R.I.P. Cort and Fatboy 2003-2012

Monday, October 15th, 2012

by admin on October 15, 2012

Yeah, we asked Jefferson Smith about hitting a girl in the face in 1993. Yeah, we asked about the decisionmaking that led to him and a friend trying to approach that girl over 20 years later as the news was about to break the story. Yeah, we asked about the timing of this story, and why news organizations waited til this October to tell a story they’ve known about for a year. Yeah, we asked why he didn’t just own it and tell it himself without waiting for the press to serve it up on a platter. Yeah, we asked about his garbage driving record, and whether or not he should ever drive again. And then we asked how it’s affecting him and his family, whether this will put him off politics forever, and what he has to do in the last 22 days of this campaign to get people to focus less on what a jerk he was in college, and more on what needs to happen so that Portland becomes a better place to live.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Iain October 15, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Fuck the media vote for the politician that sucks at being all Machiavellian n stuff its the only way to be sure

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Iain October 15, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Don’t give up Jeff, you’re a goddamn protagonist!

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Lamb October 15, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Er, …what a jerk he was in college…don’t you mean jerk in the past and present!!

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Ian October 16, 2012 at 3:08 am

I’m glad that win or lose, this is most likely the last time you’ll have him on the show.

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TSW October 16, 2012 at 8:48 am

Nice work, fellas.
I’m no political sage but it does seem Portland lacks perspective when it comes to political smear. There are people everwhere who have done uneqivocally way worse, have more nefarious connections, more unflattering personality flaws (seriously, if you’ve ever played league basketball you know half the people out there deserve a swift ball punch) and been elected to loftier positions than mayor of a mid-size city.

Question, C and F: did it seem Jefferson was hinting that these journalists weren’t done taking character shots? He said a lot, unsolicited, about how not everyone has liked him, how he was once single (like that’s ripe for smear?), etc?

I know the WW journalist has a Pulitzer for uncovering something significant but I agree that making deep research into people’s sexual history a focus of your livelihood is weird.

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Bobby October 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm

He was definitely hinting that they were digging for stuff, mostly sexual in nature. However, when presented the opportunity to beat them to it, in a way he definitely didn’t with the current drama, he didn’t. His reason was sound – “If I don’t remember it right, and it turns out I don’t have the facts locked, I’m going to get called out for covering stuff up or being dishonest” – but if he knows there’s something else that’s going to come up from their asking about old girlfriends from High School, it should come out. There’s not enough time to wait for October Surprise II to land at his feet.

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TSW October 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Interesting. I see his dilemma. Provided the law wasn’t involved and considering dirt ranging from dumb to quite serious has already been dug, why preemptively raise every and any potential past transgression like Chunk to the Fratellis when it could be be unnecessary? I hope for his sake he now has the sense to make the distinction. The problem is sexual stuff is always hard to shake, regardless of its nature. Ugh, this stuff is so gross on so many levels.

PS-appreciate Robert’s screed but don’t think you soft pedaled anything. In fact there was that moment when Jeff started to go off on WW’s history of sexual probing and instead of snickering along with him Cort reminded him that the Goldschmidt case was quite serious and journalistically justified. Curious though what Robert thinks you didn’t ask.

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Bobby October 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm

1) That was me reminding him about Goldschmidt’s nastiness.

2) I wouldn’t call what Robert did a screed at all. Shit was pretty reasoned/measured.

This actually brings up something I’ve been meaning to ask you guys for quite awhile, and I keep forgetting (over 8 years now) to ask this: Should we be introducing ourselves at the top of the show so you guys can tell us apart?

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TSW October 17, 2012 at 5:49 pm

That was you, sorry. Lots of podcast voices swirling in my head.

Reasoned to an extent. Screed-esque in that I don’t know what he feels was missing or made the interview soft. Soft compared to what? The questions, like you said, nobody else has asked? There’s no greater journalistic set-up than letting a guy just talk, which you did. I’m neither defending you to kiss your ass nor trolling Robert. I truly am curious what’s not being asked. Screed-esque also in that I do not think he was comparing assault to stealing lollipops. That’s a cheap shot. If there was confusion over what he said, and if given the chance I presume Jeff would clarify. Again, this is small-time criticism, in my opinion. There are officials everywhere who in worse circumstances were less contrite (to the point of even blaming their victims) then got themselves elected. Know the difference between a true creep, a true egotistical monster and someone like Smith, who is neither.

