In Thursday’s news section there was no story about the fact that there are 100,000 children who do not have enough to eat in Oregon today. We regret the absence…”


by brian doyle


In Tuesday’s sports section, our columnist used the word great to describe Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, of the National Basketball Association. We regret the error.

In Wednesday’s op-ed section, a contributor used the word slimy to describe former Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt’s years of sexual abuse of a child. The proper words should have been shrieking evil criminal. We regret not using the proper words. We also regret not pursuing the story when it might have made a vast difference to the child and to other children being raped mentally and physically in Oregon. We take great pride in being the best newspaper in the state, a periodical that takes very seriously its role in calling crime and abuse on the carpet publicly, and we punted that one. We have to say that this lack of effort will always haunt some of us on the staff.

In Monday’s sports section, a news item reported that Kobe Bryant “led” his team to a victory. However, “led” intimates some aspect of caring for and about those who are being led to a goal. We regret the error.

In Thursday’s news section there was no story about the fact that there are 100,000 children who do not have enough to eat in Oregon today. We regret the absence. We ought to damn well publish a story every day about that, don’t you think, until that’s solved?

In Wednesday’s sports section, we reported that Kobe Bryant needs fewer than 4,000 shots attempted to become the man with the most shots attempted in the history of the National Basketball Association. Our columnist speculated that Mr. Bryant would be able to reach that number within three years. We regret the error. The proper number should have been two weeks.

In Sunday’s paper, we noticed, there were more pages devoted to used cars, which are contributing mightily to a world where everyone has asthma and wars are fought over fresh water, than there were pages devoted to books, in which ideas are found that might heal the bruised and battered world. We regret the error.

In Friday’s paper, we ran eight letters to the editor, half of them excoriating the paper for this or that, and the other half actually commenting on matters reported in the paper. On our associated web site, we ran an additional 80 letters from readers we deemed sane, or essentially so. Yet we issued some 300,000 newspapers on Friday. Are we to conclude that only one in 3,000 readers was exercised or stimulated enough to respond to the newspaper of record in the state? We regret that our readers seem increasingly apathetic with regards to the pressing issues of our time. Perhaps your latest lewd Twitter feed is indeed more important. We regret your error.

In Monday’s sports section, a columnist made reference to Kobe Bryant having more than one assist in his 17-year career. We regret the error. After careful review of the alleged assist, we are persuaded that Mr. Bryant dropped the ball accidentally, whereupon it was retrieved by a teammate, who scored, and then was roundly scolded by Mr. Bryant for not passing the ball to him.

Originally published:
Issue Sixty-Seven
July 2013


(Illustration: John Richen)

Brian Doyle was the author of many books, including the sea novel The Plover, which has, no kidding, music printed in it, not to mention Mink River, Martin Marten, The Wet Engine, and more than we can recall.  He won the 2017 John Burroughs Medal for distinguished nature writing for Martin Marten, which was plenty cool and much deserved.  Brian passed away peacefully at his Lake Oswego home on May 27, 2017. 

More, much more, from Brian Doyle can be found in the Vault of Smoke.


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