Archive for September, 2010

Post to publish clarification that GOP state House candidate Webster shot twice at ex-wife; Fox 31 should do same

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

We have some first-class TV reporters in Denver, but even they would admit that local TV stations are known to take what’s in The Denver Post and regurgitate it.

That’s not what Fox 31 did last night.

The station took information from a front-page Post article Tuesday and told us something The Post didn’t report.

The Post’s article, impressively researched, focused on Colorado state legislative candidates (15 Republicans and 7 Democrats), who have criminal records. It listed the candidates and their criminal records in a handy box, along with a response from every candidate. The easy-to-read format provided lots of factual information for voters in a limited space.

Fox 31 advanced the story a bit last night by reporting that one legislator, Republican Clint Webster, running for House 24 in Wheat Ridge, threatened to shoot a gun at his ex-wife. This tidbit had not been included in The Post, which reported that Webster was simply arrested “in 1991 after an incident involving his ex-wife and the Jefferson County sheriff’s office.”

But Websters behavior was actually worse than both Fox 31 and The Post reported.

In 1991 Webster shot two bullets at his ex-wife and someone else, and he eventually pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and felony menacing (which The Post had reported).

Interviewed by Fox 31 last night, Webster claimed he only threatened to fire a gun at his ex-wife. But the police record shows that this is not true.

Asked why the information about Webster shooting at his ex-wife was left out of story, Post Political Editor Curtis Hubbard wrote that it was an “oversight.”

“Reporting in the original story relied upon interviews with the candidate and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office,” Hubbard emailed me. “Lynn [Bartels]  missed the mention in a typed portion of the police report and couldn’t make out a portion of the report that was hand-written.

We’ll be running a clarification in tomorrow’s paper that notes the Webster threatened to kill his ex-wife and fired two shots from a Colt semi automatic pistol at her and another person as they drove away from his house.” [This is already on the Post website.]

Fox 31 should also set the record straight.

As I mentioned, Tuesday’s Post article details not just Webster’s felonies, but the criminal records of 22 legislative candidates (15 Republicans and 7 Democrats).

All the violent crimes were committed by Republicans.

Despite this, the Post article’s introduction spotlights Democrat Dennis Apuan’s 2002 conviction for nonviolent trespassing, which occurred during a nuclear weapons demonstration. It is discussed near the beginning of the article, after information about Brighton Republican Tom Janich’s record of five arrests, from 1983 to 1989, one of which involved resisting arrest violently.

Asked if she thought her discussion of Apuan and Janich created a false equivalence between Democrats and Republicans in the article, Post reporter Lynn Bartels wrote:

How people look at these crimes depends on their own value judgments, I believe,” she wrote, adding that she included Apuan because his opponents “have been using his arrest record in their attempt to unseat him.”

I think someone who has lost a child to a drunken driver might argue that a DUI is more serious than a 20-year-old resisting arrest.”

Bartels clearly has a point that the dates of some of the criminal records and how they are being used in the campaigns make comparisons more complex.

For this reason, you could make an argument that The Post should have just run the criminal records and the responses, without spotlighting any one of them in an introductory narrative.

But because it chose not to simply list the information, it’s probably most fair to rank criminal records by their severity according to known judicial standards. So, even though I could see how fair-minded people could think otherwise, I think the criminal behavior of candidates like Wheat Ridge Republican Clint Webster (1992 felony, felony menacing convictions), Aurora Republican Gary Marshall (1992 misdemeanor child abuse charge), and Pueblo Republican Steven Rodriguez (1996 misdemeanor assault) deserve The Post’s spotlight more than Apuan’s trespass. Wheat Ridge Republican Edgar Antillon (perjury conviction in 2004, failure to appear in court 18 times) was included toward the end of The Post’s narrative.

Moreover, journalists add value to reporting when they analyze patterns in the raw data.  One of the more disturbing trends picked up in The Post’s table of criminal records was a recurrence of domestic or spousal abuse.  Webster’s case of threatening to kill his ex-wife, and going so far as to discharge a weapon twice at her, merits attention for the egregious nature of the offense, but also for the fact that he was one of three candidates listed with a history of domestic abuse, along with Republican Bob Lane of Denver and Republican Steve Rodriguez in Pueblo.  (ColoradoPols named other candidates with a history of abuse, including House Assistant Minority Leader David Balmer.)

But overall I like the way the way The Post reported this complicated information, and the hard work shows.

