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ODE Questions Our Integrity; Oh Noes!

Well, the Oregon Daily Emerald has thrown down the gauntlet:

If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.

Not long after Sam Dotters-Katz’s appointment of Athan Papailiou to the ASUO Senate was rejected, the ASUO president made another controversial Senate appointment: C.J. Ciaramella, editor-in-chief of the Oregon Commentator. Though this appointment was also rejected, this time unanimously, its mere occurrence calls into question the integrity of both related parties.


We’d like to know how the editor-in-chief of a publication that so concerns itself with ethics and student government, and the relationship (or lack thereof) between the two, can “ethically” apply to work for that very student government and still maintain a commitment to journalistic excellence.

Conflict of interest, anyone?

But the Commentator does not claim to be an objective or unbiased journal, some may argue. It is, after all, a place for commentary, and presents itself as such.

True, but if one gave so much as a cursory glance at an issue of the Commentator or its blog, they will undoubtedly find reporting, discussion and criticism of the ASUO and its actions. The most recent issue’s editorial is a prime example.


In addition, Ciaramella has attended each of the term’s ASUO Senate meetings as a reporter for the Commentator and has spoken out about senators, the organization and its processes. (The term “stakeholder” comes to mind.)

It hardly needs to be stated that reporting of any kind, no matter how inherently slanted, lacks any sort of credibility when the person in charge of its publication is heavily involved in the events and actions with which it is concerned.

In other words, Ciaramella’s decision to run for ASUO candidacy was disingenuous and unprofessional, and makes claims to journalistic integrity seem like nothing more than mockery.

Additionally, the decision to appoint Ciaramella to the Senate jeopardizes the ASUO Executive’s credibility.

Ciaramella’s application letter was indeed, as Sen. Tyler Scandalios described, flippant, and made clear its author’s lack of seriousness about the responsibilities of the Senate.

Whatever one’s opinions about the seriousness and credibility of the ASUO Senate, the fact is that it deals with students’ money and makes decisions that directly affect students, and, therefore, should not be taken so lightly. For Dotters-Katz to appoint Ciaramella when he was the only applicant to not agree to a job interview, was not recommended by the ASUO hiring committee, and treated the entire process like a joke, is irresponsible and disconcerting.

We would like to applaud the group for rejecting Ciaramella’s appointment. Making student government and its coverage in the media into a circus isn’t funny, even if trained bears are.

And I’d like to applaud the ODE for running this editorial almost a week after the fact. I guess this is the part where I’m supposed to be cowed into shame by the Emerald’s gravitas and finger-wagging, but you know what? Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.

The Commentator has been running joke candidates for years. Back in the day, one editor, Tamir Kreigel, was elected to Senate and then resigned by being carried out of the room by clowns. Timothy Dreier ran a retro-McCarthyite campaign for ASUO exec, and two years ago editor Ted Niedermeyer ran on an anti-douchebag platform.

The important thing to remember, though, is we’re not making the student government and its media coverage a circus. It’s already a circus. Everything about it is patently absurd. I mean, we’re talking about a group of college kids managing $11 million in student money. These are people who cry during Senate meetings and spend the rest of the time staring at Facebook.

And yet I’m berated by would-be politicos and would-be journalists for not treating this whole funny farm with absolute seriousness. Say what you will about the Commentator, but at least we recognize that we’re just a bunch of college students.

Of course, I understand that the ODE has to get up on its high horse every now and then and pretend to be Really Serious Journalism. If that’s the way they want to play it, fine (even though the ODE’s ASUO reporter and his editor were in the room yukking it up during my confirmation hearing). But if they thought I was making a mockery of things before, they’re in for a rude surprise. Just you wait.

  1. J says:

    And Betz, it’s called Godwin’s Law, also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies.

    I actually knew that without resorting to Wikipedia.

  2. J says:

    Then there was the time Sho ran on a platform of killing whitey and bringing more large-breasted women to campus.

  3. Betz says:

    Whats that rule or principle, that the longer an online debate goes, it will eventually devolve into nazi or hitler comparisons?

    Its not rule 34 … I forget the name.

  4. Rockne Andrew Roll says:

    We don’t want your damn trials, Kai.

  5. nike urbanism duk says:

    If you like weird Hitler commentary on UO Duck issues check out the one posted in the favorites at my Youtube channel. Some pissed of OSU Beaver made it and it is sure to be one of the great classics.

  6. Sakaki says:

    CJ: You got the exact reference. THANK YOU! That’s exactly what I was going for!

  7. Vincent says:

    Okay. Let’s all just chill out a little.

  8. Vincent says:

    I can wish for things that won

  9. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Nazi-saluting chompmongers?

  10. Sakaki says:

    Vincent, quit the Commentator. See? I can wish for things that won’t happen, too. Let this be a lesson to you, you no-talent assclown.

  11. Vincent says:

    Shut up, Sakaki.

  12. Sakaki says:

    Members of the current ODE are nothing but Nazi-saluting chompmongers.

  13. I would definitely be cowed by the moral authority of the ODE.

  14. C.T. Behemoth says:

    May the Baton of the Khmer strike swiftly upon those who cannot see!

    All hail the Succupluribus!

  15. Kai Davis says:

    Comrade Ciaramella showed no love for the ASUO. He must be reeducated.

  16. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Moral of the Ol Dirty story: If you want to work for the ASUO, you must LOVE the ASUO!!

    Other than that, it seemed like a lot of hot air to me.

  17. Kai Davis says:

    Perhaps OSU can lure the Oly trials to Corvallis?

    Man, I hope so. That was such an annoying clusterfuck.

  18. nike urbanism duk says:

    It is a new “cold war”. The Emerald have blocked me from commenting on their outstanding work. They are just afraid the world will know how lazy they are. Also, there is a story you may find interesting about OSU unfolding(David Steves at the Cashregister Guard is reporting it on his blog). OSU has sent a plan to bring track back to OSU that is now being considered by the legislature. It seems like a response to the UO baseball field of schemes proposal(brought back only because of OSU success). Perhaps OSU can lure the Oly trials to Corvallis?

  19. Timothy says:

    Technically it was a neo-McCarthyist platform.

  20. Betz says:

    Confound the Daily Emerald, I say! What Gall! Harumph, Harumph!

    This is the first time I remember the ODE openly criticizing the OC. This ought to be interesting…

  21. Sean says:

    Once again, student government taken too seriously, this time by student journalists that take themselves too seriously, as well.

  22. Kai Davis says:

    “But if they thought I was making a mockery of things before, they

  23. Scott says:

    I think every post should end in a veiled threat.

    Second that one.

  24. Mike hunt says:

    Ashley chase the ODE’s editor in chief is clearly jealous

  25. T says:

    I think every post should end in a veiled threat.

  26. Andy says:

    The proper term is wanna-be “Authorized Journalists.” And you’re right, because where is there coverage when past asuo execs came from certain ‘multi-culture’ groups and then gave out hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional student money to them?? Where is their outrage for anything that actually matters on campus? The emerald has their noses so far up the ass of the asuo – of course this is just the training ground for full-time “Authorized Journalists.” I’m sure Sam Adams would love to be fawned over by a green recent-grads who are in awe of gov’t power. ODE- you guys are spineless, incompetent, and worthless, and until you change your ways I can imagine additional cuts are coming your way.

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