Ursula K. Le Guin Blasts The Oregonian

Portland's science-fiction trailblazer denounces the newspaper for giving a mouthpiece to the Malheur militias.

By Rebecca Jacobson January 20, 2016

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Local legend Ursula K. Le Guin has one of the sharper tongues in the literary scene: at the 2014 National Book Awards, she denounced Amazon and even her own publishers for ignorance and greed.  

Now Le Guin, the 86-year-old author of such groundbreaking works of science fiction as The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, has directed her tongue at a more local target. In a recent letter to the editor in The Oregonian, Le Guin blasted the paper's headline about the Malheur occupation (“Effort to free federal lands”) as “inaccurate and irresponsible.”

But she didn’t stop there. The O's following article, Le Guin wrote, "is a mere mouthpiece for the scofflaws illegally occupying public buildings and land, repeating their lies and distortions of history and law. Ammon Bundy and his bullyboys aren't trying to free federal lands, but to hold them hostage.”

And then there was this peerless mic drop: “Instead of parroting the meaningless rants of a flock of Right-Winged Loonybirds infesting the refuge, why doesn't The Oregonian talk to the people who live there?”

For more on Le Guin—and her thoughts on aging, the commodification of art, and what makes Portland an ideal writing town—check out our in-depth profile by Taylor Clark.

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