Sunday, April 10, 2005


Weekend Portlandblogging

Malkin omitted Portland's Nigel Jaquiss from her list of Pulitzer Prizes.

As if that didn't sting enough, erstwhile mayoral candidate (link not safe for work) and alt-alt-weekly newspaper managing editor Phil Busse of the Portland Mercury has some questions.
The work that Jaquiss has done on the Goldschmidt story and, especially, on PGE, has been much needed reporting in town.

That said, a month ago, I sent a letter to the Pulitzer board outlining concerns about the the story and 30-year cover-up of Goldschmidt's crime. Since the story broke, we've learned of several political figures with knowledge of the story, as well as several missed opportunities for newspapers to pursue it.

According to Jaquiss' own reporting, one of the original founders of Willamette Week, Robert Burthchaell, was actively involved in "handling" (more precisely, "silencing") Goldschmidt's victim. The question of Burthchaell's alleged involvement in the cover-up--and how this should reflect on WW--is a question I believe should be asked.

As a result, certain media outlets have questioned my intentions. If anything, this response has reinforced my concerns regarding Portland's media. After all, wasn't the failure--and the fear--to ask probing questions for 30 years the reason that the Goldschmidt rape remained hidden?

Jaquiss has done a great service by finally uncovering this hugely important story. But I believe there are still many unanswered questions requiring our attention. The Mercury is currently pursuing those leads.
This story is so incomplete that it seems pointless to even have published it, except to stir up controversy the same week that WW is celebrating its Pulitzer win. No details are given regarding when/if Robert Burtchaell ended his relationship with Willamette Week, in relation to when Nigel Jaquiss came to Portland from New York, and how many (if any) people remain on staff at WW that were there 30 years ago, assuming that's when Burtchaell allegedly "handled" the victim.

I think that it's the timing that probably bothers people, Phil, because I, for one, never heard you were worried about this issue until after your competing paper won a Pulitzer Prize. Why send the letter to the board? Do Burtchaell's alleged misdeeds have any effect whatsoever on Jaquiss' reporting? In fact, by your own admission, it was Jaquiss' reporting that revealed Burtchaell's potential involvement. Tell us more, Phil, or let WW have its moment.

Update: Jaquiss, of course, came to Portland from New York. Typo corrected.