Archive for the 'Caplis and Silverman Show' Category

Post shouldn’t forget about Stapleton’s DUI case

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Even though Walker Stapleton has been elected State Treasurer, The Denver Post shouldn’t forget to make sure he turns over, at some point, the police report from his 1999 DUI arrest in San Francisco.

In an interview Oct. 27 on KHOW’s Caplis and Silverman show, Stapleton said he ordered the report and promised to deliver it to The Post’s Tim Hoover as soon as he gets it.

Last week, I criticized The Post for not interviewing one of two woman whose cab Stapleton hit when he drove his car through a red light and into their taxi. An interview with this victim was published in the Colorado Independent.

In the KHOW interview, Silverman seems to have made a mistake (uncorrected by Stapleton) when he said on the air that “as recounted by you, the accident wasn’t even your fault.”

In fact, Stapleton said told Silverman:

“What happened is, I had been drinking, and I had been under the influence of alcohol at the time, and I was hit by a taxi cab. And it was at an intersection where I had a blinking red and the taxi had a blinking yellow light. It caused my car to spin, to do a 360, and there were two people in the back of the taxi at the time.”

To me, it appears that the accident was Stapleton’s fault, even if the taxi hit him.

One of the women in the taxi also said Stapleton’s car ran a red light.

This victim also said something that Stapleton has denied, namely that he tried to flee the scene, but his car was cut off by other cars, possibly taxis.

The police report may clear this up, to some extent, as could documents requested by the Independent, which has raised questions about possible drug use by Stapleton.

When Stapleton turns over the report to The Post, a full story…-including an interview with the victim…-should be run to clear up the air or pollute it, depending on what the record shows.

Partial transcript of interview with Walker Stapleton on the Caplis and Silverman Show

10/27/2010 HOUR 4

Silverman: This involves a DUI conviction. Isn’t that something that the voters should know and determine whether it’s important to them or not.

Stapleton: Sure. Absolutely. And that’s why I admitted to this transgression 12 years ago. I was 25 at the time. It was a mistake that I’ve owned up to, that I’ve been honest about. In fact, the first time I was asked about it I was honest about it in a very public forum, and I’ve taken full responsibility for it. I served my community service as a result of this. It’s not something I feel great about. It’s not something that needs to be put into a political attack ad where the facts are twisted and distorted to make it look like things happened that simply didn’t happen. That is disingenuous to voters and it’s also insulting to voters…-as if voters would vote on issues like this and not issues that pertain, policy issues, which pertain to the job of being state treasurer of Colorado.

Silverman: Sure, good people can get DUIs. There was an accident involved, and some people were shaken up. There was an issue about whether those people were in a taxi or on foot, and whether you left the scene of the crime or not. Why don’t you explain what really happened?

Stapleton: Well, you know quite well from your experience as an accident attorney that a lot of things take place in an accident. What happened is, I had been drinking, and I had been under the influence of alcohol at the time, and I was hit by a taxi cab. And it was at an intersection where I had a blinking red and the taxi had a blinking yellow light. It caused my car to spin, to do a 360, and there were two people in the back of the taxi at the time. I didn’t even know that there were two people in the back of the taxi, wasn’t even told about it until my insurance company contacted me and said that both of these two individuals had applied for and received back massages. Liberal interest groups tried to drum up this story by saying that I had hit a number of pedestrians. That did not happen, and it was confirmed that it did not happen by the San Francisco Police Department. But they still did not drop the story even though The Denver Post spent the time and got a categorical denial from the Office of Public Safety of the San Francisco Police Department that pedestrians were not involved in this accident. When I explained that I had pulled out of traffic to the San Francisco Police Department, they dropped the hit-and-run charge. You know, from being a lawyer, that just because you are charged with something and you go through the legal process, now 12 years old, doesn’t mean you’re guilty of it-.

