to obtain a green card by marriage or other steps.

One such immigrant, Adriana Cazorla admits she was an illegal alien for 10 of the 15 years she’s been here. She also admitted that her one fond wish is “a job with the U.S. Government, so she can represent her people.” She also said that to her, “Citizenship means you can vote, have a louder voice in community decisions and politics, sponsor family members who want to immigrate too, raise children who are citizens, gain public benefits — and travel.”

Another illegal alien turned green card holder, Maria Ruiz said, “Being [illegal] is always being scared, afraid, insecure. You don’t have any voice. When you show up anywhere the first thing is you’re afraid they’re going to ask you if you’re legal. Ask for your documents.”

Is that why at Wednesday’s rally in Olympia, Governor Gregoire, who was once the State Attorney General came out to the rally and declared Wednesday “Immigrants’ Day,” leaving out the “illegal’ part like a good little liberal?

In discussing the growing problem of illegal immigration, I often hear words such as “When God looks down he doesn’t see illegal’s, he only sees his children.” To that, I can only answer from the Bible, Romans 13:1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (NIV)

To me, that means we are expected to obey and honor the laws of the nation and to respect the sovereignty of the nation, not grant lawbreakers a day of honor.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Officer Leaves Gun in Public Restroom, Seeks Public’s Help in Finding It

An unidentified Oregon State Police Detective is no doubt in a bit of trouble, if not totally embarrassed right about now. The officer, nick-named ‘Barney Fife’ by me for now, took off his holstered pistol while using a rest room in Portland’s Legacy Emanuel Hospital yesterday and left it in the stall when he was done.

He did not realize he had left his Glock 22 behind until after he had left the hospital.

Oregon State Police contacted Hospital Security who then searched the area and interviewed hospital workers and visitors.

The gun is described as a black Glock model 22 (pictured below), and it has been entered into the Law Enforcement Data System as a lost or stolen weapon.

If anybody sees a pistol matching the description wandering around the streets of Portland or Vancouver, looking lost and out of place, you are urged to contact Sgt. Jon Harrington at 503-731-3020, ext. 258.

KPTV 12 News

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com