Thursday, December 26, 2002

Ha! Now this is the kind of enterprising journalism I would like to see more of...
RUBBISH! Portland's top brass said it was OK to swipe your garbage--so we grabbed theirs. It's past midnight. Over the whump of the wipers and the screech of the fan belt, we lurch through the side streets of Southeast Portland in a battered white van, double-checking our toolkit: flashlight, binoculars, duct tape, scissors, watch caps, rawhide gloves, vinyl gloves, latex gloves, trash bags, 30-gallon can, tarpaulins, Sharpie, notebook--notebook? Well, yes. Technically, this is a journalistic exercise--at least, that's what we keep telling ourselves. We're upholding our sacred trust as representatives of the Fourth Estate. Comforting the afflicted, afflicting the comfortable. Pushing the reportorial envelope--by liberating the trash of Portland's top brass. We didn't dream up this idea on our own. We got our inspiration from the Portland police.
The Willamette Week reporters went on to rifle through the trash of Mayor Vera Katz, Police Chief Kroker, and DA Mike Schrunk and report on their findings. The Mayor and the Police Chief were not amused (Katz is threatening legal action) while the DA seemed to laugh it off.


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