Silverman: I agree. A lot of good people can have a DUI. And as you recounted, the accident wasn’t even your fault. And I could see how that could happen. But there are DUIs and then there are DUIs. Some people have a .082 blood alcohol content, which gets them in trouble in Colorado right now under with DUI. Heck if you’re over .04 you can be charged with driving while ability impaired. And  you sometimes seepeople with huge blood alcohol content and, what was yours? Did you take…-

Stapleton: The answer is, I don’t remember. It was well under .2, I can tell you that. And, just as evidence that I have absolutely nothing to hide, and Tim Hoover of The Denver Post can confirm this, as soon as the Kennedy campaign, in an effort to smear me, brought this issue up again, I immediately attempted to order the police report from the San Francisco Office of Public Information, at which I will deliver a full report to Tim Hoover at The Denver Post as soon as I receive it. Unfortunately, there are bureaucratic circles involved with receiving such a report. But I have told Tim at The Post that I have absolutely nothing to hide with this accident. I have owned up to my mistakes-.

Among Denver media, Post and (believe it or not) a talk-radio show had most primary election impact

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Before the memory of the primary elections slips behind us (yes, I know it’s been unforgettable, but still), I wanted to point out the media organ that’s moved off the sidelines to have the second greatest impact on the election.

The Denver Post gets top honors as the most influential media outlet in Colorado, of course, for reasons that are obvious and go beyond the McInnis plagiarism coverage.

But number two is pretty surprising. It’s the Caplis and Silverman show, which airs 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on KHOW 630 AM.

I can’t stand the show sometimes (especially when centrist/right Silverman idles as Caplis acts like a spinmeister for the Republicans), but I mostly like it a lot. And this election season I’ve been floored by the show’s impact, substance, and entertainment-value…-on a regular basis.

The show’s string of major hits began in Aug. of 2009 when Scott McInnis inexplicably lashed out at both Caplis and Silverman and claimed to be more generous than they. The bizarre outburst, in which McInnis “went off the rails,” according to The Post, got quite a bit of media attention and in retrospect set the bizarre tenor of the McInnis campaign to come, including his comment on the show in April, also widely publicized, that he’s the kind of person who donates elk meat to folks in need, rather than giving to nonprofit groups.

That info came when McInnis was refusing to talk to The Post, after the newspaper had asked to review his tax returns. So McInnis explained himself on Caplis and Silverman.

In the same elk interview, Silverman became the first in the media to ask McInnis what he did to earn $150,000 from the Hasan Family Foundation, which was mentioned among McInnis’ 2005 income sources in The Post, where it might have died without Silverman. Silverman asked McInnis if he was trying to help the foundation foster a better understanding between U.S. citizens and Muslim cultures. But no no, McInnis eagerly corrected him and said the foundation paid him to “write” articles on Colorado water.

As the primary wore on, all the major GOP players and many Dems were regulars on Caplis and Silverman. In your car on the way home, it was like listening to a mix of live breaking news bits, in-depth discussions of politics and various issues, and five-star drive-time drama and comedy–and tragedy. It felt like a town hall, showing how great talk radio can be. Unfortunately, John Hickenlooper appears to be avoiding the show, after a contentious appearance earlier this year about his charitable contributions, and Michael Bennet didn’t materialize.

“Dan Maes was a frequent guest on the show, and while they didn’t treat him with kid gloves, his accessibility and willingness to step into the arena helped place him on an equal status with McInnis or even above McInnis,” said Westword’s “Latest Word” blogger and media critic Michael Roberts.

I asked Roberts if he agreed with me that Caplis and Silverman, now in its sixth year on the air, deserves the number two spot among media outlets for impact on this year’s primary.

“In terms of that specific primary, I think you can make a very good argument that it was second to The Post, which clearly had the biggest impact,” Roberts told me, adding that Channel 7’s interview with Rolly Fisher was also a major journalistic triumph. “But the Caplis and Silverman show wasn’t one hit or two, but had an impact over the long haul.”

Roberts also thinks that Caplis’ early abandonment of McInnis, days after the plagiarism scandal hit the news, contributed to the conservative rush away from him.

Silverman, who credits producer Brad Lopez for landing great guests, wrote me that regular interviewees Ken Buck and Jane Norton both had “huge” ad buys on their show, “so they must have thought voters were listening.”

“Dan Caplis and I are both trial lawyers so we should have skills at questioning,” writes Silverman, who’s now an unaffiliated voter in contrast to partisan Republican Caplis. “We try to use courtroom etiquette including no interrupting. I fancy myself a political free agent and ask tough but fair questions to Dems and Repubs.” 

