Everybody is familiar with Lazy C editor, Lefty Lou Brancaccio and his ongoing obsession against two County Commissioners as well as a State Senator being named to head the County’s Department of Environmental Services, revealed of late twice weekly in Lefty’s tangents masquerading as editorials.
Lefty, to my knowledge, has never revealed an end goal in his screeds, other than to see these few people out of office and replaced by some more to the liking of the downtown mafia that tried desperately to stick the middle class in Clark County with Billions of dollars in debt for extending Portland’s financially troubled light rail into our community and that by all appearances, plans to resurrect that folly.
Even many on the left that share in Lefty’s disdain of the right groan at the weekly tedious, redundant tirades, many leaving comments to that effect under them.
While you are familiar with Lefty Lou and his antics, I doubt any know of Blake Washburn. Mostly because he is a fictional character in a 1951 B movie, Home Town Story editor of a home town newspaper, the Fairfax Herald (not to be confused with a newspaper of that name that was published from 1886-1973.)
Much like Lefty, Washburn used his position for a personal vendetta, claiming he was working to increase circulation while hiding his real intent.
In the movie, Washburn is a defeated; one-term State Senator that thinks focusing on and demonizing big business is his ticket back to the Senate.
Lefty, that I know of has no desire to actually have to stand before voters, but his vendetta is just as obvious as is Washburn’s.
Washburn first decides to attack a local manufacturer, McFarland Industries for pouring pollution into the river. Discovering that do not dump any polluting waste in the river, he over hears two men complaining of huge profits for big business and sets his sights on that angle.
He begins a series of editorials that repeatedly attack big business, causing the owner of McFarland Industries to stop by for a friendly visit and discuss with him what he calls “profits to the customer,” showing Washburn how everybody profits in many ways from industry.
Washburn wants no part of it, his eyes focused on returning to the Senate seat he was ousted from and now occupied by none other than McFarland’s son.
As fate would have it, Washburn’s kid sister, Katie, wanders away from a school outing and into an abandoned mineshaft that collapses, burying her under tons of dirt and debris.
She is rescued by the very industry he smears in every editorial, to the point of Mr. McFarland using his private airplane to fly her to the Capitol City for an emergency operation that saves her life.
Not to allow the viewer to miss the role industry played in her rescue, McFarland notes that one of the pieces of machinery being taken out of the operating room after the surgery is powered by one of his electric motors.
The movie closes with Washburn having reevaluated his view of big industry and writing an editorial outlining the “profit to the customer” theory expressed to him earlier by McFarland.
Yes, the plot is a bit sappy and the movie was commissioned to promote industry in 1951, but I couldn’t help but draw similarities to Lefty Lou and his tangent against the M&M boys and Sen. Benton while denying they have any part in other economic good news also published in the Lazy C.
Even though they are not very high on my own favored persons list, I cannot deny that they have accomplished improvements in the county.
Lefty cannot bring himself to admit any such a thing with his tedious attacks and smears.
Perhaps if he were a movie actor, the script might open his eyes that not everything is as dire and fouled up as he tries to portray.
I also can’t help but wonder if publisher Scott Campbell looks deeply at one of those ridiculous Don’t Do Stupid Stuff coffee mugs every time he signs Lefty’s paycheck.
It’s actually really sad to view an obscure old movie from 1951 and almost immediately see similarities with Lefty.
The movie does hold one redeeming value, though, Marilyn Monroe in a very small bit part.
Lefty’s rants just fade away to the dark recesses of yellow journalism and personal vendettas.