Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Crummy Sweeps Journalism Part Two

Yesterday I related how local NBC affiliate, KGW, in Portland threw together some trashy nonstory on nude dancing in strip clubs solely to draw ratings during the critical May sweeps period. It's funny how many facts they seemed to miss when they ran this sensationalistic story last night.

The neighborhood past 82nd street near the airport is a seriously declining neighborhood with many empty buildings formerly filled with distributors to businessses or other nonfoot traffic based businesses. This only invites a few cheap businesses to set up in the area. So it is only natural that some crummy businesses such as a strip club or adult video store would choose a rundown neighborhood like this because the rent is so cheap.

KGW seemed to ignore that what few residents that live in the area are very low income, many on public assistance or other welfare benefits, and even tried to ignore all the tires and junk on the front porch of some woman who absurdly claimed that "drugs and prostitution" are coming back in this neighborhood because of a few adult businesses that have moved in to some cheap empty storefronts.

A screwy right wing Republican legislator, Kevin Cameron, a restaurant chain owner, has introduced what he claims to be an "emergency measure" to get on the Oregon ballot for the fourth time a ballot measure to restrict nude dancing in bars. Yet this sack of lard hypocrite never bothered to mention that he is a restaurant owner who belongs to a trade group made up of restaurant and bar owners called The Oregon Restaurant Association that fought a local city ordinance in Portland intended to take away the liquor license and shut down problem bars that have regular fights, knife or gun incidents. Hypocrite Cameron, wants to protect problem bars in neighborhoods, then pulls a "Holy Joe" act on the subject of a proposed new stip club, even if the business is a perfectly good business that obeys the law. Hypocrite.

There is no way that this seedy area with only a few local income welfare residents out past 82nd street can be seen as any legitimate residential neighborhood. Many of the few persons who live in the area are not homeowners, they're receiving a government check that does that for them. And the rent is low enough in the area that their checks will cover these cheap homes.

If there's any problem in the neighborhood, it's that it's an area in decline. There is nearly no place to buy groceries in the nearby area, except for one small mom and pop store. The problem with the neighborhood is economic. The area is in an economic decline and some really cheap businesses are moving it. It's either that or broken windows, empty storefronts, graffitti and youth gangs or other bad neighborhood problems. Wise lawmakers need to improve the neighborhood by spurring good businesses and residents with some money to move in. But maybe the best way for that is for the neighborhood to get rents so cheap that they will become a real bargain and the neighborhood will improve. Some neighborhoods have to get worse before they get better. But maybe this is all beyond the understanding of some in the newsmedia.

I really don't like bars in general, regardless of the type. I don't drink or smoke and don't ferquent bars. But it's absurd for such a nonstory to be made up by the media about nothing special. A slum neighborhood is a slum neighborhood. But nutty moralizing about it, rather than some efforts to encourage better businesses and residential renters to bring up this neighborhood will do nothing.


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