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thoughts on the wweek cover story

edited March 2011
Has anyone else read this?

I know that WWeek is smug about their "edgy" investigative reporting, but to me this is an incredibly irresponsible, sensationalistic article. It's blasting this church because a dad is pissed his ex wife won't promise to never bring their kid to her church? It also infers that they are giving all the kids large quantities of ayuhausaca (sp) but then the examples are from years ago and the Supreme Court case that established it IS A RELIGION? Is it ethical to print the dad's opinion as fact with no statement from the other side? Why didn't the dad get custody? Might HE have anything shady in his past? Must they list the home address of the mom in question WITH a description of the contents of her porch and the price of her shoes, as well as other addresses of church officials? Also WHY end the article with the precise storage location of their sacramental drug, seemingly BEGGING the idiots of Portland to steal it.

Just seems so smeary, and dismissive of an established religion that apart from the sacrament is no weirder than any christian church where congregants cavort or speak in tongues.

Anyone else have an intellectually violent response to this too?


  • My first thought, actually, was that I want to try that tea. DMTea.

    Beyond that, I think that it's making a big deal out of something that's not really a big deal. The listing of addresses is really fucking dumb. Seems like an Oregonian article.
  • yeah, i am super out with it
    willi week has been super sensationalistic lately, with this and the funny picture of sam adams
    just seems to be getting really non-classy
    fuck it
  • mercury sucks
    willi week pretty much sucks
    oregonian is sad
    have u ever been to
    worst site in history of man

    fuck the news
  • I get all of my Portland news from Indymedia
  • Portland does have an astonishing dearth of decent newspaperage, considering what a generally active, engaged, and educated populace the city contains. I have never understood it. The Oregonian is one of the worst papers I've ever seen.

    This story is very dumb. I am pretty out with acting like weird sects are so weird but christianity is normal?? Christianity is intensely fucking weird. Just because something's "really old" doesn't make it "not fucking bizarre and stupid."

    I am into a hard-hitting, well-researched, classily done exposé of a weird sect (the recent NYer Scientology article being a great example), but a loose, sloppy, hysterical, poorly-researched, unethically-presented "oh here's a weird thing lets sensationalize it" is just tedious. What kind of bullshit award are they trying to win with this one? "The Bullshit Newspaper Award"

    Also printing addresses and full names of people involved in court cases is supposedly illegal, right? Or is it just with rape victims you can't print the name? And even then the media is always doing it with high-profile rape cases thus leading to harassment of the accusers up to and including death threats which often then leads to them dropping the charges, HMMMMMMM.....(Ben Roethlisberger)
  • I mostly agree with you, but it does look like they tried to get the other side and the other side declined to comment.
  • still, addresses???

    newspapers aren't supposed to incite harassment against citizens, right?

    seems tabloidy
  • my phone number is very similar to the oregonlive phone number and I get many calls. "Is this oregonlive?" also a call from a man interested in buying my truck. Left a VERY long message.

    I want to know, who is calling oregonlive at 7 in the morning all the time????
  • I think that article was as good as they could get. They have to do one of those EVERY WEEK!
  • not a very good story. i heard tori amos is a big fan of ayuhusca.

    i thought the detail about dude's facebook interests was petty but also funny.
  • Some stuff in WWeek is pretty good (I am very violently pointing at myself).

  • AGREED, also violently pointing at you
  • I thought printing the names of rape victims was illegal, too, but it turns out that it's mostly not! According to wikipedia, some states have rape shield laws but "when such laws were challenged in court, they were routinely struck down as unconstitutional."

    Also, I thought ayuhusca sounded interesting until I read that it routinely makes people barf. Gross, no thank you.

    Although they aren't really clear on how often it makes you throw up, and if it has to do with how much you drink. If it's similar to how often alcohol makes people throw up, then I guess that might not be so bad.
  • Smoking DMT should get you similar effects, albeit compressed into a shorter and more intense trip.
    But at least you probably won't barf.
  • I truly hate to barf.
    I would say it is my least favorite non-fatal physical activity
    I would rather have the world's worst menstrual cramps
    I would rather have the painful shits
    there I said it
  • See now TeenWolf, when you are nauseous for a long while, and then you finally puke? To me that puking is a great feeling. Beaten only by the feeling of satisfaction when you FINALLY get to pee.