He continues: “Some talk radio hosts (i.e. Limbaugh) call opposition politicians schoolyard names or otherwise belittle or caricature them. I understand why politicos avoid such shows. We do not do that.  Our show is more like a friendly courtroom. Often, Dan and I are on different political sides, so there is usually some balance in the overall experience for the guest and listener.”

Some balance, yes, but no much if you look at the big picture. I mean, the show creates the illusion that the political spectrum in America runs from the center-right (Silverman) to the far-right (social-conservative Caplis). That drives me nuts, as I’ve written previously, and motivates me to find some real balance by listening to progressive David Sirota, who’s doing a great job in the mornings on AM760. But I have to agree with Silverman that pairing Caplis with a guy like Sirota would probably fail…-and the number of quality guests would certainly decrease. Still, I’d like to see a talk-show experiment in Denver with a true lefty and Caplis-like righty.

But we have the Caplis and Silverman, and for this year at least, it’s been about as good as you could hope for from a political talk-radio show.

Question of the week for reporters: Does Buck oppose the morning-after pill even for a woman who is raped by a family member?

Monday, August 30th, 2010

The Denver Post on Sunday became the first major news outlet in Colorado, with the exception of the Associated Press, to report that Ken Buck opposes abortion even in the case of rape and incest.

This leads to a second question, which will be the first in my regular series, “Question of the week.” The question-of-the-week will be my suggested query for reporters to ask a specific policymaker, activist, elected official, or candidate. It will not always focus on Ken Buck, like this week’s question.

It appears that Ken Buck not only opposes a women’s right to choose abortion if she’s a victim of rape and incest, but he also supports a ban on the use of the morning-after pill or possibly other types of birth control, even in the case of rape and incest.

On KHOW’s Caplis and Silverman show Aug. 4, Buck suggests that he’s opposed the use of the morning-after pill, even in the case of rape and incest. Here’s the transcript:

Craig: -Let’s say, god forbid, that a 13-year-old boy impregnates his 14-year-old sister and does it by forced rape. You’re saying that the 14-year-old and anybody involved in the abortion should be prosecuted, if they choose to terminate the pregnancy, either through surgical abortion or a morning after pill?

Buck: I think it is wrong, Craig. I think it is morally wrong. And you are taking a very small group of cases and making a point about abortion. We have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of abortions in this country every year. And the example that you give is a very poignant one but an extremely rare occurrence.

Craig: Incest happens. I’m sure your office prosecutes it. And we know rape and sexual assault happen all the time, and your office prosecutes it. So it’s not completely rare. I agree that most abortions have nothing to do with that. I don’t know if I’d go with rare.

Furthermore, Buck’s support of the Personhood amendment, which grants zygotes citizenship rights, would presumably include complete opposition to the use of some birth control measures, including the morning-after pill, even in the case of rape and incest. The Colorado Independent has been on this here.

So, the question for reporters to ask Buck:

Do you support a ban on the use of the morning-after pill even for a woman who is raped by a family member?

Talk-radio host’s questioning of Buck is model for CO reporters, who’ve essentially ignored Buck’s opposition to abortion in the case of rape and incest

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

No matter what you think of abortion, it’s fair to say that U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck’s opposition to abortion, even in the case of rape and incest, is newsworthy.

But surprisingly, this tidbit about Buck has barely seen the light of day in the Colorado mainstream media.

It has yet to appear in The Denver Post, and it got exactly 21 words in one Spot blog post and a vague link in another.

In fact, Buck’s stance on abortion has been covered by only one major news outlet in Colorado, and that is, the Associated Press, according to Nexis search, though you might have heard about his view on this issue via the local blogosphere or from a few national news outlets.

The Aug. 11 Associated Press piece ran in some smaller Colorado newspapers, or at least on their websites, but the AP story gave only passing treatment (12 words, to exact) to Buck’s abortion position, listing it among other positions cited by progressive organizations as “too crazy for Colorado.”

Denver local TV news apparently haven’t mentioned Buck’s abortion stance at all, according to an admittedly non-comprehensive web search.

Even if I missed something, and please let me know if I did, it’s fair to say that Colorado’s major news outlets have essentially ignored Buck’s position that women should not be allowed to choose to have an abortion if they become pregnant after being raped, even by family members.

