Oregonian publisher: "I am not a right-wing nut."

Oregonian publisher N. Christian Anderson III responds to critics today:

Being the publisher of The Oregonian is like being the despotic ruler of a Third World country, I learned this week.

If you believe our critics, I write all the editorials, permit only views with which I agree on our editorial pages, edit the paper, decide what stories go where and write all the headlines. And I'm a right-wing nut, too.

I'm glad I don't have time for all that, because I don't want to do any of those things. As for whether I'm a right-wing nut, everyone will have his or her opinion. (I'm not, by the way.)

You may be a little interested, and perhaps confused, about how things work at The Oregonian when it comes to the pages where we express the views of The Oregonian as an institution. I'll try to explain.

Bob Caldwell, our editorial page editor, has a staff of associate editors and others who write editorials, decide which columns and letters go on our editorial and op-ed pages and then produce the daily pages and the Sunday Opinion section. Bob and the associate editors meet daily to discuss what topics they'll write about for the next day. I've never been to one of those meetings.

Read the rest here.

Discuss.

Comments

  • The Unrepentant Liberal (unverified)
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    I'm glad he's feeling some heat. Maybe he will consider his editorial actions a little more carefully. And for the record, I am not for a progressive or conservative view in the news; I am for the facts. Report all the facts, put them into an understandable context and let the chips fall where they may.

  • Ralph (unverified)
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    I have been at odds, disagreed, 99.9% of the time with Caldwell's kids for many years. Now we have the .1% that I actually agree with the "O" and the NO on 66-67 and you guys, especially whiners Novick & Chuckie, go ballistic.

    I'm here to hand out the tissues.

  • Polly Pure Bread (unverified)
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    That Hans Christian Anderson or Thurston Howell III or whatever his Dickensian name is, has to include such a piece in the paper, speaks volumes to the sinking credibility of the Oregonian.

    I imagine some readers will ask - then what exactly is your role at the paper? Your position appears redundant. Perhaps the Oregonian should consider eliminating the position to save much needed revenue?

    Still, the "aw shucks, I'm not very important" tone of the column might work in Orange County, but it won't pass muster here. Failure to take responsibility for your paper's content won't increase your paper's credibility.

    "I'm pretty apolitical." This is problematic for so many reasons that I won't even venture to try and cover them all. Still, in brief, it represents exactly what's wrong with newspapers being viewed as "just another commodity" that can be managed by MBA's or self-delusional "apolitical" types. Ask the reporters and readers of the L.A. Times about this. As Lovey would certainly recognize Thurston.....publishing a paper is a political endeavor. Simply claiming that you're "apolitical" merely displays your ignorance of the definition of politics.

    "I think it (The Oregonian) leans toward what I think of as liberal views." If you're context is Orange County or Colorado Springs, permitting people of color in your country club is considered a liberal view. How many more columns from David Brooks, George Will, or Charles Krauthammer(sp?) must you publish to balance what you perceive as a "liberal view"?

    The Oregonian has done some fine reporting on the actual content and ramifications of M66 & 67. Jeff Mapes and others are fine reporters. However, the paper's irresponsible headline writers, along with the decision to publish the spadea without proper labeling of it as an advertisement, have overshadowed the well-written stories.

    I'm sure the "apolitical" Mr. Anderson III will continue to trivialize the justified anger that many readers have at the paper's recent practices under his leadership, as mere displeasure from the left at the paper's endorsement of the right-wing opposition to Measures 66 & 67. That's to be expected from someone who admits to viewing his role as merely to manage a business enterprise. And this of course means keeping his clients - the businesses doing the advertising and keeping the paper afloat - happy by urging opposition to Measures and keeping the unwashed masses in their place.

    I hope that we're witnessing either the recognition of the need for the paper to change its practices, or the beginning of the end of this chapter of the paper's history.

    This state benefits from strong newspapers, and we need to fortify the ability of those remaining experienced reporters at the Oregonian to do their job. The publisher could be helpful by observing the Hippocratic Oath of, "first, do no harm."

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Indeed, Polly. When I'm dating someone new, and they say, "the one thing you don't ever have to worry about with me...", I listen up, because that is always the biggest issue you will face with them. I definitely heard his statement as, "the one thing you don't have to worry about is my being a right-wing nut". QED.

    Colorado Springs. Give me a break. Really like the coined "Orangonian" going around! On a practical note, I think he's saved BO from a M66/67 morning after. Either way, they were going to have a prob. with a number of long time readers, and this has given them legitimacy with a whole new crew.

  • zull (unverified)
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    If anyone has been a member of a think-tank of any sort, there's a pretty good chance they're biased somehow. "Think-tanks" are another word for PR Agency, except they have a particular segment they focus on. That segment is where their innate bias comes from. You spend time there, there's no way you can fully detach your beliefs from that.

    If Anderson wants anyone to believe what he's saying, he could go and offer up some real proof other than rolling his eyes. He should be taking it seriously if someone is affixing an institutionalized political bias upon the major Oregon newspaper and offering proof that accusation is wrong.

