Dear Editor:

I just returned to our ranch in Harney County from the reception for Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, held in Portland for the benefit of the Oregon Republican Party. It was one of the most uplifting, positive, reinforcing and motivating functions I have ever attended.

Michael Steele was brilliant but approachable, humble but strong and both soothingly introspective and resolutely focused on the party's core and future. The 500-plus paid crowd was responsive to the point of nearly nonstop celebration. Standing ovations at times exploded over the top of Steele's words. Imagine my surprise when I picked up the Oregonian and read the March 13 front page story by Edward Walsh.

He made the event sound like it might have been a mourning and handwringing, mired in the past and attended by lonely souls demoralized by the media's attempt to define the Republican Party as little more than an unburied corpse. Nothing could be farther from the truth or tone of the event. The results speak the truth. It was the single largest fundraiser for the Oregon Republican Party ever!

I later found out that Mr. Walsh had not actually bothered to attend the event but focused his article on responses to structured media questions pushed at Mr. Steele in a pre-event press meeting.

Mr. Walsh's article was a piece of negligent journalism at best and outright yellow journalism at worst. Politically active people, such as myself, are often cautioned to not pick a fight with the media but Mr. Walsh's article was so outrageously demeaning and negatively misrepresentative to the people in our state, that to just ignore it is simply not acceptable.

Nor will Republicans in Oregon any longer stand silent while the media promotes the failing liberal policies of the governor's office and the Democrats in our legislature while misrepresenting or ignoring conservative ideology at every turn. We are motivated, on the move and demanding fair representation from the media. 2008 may be the "year journalism died in the United States" but yellow journalism is apparently alive in Mr. Walsh's office.

Tim Smith

Harney County

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