The Post made a wise decision to include DUIs, because, as Bartels pointed out to, voters may care more about DUIs than a felony conviction, and voters have a right to know about them.

And I like the way Bartels asks readers directly to email her related information, if she missed anything. That’s really smart and even-handed.

Schieffer lets Buck slide on Face the Nation

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Looks like CBS Anchor Bob Schieffer did about two minutes worth of homework prior to his interview with Ken Buck Sunday on Face the Nation.

Had he or his producers prepped for maybe five or ten minutes, he could have called out Ken Buck on some seriously misleading statements on his show.

Schieffer: You also said at one point that you would support a proposed law out there in Colorado that would have banned some forms of birth control, some birth control pills. Do you still hold to that?

Buck: I have never said that. No. I have said that there is a state amendment on personhood. I am in favor of personhood as a concept. I am not taking a position on any of the state amendments. And I have said over and over, and it’s been reporter over and over again, that I am not in favor of banning any common forms of birth control in Colorado or in the United States.

Schieffer: Alright. So we’ve cleared that one up.


Buck is clearly on record as supporting the Personhood Amendment. He’s un-endorsed the Initiative now, but he was for it previously. (And in the middle there, he was against it.)

As for banning common forms of birth control, Buck’s spokesman Owen Loftus told 9News in an email three weeks ago that Buck opposes some forms of the pill, IUDs, and other homone-based methods. These are common forms of birth control.

Buck’s position opposing birth control was consistent with his view that life begins at conception, with the creation of the fertilized egg or zygote.

His no-birth-control position was also consistent with his position opposing abortion, even for a 14-year-old girl raped by her teenage brother. Buck wouldn’t allow her to take a morning-after pill, either.

But Buck’s new position in favor of birth control methods that kill zygotes (like IUDs or the Pill) is inconsistent and makes him look awfully hard-hearted toward the raped 14-year-old girl.

Buck is now saying he’d allow a zygote to be killed by an IUD, but he won’t let a teenage girl choose the morning-after pill or to abort a zygote if the poor girl gets pregnant after she is raped.

Schieffer could have produced some informative and dramatic TV if he’d asked Buck what gives.

Why would he force a raped girl to have a child but allow comfortable women, who could use barrier-method birth control, to use IUD’s and the pill, which murder fertilized eggs too?

After Scheiffer failed to clear up Buck’s issues with Personhood, Schieffer then asked Buck if he was in favor of turning veterans hospitals over to the private sector.

Buck said Schieffer was getting “the Democrat speaking points here.”

Schieffer said, no, “these come from newspaper clippings, but I want to hear your side of it. That’s why I asked.”

It’s great Schieffer is reading newspaper clippings, but he wasn’t reading them very closely. If he had, he’d have pressed Buck harder.

BigMedia question of the week for reporters: Do the Personhood 33 really want to ban common birth control?

Monday, September 27th, 2010

The BigMedia question of the week is, are any of the 33 candidates who endorsed the Personhood Initiative, other than Ken Buck, clued into the fact that the measure would ban stuff like the Pill and IUDs?

You recall last week Buck withdrew his endorsement of Personhood, Amendment 62, saying he didn’t “understand” that the measure would ban common forms of birth control (even though his campaign understood that the measure would ban IUDs and at least some forms of the Pill.)

Over the weekend, to fill in the journalistic gap, I asked a few of the other best-known Personhood endorsers (the Personhood 33) if they knew the Initiative would ban common forms of birth control, and if Buck’s decision changes anything for them.

Nate Strauch, spokesman for Personhood endorser Dan Maes, said of his boss, “He has not changed his opinion on the matter.”

Fellow gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo, also a Personhood endorser told me “nothing has changed there,” regarding his endorsement of Amendment 62.

Asked if this means he supports banning common forms of birth control like the Pill and IUDs, Tancredo said, “I must admit, on the rest of this stuff, I have to look into it.” (I’ll check back with him later and report back.)

Cory Gardner, running for CD 4, is another high-profile GOP candidate who’s thrown his backing behind Personhood. His campaign didn’t return my call over the weekend, but the Ft. Collins Coloradoan reported Sunday that Gardner supports Amendment 62.

Asked by the Coloradoan if he opposes abortion even in the case of rape and incest or if the mother’s life is in danger, Gardner replied: “I’m pro-life, and I believe abortion is wrong.”

I’ll try to find out if Gardner, unlike Buck, understands that Amendment 62 would ban common forms of birth control.

