Still a Reporter Who Digs up the Dirt?

March/20/2015 5:39AM
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no smoke 3

Who blows the most smoke in America today?

Politicians? Of course they blow a lot. Used car salesmen? Sure. Environmental scientists? They get grants if enough people don’t see through the smoke. Like pipelines are unsafe but railcars aren’t. Hmmm. No, it’s the media, the organization created to find and tell the truth.

Ferguson, Missouri is the latest best example. It was so much fun they have moved on to Madison, Wisconsin.

Today the 4th estate spends time trying to create the news or spin the news to their perspective. It’s become one of the more disgraceful professions in the country. Ferguson, Missouri epitomizes what it has evolved into today. Create a riot, destroy a cop, destroy property, put small businessmen out of business, get people killed and injured and move down the road to NYC and Madison, Wisconsin and try to repeat the process. Why have a school of journalism at any college or university? Just have a school of propaganda, like the Russians had with Tass or Pravda. Produce the far-left scribes who labor day-in-and day-out for the cause. Support all the important causes, labor unions, spending at all costs(never support a budget cut at any level, even the local school) diversity to the extreme, big government, bad business, crooked politicians if they belong to the right party, and all their products we receive today.

Yet, there’s still hope. In Oregon, a former oil trader with almost no budget proved a journalist can still be a journalist today. He brought down a governor from a small tabloid newspaper. Not the NY Times , the so-called, Gray Lady, head pimp for the aforementioned propaganda machine, a small newspaper.

You reporters want a starting point to do what this reporter did? Start with Hillary Clinton or anyone named Clinton. Move on to Obama and the abuse he and his family have wreaked on the US budget with their travel and entertainment excesses. Stop by and check Nancy Pelosi on your way. You can go right down the line and get as many as you can. Include all Republicans who are doing the same things. Blur party lines. Fire the slugs you have now and replace them with ex-oil traders.

Here’s the pattern, Get to work.


If Nigel Jaquiss had stayed in the oil trading business or pulled off the transition to novelist, John Kitzhaber might still be governor of Oregon.

Unfortunately for Kitzhaber, Jaquiss made a mid-career switch to journalism. Jaquiss’ reporting in the alternative weekly Willamette Week on Kitzhaber’s ethical blinders regarding his fiancée triggered the governor’s resignation last Friday; successor Kate Brown was sworn in Wednesday.

That Jaquiss was the reporter who brought down the governor is hardly a surprise. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for reporting that former Oregon governor and ex-Cabinet official Neil Goldschmidt, a revered figure in the state, had had a long-term sexual relationship with a teenage babysitter.

Then in 2009, Jaquiss disclosed that then-Portland Mayor Sam Adams had had a sexual relationship with a teenage legislative intern.

Jaquiss, 52, is fueled by an old-school, civics textbook commitment to document-heavy investigative reporting, which he sees as crucial.

“For democracy to operate effectively, the public has to have confidence in its institutions,” he says,. “We can bring to public attention things that are happening that shouldn’t be happening.”

Just reporting the what is simply not enough. The reporter says the press “has the ability to explain how decisions get made, to give citizens a sense of understanding and comfort that there is some transparency. It’s up to reporters to figure out why things happen, to show the why and the how.”

And it’s clear Jaquiss found the right niche for himself after he fled Wall Street and graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He liked the fact that Willamette Week had a tradition of aggressive investigative journalism before he got there in 1998. The paper’s leadership has been extremely supportive of his digging, even when it has upset advertisers and cost the the paper serious money.

“These guys are fearless,” he says of editor Mark Zusman and publisher Richard Meeker. “When I come up with a story I want to do, they never bat an eye,” adding that they “bet the paper” on both the Goldschmidt and Adams stories.

One of the disheartening things about the financial challenges facing traditional media in the digital age has been the sharp reduction in many venues of investigative reporting. But Willamette Week shows you don’t need huge resources to pull off big stories. The paper has three, count ’em three, reporters, down from five-and-a-half, Jaquiss says.

In addition to pursuing his probes, Jaquiss still has to feed the beast much of the time with daily blog posts and weekly stories.


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