By Finn J.D. John • Offbeat Oregon • 

Gun-toting 'Oregon Wildcat' was America's first shock jock

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A Dirty Trick Against KPOJ That Shouldn't Go Unnoticed

When I was reading this column yesterday I ran into a very interesting thing. The story concerns an unethical radio personality and radio station in the 1930s. Accompanying the article is a picture of a poster from that time, denouncing what sounds like the Rush Limbaugh of his day (Robert G. Duncan) and the station he broadcast from, KVEP. Both Mr. Duncan and KVEP did a lot of very bad things including intimidation and threats of violence. It is a fairly long piece and throughout about the first half of it the station is correctly identified as KVEP, and those letters are prominent in the poster picture.

Then a strange thing happens. Suddenly "KVEP" is replaced with "KPOJ". This is obviously not a typo. Clearly this was no accident. It's doubtful that it was aimed at the current sports formatted KPOJ, as that makes no sense. I believe that the formerly progressive talk format KPOJ was to be the target of this insult. It is in this section that some of the strongest language against the 1930s station occurs, including "faucet of filth".

The only question is whether this insulting substitution of call letters was done deliberately by the author, Mr. John, or by someone at the News Register after he submitted it to them. I hope, and would guess, that it was not the author himself as I've always enjoyed his columns. If it was not his original text, then I think he would have issues with the News Register for altering his column in this under-handed way which compromises the its quality.

I have posted this information, including the offending portion (attributed), Facebook, both on my wall and on Friends of KPOJ.


Maybe you should do a little quiet checking before spreading unfounded accusations all over the Internet.
News copy is sacred to us. We would never make any unwarranted alterations, and most certainly not to play some sort of dirty trick. That is really a scurrilous allegation.
We published the column exactly as it came to us. As proof, I have forwarded you a copy of the original. If you want further proof, check other published examples, as I'm sure they will reflect the same error.
If we had noticed the transposition, which I am sure was inadvertent on the author's part, we would have notified the author and enabled him to make the appropriate correction for all of his subscribers. Alas, we did not.
Steve Bagwell
Managing Editor


Author Finn John offers apologies for the error, telling client editors:
I don't know if you caught this, but I used the wrong radio station call letters about half the time in the article I sent out last week about the adventures of Robert "The Oregon Wildcat" Duncan.
Shortly before I wrote that article, Portland's Radio KPOJ 620 had changed its format from political talk radio to sports, and there were some hard feelings about the whole thing. Thinking it might be a good story, I did a little research into KPOJ.
The POJ stands for Portland Oregon Journal, and I figured there probably was some good stuff there. Since the Morning Oregonian at one time owned KGW, and KGW was broadcasting on 620 when I was a boy, at some point they must have traded.
Anyway, I ended up writing about something else instead, but KPOJ was still on my mind when I started writing about KVEP (K-Voice of East Portland) and I'm afraid I mixed the two up some, referring to KVEP as KPOJ twice in that story.
Anyway, I'm sorry about that, and I especially apologize to those of you who heard from angry former KPOJ listeners about this. It's totally my bonehead mistake.

So much for the quick-trigger conspiracy theory. We have neither the time nor the inclination to engage in anything of the sort, nor does Finn.

Steve Bagwell
Managing Editor

Dances with Redwoods

I much enjoyed the article, good for some long hard laughs.

Thank you, laughter is always welcome in our home.


is this too long?


Part One:
Practicing "best defense is an offense" Mr. Bagwell? Attack the messenger when you don't like the message. I'm neither intimidated by your response nor impressed by the manner in which it was made. In fact, you're teetering on the edge of "he doth protest too much".

I did not "spread it all over the Internet", a deliberate exaggeration on your part. I put it on the News Register site, on Friends of KPOJ and my own Facebook pages, as I plainly stated. The offending article was public and I believe I have a right to respond to it publicly. You are lucky I don't do Twitter!

At no time did I suggest that the author, Mr. John, and the News Register had "conspired" together. You're either a sloppy reader, don't know the meaning of conspiracy or are a deliberate twister of words.


Part Two:
My suspicion that the substitutions might have been politically motivated was primarily due to their placement in the textual content. It is not long since KPOJ switched formats, suddenly and without warning, and in a most ugly manner, about 2 days after the presidential election. I was a loyal listener and supporter of KPOJ. I didn't openly state it but since I stated that I was posting at Friends of KPOJ that should have been obvious. The News Register has a consistently conservative bias so it would be natural to think that they might not have been fond of progressive talk KPOJ. It was obviously not a typo, given where the respective letters are located on a keyboard.

