Vancouver is in Dire Need of a Newspaper

by lewwaters

America is a country of inventors, and the greatest of inventors are the newspaper men” –
Alexander Graham Bell

Col. ScalesWords spoken long ago by Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the first practical telephone, but that continue to ring true as we still see newspapers, the medium we should be able to place the most trust in for accurate and objective news, manipulating public opinion to fit some agenda favored by publishers or special interest groups favored by editors.

Day to day reports of auto accidents, women’s clubs, crime or obituaries may remain objective, for the most part, but politically this medium comes down solid on the left, in spite of claims otherwise.

Nowhere is this better seen than in Vancouver’s so called newspaper of record, the Columbian, or as I prefer to label them, the Lazy C for their lack of interest shown in digging for objectionable facts on Democrats while spewing an overbearing amount of hype against others, primarily Republicans.

And Republicans like David Madore and Don Benton don’t withhold any effort to cater to that effort, even though they know they are under the Lazy C microscope.

Hardly a day has gone by that you won’t find some derogatory mention of County Commissioners David Madore & Tom Mielke, labeled “the M&M Boys” in a pejorative sense by editor Lou Brancaccio or some sleaze claim made against State Senator Don Benton (R 17) by Stephanie Rice or others, either in print or on the pages of their All politics is local blog page online.

Be it blasting others in the Senate or frequent comments in public on facebook, both Benton and Madore continue to give the Lazy C all of the ammo they need to continue the little hate fest and even continue to sit down for taped interviews with them, interviews that end up cherry-picking words to smear both.

We see Brancaccio continue demanding the Benton be fired from his position as Head of the County Department of the Environment, claiming he is unfit and unqualified and not once giving credit for the good work he has done that has saved the county millions of dollars due to past actions by officials the Lazy C grants a pass to.

Think of the recent storm water runoff settlement of slightly over $3 Million that originally was slated to be in excess of $10 Million.

Other recent settlements in wrongful imprisonment from as far back as 20 years ago are being laid at the feet of the current Commissioners, primarily by commenters on the website that cling to every smear published by the Lazy C, with no correction.

After previously blasting those who frequently spoke publicly against the Columbia River Crossing light rail project, today they praise some that embarrass themselves with frequent parroting of the same thing over and over before the County Commission, City Council, C-Tran Board of Directors or the RTC.

It appears all one needs do is parrot the smears read in the editorial pages to gain favor with the Lazy C, witnessed by the Sunday, March 2, 2014 editorial; ‘Straight shooter’ Pollard stands at special intersection praising the recent outbursts of washed up, former Mayor of Vancouver, Royce Pollard.

Anybody recalling his terms in office could hardly agree he is a “straight shooter,” given his efforts to force citizens into accepting the CRC light rail extension of Portland’s financially troubled Maxline into Vancouver with a multi-Billion dollar bridge to carry it that would do absolutely nothing to relieve any congestion in the I-5 corridor.

That Pollard would not have permitted anybody to speak before city council as he has repeatedly spoken to County Commissioners is not considered, just so long as he shares in the Lazy C’s hatred of Benton, Madore and Mielke.

That Benton was one of the few Republican officials to support Pollard in the 2009 race he lost when current Mayor Tim ‘the Lair’ Leavitt lied his way into office is meaningless to Pollard or the Lazy C.

The vitriol Pollard spewed against Leavitt turned to praise as Leavitt pulled his flip-flop on supporting tolling the struggling middle class in Clark County to pay for Portland’s folly forced upon us.

And apparently that is all that is needed to gain credibility with the Lazy C, be willing to oppose middle class growth in the county as Pollard now does with opposition to the County Commissioners, that we overwhelmingly voted into office and his opposition to an oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver that would create numerous family wage jobs for the middle class, likely union jobs.

No, they would rather support an old vision left over from Pollard’s of a “Waterfront Project” that would place more tax burdens on the middle class that would likely see only minimum housekeeping jobs catering to an out of town wealthy.

Alternative News

So yes Vancouver, you not only need, but deserve a reliable and objective news source.

Commissioner Madore is claiming he is going to create such a source in 2014. On January 16, 2014 he posted on his public facebook page,

“2014 should mark the year when a new Clark County Media rises to fill the void. The vacuum will be filed with a credible relevant objective reliable professional news and information source that truly serves the citizens of our community. Stay tuned.”

I like David and think he is a truthful and honorable person, but he is a very busy person with his Commissioner cuties and his company, U.S. Digital, even though he hired someone to run it for him while in office. But we have heard this before from him at a September 2012 fundraiser;

But, in a recent one-hour interview with the Lazy C he stated Couv.com was merely an “experiment,” a “prototype,” something basically to “get his feet wet” so to speak.

In the meantime, although not newspapers, private blogs such as this one and Clark County Politics have been operating for several years at a cost of but pennies on the dollar of what others cost and providing balance to the liberal slant the Lazy C denies they operate under.

I have no idea just what Commissioner Madore has in mind and whether or not it will actually happen or even catch on, but in the meantime, lacking an objective news source with the Lazy C, private blogs will continue to fill the void until such time as a truly objective newspaper is operating in Southwest Washington.

12 Comments to “Vancouver is in Dire Need of a Newspaper”

  1. Well writ.

    We definitely need a competitive source for news.

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  2. I agree with KJ. I sure hope it can happen. I will subscribe. Thanks Lew.

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  3. Towards the end of that interview, LouLou asked Madore about his plans for a new news source. As I understood it, Madore said something will be up and running by the end of the year. A (daily?) on line source with a print edition maybe on a weekly basis. I doubt if the Columbian can withstand any viable competition.