    Back to the article though, consenting adults taking a psychedelic botanical with a long history of indigenous usage in a ritual setting is MUCH LESS WEIRD than telling little kids they are going to eat the BODY and DRINK THE BLOOD of their savior dude?

    Religions are often weird, and they are predicated(generally) on irrational theses, but people need rules and as long as it's not an authoritarian cult/scientology FINE let them do their weird things/believe an imaginary person died for you and will help you pass yr math test/refuse to mix certain foods/dance with snakes/etc. IT'S ALL WEIRD. As long as you stay away from laws governing my uterus I don't care.

    But my issue is really with how they wrote and told the story, including unnecessary details that put people's livelihoods and maybe lives at risk, and a smeary one-sided approach.
  • down with barfing!

    Seems like barfing while hallucinating could lead to some very bad times.
  • Does anyone like the wweek? I only hear bad things.
  • i think the willy week tends to have the best film and arts coverage of the Portland big three (Willamette Week, Oregonian, and Mercury) and occasionally has some very good feature stories, but more often over-shoots with those feature stories and makes themselves look silly. actually, i take half of that back, the Oregonian has good film coverage as well.

    OPB is by far my local media outlet of choice. though i do have to say i love the Mercury's blog, especially when they live blog Blazer games.
  • I write for WWeek, mostly for the film section, which is where I think much of the paper's best work is being done (obviously). It makes me sad that none of my friends read the paper, because the criticism there is often really sharp and fun and irreverent and those are things people don't think about when they think about WWeek. The Restaurant Guide that comes out every year is really great too. I'm biased, of course, so caveat lector.
  • ha ha ha "caveat lector!" that is really good
    am i stupid for never having heard that before?
    don't answer that

    I will read the WW film section now
  • My Mom looooves the Willamette Week.

    I also have something of a bias towards it because I once wrote for the Willamette Week and they paid me my first freelancing dollars, but that probably doesn't say much for the paper because I was 19 and doing a LOT of Google research.
  • liked it when willi week made the call to do all local music coverage. still feel like its got that over the mercury, which just plugs national touring bands and shit
    for that i commend them
    local cut was a cool attempt to do something rad for portland music culture
    feel like last time i went there, it had been usurped and was no longer its own thing

    for their sensationalistic, exploitive cover story with the tiny word count and it turns out to be a totally personal battle between some acupuncturist hippy lady and her ex husband and a sect that is trying to be very quiet about what they do, and one father's battle to bring it all down. probably contacted the willi week to 'blow the lid off of this' as a pressure thing in his personal battle

    i find it totally alarmist and fucking dumb

    editor: "paint it in broad strokes"

    editor's editor "can we get a big picture of drugs and say DRUGS really big on the cover? it'll move more units"

    parent company: "we're dying. lets cut word count and bump up ads, gotta push for wider circulation in the 'burbs. next adventure ads dont pay the bills, people. now go out there and make us some fucking money"

  • I understand but am bummed about the anti-Mercury bias on this thread
    I do freelance hip hop coverage there, and while I'll likely never win any awards for my writing, I at least feel like with Ezra as the Music Editor that he's making a concerted effort to showcase local talent as that's 90% what I write about. Granted it's just in the Up & Coming section for the most part. Also did anyone check this sweet Purple & Green link? --->
  • I think there's actually more of an anti-WW bias than an anti-Mercury one on this board, but we all have a friend who freelances for one or the other (or we've freelanced for them ourselves). Was it the Mercury that printed our UHX discussions without asking? I can't even remember. Both papers cover the local music scene. Both papers have their drawbacks and their pluses. Both seem to do little in the way of fact-checking (raise your hands if you've had erroneous info printed about you in either of 'em). I remember coming on to this board years ago to rant about that pathetic Mercury cover story about Khat...but it wasn't crazy irresponsible like this recent WW story, just sad.

  • Yeah, and it didn't even tell me where to score khat.
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