Gordon Smith goes right; Oregon media sleeps

Mark Bunster, who blogs as 'Torrid Joe' at Loaded Orygun, has an op-ed in today's Oregonian. In short, he argues that the Oregonian - and the rest of the state's media - has blatantly ignored Senator Gordon Smith's regular right-wing votes while he pretends to be a moderate.

What's notable is not so much that Smith is tacking hard to the right in step with his party's political ploy, but that his performance in this distractive kabuki is earning little to no attention from major state media, including The Oregonian.

Maybe Sens. John Cornyn of Texas or Orrin Hatch of Utah can cast such votes and sleep well knowing they've stayed fully in step with their constituencies. But Smith's recent dance is at best indifferent to mainstream Oregon opinion -- and in direct conflict with his own promised positions. If for nothing else, can we not count on the traditional media to keep track of our statewide officials and their activities?

Read the rest. Visit Loaded Orygun. Discuss.

And for those who want to dig in to the Gordon Smith files here at BlueOregon (this means you, Oregonian DC bureau), you can start here:

Minimum Wage
Will Gordon Smith defend Oregon's minimum wage?
Gordon Smith: Making Oregon Less Competitive
Smith Votes No On Minimum Wage

Campaign Finance, Ethics, & Lobbyists
Gordon Smith's Ethics Problem
Gordon Smith & Jack Abramoff
Gordon Smith: Sun Breaks and Tax Breaks
Gordon Smith (R-Virgin Islands), part 2
Hey Gordon, Fire up the Jet! (again)
Gordon Smith Lobbies the Lobbyists

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Gordon Smith Backtracks on ANWR
Gordon Smith breaks his promise, but doubletalks to Oregonians
A Brief Lesson on ANWR for Gordon Smith
Gordon Smith caves to Big Oil
Once again, Gordon Smith votes for Arctic oil drilling

Gay Rights
Gordon Smith, please dial 503-986-1200
Gordon Smith: Headfaking on Gay Rights

Budget & Taxes
Gordon Smith’s $1.9-Billion-a-Week Problem
Gordon Smith. Flip. Flop. Flippity-Flop.
Who does Gordon Smith represent?

Technology and Media
Gordon Smith: protecting big media from the free market
Gordon Smith: Just the facts

Social Security, Medicare, Prescription Drugs
A stark choice for Gordon Smith
Doubletalk from Gordon Smith, again.
The Oregonian suck-up to Gordon Smith
Gordon Smith does it again

Iraq, Foreign Policy, Homeland Security, Immigration
Open Letter to Senator Gordon Smith (John Bolton & the UN)
An Open Letter to Sen. Gordon Smith (Cindy Sheehan)
Gordon Smith on Immigration

Mental Health
Gordon Smith's "Miss America Compassion"

Politics & Law
Karl Rove & Gordon Smith
Will Gordon Smith Be a Leader?
Gordon Smith: "I've done everything that conservatives want."
Will Gordon Smith Respect Oregon Voters?

  • (Show?)

    Day-um! That's a hell of a clip file! I gotta link back to that from LO. Great resource. Thanks for the mention, guys. For everyone else around this great state of ours, let my article be a useful tool to ask your own local media outlets--where has YOUR coverage of Smith been?

  • KISS (unverified)

    This was best commentary the Big O has had in months. Sad even Willie weak missed out on this one. Smith has done the about face many many times but duped Oregonians give him a free pass every time he runs. How could any media call him a moderate republican. He's as red-necked as any Kansan political. He even twists his son's suicide to abolish assisted suicide for those in living hell. I have labored hard and can honestly say I have at this moment 23 voters to vote against Smith. I hope to add more. Let's send Mr. Smith back to Pendleton. We can only hope we get a moderate Democrat to oppose Mr. Smith.

  • jami (unverified)

    great roundup! i tend to cut smith some slack as a "nice guy." but nice guys don't cut rich people's taxes and vote against increasing the minimum wage for working people. only republicans do that.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)

    It's all those new mortgages in Bend. His base has changed. Well, it's per capita income has. What major business interests operate in his district? Can't think of any other than Jeld-Wen. They're real progressive.

  • Scott McLean (unverified)

    He's way too conservative for Oregon, and he shouldn't be representing Oregon in the Senate. It's time for change that makes priorities of protecting the environment, standing up for rights of Americans and creating more American jobs.

  • james Caird (unverified)

    Excellent commentary, Torridjoe!

    The Oregonian's bias in favor of Smith is glaring. (In both news and opinion pages). They've been bashed by the right for so long, they've begun to pander to that crowd, and actually holding Smith accountable like a real newspaper would only reinforces the conservative mantra about a "liberal media." He's the token conservative they can hold up and say, "see we're fair and balanced." So Smith gets a free ride from the Big O.

    When the DC paper Roll Call reported the amount of free travel Smith takes from lobbyists (a story picked up by the AP), the Oregonian completely ignored the story and instead ran a front page story about how Smith is trying to help save programs for the poor (from a situation he and his party's irresponsible tax cuts created in the first place -- of course not mentioned in the story).

    There are other concrete examples of Smith's free ride at the Oregonian.

    When it became clear that smith was the stetwide leader in accepting free travel from lobbyists, the Oregonian buried the fact and focused the headline on Blumenauer. Ridiculous!

    Ironically, I've submitted many letters to the editor on this subject, but the letters editor no longer prints my submissions since I complained to her bosses about the numerous (and easy to check) factual errors that get printed in the letters section. I asked a simple question: What responsiblity does the newspaper have to make sure the statements of fact printed in the letters section are true, 'cause I've seen some whoppers printed on that page over the years? I guess fact-checking is so last decade.

    Since making this complaint, not one letter printed. Real big people working there. I kid, I kid!

    Anyhow, Gordo and and the Big O, sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!

    It should be embarassingly obvious for folks working there.

  • (Show?)

    It should be embarassingly obvious for folks working there.

    Maybe the fact that they printed Mark's op-ed is a sign of things to come. I hope so.

  • (Show?)

    They can't say they weren't aware of it anymore, at least...

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