Thursday, December 11, 2008

It was just a matter of time…

For as long as I have considered myself to be an accomplished author, a juxtaposing journalist – a perennial penner of prolific prose, if you will – I knew that one day my general disregard for all things politically correct would catch up to me.

It didn’t happen when I wrote about illegally hunting from under a deck; not when I articulated my hatred for those who recycle paper, nor when I engaged my latest sporting venture.

Those all could have easily led to what happened recently: Somebody threatening legal action against the mighty Jake Donahue … for something I wrote!

You see, those first three examples were articles I penned or activities I’ve engaged in under the sheer umbrella of eliciting a response – whether positive or negative, I indeed crave the attention of my peers: not exactly a surprise to those who know me.

However, this recent tirade was far from that. In all actuality, I was more excited about my latest journalistic endeavor than creating any of my memorable sports columns. I have never written a news article, and this month was my first.

Moreover, I’ve always been a steadfast pupil of the school: Go Big or Go Home.

So when our student body president resigned from ASNIC in October, (citing “personal reasons”), for the first time in my newspaper career I felt the need to actually investigate further. Rumors flourished about the true reasons leading to his resignation, and the most commonly heard gossip proved to be the sole nugget of truth I sought.

I used this nugget to gain the trust of somebody very close to ASNIC, and thus discovered the true reasoning for Austin Folnagy’s resignation: smoking marijuana on a leadership conference in Portland. My anonymous source was fantastic, and gave me ALL the information I needed to get started on my first ever investigative article.

I attempted to contact the new president of ASNIC through an e-mail, and he ignored me. I sent a list of questions I hoped he could answer, either by e-mailing me back, meeting me in person or simply calling me. I let him knew that an anonymous source gave me all the details about what really happened.

Alas, no response.

I phoned his advisor – nothing. I finally got hold of the vice president for student services, who told me that because of some FERPA law, he could neither confirm nor deny any disciplinary action was taken.

I was pissed.

(This law he was referring to has suddenly been brought to my attention as something that only protects grades – and thus a bogus excuse from the administration to limit their involvement in this story. I still need to research that…).

Needless to say, certain people did not wantCube me to write about the true reasons that led to Folnagy’s resignation. What’s more, I finally received my response from the current president just three days before the article was set to print: He was announcing his resignation!

This whole thing just took a crazy turn.

You see, the entire ASNIC senate was on that trip in Portland where Folnagy smoked weed. My source told me that Folnagy was not the only one, either. So now I had ANOTHER ASNIC president resigning for “personal reasons,” and thus piqued my interest extremely.

However, as this new president would not communicate with me, I was left with only being able to write a short infobox of information concerning his resignation.

Personally, I think this all led to one of my best-designed front pages.

However, now somebody is threatening legal action for this hodgepodge of debauchery. I didn’t realize that stating the facts could lead to being sued. What’s worse, this is the first time I truly am 100% confident in every single word I wrote. Both my articles were printed exactly the way they should have been, and I will not back down.

Printing a retraction would probably get me out of this entire mess. But what would I retract? There is nothing for me to apologize about, for I simply STATED FACTS. Should I write an article of apology, stating that it’s not my fault our student government is full of retards who can’t smoke a joint out of state without getting caught? Or that I’m sorry our student presidents are not clear enough in their continuing resignations?

One thing I truly am sorry about is that these people have the gall to come after me.

If I end up going to court, I will win. I actually hope I go to court so I can prove to the entire college that I am not some dim-witted, fly-by-night managing editor only seeking to produce a collegiate tabloid.

I am right. It’s sometimes rare, no doubt, but this time I am irrefutably, undeniably 100% correct.

And I will not lose.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Police Ride Along

I rode around with a cop for 4 hours Friday night and got some pretty cool pictures (for me, anyways…). But it turned out the cop I was scheduled to ride with was actually a buddy of mine from middle school, whom I hadn’t seen in like 10 years.

But, oh wait, it gets even better…

A week before my ride along, he pulled a dude over in his car for something serious. When he asked for the kid’s ID, he was given an Oregon drivers license that showcases the name: JAKE DONAHUE.

I guess this kid stole my old license and was buying beer with it all year, then tried to pose as me before getting arrested – by the same cop I was scheduled to ride with!






Friday, November 28, 2008

I smell roses … and No. 24 back in Seattle

Maybe I’m speaking a little premature, but the planets are starting to align in my nimble, fragile little sports world. I dare not jinx those which I treasure, but here is a quick rundown of what I expect to happen in the near future:

 OregonState1: Oregon State will beat Oregon in the Civil War on Saturday, and thus clinch a spot in the Rose Bowl, “the grandaddy of them all.” Not since the 34-7 raping that Michigan bequeathed upon the Beavers in 1965 has OSU even made it back!


