Skip to comments.And one more thing (Last conservative leaves The Oregonian)
Posted on 11/09/2008 8:19:46 PM PST by hiho hiho
A couple of Sundays back I mentioned in a column on our uncivil political discourse that I would be leaving The Oregonian after the election. Some readers believed it was my final column and probably have wondered how they can miss me if I never leave.
Today's column is my last. I'm leaving. I promise. It is an odd thing to walk away from a job you once so longed to have. I wanted to a follow in the line of H.L. Mencken, Red Smith, Murray Kempton, G.K. Chesterton and Malcolm Muggeridge. I wanted to be what St. Augustine once called "a vendor of words." I wanted to be a newspaper columnist in the worst way, and no doubt many readers would say I achieved just that goal early in my career here. But it's time to move on.
I was brought here by a publisher Fred A. Stickel, who had the wisdom and marketing sense to see that The Oregonian needed its own conservative writer and that the paper's editorial board needed some right-ward ballast. For the past 12 years, I've worked for an editorial-page editor, Bob Caldwell, who has always encouraged me to write the strongest opinions possible -- even, often especially, when he vehemently disagreed with those opinions. We've gone at it hammer and tong many times, but he never spiked one of my columns. He's now taking special pains to ensure that conservative opinion writers, national and local, will remain a regular part of the opinion section.
One story: Some months after I arrived here I was at my desk one morning that my column ran. The phone rang. I braced myself, but the man on the other end of the line could not have been more complimentary about my offering that day. I was new to the trade, insecure as an opinion columnist can be, and ready to listen to this wise reader.
"You really should be syndicated ..." he said. Isn't that what every young columnist wants to hear?
"Your writing reminds me of George Will's ..." Oh, merciful heavens, George Will is one of my idols.
"... except that your writing is easier to understand ..." Yes, yes, yes. Exactly. My one criticism of Will's work was his baroque, mannered prose.
My head was spinning. A feeling of well-being washed over me. Was this a great gig or what?
"Do you mind if I make one suggestion?" No, no, my good man, suggest away. I've got all day for readers like you. Go right ahead.
"Do you think The Oregonian could devote more space to UFO sightings?"
I've had the privilege of working with smart, witty and good-hearted people here. I've come to love my editorial page colleagues despite our battles. How often I wished these talented folks were on my side in this or that battle. How often I wished just one of them was. Bob Caldwell has been a great boss and a better friend. The two guys I've worked with longest here, David Sarasohn and Jack Ohman, are two of the sharpest, kindest, funniest and best-informed people I know. Of course, they should be allowed nowhere near the levers of political power.
Which brings me to my chief reason for leaving. I want to be part of a team that shares a common goal and commitment. I want to work with folks who share my basic values. I no longer want to be the odd man out. I don't want to start my mornings with a running argument about politics that I'll almost invariably lose by virtue of the stacked numbers. Sad to say, today's newspaper business is not that place. Its fierce diversity efforts don't seem to extend to broadening the range of acceptable opinions in the trade. So much "diversity," yet so much monolithic thinking.
I started to feel that I was the Julia Roberts character in "Sleeping With the Enemy" -- a troubling reference point on so many levels.
I'm not retiring. Far from it. I'll be hip deep in the public affairs of Oregon. But somewhere else, involved in a different way. I couldn't be happier about the new challenge ahead. Or more grateful for the opportunity that The Oregonian gave me too many years ago.
I've been humbled by the outpouring of support and good wishes from both critics and fans during the past few weeks. I've been especially touched by the folks who said they never agreed with me on one issue but still liked to read my columns. One liberal gentleman said he would once again have to turn to pharmaceuticals to keep his blood pressure up. I've also been struck by the number of people who feel so alienated from what is, or was, their daily newspaper, and I feel their pain.
Thank you all for the privilege of being part of your world these past 22 years. God be with you.
Good luck. If you stay in Oregon, you’re guaranteed to have a tough row to hoe if you’re an outed Conservative.
Please, people. Understand that this “oregon is a liberal wasteland” is only true becuase three... JUST THREE counties exist with people who have something in the water supply.
The rest of Oregon is quite sensible.
I so dearly wish we could just EVICT the TriMet from Oregon...
Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Oregon Ping List.
David Reinhard’s name goes on the Good Guy list.
“Please, people. Understand that this oregon is a liberal wasteland is only true becuase three... JUST THREE counties exist with people who have something in the water supply.”
I’m sure this is true since it’s the pattern from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. On the ocean side of the mountains idiocy, fraud and tyranny rule, on the east side sanity is the order of the day.
Good luck, Watcher, since the idiots on the coast outnumber you folks with functioning brains.
I just love how the Oregonian put large red X’s on the pictures of the Republicans who lost in this election (in today’s paper). How classy.
I mentioned this on another thread but the Oregonian has just been sickening this week with all the fawning over the messiah. I just can’t stand it anymore. I’ll be canceling my subscription. The coupons in the Sunday paper just aren’t worth it (only reason for the subscription). Besides, won’t the one be buying our groceries for us now anyway?
What a lovely and gracious opus from Mr. David Reinhard. I will make note to look for his works to show up elsewhere.
I would LOVE to cancel The Oregonian. Unfortunately, Mr. Inspectorette needs the smell of the newsprint (even though he hates the liberal slant) with his morning coffee in order to start the day.
Media Death Watch...
The last conservatives to leave Oregon before they are driven out, will not have to turn off the lights.
The liberals will bull doze their homes to turn their land into public dope using land.
Yes... The Oregonian of Oregone!!! (per Grampa Dave)
I hope he moves to Clark County, as a few Republicans still seem to be left alive over here...
I canceled my subscription a few weeks ago, but they are still delivering the paper to me. It was after the first Palin/Trooper report came out. Not once in the Page One article was it mentioned what the trooper in question did to warrant suspension. Anyhow, about the coupons...yesterday's edition of the O had almost nothing in terms of ads. They are dying, and there is no point for them to give me their rag for free if there are no ads to pay for the rag.
Wow, maybe my wife and I should reconsider. It’s probably too late, she already has a biz in PDX, and I’m on the way.