Thursday, March 03, 2011

Are There Any Real Newspaper Editors Any Longer?

You just got to love this old movie scene, taken from the 1939 classic, 'Jesse James.' Throughout the movie, the character of Major Rufus Cobb, the grizzled news editor rails on and on against what he sees as unjust, calling upon whatever it is to "take them out and shoot them down like dogs."

Just a movie line and not anything meant to be taken literal, but it shows a mindset where once upon a time, newspaper editors stood up for the citizens against corrupt, unjust politicians or whoever was trying to take advantage of the citizens.

What made me think of this was an article appearing in the Columbian,

Legislature has clout to OK tolls for light rail
It could do so even if voters defeat proposed C-Tran hike

The gist of the article amounts to rubbing voters noses into the dirt telling us the vote we fought so hard for, separate funding of C-Trans from Loot Rail extended from Portland may not matter, the legislature having the power to ignore voters and just do as they please. The article states,
"C-Tran’s board of directors will meet Saturday to talk about whether the board is still on track to place a ballot measure before voters in November."

"That measure would boost the sales tax by one-tenth of 1 percent to operate an extension of Portland’s light-rail transit system across a new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River."

"There’s just one thing: It may not matter."

"The state Legislature could, in the face of a ballot measure defeat, simply authorize bridge tolls to be used for operating and maintaining the new light rail line."
Don't expect editorials from Lou Brancaccio or John Laird to write against such strong arming of taxpayers. If anything they, completely unlike the movie character of Major Cobb, go along with such unjust actions by the "Ruling Class" in Olympia.

No, instead you can expect more railing against successful businessman David Madore and his group, who continue to speak out on the unjust actions of the "Ruling Class" ramming an unwanted, expensive project down the throats of voters and taxpayers.

During the days of the expansion west by the railroads in the 19th century, questionable ethics and corruption were widely known, recorded in the history books and credited with giving us the axiom "railroaded through," not unlike what we see today with the expansion of Loot Rail against voter and taxpayer wishes. Unlike the 19th century, there is no land left to tame nor is there a need to move goods and settlers across a vast divide, settling new lands.

It's only the desires of some unknown fatcats reaping millions of dollars off of a disgruntled citizenry forced to pony up dwindling and precious tax dollars, whether they have it or not.

If we can believe any of the old movies, once was a time newspaper editors stood up to corrupt members of the elected "Ruling Class" and exposed their corruption and scandals, looking out for the "little guys," not try to make a big deal out of one they don't particularly care for having a single beer for lunch or spreading dirt on citizen advocate groups and successful businessmen.

We sure could use a Major Rufus Cobb in Southwest Washington today. If there were any, blogs like this one would not need to exist.

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