Archive for February, 2008

More on C-Span’s rightward tilt

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

In 2004, I studied C-Span’s “Washington Journal” and showed that it favored right-wing guests over progressive ones.

Now the Center for Economic and Policy Research has studied C-Span more broadly and showed that C-Span overwhelmingly favored conservative think tanks in its coverage last year.

C-Span shouldn’t be written off as a meaningless space holder on cable. It’s an important conduit of serious information. It shouldn’t favor right-wing ideas.

Gov. Carr, Adam Schrager, and right-wing talk radio

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Last night at the Tattered Cover in downtown Denver, 9News reporter Adam Schrager signed his book, The Principled Politician: The Ralph Carr Story, in front of a high-profile crowd that included Mayor John Hickenlooper and a current or former Denver journalist in every row of the packed house.

Gov. Carr is known for defending the rights of Japanese Americans, who were treated horrifically after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Schrager’s presentation of the book was inspiring, if a bit too formal, because you left thinking that people really do want a leader like Carr, who will stand up for unpopular ideas.

Schrager was excellent during his question-and-answer session when he was funny and more relaxed, though he acknowledged that he was dodging specific questions about how Carr’s story relates to today’s politics, with illegal immigrants being scapegoated.

I think journalists should tell us what they think more often. They can still be fair and accurate in their news reporting.

Today, by email, I asked Schrager about something originally exposed by Colorado Media Matters:

Do you think Carr would have recommended that Clear Channel executives fire KOA’s Gunny Bob for his on-air statement that “every Muslim immigrant to America who holds a green card, a visa, or who is a naturalized citizen [should] be required by law to wear a GPS tracking bracelet at all times?”


And what do you, personally, think Clear Channel should do in response to this statement by Gunny? Here’s his response:

You know I’m not in a position to give personal opinions, but as for Gov. Carr, here are a couple of his quotes on the Constitutional rights of American citizens. Feel free to use these and interpret them as you wish. All are in the book….

“The Constitution includes all people,” he wrote to the Rev. DeWitt Talmadge Alcorn in Coffeyville, Kansas, and numerous others. “We must preserve its principles for every man or we shall not have it to protect any man.” “(The) Constitution starts out by saying, …We the people of the United States.’ It doesn’t say …We the people, who are descendants of the English or the Scandinavians or the French.’ It says, “We the people… When it is suggested that American citizens be thrown into concentration camps, where they lose all the privileges of citizenship under that Constitution, then the principles of that great document are violated and lost.”“While not expressed in this exact language, the underlying theory of the Constitution is found in the proposition that every man may use the talents which God has given him, may reach any goal toward which he sets his eyes and may enjoy the fruits of his ambition, his study and his toil, provided only that he does not use his powers to injure his fellows.”



Iraq War coverage

Friday, February 15th, 2008

In my Sat. column, I beg journalists to keep the Iraq War on the front burner. There’s nothing partisan about supporting the troops. All public figures, including journalists, should talk about the troopsHere’s what KOA radio anchor Steffan Tubbs’ explanation of why he signs off his broadcast with, “Remember the troops.”

I try every day to end Colorado’s Morning News with “remember our troops” simply as a minor way of reminding people that as we go about whatever, there are tens of thousands of people in Iraq and Afghanistan (and around the globe) in uniform fighting and serving us. I do this as completely non-partisan as possible.  I was embedded in March of 2006 with the 4th ID in Iraq and came back with an entirely new respect for servicemen and women.  It doesn’t matter if you’re pro-war, anti-war, Pro-Bush, anti-Bush, it is a fact that they’re serving.  In an all-volunteer force.  The least the deserve is the respect from all of us.  And to not be forgotten.
That’s why I say what I say.  It really is that simple.


Rocky Mountain News Managing Editor Deb Goeken explained her newspaper’s goals in covering Iraq deaths that have link to Colorado. The daily, which won a Pulitzer for a story about a Marine officer who notifies family menbers when a Marine dies, has produced some outstanding coverage Colorado’s connection to the Iraq War. The Denver Post, the other daily in Denver, has also done a good job finding local angles on the war. The following is Goeken’s response to my questions about coverage of Colorado Iraq deaths:
Jason, We try to write about all Iraq deaths with Colorado connections, starting with soldiers and Marines who are from Colorado and extending to all soldiers based at Fort Carson. If a soldier or Marine is from Colorado, and has family still living here, we view it as especially newsworthy. In the case of a Fort Carson-based soldier, we make every attempt to contact their family and to write their life stories as completely as possible. We also try to cover all the memorials at Fort Carson, either ourselves or with coverage from the Gazette. The memorials are always touching, and our photographers have shot some extraordinary photos at the memorials. (As you know, we covered the memorial service for Major Andrew Olmsted, who had blogged for us about his front-line experiences in Iraq.) And, yes, we do as a policy try to cover all funerals of Colorado soldiers, unless the family specifically requests privacy. We honor those requests.