Portland's Desperate Tourism Ad Campaign Looks More Like Rioter Recruitment Agitprop

AP Photo/Noah Berger

Let’s play word association. I say Portland, you say … ? If the first thing you thought of was “riots,” congratulations! Your powers of observation are as acute as ever. And you’re not the only one. Others have noticed. That’s why tourism in Portland, Oregon, is in the crapper.


After more than a year of rioting, looting, IED tossing, fire setting, and beatings, Portland’s leaders, a term we use loosely, have suddenly noticed that if people think they’ll get jumped by a balaclava-clad black-bloc terrorist, they’re unlikely to vacation there.

Business in the worst-hit riot zone in downtown Portland is off by 80%. Officers are retiring and leaving at among the highest rates in the history of the Portland Police Bureau and the city has an exploding murder rate. Population growth has slowed way down.

Related: Portland Can Blame ‘Woke’ DA Schmidt and Singer John Legend for the Police Riot Squad Walk Out

Restoring law and order is obviously too hard for Mayor Ted Wheeler. So instead, the city’s tourism office is embracing Portland’s lawlessness in a new video and print tourism ad. If rioting is going to be a regular feature of Portland, like food trucks, homeless encampments, murder victims, and Voodoo Doughnuts, then why not just lie and say the riots are cool? Like this:

We have some of the loudest voices on the West Coast. And yes, passion pushes the volume all the way up. We’ve always been like this. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We wouldn’t have it any other way”? The volume is “all the way up,” as if setting federal courthouses and ICE buildings on fire and blinding police officers with lasers is so quirky and so Portland.


The ad is called “This is Portland.” The print ad reads:

Some of what you’ve heard about Portland is true. Some is not. What matters most is that we’re true to ourselves.

There’s a river that cuts through the middle of our town. It divides the east and west. But it’s bridged — over and over again. Twelve times, to be specific. And that’s kind of a great metaphor for this city.

We’re a place of dualities that are never polarities. Two sides to the same coin that keeps landing right on its edge. Anything can happen. We like it this way.

This is the kind of place where new ideas are welcome — whether they’re creative, cutting-edge or curious at first glance. You can speak up here. You can be yourself here.

We have some of the loudest voices on the West Coast. And yes, passion pushes the volume all the way up. We’ve always been like this. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

We have faith in the future. We’re building it every day the only way we know how, by being Portland.

Come see for yourself.

That “dualities” versus “polarities” blather drew guffaws from some local people on Reddit who have seen people beaten and assassinated in the streets by leftists for their political beliefs.

Lifetime portlander here. Cute sentiment I guess, but I hate it. Because it’s bulls**t.

Portland is pretty f***ed up right now, for a lot of reasons. Putting on rose colored glasses and painting the city as progressive and quirky feels like a slap in the face to those who suffer as a result of this city’s problems.

It’s also extra weird to allude to the racial justice and police violence protests and then not mention it at all + kinda frame it as “lol we have passionate people here! on both sides!”

But I’m not surprised. Travel Portland’s job is to bring people with money into the city, not make the city better for Portlanders.


If antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters are a selling point, then cities such as San Francisco should get in on the act and, say, tout the human feces maps. That’s quirky, right? Embrace the waste!

Related: Police Investigate Portland Antifa and BLM Armed Militants Who Blocked Traffic in Armed Checkpoint

Seattle can run ads for the homeless encampments as a touristy and fun place to score fentanyl.

Actual Portlanders believe the rioting is bad for the city, contributed to increases in crimes rates, and makes them feel unsafe.

Not until the 1:32 mark of the 2:08 video ad does it speak of the protests (riots). The positive spin put on them -– the out-and-out gaslighting -– is an affront to peace-loving Portlanders and an insult to everyone’s intelligence.

This ad isn’t so much a plea for tourism as a recruiting poster.


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