Archive for the 'Colorado Inside Out' Category

Media omission: Recall leader’s acknowledgement of “slow week” may confirm Kopel’s prediction that Hudak-recall a “tall hill to climb”

Friday, November 1st, 2013

On Channel 12′s “Colorado Inside Out” Friday, , the Independence Institute’s Dave Kopel, whose gun connections run deep, said it’s a “tall hill to climb” for the Hudak-recall campaign to collect 19,000 signatures required to trigger a vote on the recall measure.

Today, speaking on KNUS radio, Hudak-recall spokeswoman Laura Waters (appearing with her colleague Mike McAlpine) confirmed Kopel’s prediction, saying that her campaign has been struggling up hill of late.

Waters @32:00: Well, we’ve had a little bit of a slow week, a little bit of weather, a little big of distraction, a little bit of opposition. And so we’re a little bit behind right now in our numbers where we want to be. The rumor mill is floating that we’re turning in our petitions next week. That could not be further from the truth. We’re not ready. We’re not there yet.

Listen McAlpine and Waters on KNUS 11-1-2013

On Channel 12, during the top-rated (by me) public affairs show, “Colorado Inside Out,” Kopel said: “It’s tough because Hudak was elected in a presidential-election cycle year. The minimum number of signatures you need as a fraction of the votes you got is much higher. It’s a tall hill to climb.”

Kopel, whose libertarian Independence Institute opposes Colorado’s new gun-safety laws, said it’s up to Dudley Brown’s Rocky Mountain Gun Owners to perform the “large feat” of collecting the signatures.

Kopel: “We will see if his organization [Rocky Mountain Gun Owners] has the on-the-ground competence to do large feat of signature gathering,” said Kopel.



Don’t forget about the local public affairs programs on TV

Friday, September 9th, 2011

This falls in the category of small-minded media criticism, but when you consume the same TV and radio shows over and over again, the small stuff can start eating at your brain.

That’s what the introduction to KBDI Channel 12′s otherwise excellent public affairs show, “Colorado Inside Out,”  has been doing to me lately. The weekly show starts with:

“Welcome to Colorado Inside Out, the public affairs roundtable that brings together informed journalists, pundits, and activists to break down the issues that matter here in Colorado.”

What’s so bad about this, you might wonder. It has something to do with hearing the phrase, “informed journalists, pundits, and activists” over and over, especially since the line doesn’t give viewers any information that’s not immediately clear once the show gets started and the camera hits Westword’s Patricia Calhoun and the smirking Dave Kopel of the Independence Institute.

I reached the tipping point the other night, as I watched Calhoun deliver the intro, when she was subbing for regular host Raj Chohan. Calhoun has been around a long time and has managed to fight off staleness, and she looked like she was handing us petrified wood.

I dropped a line to Colorado Public Television Producer Dominic Dezzutti, and he replied that he’d been thinking of changing the opening line.

“The more elaborate open is an artifact of when the show was initially transferred from Peter Boyles to Raj Chohan,” he emailed me. “Frankly, it’s been an idea in my head recently to change or cut it.”

This puny criticism aside, Colorado Inside Out is the best of  bunch of excellent public affairs shows on local television. It manages to be both informative and entertaining.

Colorado Public Television’s regular lineup and specials reflects its commitment to public affairs programming.  Other shows on Channel 12 include  “Studio 12″ and “Devil’s Advocate with Jon Caldara.”  (I have to admit that I enjoy this show, even though it absurdly presents the Independent Institute’s Caldara as the moderator, and it’s under-written by Caldara’s right-leaning organization.)

Other local public affairs prgrams are: KRMA Channel 6′s “Colorado State of Mind,” 9News’ “Your Show,” and  HarberTV’s  “Aaron Harber Show,” which often addresses national topics.

Fox 31′s “Zappolo’s People” addresses lots of public affairs topics, too.

Check them all out.

What about the substance of McInnis water articles?

Monday, June 28th, 2010

It’s been almost two weeks since 1) we learned that the Hasan Family Foundation paid gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis $300,000, rather than $150,000 as previously reported, mostly for his “series of in-depth articles on water, Colorado Water” and 2) that the series, titled “Musings on Water,” amounted to 150 pages, according to McInnis’ campiagn (though, mysteriously enough, the Hasan foundation is only in possession of 60 pages).

But I can’t find a single news reporter in Colorado who’s reported a water expert’s views about McInnis’ formerly stealth water articles.

Fortunately, while we wait for basic reporting on the matter, a few columnists and bloggers have weighed in. Here’s what they concluded:

Over the weekend, Denver Post columnist Ed Quillen, who’s definitely counts as an expert on Colorado water issues himself, spotlighted big-time errors in McInnis’ work, including McInnis’ failure to list the South Platte among Colorado’s major river basins. Quillen writes, “We’re not talking arcane knowledge, just the ability to read a map.”

Quillen concludes, “So you may not learn a lot about our water issues from these $12.50-a-word musings, but you could learn quite a bit about McInnis.”

On KBDI’s Colorado Inside Out June 18, Post columnist Susan Greene had a similar view:

“You know, I’ve actually covered the Colorado River for 20 years, and you could Wikipedia this stuff. I’m not saying he did… I’m just saying his name is on it. I don’t care. It’s not edifying at all. It tells me nothing about the Colorado River Compact. It has these sort of flourishes and great moments of insights like, water is very important to humanity. You know, $300,000? I’m thinking, he could have done that much less expensively.”

The blogosphere has also been pretty quiet about the substance of McInnis’s writings. John Orr of the Coyote Gulch blog  was by far the most kind to McInnis: “He’s consistent in his message, bashing government and the Bureau of Reclamation specifically. He embraces the development of water and other resources and laments all the possible mineral mother lodes locked up by wilderness designation. He demonstrates a good understanding of water issues and the history behind Colorado’s present situation.”

Over at Westword’s Latest Word blog, Alan Prendergast has made a complete mockery of McInnis’ own claim in a memo to the Hasan Foundation that his articles were “carefully-proofed.”

In his third article on the topic, published the same day that the National Association of Hispanic Journalists was holding its national conference in Denver, Prendergast quoted a passage from McInnis’ water writings and then pointed out that McInnis got his Spanish translation messed up.

McInnis: “The Colorado River is the primary River of the Southwest part of Our Nation. It is called the ‘River of Rivers’ because of its importance in some of the most arid lands in the Americas… Do you know the name of ‘Rio Colorado’? That was the name, given by the Spanish, to a portion of what we now know as the ‘Colorado River.’ Colorado is ‘Red’ in Spanish. It was called the Rio because of the Reddish color that dominated the River…”

Westword’s Prendergast:  “No, Señor Snore, I’m pretty sure it was called the Colorado because of the reddish color, but who am I to contradict a $2,000-a-page man?”

So, despite some great work by columnists and bloggers, we need more serious news analysis of the McInnis writings. You might argue that journalists don’t need to go fact checking old articles of a former Congressman who’s got a long trail of paper behind him, but with the Big Question still hanging out there (Why was McInnis paid so much for this?), I think reporters should ask more experts about the substance of these articles.