No need to identify yourselves. You’re the one who likes knives, right????

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Interrobang October 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Thanks for having Jefferson on the show again! I always love hearing from him; he was one of the first and only political candidates for anything that actually got me remotely interested in politics. And you know what? I still dig him.

Mini rant: I am sick to death of candidates’ personal lives being the main focus of political campaigns. In my opinion, that has almost nothing to do with anything. Unless they’re eating babies in their spare time, I just want to know what a candidate’s priorities are and if they jive with mine. Do I agree with the policies they want to enact? If so, awesome. I could give a flying fuck what they got up to in college. Or if they work out in their free time. Or even what religion they are! Unless any of those things are going to affect the policies they want to enact, I don’t want to hear about it. I don’t want people nosing around my private life, and I have zero desire to nose around in the lives of others.

I realize this is naive and simplistic and there are personal things that voters should know, but it pisses me off on a deep and visceral level that personal issues are the focus of politics to the point where policies and political priorities are almost completely ignored.

I am disappointed in Portland. And, you know, the rest of the country, really. That’s what I get for poking my head out of my out-of-touch little nerd cave, I guess.

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BuffaloRiderSD October 17, 2012 at 11:16 am

You know now someone is going to start saying that Jefferson eats babies. My writing the statement out probably sealed that particular doom.

Jefferson- If you ever get tired of Portland and want to move, South Dakota could use you. We have an Applebees.

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calebiskilling October 18, 2012 at 9:18 am

I agree for the most part. Personal lives of politicians who are going to be running things is uninteresting to me. They’ve probably done some weird shit, smoked funny things in college, and maybe even have a parking ticket.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t lightyears ahead of my political knowledge, which they all are, they all have ideas, policies to enact, ways to make Portland better, etc. It’s about picking who does that better, not which one has a better driving record.

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TimeChuck October 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Being an Iowan, I have no dog in this fight, but from what I know I like Jefferson. He is smart and funny, and surprise surprise, apparently had a life before politics. Only caveat I have about him is that I heard he eats babies.

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Robert Wagner October 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm

It pains me to say this but after that interview I’m 100% out of the Jefferson camp. Given that his opponent is a complete tool, yeah, that fucking blows to say the least. However, a few points:

• Comparing the striking a woman in the face to the point where she needed stitches to “stealing a couple of lollipops” is fucking disgusting. Skeletons in the closet? Yeah, everyone has them but most of us aren’t jackasses that make shitty little jabs like that one.

• No one thought to ask “Gee Jefferson, you made this point multiple times that you wanted to make a video about all of this crap – did you ever talk to ANYONE about it? Staff? Family? Anyone?” – Left as-is it sounds like the world’s most pathetic damage control with Smith playing the victim.

• Charlie Hales is a tool, as are many in Portland media. That said, I credit Smith with being a bit smarter than either one – I really do. It’s very unfortunate that his ego gets in the way of better judgment and he seeks shelter in safe havens like the one this interview afforded him.

Disappointed? Yeah, a bit. I understand believing in someone, particularly when it comes to politics. Do I understand believing in them to the point of putting blinders on and asking soft questions? No.

Jefferson Smith would have benefit from a MUCH more difficult interview, regardless of what his answers were.

And please, please keep in mind that all of this is from the perspective of a former supporter. I’m obviously also a fan of the podcast. That said, this interview did WAY more harm than good to Smith’s cause.

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Bobby October 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm

There’s a lot of supporters and former-supporters listening to this thing, it seems. It was definitely aimed more towards people in those camps, and not necessarily undecideds or Hales voters. That said – I’m glad you posted this, because your voice, and those similar to it, need to be represented, most definitely.

