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May 04, 2016


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Here's how I think editorials in the SJ really work. Dick Hughes writes them (his slightly unhinged and semi-uninformed writing style is easy to spot). Then the Editor Michael Davis takes a glance at them and might consult with the Publisher, who until recently was the advertising manager and probably doesn't know anything about Salem anyway. Then they appear. I don't think there really is a "Board" process at all. I think that's a myth. It's really all Dick Hughes. I can't wait until he realizes it's time to retire. He's really an embarrassment to the Gannett Corporation.

Haha Jim, I was about to write that I am just waiting for Dick Hughes to write a poorly thought out rebuttal to these facts that is laced with uneducated smugness.

Dick is the same guy who clearly showed that he has no clue how financing a huge costly project like a 3rd bridge works while blindly cheerleading for it. He thinks it will "only" cost 400+ million to build and seemed dumbfounded that there is also the matter of an expected 500+ million additional cost of financing.

Dick also advocated building a busy road through the riverfront carousel parking lot, with his silly frequently used coup de gras reasoning of "It will not be any busier than the Costco parking lot, it will be safe!" as if that is some sort of reassurance that it is safe. I have yet to see him taking his children/grandchildren to go play in the Costco parking lot.

I agree with Jim that likely Dick Hughes is the "editorial board." But if Dick wants to play the Wizard of Oz game -- pretending there is more behind an editorial than one guy's personal opinion -- he needs to own the fiction.

This includes the fact that three of the six members of the editorial board are part of the News Team. So when the news side of the Statesman Journal looks at City Hall goings-on, these are the same people who were part of a Chuck Bennett for Mayor endorsement.

Citizens have good reason to doubt the journalistic objectivity of an Executive Editor and Reporter who are part of the editorial board that endorsed Chuck Bennett and another Chamber of Commerce backed candidate.

It's hard to overstate how much fun this is to watch both your and Scheppke's heads explode when the SJ endorses a candidate you oppose. Rather than acknowledge that their editorial board simply has a different philosophical viewpoint than yours, you try to attack their motives by insisting they are beholden to the business community. Never mind the fact that if this were the case, the SJ would've opposed the transit payroll tax (which as we know, they didn't). One of these days, progressive candidates will wake up and realize that support from you and Scheppke is a likely kiss of political death. Or perhaps they won't, and they'll just keep getting their asses handed to them on Election Day by the voters.

B.C., my head isn't exploding. It is just irritated at the usual oligarchical crap going on here in Salem. Along with how far down the journalistic slope the Statesman Journal has slid. There's not only very little original local investigative reporting happening at the paper, the odds are excellent that the opinion pages is dominated by copy-cat Chamber of Commerce endorsements.

Currently the Statesman Journal has endorsed six Chamber candidates in a row: 4 in 2014, 2 so far in 2016. Assuming a 50% probability that the Chamber candidate actually is the best candidate (I'd put those odds a lot lower, but I'll be generous), this means there's a 1 in 64 chance of the six Chamber endorsements in a row happening -- same as if all heads came up in six coin flips.

Thus it sure looks like the Statesman Journal is following the Chamber party line. This wouldn't be objectionable if the newspaper openly said, "We lean right-wing," but supposedly the Statesman Journal is a paper that represents the entire Salem community.

So it isn't that the Statesman Journal endorses candidates I oppose. It's that the newspaper isn't making fact-based, reasonable decisions about political endorsements. This is bad journalism, and also bad for Salem.

B. C., my head is not exploding either. And we will see who wins on May 17th. For City Council I am betting on Sally, Cara and Matt because they are by far the most qualified and the most in tune with voters in their wards. I trust the voters to make the right choices this year despite what Dick Hughes thinks.

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