Ken-Griffey-Jr-1995-ALCS-Winning-Ru2: The Seattle Mariners will pull their giant heads out of their giant  asses and do something to actually put fans back in the stands, not to mention replenish a childhood dream of mine put on hold for nearly a decade: Bring back GRIFFEY!. My favorite player – nay, human being – deserves to come home and finish his career the way it began. If not for the city of Seattle or for Griffey, himself, do it for me. And if I only knew website design and had a few extra bucks, I would already have launched the website “”.

Here are some Griffey favorites:

“The Double”
(The opening of the video is black, but it turns on at 9 seconds. The audio is something that haunts my dreams forever…)


Nike’s “Hit it Here” commercial

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Sentinel, same problems

The newest issue of The Sentinel came out on Monday. Indeed, the staff gets better as a whole each issue (while it would be obviously hard to get worse from such humble beginnings…), I actually am quite impressed with the advancement of many individuals. While I thought I was truly the only one who could feasibly obsess the way I do, a few have come through the woodwork to seemingly care half as much as I do – and anyone who can obsess half as much as I can is undoubtedly making a statement to their dedication.

Nevertheless, I am impressed with some.

Meanwhile, we have won two major awards this year (the pacemaker we picked up was for LAST YEAR’S paper, and thus I attribute none of the acclaim to the current staff in place, including myself). While winning “Best-of-Show” in Kansas City was my goal from the beginning of this school year (the second “Best-of-Show” award for our special election section was but an exclamation point to what I already expected), we handily won on a seriously sub-par issue. And I hate to sound cocky in that I expect to create the best paper in the country, it is only because there lacks any real competition.

Just glancing though our larger-than-most paper may pique the jealousy from other two-year institutions – even some universities – but a deeper, thorough perusing will unveil a serious problem: We have not begun to showcase the serious potential we are blessed with. We are still a paper struggling with the same problems seen in those publications we beat in competition.

The Sentinel is like a beautiful woman with a pushup bra and low-cut shirt, but not enough makeup to cover her acne.

You see, we overwhelm people with full-page, color layouts devoid of ads and lots of big photos, that nobody notices the numerous misspellings in stories or the typos in captions. The glorious cutout of the soccer player on this issue’s cover is amazing, to say the least, but how is it that we told the reader to look at page “B11” for the continued story … WHEN THERE ISN’T EVEN A “B-SECTION” in this issue!?

It’s my fault.

I have spent so much time worrying about minor issues to please myself (whether columns line up along the bottom of a story, whether there’s a border around a photo or if we have a good photo to cutout for the cover), that I have put the overall quality of our paper on the back burner. I have been more worried about the small elements of design than the overall image; and while my lead role for this paper is “Managing Editor,” I have spent more time managing than I have editing. If I can work more at doing my job than making sure everybody else is doing theirs, we won’t just be the best two-year school newspaper in the country but the best newspaper, period.

Like Alison Atwell said: “Jake Donahue is an ass and freely admits it.” As cocky as I was in Kansas City (when asked who I was by members of the Daily Nebraskan, instead of just saying my name was Jake, I went one step further: “You wanna know who I am? I’ll tell you what, why don’t you just show up for the awards ceremony on Sunday, and when they start handing out “Best-of-Show” awards, I’ll be the guy on stage most of the event collecting plaques!!”), I should probably start working on that.

Maybe next time I’ll introduce myself as “The guy who MIGHT be collecting all the plaques on Sunday.” You see, that doesn’t necessarily mean I am guaranteeing victory, but merely insinuating it.

Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bored with Zach, late night Coeur d’Alene


Monday, November 17, 2008

Pauley Shore or Bust

Ever seen My New Haircut? Or Bro Rape? You know, those damn YouTube videos that the world constantly relates to yours truly? As much as I try to deny the stark comparisons, this afternoon I finally succumbed to that damn stereotype.

An inside joke to most yet humorous to many, I relentlessly mock those samethe-weasel individuals whilst muttering, “Totally righteous, bra!” or sometimes just, “Totally, like, for sure.”

Never serious, as the ingrates who speak like Pauly Shore should most definitely be shot. But after years of hilariously mimicking those SoCal surfer stoners, those yuppie east coast preps and the famous frat boy posers … I suddenly became one in a mere two syllables.

While purchasing a delectable, plastic-concealed treat from the gas station this evening, I concluded the transaction in a manner that flawlessly flowed from mouth without a second thought:

“Thanks, bra.”

Not, “Dude.” Not, “Man.” Not even, “Bro.”

Just: “Bra.”

Mother of all God. I might as well start wearing my visors backward and upside down.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Idaho Magazine

A while back, the Life Editor on The Sentinel submitted a story that he had written for our paper to Idaho Magazine. Low and behold, they published it! They even paid him about $25, and used one of the pictures he had taken, also.

