Faxing one in on Portland

Portland made the front page of the New York Times today. It's amazing how different their story is from what they were telling everyone about us 15 years ago. Then, it was a utopia to which all the cool kids were flocking. Now, the problems on the city's streets are front and center.

There's a two-page spread inside as well.

I must say, for all the space they've given this article, it is an extraordinarily lazy piece of journalism. The reporter seems to have talked to next to no one, opting instead for a handful of interviews with bit players and straining for a "human interest" angle.

He's got one thing right: Portland is now the place where young people come to die. But if you've lived here through the last two years, today's big splash isn't going to tell you anything you didn't already know many months ago. And even if you're new to Portland's problems, you're not going to learn much. It's an odd one, to be sure.

You can read it here if you like, and tell me if you agree.


  1. You are SO right, Jack. Saw the headline and was excited to read it but such a bunch of fluff. Barely talk to one business person. No mention of homeless industrial complex by the author .The comments were better than the story. The Times isn't what it used to be. Not sure how they found a 23-year-old raising money to buy tents but someone needs to speak with that lad.

  2. Decades ago the Times was a reliable source of substantiated facts.
    Sadly, it started writing front page opinion pieces and taking sides, politically. I occasionally read it’s reporting on scientific discoveries. But, little else.

    1. Science reporting at the NYT can be politically perilous as wekk. For evidence see Nicholas Wade, or Donald McNeil.

    2. The Times does more good than harm most days. But this one is just weak.

  3. So bad, she thinks you sue the insurance company and not the tortfeasor. Also, given the ratio of Doug Fir to pine, “pine scented”, is a lazy Easterner assuming all conifers in PDX are “pine”, “Layers and layers of fact checkers and editors”.

  4. One thing I’m glad the article did mention is that people do come here to be homeless. I’m tired of the local politicians denying that.

  5. The toilet paper of record doing a fluff piece? Shocked! Did we ever find those weapons of mass destruction that the NYT was the biggest cheerleader?


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