Tribune Editor defends refusal to publish police report, as story explodes.
(Page 2 of 6)
In the third paragraph of my column is this sentence:
The Tribune’s explanation for this is to be found here.
Readers could and can quickly click on the link provided, which takes them then and now to the Portland Tribune website and an editorial by Mr. Garber himself headlined:
Our decision on Gore story based on evidence, responsibility
Tribune vigorously investigated claims about former VP for a story
The editorial, it certainly appeared, explained the Tribune’s side of the story. If this Garber editorial is in fact not the Tribune’s side of the story, as I and every other reader was led to believe, then by all means, Mr. Garber please do tell us what you have not revealed about your side of the story. I will be happy to write it up right here.
Second, yesterday the Portland police department released this statement:
The Portland Police Bureau has made the decision to re-open the case regarding the allegations brought forward against Mr. Al Gore. Consistent with our policy regarding open investigations, the Police Bureau will not be commenting on any additional specifics regarding this case at this time.
The information can found be at the Portland Police Bureau website here.
Now, let’s get to Mr. Garber’s points as he makes them in his e-mail. Garber has attached in his e-mail four pages that will be described below and that can be found here as sent to me.
• Garber: “As you will see, the report was filed by a lawyer and contains little to no factual information.”
No factual information? Really? On the very first page is this series of facts:
- Fact #1: In the upper left corner of the page are these words: “Portland Police Bureau.” These three words make whatever else follows part of an official document of a police department, in this case the police bureau of Portland, Oregon. Every single employee of this department is paid by the taxpayers and citizens of Portland. For that matter, the paper on which this report itself has been produced has been paid for by taxpayers. All of this means that whatever the contents say or don’t say, it is a fact — say again a fact — that this report exists and has been duly recorded by a member or members of the police department. It is a “public record” — as Mr. Garber notes when he says it was obtained through a “public records request.” To say it was “filed by a lawyer” is a reminder that a lawyer is in fact an officer of the court. Law.com defines the term “officer of the court” as “any person who has an obligation to promote justice.”
Thus what we are reading here is not speculation, not gossip, not surmise. It is a police report, initiated by an officer of the court, and by definition the existence of a police report — an official government document — is a fact.
- Fact #2: Dead center at the top of page one, in capital letters, are these two words: “SPECIAL REPORT.” Which is to say, by definition the Portland Police Bureau appears to distinguish between information that gets a form labeled “report” and a form labeled “special report.” Whatever the classification routines of the Bureau, it is a fact — a fact — that the information that follows has been deemed important enough to be filed on a sheet bearing the words, in capital letters no less, “SPECIAL REPORT.”
- Fact #3: Above the words “SPECIAL REPORT” is another word. It is clearly, in the version Garber has sent to me, highlighted in some fashion. The word is very, very distinct. It too is in capital letters. The word: “CONFIDENTIAL.”
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