Mayor Adams Stands up for Julio Marquez

Evan Manvel

Over at the Portland Mercury blog this weekend, Denis C. Theriault covered Mayor Adams' reaction to Lars Larson's attack on City Hall's decision to lower flags to honor the life of Julio Marquez, a slain 13-year old boy:

The first few minutes are feisty—all about Occupy Portland and the latest plan to reoccupy. But then comes talk of a decision this week to lower the flag at City Hall for a slain 13-year-old boy swamped by gang life.

Lars, sounding as handsome as he looks in person, calls the kid a "thug." The mayor says Lars should be ashamed of himself. And it all goes to hell from there, until Adams hangs up because he's too "disgusted" to keep chatting.

As Theriault says, listen for yourself - they have the whole clip over at the Mercury. It's classic Lars - boost the ratings through conflict, then misrepresent and redirect when called out on his bullshit. Kudos to Mayor Adams for standing up to the hatred Larson spewed against a child lost to gang violence, and for being willing to walk away.

The Oregonian previously reported on the flag decision:

"I am saddened that our community has lost a young person to a senseless act of violence," [Commissioner Dan] Saltzman said in a statement. "Julio's story reminds us that each child is a child of this community, and we need to take care of all of our children."

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    Most of us would get fired if we behaved at our jobs the way Lars behaves at his.

    He's rude, which is bad enough, but he routinely makes stuff up and passes it off as fact.

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    Lars Larson is a thug. I used to send KXL news releases in the course of my work until Lars continually spammed my media list with crazy personal replies. Then he started calling members of the union I work for and telling them that he'd gotten their phone number from me (a lie) and that I had said it was OK for them to do an interview with him (another lie. I do not send people to be torn to shreds by insane reporters.)

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      I also want to clarify that Lars has doled out this special attention for reasons that are entirely confusing. I've never met him or talked to him that I can recall.

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    Yeah, I remember a couple times going on Lars -- trying to be polite and respectful of divergent view -- only to have him frame an issue one way, have me clarify that's not accurate, and a couple minutes later, coming back from a commercial break, have him misframe my position exactly like his initial inaccuracy had it.

    It was ridiculous, because then the interview devolved into me repeating my previous points, and him glossing over the inaccuracy. Finally decided I wasn't going to help his ratings by going on his show. Let him rant to himself.

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    This is a pretty important perspective. Without further discussion, I think the flag lowering would leave folks scratching their heads. I suppose we could get hung up on a kid's misdeeds, sure. I think I'd prefer the society that celebrates his life and mourns his and his family's excessive punishment for anything he'd done wrong. Thanks for the post Evan.

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    I'm still baffled as to why anyone outside the far-right pay any attention whatsoever to entertainers like Larson and Victoria Taft -- and they are simply that: radio entertainers. They are not serious political commentators because their rhetoric (the incessant name calling, general rudeness, unwillingness to consider, even for a moment, another view) prevents their arguments from reaching an audience other than those who already agree with them. They're not trying to change minds; they're trying to feed red meat to their fellow travelers (and line their pockets too).

    I'm glad Adams slammed Larson and hung up on him, but why would he go on his show in the first place; did he really think he'd get a fair shake from Larson?

    When I occasionally dip a toe into right-wing radio, and it doesn't matter much which one I listen to, I'm reminded of the kids who couldn't get a date to the dance in high school, and so they spend prom night drinking near-beer while hanging out in front of the school gym making fun of all the kids going to the dance. Within their little clique they're cool, but to everyone else they're simply pathetic.

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