I have re-emerged from my website silence (I’m moving, don’t ask) just in time for the Mark Callahan-Willamette Week endorsement interview fire works (see my other post nearby).
In doing the back ground reading, I noticed my google search included a report by Oregonian political and Politifact reporter Harry Esteve that Callahan had “stalked out” of the interview. I was distracted for a second and when I looked back, the headline had disappeared from the page. Thanks to cached content, however, I found where Esteve had reported Callahan’s supposed “stalking out,”
It makes a difference in perception whether Mr. Callahan was tossed out, as was the case, or stalked out, which was not the case. One characterization makes him look like a petulant child while the other lays the acts petulance on the side of the Willamette Week reporters. Do you think that might make a difference in the eyes of a reader?
While Esteve’s subsequent stories reflect Callahan’s being tossed, I don’t find where he has gone back to correct his untrue characterization and therefore the impressions he made on possibly thousands of people.
How easy it is for Esteve to believe the act of petulance was on the side of the conservative Republican? Easy enough that he didn’t bother to check the facts–or watch the video. He rushed to judgement, rushed to print and then didn’t correct his mistake.
The Oregonian has taken great glee in the past with its Politi”fact” checks on my blog posts and tweets. In one, they reported my story was untrue when I reported a Portland school was allowing Muslim children to pray in a school room and keep their prayer rugs in the room.
I had an eyewitness, but the school district wouldn’t comment or respond to my queries, but when approached by the Oregonian, they hopped-to. The spokesman was angry with my report! And what was he angry about? That the children didn’t pray as many times per day as I reported and that it occurred only during Ramadan. Meantime, my pants were supposedly on fire or some such thing. Apparently, the Zero didn’t think the school providing a sanctuary for prayer and cubbies for prayer rugs was that big of a deal. I’ll bet they would if it were a Christian church established during school hours.
My other supposed whopper was when I claimed the City of Portland was wasting tax and stimulus dollars by re-marking bike path marks on streets that already had them. The Politi”fact” reporter claimed I was wrong. I later posted pictures of bike designations within mere feet –and in some cases–inches from another proving my claims were correct. She claimed she didn’t see the existing marks because it was dark outside. That’s not a typo. The Oregonian never corrected its characterization of the conservative blogger/talk show host. That’s when I quit talking to Politi”fact.”
In another Politi”fact” report, the newspaper of record gleefully fact checked a tweet of mine on the plastic bag ban having to do with the $250 fine. I screwed up and left the impression in my 140 character tweet that individuals would be fined this sum. I was wrong. It was the stores that would be fined that amount for each transgression. Once again, the Zero didn’t think the fine itself was as much of a story or acknowledge discussion of fining individuals. Why would they when they had a talk show host to guillotine?
Back to Harry. You need to retract your original report, apologize and issue a correction at the top of your next story in both print and online or I’ll call Politi”fact.” Oh, wait…