That’s a serious omission, but Buck sprang up unexpectedly, and I have no doubt that Colorado’s major news outlets will get around to covering his position on abortion, now that he’s the official GOP nominee for U.S. Senate.

In questioning Buck on this issue, reporters should follow the lead of KHOW talk-radio host Craig Silverman, whose detailed questioning of Buck Aug 4 on this issue sets a high standard for journalists who interview Buck about abortion in the future.

Notice in the transcript below how Silverman leads Buck through a line of questioning that ends with the most important and relevant answers.

He first establishes that Buck believes if you allow for abortion in the case of rape or incest “you’re taking a life as a result of the crime of the father.”

Silverman then asks Buck the key question of whether his personal position on this issue would guide his actions if he became a U.S. Senator.

Buck responds that he would indeed favor a federal law banning abortion, even in the case of rape and incest.

It’s worth taking a moment to read the transcript of Silverman’s interview with Buck below:

Craig: You’re saying even in the cases of rape or incest, you’re not for abortion?

Buck: That’s correct. You know, Craig, if you believe that life begins at conception, which I do, then with the exception of rape and incest, you’re taking a life as a result of the crime of the father. And even though I recognize that the terrible misery that that life was conceived under, it is still taking a life in my view, and that’s wrong.

Craig: Right. And I believe life begins at conception. I think that’s a matter of science. To me the question is, when does somebody become a human being and entitled to the same rights and protections that any human being in America deserves, or frankly around the world. To me, that’s the debate. How did you come to your position? Is it informed by your religion?

Buck: It’s my upbringing. It’s my faith. It’s my life experiences, the three things that have brought me to that position.

Craig: And have you always been there, or is this something that you’ve evolved to.

Buck: No, I think it’s something I’ve evolved to. It’s something that I realized in my mid-twenties. I certainly as a teenager hadn’t thought through the positions. As I got out of school and was observing things and growing in my faith I came to that position.

Craig: And would it transfer into the legal world. You’re going to be a legislator if you’re voted into the United States Senate. Would you create a law that would prohibit abortion in the cases of rape or incest?

Buck: I would favor that position in law, yes.

Craig: -Let’s say, god forbid, that a 13-year-old boy impregnates his 14-year-old sister and does it by forced rape. You’re saying that the 14-year-old and anybody involved in the abortion should be prosecuted, if they choose to terminate the pregnancy, either through surgical abortion or a morning after pill?

Buck: I think it is wrong, Craig. I think it is morally wrong. And you are taking a very small group of cases and making a point about abortion. We have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of abortions in this country every year. And the example that you give is a very poignant one but an extremely rare occurrence.

Craig: Incest happens. I’m sure your office prosecutes it. And we know rape and sexual assault happen all the time, and your office prosecutes it. So it’s not completely rare. I agree that most abortions have nothing to do with that. I don’t know if I’d go with rare.

Day 14: McInnis’ evasiveness has led Hasan Family Foundation to consider legal action

Friday, July 30th, 2010

In an interview aired Wednesday, Colorado Public Radio asked gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis if he had kept his promise, which he made 14 days ago, to give back the $300,000 he got from the Hasan Family Foundation for his bungled two-year water fellowship.

McInnis said he had not given the money back yet, but he might do so later.

“I’ve got to make it right,” he told Colorado Public Radio. “That’s my point. What shape that takes, whether it’s the funds or whatever it is, it’s going to have to be done. I have got to make it right.”

So what is the Hasan Family Foundation’s thinking about the situation? That’s what journalists should be asking, given that it doesn’t look like McInnis is necessarily planning on returning the dough, as promised.

To find out, I spoke with Dr. Aliya Hasan, a foundation board member who eloquently defended the foundation July 16 on KHOW’s Caplis and Silverman show.

I asked Hasan whether McInnis had contacted the foundation about returning the money.

She said that McInnis called to apologize to her father, Malik Hasan, on Tuesday morning, July 13, after the plagiarism story hit the news on Monday. They didn’t discuss repayment at that point, but the foundation put out a statement by the end of the week that it wanted its money back. McInnis announced on the same day that he would honor the foundation’s request and return the $300,000.