    Hopefully the new ‘Clark County Times’ will have a good classifieds section to assist LouLou:

    “Wanted: disgruntled former partisan hack hit job newspaper editors who bit off more than they could chew, looking for a change. No experience required, but must be able to comprehend the meaning of ‘an honest day’s work’. Soap and scouring pads provided. Apply at Madore’s Restaurant. “

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  4. A competitive local news source IS needed. A newspaper to compete with “The Lazy C” is not at all likely to be created, since newspapers as an industry are being pushed out by new technology.

    Your Blog is an excellent source for local political news — but it would be nice to have something that’s a bit broader based with some paid staff that can do the leg work necessary to gather all the local news (hopefully without too much of the ‘fluff’ that appears in the newspapers.

    While I do not subscribe to any local newspaper (only the Wall Street Journal), I do receive a weekly copy of the Columbian’s North County throw away. It rarely has anything worth reading, usually just a couple of minor stories, like a Fishing Report and a Snow Report along with a bunch of “legal notice” ads. I give it about 2 minutes and then to the recycle bin (I don’t bother with the store ads, as I’m not supporting the Columbian…)

    I also get a (free) weekly copy of The Reflector, I find it interesting, as it does a reasonable job of covering local news, particularly about Battle Ground and Ridgefield. At least it covers the largest issues in these small towns. (A road realignment plan in Battle Ground, info about the Port of Ridgefield and restoration of a former wood treating plant.) It’s also covered some excitement in La Center about unrest in the city bureaucracy v. the city management. It still suffers from a liberal bias, but isn’t as bad as some papers. I spend 10 or 15 minutes with it each week — and check out ads from local vendors … if I might need some services offered.

    Comparing the size of the “North County” vs. The Reflector — it’s obvious that the Reflector is whipping the Columbian based on ad count and page count. The Reflector regularly runs 3 sections and has 3 or 4 times the page count as the Columbian.

    Keep up the good work, Lew.

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  5. Excellent!

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  6. Before you get yourself too deep in defending The Columbian please take some time to research the principals. Campbell formed Downtown Vitality Partners LLC to cash in on the Waterfront project. They bought up 2 blocks of Downtown using a loan from B of A and built their office building there. They went bust like everyone else who got into land development at that time. The Campbells, though, got bailed out by taxpayers through the City of Vancouver purchase of their building and surrounding land. Who were the attorneys, accountants, and real estate agents who also profited from all those transactions? Find their names as directors of Identity Clark County and co-signers of the Quisling letter urging the governors to go it alone on the CRC at the expense of Clark County commuters. Is it corrupt? Probably not – it just smells badly. Former Columbian journalist, Jeff Mize, once wrote, “Although a purchase makes sense on some levels, it remains politically and financially iffy.

    First, there is the appearance of a cozy business relationship with a newspaper that is supposed to be City Hall watchdog, not accommodating business partner.” http://media.oregonlive.com/business_impact/other/FINAL-Govenors-letter-list-names%5B1%5D.pdf

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  7. Okay…skeptic time here on my part. Yes, I agree that the people of Clark County need a reliable news source which benefits all of the people of Clark County, but this is where my skepticism steps in. It is my understanding that for any news source, you need backers. It is obvious that the current county news source is backed by Identity Clark County which includes unions. Folks…we’re talking BIG bucks and political clout which has for decades, strong-armed many a newcomer who disagrees with their game play right out of business. An observation of mine, noting that many BigBox industrial corporations have gotten the heck outta Dodge a long time ago…ever wondering just what the underlying issues were besides NAFTA giving some the advantage of going across borders.

    So here we have…Clark County’s current newspaper which has for the most part resembled a supermarket tabloid with writers hired to give their spin on the news…people hired because they fulfilled the needs of the company at the time of hiring, only to find the writers have overtly outweighed one side of the political ticket rather than the other….

    and they’re backed by the GOBK which has held strong since before Pollard took office.

    Then a newcomer tests the waters with his online news source…hoping to launch his own newspaper to be broadcast across Clark County…in HOPES of telling the news as it is, not as they see it (hard to discern between fact and opinion in any writes these days)…a newcomer with no prior political experience and was openly elected to the position of County Commissioner BY THE PEOPLE due to the obvious fact that he was willing to stand up against the GOBK (Good Ol’ Boyz Klub) in the fight against one of the biggest rip offs of the century (the CRC)…

    and he’s once again going against the GOBK in order to establish an unbiased news source.

    Will there be enough support BY the people in order to obtain and maintain this unbiased news source, given who has obviously controlled the county all these years???

    Mr. Madore…Commissioner Madore, that is…

    It will take more than just luck to get established in this local establishment.

    I still remain skeptical. If you can pull this one off, maybe you should run for Governor some day…8))

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  8. Robert Dean…as I call them…

    The GOBK…!!!

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  9. Oh, I forgot to mention that the Campbells also sold the City the property they built the Hilton Hotel on. Cozy for some time.

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  10. That’s right. The Hilton that will be used to house all the out of state construction workers who come to tear up our bridge, streets, and interchanges and build the massive employee parking garages for Portland office towers on Vancouver real estate. Keep in mind that for 6-11 years no one else will want to come downtown into that light rail construction zone and so the out of state workers will get good rates, maybe even free.

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  11. No wonder there’s such a push for the “New” downtown Vancouver location on the east side.

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  12. I believe the Campbells still own property in downtown Vancouver in addition to that which their building is sitting on. They have a strong motive to get that bridge built!

    I would certainly welcome a local newspaper in Clark County. We haven’t had one for several years now. I don’t visit the ‘Couv’ much due to the format. Nothing wrong with the format at all, but I don’t have time to sit and watch videos. A newpaper format would be very welcome.

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