Archive for August, 2011

Denver’s anti-abortion talk-show host Bob Enyart vs. Mitt Romney

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Bob Enyart, a local anti-abortion radio-show host, is planning a national campaign aiming to convince GOP primary and caucus voters of this: “When Mitt Romney says he’s a pro-family, pro-life conservative, he is a liar to the base that he needs for the nomination.”

“We plan on doing again what we did four years ago, starting in December,” Enyart told me. “We began running TV ads in the early contest states, where there’s a significant pro-life voter bloc. We skipped New Hampshire, and we plan on skipping New Hampshire again, and focusing on Iowa and South Carolina. Florida is such a huge state, and it’s very expensive. But we’ll try to get more money for Florida this time, but we had a pretty effective strategy for Florida last time.”

Enyart crusaded for Colorado’s failed Personhood Amendments and similar causes.  Today, for example, his website says he’s in Durango protesting at a Catholic hospital that allegedly allows one of Enyart’s targeted doctors to treat patients there.

Enyart contends that Romney “singlehandedly instituted homosexual marriage in Massachusetts, and he used tax dollars to pay for surgical abortions on demand,” making Romney “low-hanging fruit” for his campaign.

“Romney has done more to further those two goals [gay marriage and government-funded abortion] than Barack Obama has,” Enyart believes. “Romney instituted homosexual marriage, never mind Obama’s uncertainty on the issue. Romney funded abortion on demand with tax dollars. Barack Obama may dream of doing those things but hasn’t yet.”

Enyart, whose radio show airs locally on “Colorado Christian Station” KLTT 670 AM, spent “tens of thousands of dollars” in 2008 and expects to spend more this time. The money went to grassroots educational activities and commercials, which were used other groups as well, he says.

“We’re very effective at convincing rank-and-file Republican base voters that Romney is the enemy,” Enyart told me.

“How so?” I asked.

“The message is effective,” he replied with confidence. “Romney got trounced in Iowa. He had boots on the ground for a year and a state-wide organization, and he got slaughtered. And the number one reason given by Republicans for voting against him in the caucuses was that he was lying about being pro-life.”

I couldn’t find an exit poll showing that caucus attendees though Romney was lying about being pro-choice, but plenty of polls show that evangelicals are a major GOP voting bloc in Iowa.

In 2008, ABC News described its exit poll of Iowa caucus goers this way:

While a range of factors rumbled through the Democratic race, the Republican contest was essentially about one thing: religion. Evangelical Christians accounted for a remarkable six in 10 GOP caucus-goers, and they favored Huckabee, a Baptist minister, over Mitt Romney, who’s Mormon, by a broad 46-19 percent.

And for hard core anti-abortion Republicans, the abortion issue often blows every other concern off the table.

Even rabid anti-abortionist Dan Caplis, co-host of KHOW’s worthwhile Caplis and Silverman show, told Enyart June 21 he wouldn’t vote for Romney, even over Obama, if it turns out he’s not sufficiently anti-abortion. Caplis, who “likes Mitt Romney,” said:

“If I’m missing something about him, factually, historically,  if he truly is not pro-life, well then, I wouldn’t vote for him. So, if there’s a question out there, I want to find the answer to it. There have been all sorts of candidates out there who call themselves pro-life and then don’t act that way. I as a consumer want to make sure that I’m not fooled.”

So are Enyart’s claims about Romney true?

The allegation about Romney instituting gay marriage in Massachusetts appears to be false. I didn’t have time to get to figure it out for sure, but I looked through news coverage around time that the gay marriage was legalized in Massachusetts, and Romney was described as powerless to stop it, and he was quoted as an ardent opponent of gay marriage throughout. It appears that Romney was not in a position to stop gay marriage there.

Enyart says his claims about Romney’s acceptance of publicly-funded abortion are fully documented on his website

I looked through Enyart’s site, but did not have time to determine for sure if Romney had the ability to stop his state-wide health insurance plan, so-called RomenyCare, from covering abortion. I’ll do this in the future, but please inform me, in the comment section below, if you have insight into this issue.

Meanwhile, look for Enyart to stick his face directly in front of the GOP establishement on this issue. Ann Coulter even hung up on him, and I’m sure she won’t be the last.

Gardner and radio-show host agree that media have “bias” against people like…them!

