Archive for the 'KNUS' Category

Gardner: “If you repeal it now, with nothing in its place, what happens if you don’t find that replacement?”

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

With U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky’s announcement that he’s dumped his bill to replace Obamacare and, instead, will push legislation to repeal the health care law without replacing it for up to two years, a comment by U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) sounds a ton more significant today than it did July 6 when Gardner uttered it on KNUS 710-AM’s Dan Caplis Show.

CAPLIS: And last question: as you know, Ben Sasse and some others have been talking about, now, “repeal and replace later, separately.” Where do you come down on that?

GARDNER: Look, I think that if you repeal it now, with nothing in its place, what happens if you don’t find that replacement? What happens if you don’t reach that agreement? And I think that we ought to move forward with an idea now, and put a solution forward to the American people. Look, this is something that Republicans and Democrats ought to find common ground with, because if Democrats refuse to find a solution to a failing Obamacare, shame on them!

CAPLIS: Right.

GARDNER: And that’s what we have to realize, is, the status quo isn’t good enough. And the alternative is a single-payer healthcare system. And look what happened in England, right now, with that child. The parents no longer have the ability to help — excuse me, no longer have the ability to determine their child’s state, because it’s in the hands of the government.

Gardner has yet to talk to journalists about the implosion of the senate healthcare legislation, so, for now, this looks like the only comment reporters have to go on from our senator, who’s a Republican leader in the U.S. Senate and who helped draft McConnell’s bill.

Listen to Gardner on KNUS-710-AM July 6:

Unlike Koch gathering, Western Conservative Summit won’t try to muzzle journalists

Friday, July 7th, 2017

If you’re a progressive, you can criticize the ultra-conservative Centennial Institute for a lot of things, like being homophobic, Islamophobic, and more, but being scared of a open debate is one thing the organization is not.

Centennial Institute founder, John Andrews, began the tradition of inviting questions and discussion, and the current director, Jeff Hunt, is carrying it on.

For example, he’s enlisted a longtime Denver reporter Joey Bunch, now leading the political news site ColoradoPolitics, to ask questions of gubernatorial candidates at the July 21-23 Western Conservative Summit, billed as the “largest gathering of conservatives outside of Washington, D.C.

And Hunt has put no restrictions on his questions.

Contrast that with approach taken by the conservative billionaires, Charles and David Koch, when they held a big shindig in Colorado Springs last month of Republican politicians and donors associated with the Kochs’ Seminar Network.

As they’ve done in the past, the Kochs set ground rules for reporters, whom they invited to cover the event. One rule prohibited journalists from reporting on who was there, unless they were part of a formal program or the attendee gave permission to a reporter, according to Bunch. In other words, the presence of a person was off the record, unless permission was given or they were on the program.

Bunch said no thanks.

“A reporter’s most valuable asset is his independence,” Bunch told me via email. “It’s a tall order to tell a reporter he can’t report what he sees for the price of admission. I was very appreciative of the invitation, don’t get me wrong, and I knew I was risking losing some stories, maybe big stories, but it didn’t feel right at the gut level, so I asked and my editors backed me up. I was proud of that. A lot of editors would have said, ‘No. we want the scoops.'”

Judging from the reaction to similar, if not identical, restrictions imposed by the Kochs at other gatherings, journalists differ on whether the benefits of attending such events, even with the restrictions, outweighs the downsides.

I’d rather have a partially muzzled reporter in the room with the Kochs than none, but journalists who attend such events should inform us that restrictions were placed on their reporting, as outlets such as USA Today and the Washington Post have done in the past.

But I couldn’t find any reference to media restrictions in the coverage of last month’s Colorado Springs Koch event, including in reporting by the Associated Press, Denver Post, NBC News, Politico, and others.

Emails to the Associated Press, Denver Post, and Politico were not immediately returned. I’ll update this post if I they respond.

In any case, I wouldn’t expect the Centennial Institute to try to do this, especially at a gathering of 4,000 people, of course, but at any forum.  Hunt says there are not restrictions on journalists. They even let Samantha Bee loose at last year’s Summit.

And Hunt’s choice of a journalist to interview gubernatorial candidates at its upcoming Summit is along the same lines of openness to honest debate.

At the Summit, each Colorado gubernatorial candidate will be allowed a five-minute speech, and Bunch will ask ten minutes of questions to the group. Attendees will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite candidate, just as they did among vice presidential hopefuls last year, choosing former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The results will be announced later.

Among the Republican candidates, 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler and businessmen Victor Mitchell and Doug Robinson accepted invitations to attend so far. The only Democrat to respond is U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, who’s declined.

Why did Hunt pick Bunch to do the interview segment of the program?

“We’re doing the gubernatorial race,” replied Hunt. “Let’s get someone who really knows Colorado politics.  I’ve done a number of interviews with Joey, and he’s fair, and he knows Colorado really well. And he’s real entertaining. So let’s put him up there.”

But Hunt wouldn’t put just any journalist on the stage.

He said that some outlets like CNN, New York Times, and Washington Post “seem hell bent trying to delegitimize the President instead of reporting the news.”

That’s why he’s glad Trump is fighting reporters.

“Donald Trump is teaching conservatives again how fight against the media,” Hunt said, whose Centennial Institute is associated with Colorado Christian University. “Frankly, we need to learn how to fight those types of aggressive attacks against us.”