    If Anderson really wanted to put these accusations to rest, he's got to hire people with dissenting opinions and give them equal placement in his pages, and not try and wrap up the paper in a "pretty, neat little package" with one opinion blazing across the front page and then push that out. But his paper hasn't, and he won't let it. But if he wants his statements to hold any weight, he should.

  • Bob V (unverified)
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    Certainly he is not both a nut and right wing. The question is: which one of those two descriptors is in error? And how so?

  • Bob V (unverified)
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    Certainly he is not both a nut and right wing. The question is: which one of those two descriptors is in error? And how so?

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    "I'm pretty apolitical."

    That appears to be a rather crass attempt to deceive, given the "voluntaryism" espoused by Anderson's Freedom Communications, Inc. employer.

    As Kari explained in comments to an earlier post:

    Wikipedia explains: The term voluntaryism is often used today as a synonym for free-market anarchist or anarcho-capitalist philosophies. The voluntaryist movement, however, is distinct in its rejection of electoral politics. Because they consider electoral politics to be counterproductive or immoral, voluntaryists seek to dismantle the state by non-political means such as secession, counter-economics, civil disobedience and education, rather than voting.
  • John Q. Public (unverified)
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    You may not be a <>right-wing nut, Mr. III. But obviously by writing what you did in the butt-wipe of a newspaper that the O is, you are an egotistical bore. You obviously are a pathetic, whining, loser and just a nut. And so is Caldwell and the rest of the clowns on your editorial board. So go cry a river to somebody who cares.

  • Thin Soup (unverified)
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    So, N.Christian Anderson III claims not to have a hand in the Oregonian's stance despite:

    1. The Oregonian issuing an editorial after the tax votes (and before N.Christian Anderson III arrived at the paper) saying legislators did the right thing. Later, they mysteriously ignore this logic and come out AGAINST the measures they said were the right choice.

    2. Upon arriving, NCAIII changed the management structure at the O so that the editorial editor Bob Caldwell no longer reports to the Editor-in-Chief, and instead reports directly to the publisher. This, of course, is merely out of concern that his Editor has too much to do. Not because NCAIII really cares what the editorial position of the paper is...

    3. NCAIII says he has sat in on only two editorial board discussions. One was on 66/67.

    4. He says he would probably not overall a STRONG consensus of the editorial board (although he says he reserves the right to if necessary). But ask yourself, what strong consensus is going to emerge once the publisher makes it clear where he stands?

    When I called to cancel my subscription, the woman at the paper said they are losing a TON of subscribers over this. She asked me to call the editors to make sure they know why, as she sounded really worried.

    Ironic that NCAIII takes the stand on 66/67 to please his advertisers, then loses his subscriber base in the process. Oops.

  • (Show?)

    Mr. Anderson has been reminded that his editorials will be fact checked and explored by other journalists and citizens. His decision to be stridently partisan in the "O's" editorial, the choice to wrap the paper in job killing taxes rhetoric that is filled with misinformation has caused deep skepicism among readers of the Oregonian. I challenge him to carefully document that 70,000 jobs will be lost in Oregon if measures 66/67 pass. I challenge him to document how many small businesses will fold if measures 66/67 pass. If the measures do pass he can pracice accountable journalism unless he has forgotten how.

  • Gil 62 (unverified)
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    Feeling the need to defend one's self by saying "I am not a right wing nut" reminds me of a certain President who felt compelled to defend his record by saying "I am not a crook".

  • Orangonian (unverified)
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    He's gonna kill that paper.

  • Pedro (unverified)
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    Being the publisher of The Oregonian is like being the despotic ruler of a Third World country, I learned this week.

    Mr. Anderson appears to think of himself as a victim. I bet this loser doesn't last a year in Oregon.

  • KJ (unverified)
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    "Being the publisher of The Oregonian is like being the despotic ruler of a Third World country, I learned this week."

    Yeah, Anderson comes across as a bombastic tinpot dictator of a banana republic. Wonders why all the slaves on the plantation don't love him. Hope he really does not turn the O into an actual banana republic before he goes so there is nothing left to salvage for his (inevitable) successor.

  • sneet (unverified)
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    I'm sure he'll be gone eventually, but the sooner, the better. Let's give him a little push out the door. If you've canceled your subscription, or if you want to, check out this new Facebook page.

    The phone & email for subscriber services are linked there.

  • LBJ (unverified)
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    I'm reminded of that Lyndon Johnson quote:

    "While your saving face, you're losing your ass."

    Any more of this drivel and there won't be a subscriber base left for the O.

  • rw (unverified)
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    Subscriber base? Whu'?

  • Jason (unverified)
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    Left-wing liberals and right-wing conservatives can't stand it when someone disagrees with them. If you have a differing viewpoint from either of these groups, you're either an ignorant moron, or your politics are dangerous and harmful to Oregonians.

    Sign me up for a moderate, third-party.

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