I’ll be calling other members of the Personhood 33 as well.

Who’s talking about social issues in 2010? Buck

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Denver Post editorial page editor Dan Haley got a fact wrong in his column today.

He wrote in reference to Colorado’s U.S. Senate race:

“No one in 2010 is talking about social issues except Bennet.”

Most likely, Ken Buck is the GOP nominee precisely because he talked so much and so passionately about social issues during the Republican primary, scoring much more love from the social-conservative wing of the Republican Party than his opponent Jane Norton. Arguably the support from social conservatives tipped the close primary in his directions.

So it would have been true for Haley to write that Buck doesn’t like to talk to him and mainstream journalists and average-regular-angry voters about social issues now. And Buck is trying not to talk about social issues to anyone now that the primary is behind him.

But Buck undoubtedly blabbed and blabbed about social issues to select audiences who heard his words clearly, and these folks were part of his Tea-Party victory formula.

I’m really sorry to offer this exchange again from Jim Pfaff’s social-conservative radio show (560 KLZ), but it’s emblematic of how Buck dangled his social-conservative lines to select audiences who wanted to hear them.

Pfaff: “These social issues, like marriage, these are critical issues. It has been one of the great weaknesses of the Republican Party not to deal with these critical issues.”

Buck: “I agree with you that I think it has been a weakness of the Republican Party in the United States Senate, and I think it’s time that we look at the people we are sending back to Washington DC and making sure those people are sticking by the values they espouse on the campaign trail.”

This kind of talk paid dividends for Buck.

As the Colorado Right to Life blog put it after the 2010 primary:

“The biggest victory for Personhood today was Ken Buck, for U.S. Senate.”

So, you’re right Mr. Haley, Ken Buck must not have said anything about social issues in 2010 to get that kind of response from Colorado Right to Life, which we all know cares only about jobs and the economy.

Will Personhood endorsers withdraw support, taking a cue from Buck?

Friday, September 24th, 2010

In a KBDI Channel 12 debate Sept. 17, News4 reporter Terry Jessup asked Gualberto Garcia Jones of  Personhood Colorado about GOP support for the Personhood initiative, Amendment 62.

“I mean there’s no one out there with the possible exception of Ken Buck that has talked about this much,” Jessup asked Gualberto. “Why is that?”

Jessup is right that candidates aren’t talking about Personhood much, but plenty of them have endorsed the measure.

As Jones pointed out in response to Jessup:

“One of the changes that we saw from this amendment from the last amendment in 2008 is that we have had at least had tacit endorsement from every major GOP candidate out there. Every candidate that calling himself pro-life is saying personhood is the way to go. And to me that’s a great in roads. Ken Buck is willing to stand up for a child conceived in rape. That takes guts, and I really appreciate that.”

“Tacit” support is hard to pin down, but here’s a list below of candidates (32 Republicans and Tancredo) on record as endorsing the measure, according to surveys by the Christian Family Alliance of Colorado and/or Colorado Right to Life.

Now that the Personhood issue is making headlines, Jessup and other reporters should ask the significant candidates who have endorsed Personhood whether they will take a cue from Buck and alter their position on the measure.

Buck, you recall, backtracked because he said he didn’t understand that the initiative would ban common forms of birth control, like the Pill and IUDs. First Buck said he supported Amendment 62, then his campaign said he opposed it, and most recently he said he’s neutral on it.


  • Ken Buck (U.S. SENATE — now says he’s neutral)
  • Dan Maes (Governor)
  • Tom Tancredo (Governor)
  • Cory Gardner (Congress)
  • Sue Sharkey (CU Regent)

Colorado SENATE Candidates

  • Greg Brophy (SD 1)
  • Kevin Grantham (SD 2)
  • Vera Ortegon (SD 3)
  • Wayne Wolf (SD 5)
  • Steve King (SD 7)
  • Kent Lambert (SD 9)
  • Scott Renfroe (SD 13)
  • Kevin Lundberg (SD 15)
  • Timothy Leonard (SD 16)
  • Mike Kopp (SD 22)
  • Tedd Harvey (SD 30)

Colorado HOUSE candidates

  • Mark Barker (HD 17)
  • Libby Szabo (HD 27)
  • Jim Kerr (HD 28)
  • Kaarl Hoopes (HD 32)
  • Brian Vande Krol (HD 34)
  • Edgar Antillon (HD 35)
  • Kathleen Conti (HD 38)
  • Frank McNulty (HD 43)
  • Chirs Holbert (HD 44)
  • Steve Rodriguez (HD 46)
  • Glenn Vaad (HD 48)
  • BJ Nikkel (HD 49)
  • Ray Scott (HD 54)
  • Randy Baumgardner (HD 57)
  • Mark Rogers (HD 58)
  • John Becker (HD 63)
  • Jerry Sonnenberg (HD 65)

Post should have reported view that plan to convert coal plants will create jobs

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

If you’ve ever looked at submissions of testimony for a PUC hearing, you know they can fall on the obscure side of things.