I don’t think I softballed, really, but of course *I’m* gonna say that. There’s still the possibility that in the next 20 some odd days, he and a journalist will sit down and have a tougher interview. In fact, I hope that happens. I would hope the media here in Portland wouldn’t let this episode be the only attempt anyone makes at asking questions along these lines. As of this posting, though – that appears to be the case. Which seems as much a missed opportunity to me as our questions were to you.

Although I do wanna say, I DID ask why he didn’t do the things he said he should have done, why the guy who spent an hour talking about owning his shit on a previous episode didn’t take the multiple opportunities to do so. The answer may have been sprawling & disappointing, but I did ask.

I guess that’s mostly what I want to get at: I didn’t wanna either build the guy up OR knock him down with this sit-down. I had questions I’ve been wanting to ask since this broke, and once asked, I wanted to get out of the way so that his words were the focus, as opposed to my intent or influence w/ the questions. How he answered the questions was just as important as the answers themselves. If people are disappointed in his answers (and you’re nowhere NEAR the minority with your response, not at all, in fact there’s some of that sentiment in Denis Theriault’s post about the show in this weeks Mercury, as well as their much larger endorsement article) I wanted it to be due to HIS words. I wanted an opportunity for people to judge him based on how he put himself out there, to see if HOW he reacted to this campaign spinning out on him was just as important as WHY his campaign spun out on him.

Looking at it that way – I don’t know if the shelter he sought was as safe as it seemed, because if the problem is Jeff being his own worst enemy, it’s not much of a “gift” to let Jeff be Jeff for 70 unchecked minutes.

But that all said – I am sorry I disappointed you. I don’t like being a disappointment to anyone, and I hope, should a similar opportunity arise in the future, I will have learned enough between now and then to not do the things that lead to people feeling that way about me. But my apology aside – thanks again for posting what you did. I really appreciate it.

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calebiskilling October 18, 2012 at 9:12 am

(I like the intro now, it’s usually easy to distinguish)

I personally still really like Smith. The other guy just sucks, so even if I knew nothing of Cort and Fatboy I’d still vote for him. He’s made mistakes, blah blah blah, so has everybody. Even if more things come out, like this weird rumor of him eating babies I keep reading about, the point is I think he could run the city better. And if he can run the city better than the other person running, who cares that he’s a bad driver and once hit a girl in college at a party… in COLLEGE. Where everyone does things equally retarded.

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Cort October 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I appreciate that you think we may have been a bit soft on him and perhaps we were. At the time I felt like we were asking him the questions that needed to be asked. It was never my intention to go 60 Minutes on the guy because it would have been hypocritical given my stance on the situation, which is “who gives a shit?” His personal indiscretions don’t matter to me. What matters is his plan for the city and his ability to make that plan come to fruition

What was revealed in this interview, and what is pertinent to the discussion, was Jeff’s ability to deal with a tough situation. And, as we heard, that ability was severely lacking in this case. Could we have been tougher? Perhaps, but I don’t think we needed to be.

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Dorothy Zbornak October 19, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I agree 100%, I didn’t think he’d crumble as much as he did and I felt uncomfortable for everyone involved. I got the feeling, perhaps complete off-base, that Ryan wanted to say/ask a lot more but did not; when he did ask Jefferson what happened to the fiery go-getter Smith somewhat morphed back into late in the episode, it felt extremely uncomfortable, but was spot-on.

Either way, it was a tough hour to get through, but it was necessary and the unsaid elements speak volumes about Smith’s ability to be effective.

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Madame X October 19, 2012 at 10:37 pm

He is LYING about the 1993 incident. I was there. His version is a complete fabrication……..he is LYING AGAIN.

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Bobby October 20, 2012 at 9:21 am

Tell the tale, then. So far the only accounts we’ve heard were hers, his, and the woman who spoke at that press conference of his.

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BuffaloRiderSD October 20, 2012 at 11:52 am

Your use of CAPS with the word “lying” in conjunction with absolutely NO FACTS leads me to believe you’re just engaging in angry political mud-slinging.

Like Bobby said, tell the tale. If you won’t back your claims up with FACTS you can GO ELSEWHERE. This is an important discussion and your contributions are not required if you have nothing of value to add to it.

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