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

In an old column for the Rocky, I asked KOA radio-host Mike Rosen about his oft-repeated opinion that The Denver Post has a “liberal bias on its news page.”

Can Rosen cite a study to prove this?

“I’d love to see one,” he said at the time. “I’m never going to have a study because I don’t have the time.” But he had no doubt about the leftward tilt of The Post, he told me, because he’s “documented dozens and dozens of incidents over 25 years.”

That’s the kind of thing conservatives, who go on about “liberal media bias,” tell you when you ask for proof.

The media is biased because they say so.

Lefties make the same undocumented claims about “conservative bias” in the media, I know, but not quite so often or loudly, it seems.

But, to be fair, a lot of lefties and righties don’t seem to understand that sweeping allegations of media “bias” can only be proven with in-depth studies that show a pattern of lapses over time. Not to mention the fact that bias implies a conscious effort to skew you, the reader. So it’s a tall task to prove bias, unless you just assert it because you think highly of yourself.

Good media criticism, which contributes to meaningful public debate and doesn’t mindlessly tear down professional journalism, focuses on specific stories or instances of coverage that we can debate and get our arms around. It points out inaccuracies, omissions, sloppy sourcing, unfairness, and the like, found in actual coverage in an actual news outlet, not alleged stories out there in the “media.”

Statements like the media is biased against “people who believe in smaller government” don’t fall in the category of good media criticism, and are pretty dumb, destructive, useless, and otherwise not befitting of a member of the media or a public figure.

Enter Grassroots Radio Colorado host Jason Worley and Rep. Cory Gardner.

They had the following cozy exchange about the media Thursday on KLZ AM 560, which airs Worley’s (and Ed Clark’s) Tea Party radio show from 5 p.m. t0 7 p.m. weekdays.

Gardner: The press likes to blame the Tea Party for a lot of things, because there’s a bias in the media against people who believe in smaller government.

Worley: You mean people like us.

Gardner: People like us.

I called Gardner’s office to ask what he meant by this but did not get a response yet. Does he really think the media are biased against him?

But Worley quickly answered my request for proof of the bias he and Gardner were upset about:

Worley: I think it’s pretty obvious.  Cutting government can mean a lot of things, but why does the media always run to Social Security and Medicare.  Why not stop all foreign aid, especially to our enemies.  Why not tell the U.N. that instead of America funding 23% of its budget we are going to fund 2%.  The media never seems to mention that the Dept of Energy was created to get the US away from importing oil.  Why do they still exist? There is a ton of waste in Cabinet level depts, but that never is brought up. I will back off on the media bias when they take an honest look at what we are spending and lay off the scare tactics.

Salzman: There are huge generalizations about the news media. Can you cite a report or study to support your view that the media “always run to Social Security and Medicare?

Worley: Turn on ABC, CBS, NBC during the evening news and study.  Do you need a study to be intellectually honest?

If you’re going to throw around the word “bias,” you do. To criticize the media, you should use facts, evidence, proof, and examples of the kind of coverage you’re talking about.

These things allow people to communicate in a meaningful way.

Gardner wants to be on committee assigned to cut $1.2 trillion. What would he cut?

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Rep. Cory Gardner told Al Malmberg on KCOL Radio (AM 600 in Loveland) today that he wasn’t sure how he’d vote on the bill negotiated by President Obama to extend the debt limit.

But Gardner said he’d like to sit on the committee, established under the legislation, to find $1.5 trillion in government cuts by Nov. 23.

Gardner: “I would actually be on the committee, if they asked, because I would be driving the hard decision. I am not afraid…of difficult choices.”

For some good radio entertainment, Malmberg should have asked Gardner for his list of specific cuts. Or he could get this from Gardner next time he’s on the show.

To be appointed to the committee, Gardner should be lobbying House Speaker John Boehner, as reported by ABC’s Jake Tapper, who does a nice job of explaining what happens if the committee fails to agree on cuts by about Turkey Day:

  • Congress must vote on recommendations made by the bipartisan Congressional deficit reduction committee by December 23;
  • If Congress fails to pass the committee proposal, triggers are enacted that spur at least $1.2 trillion in cuts and those will be close to 50/50 split between domestic/defense spending. But the triggers exempt cuts to Social Security, Medicare beneficiaries and low income programs. The cuts will take effect on January 2, 2013.