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AVA OREGON SADDLES UP

Eugene's new alt-newspaper folds
Famed Northern California "Muckraker", Editor Bruce Anderson, has folded his new "A.V.A. Oregon" newspaper in Eugene, Oregon. He blames money woes, but it's no secret that he was the target of a widespread smear campaign by former adversaries such as Earth First! and other more socialist elements of the N. Cal. Democratic party. Famed for skewering crooked officials from the dogcatcher on up, Anderson was praised and promoted by literary heavyweights like Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair. The Mendocino County weekly gained national fame on several occasions, and was a press barometer of the limits of free speech. Eugene is a much larger, more diverse community, and the small-town flavor of the AVA didn't translate well. Oregonians are rather like Minnesotans in that they're big on being "Nice" unless you really provoke them. Anderson's sometimes abrasive style was bound to clash with this ethic eventually. Being surrounded by an army of what he derides as "fem-nazis" sure didn't help his debut. The AVA would have been better off in Idaho, where shooting from the hip is a time-honored tradition.

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Bruce Anderson richly deserved his failure in Eugene 17.Feb.2005 20:41

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Bruce Anderson was the target of a smear campaign? Poor Brucie! For 20 years he put out a so-called newspaper whose main thing was smearing people. This is a guy who claimed to be socialist but spent most of his energy attacking those on the left. He spent years trying to undercut support for Judi Bari's lawsuit against the FBI for trying to frame her for the bomb that exploded under her in 1990. He even wrote in his California paper that he contacted the FBI defense lawyer in that case and offered to help him beat it, and then boasted in print that the lawyer actually came to see him in Boonville. Anderson is the poster boy for irresponsible yellow journalism. He routinely printed mean-spirited, defamatory gossip and hearsay without identifying their sources and without doing any fact-checking whatsoever. He printed many blatant journalistic hoaxes, some of which are still online on his California paper's website, www.theava.com. Bruce Anderson richly deserved his failure in Eugene. Thank you, Eugene!