And if you’re a reporter covering a hearing, you want to spotlight issues that are understandable and relevant.

Jobs fall into the understandable and relevant category, given that the Great Recession just ended but you’d never know it.

So when The Denver Post’s Steve Raabe was reviewing testimony for a short  Sept. 18 story on the PUC’s hearing about Xcel Energy’s plan to convert coal-burning plants to natural gas, it’s natural that the Colorado Mining Association’s submission on jobs caught his eye.

“There are a wide range of intervenors before the PUC in this case, and much of the testimony they filed deals with relatively narrow subjects,” he emailed me in response to a question about his story. “The issue of jobs, however, is one that I think warrants attention.”

So he included these two sentences to his piece:

Adopting the plan could produce Colorado job losses of 30,000 to 120,000, [the Colorado Mining Association’s Roger] Bezdek said, from coal mining and a ripple effect on other industries. The testimony did not specify how it arrived at that total.

I’m really glad Raabe included sentence number two above, given that he wrote sentence number one.  But the question is, should he have written sentence number one at all, given the information in sentence number two?

In other words, since we don’t know if Bezdek’s jobs figures had any basis in reality, should Raabe have simply picked something else to report in his story, even though jobs are a hot-button issue these days?

I think Raabe should have passed on Bezdek’s employment numbers, until their origin was more clear. And, especially since jobs are such a senstive issue, Raabe should have at least reported job figures from the folks who support Excel’s conversion plan.

According to a study paid for by Xcel Energy and conducted by the LEEDS School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Xcel’s “preferred” conversion plan would generate an average of 1,250 jobs from 2010 to 2026. The process used for determining this employment figure is cited.

Raabe explained his thinking on the story to me:

“From a timing standpoint, this was a difficult story to cover,” Raabe emailed me. “As you may know, the PUC often sets a Friday 5 p.m. deadline for filings in various dockets. And given the nature of procrastination, most of the filings came in late Friday. There literally were thousands of pages of testimony filed, and I didn’t have the time to examine it all. But I looked at all of the filings that I thought would be potentially relevant, and I did not see any testimony — other than Bezdek’s — that addressed the issue of jobs. I was not aware of a source that I could have reached on short notice Friday evening that could have commented on, or refuted, Bezdek’s testimony on jobs.” 

Raabe’s point about deadline pressure is clearly valid. It took me hours to track down and clarify the job figures I got–and I knew people to turn to.

Raabe also pointed out that PUC hearings on the testimony filed Friday are scheduled for October and November. The LEEDS study was submitted as testimony to the PUC.

So there will be plenty of opportunities to report in more detail on jobs impact of Xcel’s plan–and to confirm that Bezdek’s figures can be substantiated somehow. Bezdek did not return my email asking about this.

BigMedia question of the week for reporters: What’s Ken Buck’s plan for moving major federal programs to the states and the private sector?

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Reporters are having a hard time figuring out Ken Buck.

His statements on key issues are at odds with each other, and this has left some reporters, like local TV fact checkers, disagreeing about what some of his real beliefs are.

I have sympathy for these reporters. How do you sort out a guy who says we should “immediately flip the switch” on the Department of Education one day, and then calls for slowly phasing out the Department the next.

How does a reporter reconcile Buck’s view that government shouldn’t be in the retirement or health arenas at all with his view that we have an obligation to make Social Security and Medicare work for our seniors?

To give the public a better handle on how Buck thinks about these issues, reporters should take a few minutes to learn what he thinks about the U.S. Constitution and the intent of the founders.

Speaking to a Tea Party group in December Buck made it clear that we need to honor what he sees as the intent of the founders, which was to keep the federal government small.

