Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Civic Drama Plays Out on Portland Blog

Okay, it wasn’t Walter Cronkite brokering a visit to Jerusalem by Anwar Sadat back in 1977. That media intervention led to the Egyptian-Israeli peace talks. This wasn’t anywhere near that scale, and besides it was far from peaceful. What we had here was a wonderful, delightful little Portland war. And what is noteworthy is the stage on which it was joined. Yes, the setting for our recent Portland drama - our Rose City sniping session - was Jack Bog’s Blog.
A little background: City Commissioner Randy Leonard recently went on KGW to say OHSU and Matt Brown had lied to him about the tram. Harsh words, indeed, and a delight for all who have wallowed in this sewer of deception. Steve Stadum, Chief Administrative Officer for OHSU, fired off an indignant letter to Randy, about what a “stand-up partner” OHSU has been, which is true: As standup teams go, it’s hard to beat the recent work by the city and OHSU. To have these former allies going after each other in such a tavern-level tone, brought tingles of pure joy to many of the locals. Indeed, for some it was the first good laugh since this whole sorry tram saga started.
The letter wound up on Jack Bog’s Blog, as so many things do. There it was dutifully commented on by his merry band of wonks, intellectuals, and rebels. I believe this was folded into a new post with Randy Leonard’s reply, but I seem to remember one initial comment stated that Steve’s letter had “flat out spanked” Randy. The assertion that Randy Leonard first saw this letter on Jack’s blog is one thing, but the fact that he chose to respond on the blog is another. That was a true breakthrough.
Naturally, Jack played it cool, referring to the letter exchange as “professional wrestling” but who could hide their joy at this hilarious burst of nastiness? And bloggers, who among you didn’t feel a little pride that this turbulent drama occurred – not with some corporate media types – but on a blog. This wasn’t the Middle East – no, this was much nastier, and those who have suffered through the tram process, can only hope for more.


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