My life-long dream has been to get published in a magazine, from Highlights for Kids to Sports Illustrated to being named one of People’s Sexiest Men of the Year.

I really am not picky.

Now, I have always known Idaho Magazine existed. I even knew that they were always requesting submissions. However, I had never seen anybody get anything published (save for my buddy and old photo editor James Hannibal. But he is a freak of nature in all aspects: drinking, living and most importantly, taking phenomenal photos). So I never even considered Idaho Magazine. Meanwhile, I always thought the publication lacked a certain luster; it just wasn’t a huge read like Gentleman’s Quarterly or Maxim.

But after Eli’s success with Idaho’s perennial publication, I decided to give it a try. The only other time I had submitted anything to a magazine, Playgirl told me to start working out…

Nevertheless, I figured my best bet was a story I once wrote about a pal who hunted “Anything that Moves.” That also happened to be the headline. It was a nice feature about my buddy John who had moved from Hawaii, and – never mind, here is the e-mail:

Jake wrote:
Hey, I was just reading Idaho Magazine and thought this was a good fit. It's an article about a guy from Hawaii who moved to Coeur d'Alene, and now hunts "Anything that moves." He's got some funny quotes, so I just thought I'd submit and see what you thought. I also have some photos.

Idaho Magazine replied:
I think you're right, Jake, it's pretty funny. Also a bit of a worry,
especially with what's been going down on campuses in recent years. Makes me wonder what happened to this guy along the way. I could see running it, especially if we learned a little more about his personal history and got a better notion of why he's overwhelmed by the power trip of killing things. Psychologically, he's interesting, but of course the problem is we're starting work on the January issue now, which is a long way from hunting season. I'll file this, and if you're interested in looking a little deeper into what motivates him, shoot me a reminder in four or five months. Thanks for thinking of us.

Long story short, just look at these five words: “I COULD SEE RUNNING IT.”

Boom shakka lakka!

While my timing may have been off this time, at least they didn’t tell me “No!” My ego took a small hit when he told me to e-mail him in 4 or 5 months, as I figured he would be frothing at the mouth in anticipation of next year’s hunting season to unveil the first Idaho Magazine boasting a byline from Jake Donahue.

But I can wait.

Besides, there are plenty of other magazines. And if I can start shooting out previously written articles, I don’t even have to work on writing anything new. I love being lazy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I’m rarely right, but I’m never wrong

Ingrained in my persona for as long as I remember, there has laid a deep affinity toward the written word. Perhaps this is due to the sharp contrasts with the spoken word: You cannot mumble while writing (a predicament I have dealt with all my life through the spoken aspect), and unlike speaking to a crowded auditorium, you rarely see the expressions from those who read your work while you're in the process of creating it. Needless to say, I have never been one to avoid criticism or comments concerning that which I pen, as my level of modesty is rivaled only by the boisterous Muhammad Ali - cocky, to say the least. Yet in my sophomore year of high school, I discovered I could collect a greater response to my writing than a simple chuckle: Journalism.

Though I started as a simple sports __%5Cpublish%5Cworksimages%5CHuepkerMuhammadAliWEB_LGfan covering high school venues, I subsequently morphed into a collegiate drunk who typographically stammered through columns about shooting birds from a truck. While in high school, my sports column made fun of fat girls and cowboys, in college it was handicapped parking. Reverse evolution is what they call it, I believe: Getting progressively dumber as time elapses.

You see, I love evoking responses from those who would otherwise look away. Why would someone read the feature I wrote about an injured basketball player when, if they simply turn the page, they can peruse my defamatory article condemning recycling? Would the reader in turn, if they were so inclined to actually read the feature I wrote next, think I'm some ailing idiot begging for attention, or, after reading the thought-provoking, most-likely comedic and provocative recycling article even read the feature at all? And if they read the feature, would I seem smarter for covering two completely polar-opposite categories of the journalism spectrum, or merely an idiot?

I have ultimately reached a writer’s paradox.

Why is it that I can create a mixture of words, sentences – nay, paragraphs! – that beckon the most strict of college journalism judges to acclaim the serious feature as award-worthy, yet in the same newspaper issue alienate myself from most of humanity with a dim-witted piece on the similarities between Bigfoot and the Bible? More than likely it is to settle a debate in my own spacious mind. For every serious, well-written and gloriously articulated article I construct, subconsciously I must seemingly produce the opposite as well, a counter balance of sorts (see knee-boob column).

Why? I do not know. I would love to write like Ernest Hemmingway, but at the same time I would also love to achieve the same literary success of Tucker Max.

I’m more confused than you are.

However, of all that I’ve done and dreamed of doing, this is the first blog I’ve blogged, and hopefully the first of many.