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media criticism | police / legal a22: bush protest

The Oregonian got it wrong with their story on Anti-Bush demonstration

The Oregonian got it wrong with their story on Thursday's Anti-Bush demonstration.

It was reported that demonstrators had gathered 'to taunt Bush and his
supporters'. This is clearly an attempt to belittle the demonstrators, and
their very real concerns and issues which they were attempting to voice on
the streets of downtown, when they were violently stopped by the Portland

It was reported that it was the 'first time in memory that officers had used
rubber bullets in Portland for crowd control'. That's absolutely not true,
unless memory doesn't extend before May 1st, 1999, when Portland Police shot
dozens of rubber bullets into non-violent demonstrators downtown.

Police Chief Mark Kroeker was quoted as saying that Portland police officers
didn't shoot any rubber bullets. But, this photojournalist is very sure that
it was a uniformed member of the Portland Police Department who aimed, and
shot him just two days ago, when photography was the only action he was

It was reported that police were attempting to move a barricade when a patrol
car drove into the crowd of demonstrators, but the barricade had already been
moved, and no further attempts were being made when the police car recklessly
drove into the crowd. At the point when said car did plow into the
demonstrators, the bullets and pepper spray had already been shot at people
who were guilty of no crime, and certainly no violent act.

The reaction of a few protestors, pounding on the windows of the patrol car,
and attempts to hold it back, were spurned by the facts that they had just
been shot, and that a car was attempting to drive into them.

It is shameful that the Oregonian reported such an inaccurate account of the
demonstration. All of the recent government activity should have set them in
watchdog mode, but clearly, the Oregonian has become a lapdog.
They always lie 24.Aug.2002 11:20

won't read 'em anymore

The Oregonian and other local corporate news outlets are profit-driven institutions that exist to defend and uphold the status-quo. They are owned by the ruling class and represent their interests. Truth, Facts, Accuracy are not priorities for these people or their propaganda machines. Those are not ways to stay in control on top of an unjust, war-making, spit-on-the-poor system. Corporate media is not objective or neutral or "just reporting" on anything. Their claims to be so are deceitful. Some individuals within the corporate machine might think they are doing a good job or can change it for the better. They are kidding themselves and if they care about the world or the truth they need to get out and get a different job. Corporate media has been getting worse, not better, for several decades.

Pointing out the lies, like Troy does here, is an essential part of educating ourselves, and keeping ourselves alive. Yay, Troy !!

Be a little more careful 24.Aug.2002 11:30

not to be a nag

The date was May 1, 2000, not 1999. Not trying to be a nag, but its mistakes like these that allow people to degrade the quality and accuracy of independent media sources.

My Critique of The Oregonian's Coverage 24.Aug.2002 16:41

David Lyles

(I submitted the following today to The Oregonian. What are the odds that they will publish it?)

Let's apply some critical thinking to The Oregonian's own published report of Thursday's police actions ("Police tactics rekindle criticism" Sat., Aug. 24), and see what a different understanding emerges of what transpired.

From "The Police," paragraphs 11 and 12: ". . . demonstrators . . . were pressed against parking lot walls, unable to maneuver. Police . . . tried to move the crowd further away. First, they pushed with batons and yelled orders to disperse, they said. But when the crowd didn't move, they sprayed canisters of pepper spray."

So, here we have a crowd that cannot move, being ordered to move, and then pepper-sprayed when they don't move. What's wrong with this picture?

From the insert "Less-Lethal Munitions": "37 mm single-shot gun: . . . Officers are trained to fire the rubber sting-balls at the ground. They bounce off in a skip-shot to strike a target." From "The Police," paragraph 19: "Two Portland officers fired rubber sting-ball rounds from 37 mm single-shot guns at the people who had leaped onto the car, their police reports said. . . The rubber sting-balls are generally fired at the ground, then bounce in a skip-shot and can strike several people during their flight, officers said."

So, which is it -- were they fired directly at people, or at the ground? And if at the ground, do they strike a target, or, less discriminately, several people (an "effective way to 'move a crowd' ", as the article later quotes Cmdr. Dave Benson as saying)?

Finally, let's look at the man at whose desk the buck must stop, Police Chief Kroeker. Friday's paper quoted him as saying he thought the rubber munitions were fired by Beaverton police ("I don't believe our people used them today"). On Friday, he "clarified his view": "It's not this agency, or that. We have a unified command." I would submit that this is not a clarification, but a direct contradiction. One statement or the other is incorrect -- why not own up to it, Chief? Were you so out of touch as late as Thursday night that you didn't know what your people did? Why try to disclaim responsibility, if the command is unified? Who, if not you, is at the top of that chain of command?


Truth Squad Trooper

phone numbers for editors, departments, etc.:

Do you have a comment about fairness, accuracy or other issues in news coverage or editorial pages of The Oregonian? Contact the public editor, Dan Hortsch, at 503-221-8221 or toll-free from outside the 503 area code at 1-877-238-8221, by fax at 503-412-7060 or send an e-mail to  publiceditor@news.oregonian.com.

We invite your letters to the editor. Send them to: Letters to the editor, The Oregonian, 1320 S.W. Broadway, Portland, Or., 97201, or  letters@news.oregonian.com via electronic mail. They may also be faxed to (503)294-4193.