They may not have hired an actual corporate shill, but the Oregonian today signaled that they’re moving even further to the right by hiring Erik Lukens to be the new Editorial Page Editor.
Lukens comes from the Bend Bulletin, widely viewed as the home to the most conservative editorial board of any major paper in the state. While there, he built up a back catalog of right-wing opinions, steadfastly opposed to taxes, union protections, and spending on basic services like schools. (Unless you’ve got a paid subscription, you won’t be able to read his Bulletin editorials, but here’s a sample courtesy of—surprise surprise—the Oregon Republican Party: http://www.oregonrepublicanparty.org/node/231)
Bottom line: The Oregonian Editorial Board has long been out of touch with its community of readers, taking positions diametrically opposed to their readership on just about every important issue and candidate.
By hiring Lukens to run the Editorial Page, Oregonian Publisher N. Christian Anderson III has made it clear that his intention is to push the paper even further away from their base of subscribers. Oregonian readers who believe their paper should be a reflection of the community will be sorely disappointed.