Add trash-talk to Commissioner Steve Novick's famed repertoire of rhetorical talents.
Novick, never shy with a jab or a quip, is seizing on some recent sporting news to fire back at an Oregonian editorial board that's made hay in recent weeks by aiming some public cheap shots at the Portland City Council. Novick, a member of the council, has naturally taken some umbrage and seems to have decided it's not worth trying to please an editorial board that any savvy reader can see has taken a hard right turn toward the suburbs.
It's here, but we'll post the whole thing for your convenience. Is he speaking for the council? It's not clear. But no one else's name appears on this, so probably not.
The Oregonian has spent the past couple of weeks trash-talking the city council. They've written things like: "you have to wonder sometimes whether the Portland City Council actively pursues mediocrity..." They've had a "live chat" on "Does Portland deserve a better city council?" They've repeatedly crossed the line between criticism and contempt.
And so far, the members of the City Council have kept a dignified silence. But after watching Richard Sherman's post-NFC championship game explosion the other day, I've decided, the hell with that. Let’s have some fun. If the Oregonian wants to trash-talk, let's trash-talk. Let's give the fans something to talk about. Because we can do it better than they can. We can out-trash-talk the Oregonian on the field, off the field, or in an alley.
You want to talk about mediocre? A paper that only delivers four times a week, now that's mediocre. You want to question our commitment to jobs? Seriously? The paper that specializes in firing people - good people like Ryan White and Scott Learn - wants to talk about jobs?
We're the best City Council in the league. And we're not going to be bullied by some sorry Orange County right-wing publisher. We'll be here after you're gone, Mr. N. Christian Anderson III - after the Newhouse family wakes up and realizes that it's economic idiocy to try to foist a Fox News paper on a progressive readership.
And don't think for a minute that anything you write will have any influence on us at all. Lions don't concern themselves with the opinions of sheep.
(No, I also have no idea what COB means. And based on urbandictionary.com's findings, I don't think I want to know.)
Update 3 PM: Novick has written another blog post, this time taking pains to say he doesn't think editorial page editor Erik Lukens is a terrible human being—and that he's absolutely not holding up the paper's reporters for opprobrium.
Lukens, for the record, called me back when I rang him for comment. He didn't seem outraged. He said he saw the whole thing as "Steve being Steve."
Novick's new post mentions Richard Nixon and includes his picture. I laughed at that.
He also asks and answers a compelling question, emphasis mine:
And yes, I guess I could have caveated my post with the same things I’m saying here… but that wouldn’t have made it a very good trash-talk.