Friday, February 15, 2008

Portland media watch: KGW issues biased, one-sided report on Columbia Gorge casino

Ah, the Columbia Gorge. The mythic strait through which sailed Lewis and Clark, and in so doing cemented Oregon's status as a frontier state touched by nature's grandeur. An unspoilt wilderness, hewn out of granite, forged by volcanoes and the steady anvil of rain and snow. Truly, one of our nation's scenic wonders. And...perhaps soon to a monstrous eyesore of a casino. Wait, wha? Yeah, well, you wouldn't know it to read this puff piece of a news story by the Associated Press and picked up by local the wunderkinds over at KGW news in Portland.

Titled, lamely, "Proposal for Casino in Gorge proceeds to next step," the article tells you everything you might want to know except, of course, why anyone would be opposed to this damn thing. Environmental groups? Yeah, they're a wee bit upset about it. Folks who fear the impact of traffic in Cascade Locks? Yeah, they're a bit upset about it as well. But not the chamber of commerce types over in Cascade Locks! No, it's all gravy, baby!

"We're very happy," Cascade Locks Executive Director Chuck Daughtry told KGW. "This means jobs and tourism" for Cascade Locks. "We recruited them... and we can't imagine a better partner."

The Warm Springs Tribes would stand to make an expected yearly profit of $77 million from the casino and benefits to Cascade Locks were predicted around $50 million over the next 25 years.
Hell, sounds awesome! Who could possibly oppose such a rad casino? Nobody but a bunch of damn hippies who hate gambling, and, uh, environmental damage, not to mention the intrusion of a massive casino in a scenic wonderland.

Guess what? I typed "Columbia Gorge Casino" into Google, and the first damn link was to the "Friends of the Gorge" a non-profit group based out of Hood River, with some information about why this thing sucks so bad. There's also a group of Cascade Locks residents opposed to the casino.

Really, not hard to find this stuff at all. Not hard to present both sides of the puzzle. Gah, our local media sucks.

Oh, and note the URL of the KGW article: it ends with "kgw_021508_environment_casino_impact.c5878d47.html." Got that? Environment casino impact. A concept important enough to put into the URL, but not into the article itself. INteresting, no?