“We have for 70 or 80 years put ourselves in a bind where we have grown government in a way that’s inconsistent with the way the founding fathers saw the government,” Buck said. “And I’m not ready to say unconstitutional because the Supreme Court, according to our constitutional structure, is the decision-maker on whether something is constitutional or not. It has said it is constitutional. It’s certainly not consistent with what I think the founding fathers intended. But I’m not sure it’s unconstitutional at this point. But that’s semantics.”

“And so,” Buck continued, “I think we need to recognize what the federal government shouldn’t be doing, and we need to develop a plan to move those programs into the state and the private sector. But again, it isn’t going to happen overnight.”

This view of the federal government gone awry, going back to the New Deal, explains how Buck can be so hostile toward, for example, Social Security, Medicare, and the Department of Education…-and yet not want to flip the switch on all of them (though he has said this about the Education Department, perhaps because his primary opponent was ready to shutter it immediately.)

Buck’s recipe for how he would scale back the New Deal initiatives and other federal programs may help resolve the dispute among reporters about whether Buck really thinks Social Security is constitutional or not, much less “horrible” policy.  It may well be that Buck was literally speaking his mind when he said, “I don’t know whether it’s constitutional or not,” if he reduces the distinction to mere semantics, while Social Security itself is “fundamentally against what I believe” since it would be one of those government programs that have put us “in a bind” in the last 80 years.

People need help understanding how Buck would get us to the world where major federal programs, like Social Security and Medicare, are privatized and the states have more control.

What’s Buck’s plan to create a government consistent with Buck’s view of the intent of the founders? What are the details? How many years until he could see Social Security and Medicare being fully privatized and out of the control of the federal government? How long until the Education Department is cut back and returned to the states, and which programs would be cut outright in the long term and which put in state control?

These and other questions spring forth from BigMedia’s question of the week for reporters:

What’s Ken Buck’s plan for moving major federal programs to the state and private sectors?

Partial transcript of Ken Buck discussing the U.S. Constitution and the size of government December 6,2009, at a Tea Pary gathering.

We have for 70 or 80 years put ourselves in a bind where we have grown government in a way that’s inconsistent with the way the founding fathers saw the government. And I’m not ready to say unconstitutional because the Supreme Court, according to our constitutional structure, is the decision-maker on whether something is constitutional or not. It has said it is constitutional. It certainly not consistent with what I think the founding fathers intended. But I’m not sure it’s unconstitutional at this point. But that’s semantics. I think your point is government has grown beyond where it should be, in ways that in shouldn’t be, and I agree with you. And I think the key is to find ways over time to reduce programs and privatize programs and return programs to the states.

But what about that kid with student loans who couldn’t go to college otherwise. Are we really going to say for 70 years we’ve had student loans, and that is an unconstitutional program, and now you can’t go to college? Or are we going to find a way to move from where we are now, which is wrong, to a system that recognizes human behavior and human needs and let the states take over these programs in a thoughtful way. And so I think we need to recognize what the federal government shouldn’t be doing and we need to develop a plan to move those programs into the state and the private sector. But again, it isn’t going to happen overnight. We didn’t get into this problem overnight and we aren’t going to solve this problem over night. And people who say we are going to solve it overnight are either ignorant or lying to you. And it’s very frustrating to have those people out there with simplistic answers to these very complex problems.

Reporters should find out what social conservatives think of Buck’s “Buckpedal” on social issues?

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Back in May, U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck had this exchange with Jim Pfaff, the social-conservative flag-bearer at 560 KLZ radio.

Pfaff: “These social issues, like marriage, these are critical issues. It has been one of the great weaknesses of the Republican Party not to deal with these critical issues.”

Buck: “I agree with you that I think it has been a weakness of the Republican Party in the United States Senate, and I think it’s time that we look at the people we are sending back to Washington DC and making sure those people are sticking by the values they espouse on the campaign trail.”

Then, on Thursday, The Denver Post quoted Buck as saying:

“I am not going to Washington, D.C., with a social agenda, and to create that misperception is wrong,” he said.

But for Thursday’s story, The Post failed to ask social conservatives in Denver what they thought of Buck’s “buckpedal” on social issues, as Colorado Pols has termed Buck’s abandonment of stated positions he held during the primary. So I’ll so it here, to fill the journalistic gap.

I mean no one would argue that Buck didn’t go the extra mile, especially for specific audiences, to make it clear that he was going to Washington with a social agenda, as the exchange above illustrates.

His positions on social issues included, among other positions:

So do social conservatives feel betrayed that Buck is now saying he’s “not going to Washington, D.C., with a social agenda?”

