Are You Kidding Me?

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The Oregonian: Pushing an agenda one headline at a time

The conservative bias at the Oregonian isn’t exactly a secret. But one of their most frequent tactics goes mostly ignored: Writing headlines to frame stories in a way that pushes their ideological agenda.

Some obvious examples from recent history:

•    The “Obama keeps job” front page headline the day after the November election

•    “Lower expectations for Obama 2.0” on the front page the day of Obama’s second inauguration (also the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday), topping a couple of wire stories about conservative opposition to the President’s agenda

•    The “State asks to pry info from Mannix groups” headline on a story about the Oregon Department of Justice investigating Kevin Mannix’s alleged use of a veteran’s charity to funnel funds to his political campaigns.

Their latest headline twisting shenanigan: “Uncle Sam blamed for fourth-quarter slowdown.”

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The O Lowers the Bar Yet Again

No matter what your partisan persuasion, today is undeniably an historic day. President Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term, on the same day the nation is celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

And yet, here's how the Oregonian decided to mark the occasion with their front page:

It's awfully reminiscent of their "Obama Keeps Job" headline the day after the election, and a mysterious "Bigfoot" noise in Eastern Oregon gets more elaborate treatment than the swearing in of the President of the United States.

Effectively, conservative publisher N. Christian Anderson III and his editors are using the front page to thumb their noses at Oregonians who voted for Obama by a 12-point margin (and who make up a majority of the Oregonian's readership). They're basically saying, "Don't hold your breath, because your hero isn't going to accomplish anything anyway."

It's undeniable that Anderson's political agenda has transformed the newsroom at the O.

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Tell me again why women make less than men?

Still think the gender wage gap exists because of societal reasons rather than discrimination? Think again.

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“Most Inappropriate Reaction”

For us in Oregon, the tragic events in Connecticut last Friday were unfathomable, especially as it came on the heels of the local tragedy in Clackamas. We join the rest of the country in mourning all of the victims, and our hearts go out to all of the families whose lives have been changed forever.
 
It’s also impossible for us to ignore some of the worst responses that have come from some politicians looking to score points in the wake of the tragedy. Unfortunately, one of the worst reactions has come from right here in Oregon. 
 
Rep. Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point) created a national outcry when he sent an email to school superintendents saying that the tragedy was “another heart breaking failure of school personnel to ensure the protection of innocent children and adults.” 
 
Just hours after educators in Sandy Hook gave up their lives to save their kids, Rep. Richardson was calling their heroic actions a “failure… to ensure the protection of innocent children.” 
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Sign the Petition: Demand a Fair Election in Clackamas County

Clackamas County’s Elections Office is under investigation for alleged ballot tampering to benefit Republican candidates, and now the same office has come under fire for calling the police to harass Democratic canvassers.

County Clerk Sherry Hall has a record of making politically charged statements that have revealed her right-wing bias, raising doubts around the state that she can administer a fair election.

--Click here to sign the petition demanding a fair election in Clackamas County--

Hall is independently elected, and she's directly responsible for the integrity of elections in the county. But, simply put, there’s no reason to have any confidence in the integrity of the elections process in Clackamas County, and that’s an outrage.

This doesn’t just affect Clackamas County. The vote count in Clackamas will impact many statewide races, and will even likely determine who holds the majority in the Oregon House of Representatives.

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Look at all those heads in the sand!

A few weeks ago, we wrote this:

[A] growing body of economic research... suggests that income inequality may be the root of America's economic woes... While the conservative right will almost certainly try to denounce these findings as "bias from the liberal elitite," the truth of the matter is that the reports aren't being crafted by one party or one organization.The reports come from an array of diverse sources, including IMF, internationally renowned economists, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and dozens more.

Here's the thing -- while we predicted that Republicans would dismiss the findings, we never dreamed that they would try to cover them up.

But according to an article in today's New York Times, that  is precisely what happened.

Here's the scoop:

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PolitiFarce Strikes Again

In Washington, the Seattle Times got into hot water recently because the newspaper decided to give away free ads to Republican candidates. Here in Oregon, our newspaper of record has bypassed ads all together and now appears to just be using the news pages to campaign for Republicans.

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Halloween Comes Early: Who's Behind the Deceptive "Women's Voters Guide"?

Did you receive a mailing this weekend that looked like this?--->

Wondering who it’s from? No, it’s not the League of Women Voters, nor is it from any group that works on women’s issues.  It’s actually from a Republican-aligned group called the Oregon Transformation Project, which is almost entirely funded by money from Stimson Lumber.  

 

How closely aligned are Oregon Transformation Project and the Oregon Republican Party? It’s co-chaired by Allen Alley, chair of the Oregon GOP, and Rep. Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point). Its political action committee is run by Rob Kremer, the treasurer of the Oregon Republican Party. None of them are well known as champions on women’s issues.

 

Oregon Transformation Project has dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into GOP candidate races.

So it should come as no surprise that most of the “Women’s Voters Guide” endorsements are for Republicans (including Mitt Romney, Knute Buehler, and Bruce Starr), with a handful of token Democratic endorsements in seats that are safe for the Dems or are unopposed.


 It’s a pink-tinted disguise designed to give Republican candidates a boost in key races. If Twitter is any indication, it appears this trick is backfiring.

Did you receive one of these mailers? Respond in the comment section and let us know where in the state you’re located. It’ll help us get a sense of just how widespread it was mailed. We’d love to hear what your reaction was upon receiving it, too.

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UPDATE: Looks like Allen Alley has now resigned from the Oregon Transformation Project.

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Our Oregon Files Formal Complaint Over False Robocalls

On Friday, we filed a formal complaint with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General's office, asking for a thorough investigation into the tens of thousands of bogus robocalls that have gone out to voters in recent days. Here's the statement that we sent to the press along with the complaint:

Our Oregon Files Complaint in Robocall Case

This afternoon, Our Oregon filed a complaint with the Oregon Secretary of State and the Oregon Attorney General’s office regarding tens of thousands of robocalls made to Oregon voters.

The calls—falsely claiming that recipients’ voter registration is inactive—have been widely reported in the press. At present, GOP political operative (and former Bill Sizemore associate) Tim Trickey and Rep. Julie Parrish have claimed responsibility for the calls. Our Oregon believes a thorough investigation is necessary.

"With all the many people involved, this was either a conspiracy to confuse and disenfranchise 73,000 voters or a confederacy of dunces,” said Our Oregon Executive Director Patrick Green. “Either way someone should be held responsible for breaking the law."

Today’s complaint outlines apparent violations of Oregon’s robocall statute as well as the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act.

The full complaint is attached.

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The Oregonian: Wrong on the Facts, Wrong About Tax Cuts

Quiz time!

Question: What was Economist and Oregon State University Professor Patrick Emerson talking about when he wrote the following:

“This is exceptionally poor [use of statistics]. It is intellectually dishonest or lazy or both and does not befit a board that wishes to be taken seriously.”

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