Your response to me illustrates so perfectly why so many of my friends won't subscribe to your paper due to a variety of issues. "News copy is sacred to us"...puleeze! It's assumed to be so perfect that proofreading isn't necessary?
I accept Mr. John's explanation in good faith and will continue to enjoy his articles. I will post your response to me, this reply to you, and the letter from Mr. John at the same places I posted before.


Summary: For those following the story of the substitution of KPOJ call letters in a historical article in which an earlier radio station (KVEP) was very negatively characterized. The article had been published in the Yamhill News Register in the regular "Offbeat Oregon" column written by Mr. Finn John. I had found the error suspicious, for reasons which I documented. Subsequently, Mr. John admitted that the error had been made by him rather than by the News Register. Mr. Steve Bagwell of the News Register responded to me both by emails and online posts. In the latter he got a little nasty which I didn't appreciate and responded to online. Since it was quite time-consuming to find and copy all of the correspondence I don't want to do it twice. I have posted everything, copies of emails and online postings, at the FRIENDS OF KPOJ Facebook site. Please go there if you care to follow this story. Posted on my Facebook site a few minutes ago.

Dances with Redwoods

"is this too long?" --mitebug

This quote in particular kinda jumped out at me as being funny--->"This young man would rather be a toad, and feed upon the vapors of a dungeon, than allow such a procedure to go unpunished."

I don't do Facebook, but even without having read those 'post's, I'm gonna guess yes?

Dances with Redwoods

....oOps....sorry about the above obvious typo, it's been that way (been happening) ever since we'd had our 'junior editor' buttons confiscated by Jeb.

Speaking of which, brings me to the topic of 'Editor's, Steve Bagwell in particular. Obviously we're all entitled to our own opinions, and my particular take on Steve over the years is that I'd always viewed him as a slightly left leaning Liberal, more so than a middle of the road kinda guy. And I've at times (on many occasions)openly accused him of being a 'progressive' thinker.

After reading your above extremely judgemental soliloqui... well ...I found it to be not only ironic, but quite laughable as well....

Dances with Redwoods

....and by the way, Chief, I'm still waiting on your hat size.

Jeb Bladine


As readers can note, the correction has been in this online article and in our permanent newspaper archive.

Steve Bagwell's reference to “conspiracy” reflects the fact that it would require involvement of multiple people for us to publish that kind of thing on purpose.

While I can appreciate your negative response to his direct language, it’s important to remember that your original post was very accusatory. You called it a "dirty trick," which is one of our best-known political insults. You stated outright, “Clearly this was no accident.” You said the only question was whether it was a deliberate act by Finn J.D. John or by the News-Register.

In our world, that’s a significant slur. We take the integrity of our news reporting very seriously, which does not, of course, mean that we don’t make mistakes. Sorry that a proof-reading oversight on our part escalated into such unpleasantness, but that often comes with the territory.

As for the claim that we have a “consistently conservative bias,” I don’t know exactly what that means. It’s so hard these days to know just what people consider “conservative” or “liberal.” In my experience, claims of “consistent bias” usually are based on a very small number of articles from the thousands that we publish each year. I always invite discussion of specifics related to such claims.

There has been only one incident of picketing and threatened boycott of our newspaper in the past 40 years of my memory here, sparked by accusations that we have a consistently liberal bias. As a newspaper, I suppose we shouldn’t mind claims that we are biased on both sides of our political reporting.

Jeb Bladine

troy prouty

Litebug. Maybe yu saw what you wanted even when it wasn't there. Ever think about challenging those thoughts? I doubt it was intended and I'm sure that maybe yu felt a dig from some sort of wound. But in reality what's the point if it was? I don't think KPOJ really cares at this point and in my opinion if someone doesn't share my views... that's okay, it's better for discussion than someone always in agreement with everything I say and do, plus I prefer each person be their "special self"

What I suggest is write some of those accusations out and on the other side challenge them. Let me help:

"Clearly this was no accident"


Maybe he had a memory lapse in the article.

("The POJ stands for Portland Oregon Journal, and I figured there probably was some good stuff there. Since the Morning Oregonian at one time owned KGW, and KGW was broadcasting on 620 when I was a boy, at some point they must have traded)

here some more "formerly progressive talk format KPOJ was to be the target of this insult" "The only question is whether this insulting substitution of call letters was done deliberately by the author, Mr. John, or by someone at the News Register "

Once you understand that emotions aren't always true and you challenge them it leads you to wise mind which can help in making better decisions.


troy prouty

opps "thought should have replace emotions" see.. typo.. thinking.. advanced just like the article.. wink..


If you challenge your thoughts you might change the emotion and lead to a different behavior. Not always easy..


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