The Portland Oregonian is Oregon’s largest media outlet, considered the “paper of record” and providing coverage of issues and outreach to citizens statewide. Somehow, however, the paper decided that a rally of more than 4,000 people protesting anti-gay violence did not merit any coverage. This from the same paper that felt it important to cover a 15-person Tea Party rally. What’s up, Oregonian?
Regular TSM readers may remember the attack on Brad Forkner and Christopher Rosevear two weeks ago. Even this story of shocking violence and passerby neglect was not covered by the Oregonian until almost three days later, in a story that clearly borrowed from coverage by two local TV stations.
Portland’s citizens responded to this attack by arranging a wonderful rally called Hands Across Hawthorne, organizing the 4,000+ people into a handholding chain across the Hawthorne bridge where Forkner and Rosevear were beaten while holding hands. The rally was quickly organized on Facebook and held one week after the attack. Once again, local television (including the FOX affiliate!) and national media picked up the story. The Oregonian published nothing; not one word or picture.
A search of the Oregonian’s website does turn up two things besides the short piece on the attack. The wonderful Kathy Kniep, who was interviewed on TSM a while back, wrote a letter to the editor about the attack and the rally. Three days after the rally, the “Downtown Portland News” section of the Oregonian’s website included one fairly tongue-in-cheek sentence about the rally and a link to someone else’s article. Nice coverage, Oregonian. How disappointing that an event like this merited no effort from the paper and would not have graced its pages (on- or off-line) without the effort of a letter-writer and an independent blogger. This is shocking and unacceptable.
If you find this as offensive as we do, please take a moment to sign this online petition at Progressive Oregon. It closes at midnight tonight, so please act today. We need to let the Oregonian know that this kind of blindness and neglect will not be tolerated.