The foundation was ready to work with McInnis to get the money back, as he had promised publicly, but McInnis never contacted the foundation to work out the details, according to Hasan.

“We didn’t hear anything from him at all,” Hasan told me. “So finally we asked our lawyer this week to send a letter formally asking for our money back.”

“We heard back from Scott’s lawyer,” she continued. “There was nothing in his letter about paying us back or about proposing a way to pay us back. The letter said that Scott wants to meet with you to make this right. You know, what he always says, I want to make this right.”

She told me the foundation doesn’t want to be mean or hurt the Republicans, but McInnis’ evasiveness has forced the foundation to consider legal action.

“The general consensus was that he is trying to wiggle out of this,” Hasan told me.¬† “He’s spoken to my dad already, and we’ve made it quite clear what our position is. There’s nothing more to discuss except the terms for how he is going to pay us back, which we felt our lawyer could do. And our lawyer advised us that it’s probably not a good idea to meet with him, since we are considering legal action, and we agreed. It’s one of those anything-you-say-can-be-used-against-you situations.”

“And so we’ve basically said that we are not going to meet with him,” she said. “We want our money back. Tell us how you are going to do this. And if we don’t hear back from you, then we are going to proceed to legal action. There’s no point in dragging this out further.”

Hasan said that the foundation wants to use the McInnis money for projects that benefit the community, which is the purpose of the foundation, and that’s the underlying motivation for the potential legal action.

“We’re not vindictive about what happened,” said Hasan. “We’re upset, yes, but we just want our money back.”

There’s no firm date for filing the lawsuit, Hasan told me.

Caplis calls on McInnis to withdraw

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

KHOW’s Dan Caplis isn’t known for surprising us when it comes to conservative issues. He usually toes the line.

But Caplis, who toyed with a Senate run this year, surprised me yesterday, I must say, when he leapt in front of his brethren and said on the radio that gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis should withdraw from the race. He said:

I believe [McInnis] is a man of integrity….

In my view, you have some major mistakes there that raise question marks for voters who don’t know these people the way we do.

And when you look at Scott McInnis, there’s a case when you can bet millions of dollars will go into reminding Coloradans or informing any who haven’t heard yet that Scott got $300,000 to write a handful of water articles that he didn’t write himself and that were plagiarized by somebody to boot-.

If you are truly committed to having a conservative elected, you look at that scenario and say, that’s suicide. Why in the world would we do that?

Media focus on plagiarism overshadows big underlying issue of fraud

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

It’s natural that journalists would be focusing on plagiarism in the strange story of Scott McInnis, the Hasan Family Foundation, and the water articles. Writers think about plagiarism all the time. And McInnis’ assignment as a Hasan Fellow was mostly to write a “series of in-depth articles on water.”

But what’s more germane, going forward, is probably fraud, not plagiarism. And this is a story line that journalists should track closely.

That’s because McInnis had apparently entered into a contract with the Hasan Family Foundation to write the water articles. McInnis is correct when he says that the articles were never published, but, still, McInnis probably had a contractual agreement with the foundation to produce original articles, not to copy Judge Gregory Hobbs’ work.

His plagiarized articles appear to constitute a breach of his contract, and breach-of-contract is a common type of fraud.  Even if the work was being done for a foundation, it was a business transaction, and in the business world, unlike the day-to-day world journalists occupy, breach of contract, not plagiarism, rules the day.

And the Hasans look like they are in just the right mood to file the civil fraud lawsuit, given that they’re pissed (“shocked, angry, and disappointed,” according to an Hasan news release), and they’re conducting an internal investigation that might result in their asking for their money back from McInnis.

One might think McInnis would be jumping head over heels to calm the Hasans, given the media frenzy that would emerge from a lawsuit, but not really.

On the Caplis and Silverman show yesterday, McInnis stopped short of promising to return the money to the Hasans, if necessary, though he did say he’d try to work things out with them.

Silverman: Are you going to give the Hasan family their money back?

McInnis: As I say, I’m going to sit down and talk with them and do what we need to do to make it right.

To win a fraud case against McInnis, according to lawyers I spoke with, the foundation would have to prove four general elements, which hinge on  whether McInnis knew his articles were plagiarized. 