In response to this question, the normally conversant former GOP Senate President John Andrews emailed me:

“I’ll pass on this one.”

State Sen. Dave Schultheis told me he still supports Ken Buck but he thinks the tactic will hurt his election campaign.

“It’s unfortunate that he appears to be minimizing the social agenda. He should go to Washington with both a fiscal and social agenda.

I think that being totally honest with the people helps a candidate. Let the people decide, which is the way we should all be acting.”

Denver Post columnist Vincent Carroll emailed me:

“Do you really think Buck – a social conservative, no doubt – gave social issues a high priority in the primary?  That’s not my impression. Not compared to fiscal issues, anyway.”

Talk-radio host Pfaff said:

“I’m confident that Ken Buck will stand on these important social issues very well. If a vote comes up, he’s going to vote the right way. In reality, though, the emphasis has to be on getting this fiscal house in order. I’ve said many times, I have no desire to live in a pro-life socialist state. And so, it does have to be both/and proposition and not an either or proposition. The question is emphasis.”

I interviewed those guys last week. Then over the weekend Buck dropped a nuclear bomb on social conservatives.

Buck told The Denver Post he changed his view and would now vote against Personhood Amendment, which would give legal rights to fertilized eggs. He said he didn’t “understand” that the measure would ban common forms of birth control, even though until the weekend his campaign had been defending Buck’s opposition to common forms of birth control, telling 9News Buck opposed forms of the Pill and IUDs, for example.

For Sunday’s piece, The Post got a response from a key social conservative.  The Post interviewed Cleta Jasper, a board member of the Pikes Peak Citizens for Life, who sent Buck a survey in response to which he promised, among other things, not to vote for pro-choice judicial nominees.

The Post asked if she was upset at Buck:

“Not enough to kick him in the shins,” she said.

Bloggers are too important for Romanoff to ignore

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Andrew Romanoff isn’t reading this blog post.

He doesn’t read blogs, he told The Denver Post.

The Post’s Bill Husted: Are there perceptions people have of you that need correcting or some explanation?

Romanoff: If you are in public life, you read about yourself …- making decisions you never made or doing things you never did or saying things you never said. One of the best decisions I ever made was, the day I announced, was to stop reading the blogs. The anonymous nature of the blogosphere liberates authors from truth, so people just start making things up.

Husted: How were you treated by the press in general?

Romanoff: We could have done a more effective job of engaging the press in policies. The press was kind of sold on the story that there were no policy differences. And that was factually false. My sense is that the press is short staffed. Journalism is falling under hard times. I’m not going to second guess their decisions now. It doesn’t do much good to whine about that. But if nobody is covering your press conferences, it could be a problem with your communications strategy.

I like Romanoff, and I actually like him even more after reading his great interview with The Post yesterday. He can be an inspiring politician. But swearing off blogs at the young age of 44? That’s not a good idea, especially if he wants to be an insurgent candidate.

Blogs, like other human creations, need to be evaluated one at a time. Romanoff might find one blogger credible (perhaps moi?) and the next blogster a piece of shit. If anonymity bothers you, peruse the ones that have real bylines. So you read the ones you like.

Also, of course, almost every journalist is a blogger these days. If Romanoff takes himself seriously on this, he’ll be left reading only the books that he’s boxing up as we speak.

As for Romanoff’s criticsim of the news coverage of his race, I think he makes a fair point, to a degree, but he’d have to be more specific about what he thought was under-emphasized and by which media. He had different policy positions than Bennet, to be sure.

Does the new Buck ad meet Post’s fairness standards?

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

The Denver Post over the weekend ran an editorial stating that a Michael Bennet ad was unfair.

Now Buck is using the editorial in a commercial.

You have to wonder if The Post, since it has yet to endorse in this race, will put the new Buck ad under the editorial microscope, too.

After all, you expect the editorial page, prior to making an endorsement, to be relatively fair to candidates, maybe not like the news department, but still.

Here are two items from the Buck ad that The Post might scrutinize:

  • Buck calls Bennet a “rubber stamp for his friends in Washington.”
  • Buck says Bennet is “legislating unemployment.”

The Post wants a “fair and vigorous discussion on the issues that matter to Coloradans,” and it didn’t think the Bennet ad made the cut.

So, what do you think of the Buck ad? Does it meet your standards? Does is come close?

You owe it to readers, and simple fairness, to let us know.