Sunday, July 31, 2005

Give and Take

This morning's Oregonian kept up its campaign to talk about pensions. In it, it focused squarely on Randy Leonard and his fire bureau pension.

Was it a fair article? Were the facts presented fairly and accurately?

Randy knows his side and so far, he's got this to say on Blue Oregon. His ex-wife said she was misquoted.

Is this a case of story decided before the facts were all in? Or a case of someone creating a different cover.

I'll let you judge.


Blogger Betsy said...

The O's been getting spanked lately when it comes to breaking news.

In the last month or so, The O's been forced to follow along behind WWeek's reporting of at least two stories - Giusto's involvement with Jeddeloh's almost-ex and the Michael Speck contract investigation.)

They've been late to the game reporting the whole PDC mess as well. And let's not forget their self-serving coverage (hey! we also had these stories up for awards as well, guys!) of WWeek's Pulitzer win for the Goldschmidt story - a gaffe they're still living down in national newspaper industry circles.

Even The Trib did a much better job with the Ward Weaver story, remember?

So now, they're doing whatever they can to uncover something, anything to salvage their tatttered reputation as 'Oregon's largest newspaper.' Consider this Wu Two...

Sunday, July 31, 2005 7:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm very interested in the point that Leonard went on disability *seven* times. In the real (aka private-sector) world, that would never been allowed to happen.

Sunday, July 31, 2005 7:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Wu Two"...nice line

Sunday, July 31, 2005 9:02:00 PM  
Blogger Henry said...

The Oregonian seems to have decided that they can sell papers by demonizing any and all public employees who have successfully bargained for health benefits and a pension plan. Does anyone know how Oregonian employess come out in terms of salary, benefits, and retirement plans?

Sunday, July 31, 2005 9:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Irrelevant. Employees of the Oregonian are not getting their salaries from our tax dollars.

Sunday, July 31, 2005 9:40:00 PM  
Anonymous gnossos said...

Let's hope this becomes a more frequent occurrence at the O. Obviously there's plenty of muck to rake around this town.

Considering the horrendous cost that this particular beast of a pension program puts on the taxpayer more follow up will be welcome. The article had more than a few cheap shots but Leonard has put himself in the public eye after using the system to personal advantage. Sure glad I'm not a Portland resident and taxpayer!

Sunday, July 31, 2005 10:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The oregonian is picking on low level fruit. Since government records are public knowledge it doesn't take much to do this kind of nitpiking. It should be reported, but were where they when PGE was ripping us off? If the O wants to do some investigative Journalism then start by investigating things that your average citizen can't find. Any ordinary person with a little time could have written this story (possible better). There is more to investigative journalism then digging through public records. Its the private stuff that the real juicy stuff is.

Monday, August 01, 2005 7:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uh no. an ordinary person could NOT have written that story. or done the wiring on your house, for that matter. the O did a decent job on the FACTS of PGE; but they really stunk it up with their editorials. the leonard story is interesting -- in our adversary culture, in which everyone is expected to advocate absolutely (and unfairly) for one side, how reasonable is it to expect an advocate of one position to put aside that position and work for the "greater good"? And for that matter, whatever happened to the idea of the greater good anyway?

Monday, August 01, 2005 7:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what i find incredible is that anyone would continue to take as gospel anything published under max bernstein's byline. check her record of corrections at her former paper. ask around about her record of uncorrected errors in portland. ask any cop. ask yourself if her bosses even truly trust her: any big story of hers has at least a double byline.

Monday, August 01, 2005 8:43:00 AM  
Blogger lisaloving said...

the O did a decent job on the FACTS of PGE; but they really stunk it up with their editorials.

That's funny, I don't recall reading about how PGE and its all-powerful owner, Enron, was ripping everyone off blind, manufacturing an energy crisis and not paying the federal tax dollars that ratepayers were giving them UNTIL AFTER THE STORY BROKE IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

I guess that's because the private sector is sooo much more efficient than any government institution at doing what it sets out to do. Of course, all that depends on what the institution actually sets out to do. Ask Randy Leonard about that.

Monday, August 01, 2005 10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's no more self-serving public servant than Randy Leonard. And on this whole public employee pension issue, the fox has been guarding the chicken coop for far too long.

Monday, August 01, 2005 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK. Pension plans: A way to care for folks.

Do you know how much you contribute to the "Poor peoples' help plan": Oregon's enmergency rooms??!!

Do you know how much you contribute to Oregon's mental health program: the jails??!!

And kudos to the person who used that wonderful phrase: the common good.??!!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 12:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lisaloving, why didn't you read it in LA Times first, or the NYT, Time magazine, WW or the Merc? because the WSJ was better than they were on this story, and they were better than the O, too. ultimately, tho, the O got in the game, as newspapers do, and did a reasonable job on the story. just because you're late, doesn't mean you don't do anything. every paper has a long list of stories that it didn't get first, just like every tv station. in this case, the O is actually getting at something that affects us at least as much as enron's pge escapades -- how public pensions are driving local and state budgets. they haven't gotten at the real culprit yet (the public itself!) or explained how it happened, but at least they've identified the problem.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 8:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am hearby declaring this phrase banned from all media: "low hanging fruit."
Stop it. Now.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 3:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes. Let's put that on the list with "chilling effect," "sea change," "slippery slope," "but X is not alone," "moving forward," ... um, crap. There are more. A lot more. Help me out people.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 4:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree. Anytime something becomes a cliche, it's time, in your writing, to avoid it--uh, like the plague. We all have our favorites. I despise hearing about the cops arresting "one of their own"...about "weary firefighters"...and about shuttle launches that are "picture perfect"..although that doesn't seem to be happening so much any more. In newswriting, it takes one minute to think of a more original way to say something. The trouble is finding one minute.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 8:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pension system in PDX is a mess and needs to be fixed. Both the Mayor and Comm. Leonard have been part of the board and should take the lead on helping fix it.

One way would be to stop putting PDX cops and firefighters in the system at some future date and send them to PERS. Grandfather the old guys in and in several decades the fund is history, with costs reducing every year due to deaths of retirees.

That being said, I don't know what Randy's drinking or fighting with his ex-wife added to the story. I thought it was a cheap shot and detracted from the story.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 4:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That being said" is another one. Banned. As of now.

Thursday, August 04, 2005 11:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Andrew Klossner said...

Wrapups that begin "One thing is certain:". From now on, you must instead say "I don't know how to write a conclusion."

Thursday, August 04, 2005 1:53:00 PM  
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