Asked by Craig Silverman yesterday whether he had signed a form stating that his work was “original,” McInnis said no.  But as has been widely reported, a 2005 memo submitted to “Seeme Hasan, Chairwoman; Hasan Foundation” under the name of “Scott McInnis, Senior Fellow” states, “All the Articles are original and not reprinted from any other source.”

McInnis is claiming that his researcher made the writing mistakes that resulted in the plagiarism. This would make McInnis’ deceit unintentional.  But his researcher, Rolly Fischer, is blaming McInnis for the plagiarism, so there looks to be lots of material for a court fight, with McInnis, Fischer and the Hasans as the star witnesses.

“A civil fraud claim by the Hasan Foundation is one of many things that Scott McInnis needs to be worried about today,” Craig Silverman wrote me via email. “$300,000 is a lot of money to make, and a lot of money to return.  If a lawsuit happens, then there are the costs and attorney fees to be considered. If this is fully played out,there would be brutal lengthy depositions and other forms of discovery before you ever get close to a trial.”

Drew Dougherty, media contact for the Hasans, told me today that the foundation will not make any decisions about next steps until after its internal investigation is completed.

Journalists should discuss the fraud option with lawyers and the Hasans themselves, as this story plays out.

Interview with “remorseful” water researcher is a prize catch

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

As a Mother Jones blog headline yesterday put it, “McInnis in hot water.”

You know that’s the case when, as a reporter, you have so much material to investigate, you don’t know where to go first. That’s where things stand this morning.

But among the unwritten articles out there, perhaps one of the biggest is the story of McInnis research assistant, Rolly Fischer, whom McInnis is blaming for the plagiarized water articles.

Here’s what McInnis told 7News yesterday:

“I had staff assistance, I had research, and as you know, the research – that’s where the problem is here,” McInnis said.

 “But who wrote the articles?” Ferrugia asked.

 “Well, I had staff assistance and I edited the articles, they went in under my name,” McInnis said. “Well, I edited them but I didn’t run them through a check to see if they, I mean, from our expert, Rollie, you know he’s an expert in water for three or four decades. So I took what he said at face value.” “I had staff assistance, I had research, and as you know, the research – that’s where the problem is here,” McInnis said.

“But who wrote the articles?” Ferrugia asked.

“Well, I had staff assistance and I edited the articles, they went in under my name,” McInnis said. “Well, I edited them but I didn’t run them through a check to see if they, I mean, from our expert, Rollie, you know he’s an expert in water for three or four decades. So I took what he said at face value.”

Later McInnis told KHOW’s Caplis and Silverman that Fischer was “remorseful” and “sick about this.” McInnis said:

“No I had a research assistant. And he was 29 or 30 years as the head of the Colorado Water Conservation District. He was an expert on water. Great guy. He feels very remorseful about this. He is sick about this.”

Trouble is, both McInnis statements about Fischer, that he’s responsible and remorseful, don’t look to reflect what Fischer himself is thinking.

Yesterday Fischer reportedly told the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.

“Scott’s responsible for it.”

That doesn’t sound like a guy who’s taking responsibility for something he’s sorry about.

At this point, I think landing the interview with Fischer is the biggest journalistic catch to be made, in a sea of water where there’s plenty of stuff to catch (and we’re not talking catch-and-release here).

Trouble is, landing the interview with Fischer won’t be easy for reporters.

When The Denver Post went to his home yesterday in Glenwood Springs, Fischer told a Post reporter, “I don’t trust the press.” (Coincidentally, McInnis has been awfully hostile to the press himself, refusing to discuss his plagiarism with The Post and, during the campaign, dissing journalism generally.)

So it’s going to take some work to get Fischer to tell his story, which deserves to be told. Maybe a blogger is the right person for the job? Someone who’s not a journalist.

Caplis says same standards apply to candidate as professor; Rosen disagrees

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

It seems like an age has gone by since the Denver media, gamely led by the bygone Rocky Mountain News, was in full-bore media frenzy over a CU professor named Ward Churchill.

And who was leading the frenzy, calling for the firing of Churchill after, and in some cased before, it was determined he committed plagiarism? Denver’s top-rated talk show hosts. Those guys.

KHOW’s duo of Caplis and Silverman was out in front of the pack.

