Monday, May 05, 2014

Candidate Mark Callahan Jaquisses Nigel Jaquiss and Willamette Week

[Updated with video]

This blog has featured a number of comments praising Nigel Jaquiss for his courage and ability to confront the famous and powerful with their misconduct.

Jaquiss is the Willamette Week reporter who exposed the seamy underside of Oregon Democrats Neil Goldschmidt, Sam Adams and, most recently, Jefferson Smith and the Oregon news media powerhouses that covered for them. In fact Jaquiss won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting of the Neil Goldschmidt scandal which also featured commentary on the Oregonian cover-up of the story.

Unfortunately, Jaquiss has inhaled the praise he received and now believes (along with his Willamette Week colleagues) that he is above normal civility. He was not ashamed enough to apologize when caught writing in his reporter's notes "blah, blah, blah, blah, blah" as summation of a candidate's views he and two Willamette Week editors were interviewing.

[video of full session here]

In the interview, candidate Mark Callahan gave Jaquiss a lesson in how to confront the powerful with their errors.  He confronted Jaquiss with being disrespectful. Jaquiss didn't repond with even a light apology. Instead Jaquiss responded with a sneering question: "Where are you on the Easter Bunny?"

The sad thing was not so much Nigel Jaquiss writing, "blah, blah, blah, blah, blah".

It was unnecessarily rude. Those aren't notes of any use in recalling specifics--which is what notes are for. It was needlessly stupid. Jaquiss of all people should know about the dangers of people in a public setting writing notes that others can read.

The really sad thing is that neither Nigel Jaquiss nor Willamette Week editors feel bad about being gratuitously stupid and rude. Nothing was gained. Neither Joe Rae Perkins (the blah, blah, blah lady) nor Mark Callahan (the Jaquiss-style confronter) were outed as horrible human beings or corrupt politicians.  Actually, Callahan was shown as a man who calls out unfairness wherever he sees it in a rather powerful way. Not a go along to get along guy. (I think that deserves a campaign contribution--which will duly be sent.)

Monica Wehby and Jason Conger, the big guns in the race, had good answers on a number of questions. But, didn't have the courage or quick sense for even a mild comment in defense of either Perkins or Callahan.

I've already sent a contribution to one of them. I'm kind of sorry I did. I wonder if either of them would be able to stand courageously on important moral issues if they can't stand on a low, common sense response to the rudeness of those who can give them political help or do them political harm.

Last, I hope Nigel Jaquiss revisits this and is man enough to learn and mature from the reproofs of life. I have a lot of regard for him and wish him the best.

The one who refuses correction despises himself,
but whoever hears reproof acquires understanding.


MAX Redline said...

Ahnotha well-done piece, TD - as I've mentioned, I share your hope that Nigel actually learns something. And you're dead-on about the needless stupidity of the thing.

I'll have to disagree on Callahan, though; while he's certainly garnered some prime time on Fox, he's still nuttier than my Aunt Lue's fruitcake. The guy's run for office as a Democratic, a Green Party guy, and lately, as a Republican.

I do think he was correct in calling out Jaquiss, but....

T. D. said...

Max, I highly value your assessment. On the basis of this one interview I was impressed. He said all the things I would want someone to say to the kids in our family if they wrote, "blah, blah, blah" as a summary of someone's statements and asked snarky questions about the Easter Bunny to put someone down.

At times like this I'm glad I only have one little vote rather than plenipotentiary electoral power. Heh.

Thanks for your insightful comments, Max.