Conspiracy theories are much more fun than ordinary explanations for screw-ups.
So I was disappointed when Michael Rose, the reporter who wrote a Statesman Journal story about the Pringle Square development ("Riverfront access issue draws fierce debate"), emailed me after I asked him why the several dozen online comments on this story had disappeared.
I checked with the IT people and was told that “human error” caused the comments to vanish. They weren’t intentionally deleted.
Come on... that's no fun. I much prefer other explanations, like:
-- Larry Tokarski used his magical real estate developer powers to make the mostly critical comments about Pringle Square go "poof."
-- The Salem Chamber of Commerce has finally gained direct control over Statesman Journal news and editorial content, rather than just indirect control.
-- The five City Councillors who voted last Monday to give Mountain West Investment a sweetheart tax exemption have contracted with Edward Snowden to delete all negative Internet postings about Pringle Square.
There's still conspiracy theory hope, though. So far as I can tell, the missing comments haven't been restored, notwithstanding this comment from SJ staff on the above-linked version of the story.
Well, when you follow that link, you end up back at the story that doesn't have the original comments. But, hey, some of the new comments have that entertaining conspiracy theory angle.
-- Statesman-Journal - What happened to all of the posts on this subject article? Do you have a reason for deleting them all? Why bother having a blog, if you remove the notes?
-- I did notice Pringle Square advertised a lot recently on this web site, maybe they trashed our comments because they did not want to offend an advertiser (who pays a lot better than you or me)
When the 30-plus (if I recall the number correctly) comments disappeared, mine was one of the three that remained. Naturally my own personal conspiracy theory was, "The SJ staff decided to leave up only the most brilliant, cogent, persuasive comments."
[Update: Just noticed a testy blog post about Pringle Square opposition from Dick Hughes. So now we know: It was Hughes! That computer genius deleted the comments without Statesman Journal IT staff having a clue!]
Here's my comment, still visible for the moment on an alternative version of the story:
Huh? Talking out of both sides of the developer's mouth. Since they dissembled on this issue, there's little doubt that Pringle Square would do just fine with access through another route than the Carousel parking lot.
Hopefully the Council won't be taken in by the threats of "we won't do this project if you don't turn over part of Riverfront Park to us." Given how much money they expect to make, from the testimony this evening, that's an empty threat.
My favorite developer quote: a consultant who said "I care a lot about the safety of children." Gee, that's nice. Thanks for stating the obvious. Assume you like kittens and puppies also.