On July 27, 2007, the Rocky Mountain News reported that Dan Caplis cut a vacation short to broadcast the Churchill firing. Caplis told the Rocky at the time: “This is the people’s victory, and talk radio played a part in it. But that’s what we’re here for. We shouldn’t be bragging about it – we just did our job. If we don’t do our job, bad guys like Churchill win.”

Asked today whether he thought McInnis should withdraw from the race, Caplis responded:

“Fair question. The same standard should apply to a candidate for any higher office as applies university professor. Plagiarism is extremely serious. Now we just have to see what the facts are. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to talk to Scott on the show today. Absolutely the same standards should apply to a candidate as a university professor.”

 Caplis is an arch conservative who considered a gubernatorial run himself. For a talk-show host like Caplis, who openly supports McInnis and opposed Churchill, you might say, if you were Ward Churchill, that the chickens have come home to roost.

I asked his co-host, centrist Craig Silverman, if he thought McInnis should withdraw. Silverman first questioned McInnis about what he did for the Hasan Family Foundation after the job was mentioned in the Denver Post, eliciting the response from McInnis that a “series of in-depth articles on water” were written.

Like Caplis, Silverman called for Churchill’s firing, but strictly due to the plagiarism issue, not because of his inflammatory essays.

“I have lots of thoughts on the subject,” he told me. “I’m going to formulate them and let them spill forth on my radio show [KHOW, 630 AM] between 3 p.m. and 6. We are going to be talking about it big time, as Dick Cheney would say.”

Silverman added: “I definitely made the Ward Churchill connection before you brought it up.  So I’ll talk about it.”

KOA talk show host Mike Rosen was also on the Churchill war path, saying over and over and over that the case against Churchill had nothing to do with free speech and everything to do with plagiarism, an act of unforgivable academic misconduct.

In an Aug. 3, 2007 column in the Rocky, Rosen wrote: ” The party line of Churchill apologists is that he was really fired for expressing his beliefs and that the findings of CU faculty panels that investigated his serial academic fraud were merely a ruse. Nonsense. Churchill is a proven liar and cheat.”

Via email, I asked Rosen if he thought, in light of his previous criticism of Churchill, that McInnis should step aside. “No,” he answered. “Not comparable.  Churchill’s behavior was far more serious.”

You might think that KHOW talk-show host Peter Boyles, who polluted the air with the Jon Bonet Ramsey case, would have been one of the anti-Churchill leaders, but he was more restrained at the time.

Today, when I asked him if McInnis should go the way of Churchill, he told me, “That’s a great question. You know, I read Crummy’s piece, and I’m not trying to dodge ya, I don’t know enough about it other than what I read in Crummy’s piece. Nobody’s better than Crummy.”

He went on to say, “The worst campaign I ever saw was Bruce Benson, until I saw Pet Coors, until I saw Bob Beauprez, and this one is the icing on the cake.”

Quote what the candidate said before he turned mum; McInnis called $300K Hasan Fellowship “Sweet”

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Reporters have yet to¬†interview Scott McInnis directly about his two-year, $300,000 fellowship from the Hasan Family Foundation…-mostly to write a series of articles titled “Musings on Water,” which totaled about 150 double-spaced pages.

Instead, spokesman Sean Duffy is handling the press, telling The Denver Post that McInnis fulfilled his contract with the foundation.

In a case like this, when a candidate is apparently not talking, reporters should go back and quote what he had to say on the topic previously, before he turned mum.

McInnis previously stated that his Hasan fellowship was “sweet.”

McInnis said this on KHOW’s Caplis and Silverman Show April 26. He also said, “And so I was pretty excited to do it. It was the first time in my life I got paid to write about a subject that I, one, knew a little something about but, two, actually, I always like to tell, hey look at water look at history. So that’s what that was about.”

Questioned further by Silverman, McInnis stated, “When I got out [of Congress], we were having a conversation and they [the Hasan Family Foundation] said we’d be interested in doing this if you’d be interested in helping put together some articles at some point, could be used in a series for education on water in Colorado. So that’s what that was about. And I was thrilled to do it. I got paid to do it. That’s pretty sweet. And it was a family that cares intensely about the state of Colorado.”