Hunt doesn’t accuse all journalists as being unfair. He said the Denver weekly Westword is one of the “fairest newspapers” he’s dealt with so far in Colorado. He also likes 9News anchor Kyle Clark, Denver Post Editor of the Editorial Pages Chuck Plunkett, and others.

Conservatives should give journalists (mainstream, left, or right) a chance and not initially look at media outlets as if they are “out to get me,” Hunt said.

As the media world implodes, that’s also good advice for progressives or anyone.

Denver talk-radio host calls body-slammed reporter a “little jerk”

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

“I’m sorry, but what a meterosexual. Have you ever heard a bigger meterosexual?” said Denver KNUS 710-AM’s Chuck Bonniwell, mocking Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, who was body slammed by Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT).

“In the real world of men, men, men,” Bonniwell continued, “you, know, it’s inappropriate. And you go, ‘You owe me an apology.’ And Gianforte did give him an apology the next day. And that would be the end of it.”

Bonniwell runs newspapers in the Glendale and Cherry Creek. So you’d have thought there might be a chance he’d actually take the side of journalism here.

“I got in lots of fights, as an adult,” said Bonniwell on air. “My reaction, if somebody shoved me, would be shove ‘em back. But I would never say, ‘You broke my glasses.’”

Bonniwell called Jacobs a “little jerk,” saying he got what he deserved.

How did we get here? Listening to the audio won’t help you understand.

Colorado conservatives mindlessly blame media for Trump’s problems

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Some Colorado conservatives are joining Trump in blaming the press for the daily-eye-pop-head-spin news stories streaming from the White House.

Leading the charge are local talk radio hosts, but conservative politicians are also mad at journalists.

Appearing on KOA’s Mandy Connell show yesterday, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) lamented that the media are “inventing this Russia story.”

Buck: “When George Bush won, he was the dumbest human being alive, even though he’d gone to great schools and gotten great degrees. Every time he stumbled in a speech, it was a story for two or three days. He just wasn’t smart enough to be president ” Buck told Connell. “And then we get Barack Obama, and he’s the smartest person in the world. He’s just a savior.

“And then we get Donald Trump. And they’ve got to find something with Donald Trump. He’s a very successful businessman. So obviously he’s not stupid. So now now we’re inventing this Russia story, and just on and on.”

Citing the anonymous sources used by the New York Times in its story about Trump pressuring Comey to lay off Flynn, KNUS radio host and (former Fox 31 Denver reporter) Julie Hayden said on air May 15.

Hayden: “I have been dismayed — I mean, as a reporter– at just how they just make it –. I mean, they really do just make it up, you know!”

C0-host Chuck Bonniwell jumped in with, “They don’t care. They just don’t care.”

You can always criticize journalists, and some people will never accept anonymous sources, but that’s why we have professional journalism. To utilize such sources in a responsible way. That’s not making stuff up–or not caring.

Gubernatorial candidate George Brauchler also pointed to media bias among reporters covering Trump. On KNUS 710-AM May 15, Brauchler said:

Brauchler:  [Journalists] don’t need Trump’s help. But he gives it to them anyway. That’s the only part that’s a little frustrating, is like, ‘If you, Mr. President, could just pull it back– just a little bit — it would expose, I think, how biased that they truly are.’ Because right now, there’s just enough there that they make mountains out of molehills, and all this other stuff.  But if he can just pull it back, just a little bit.

To her credit, KOA host Mandy Connell faults Trump for blundering, but then she attacks the “viciousness” of the media and says the “media has picked [his blunders] up, [and] blown up into massive proportion.

“Trump keeps giving the media ammunition with which to shoot him,” said Connell on air. “If he would shut his pie hole sometimes and not shoot from the hip, they would not have the ammunition that they currently have.”

In truth, the media are working sources and exposing serious dangers to us and our democracy. That’s what the fourth estate is supposed to do. Thank you, journalism.

Listen to Buck on KHOW May 18:

Reporters should persist in asking for Gardner’s nonexistent Obamacare replacement

Monday, May 1st, 2017

 

Appearing on a conservative radio show last week, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) said it’s “politics at its worst” to be “celebrating the defeat of a replacement” for Obamacare.

Politics at its worst looks more like Gardner’s vicious opposition to Obamacare for seven years, then being unable to point to a replacement he actually supports.

Even now, after all the embarrassing GOP drama on this issue, Gardner is trashing Obamacare without offering a solution.

On KNUS 710-AM’s Dan Caplis Show April 27, Gardner said it was “way too early” to comment on Trump’s latest Obamacare replacement proposal.

And Gardner was undecided, even vaguely critical, of the last month’s failed Trump-Ryan bill that was crashed with such drama.

But Gardner has the audacity to continue to insist that some unknown replacement be produced.

“But what I will tell you is this,” Gardner told Caplis, “We have to put something in place of the Affordable Care Act that actually works. And the Affordable Care Act has hurt hundreds of thousands of Coloradans through higher premiums, made access to insurance nearly impossible because of those higher costs, costs people their doctor. We have to do better. And for anybody, particularly for partisan reasons, to say they want to keep the Affordable Care Act in place, and it’s an absolute failure. And they are celebrating the defeat of a replacement. You know, that’s politics at its worst.”

Gardner was more subdued on 9News’ Balance of Power on Sunday, telling Brandon Rittiman,

“What I am looking for in a health care bill is something that is going to reduce costs and give access to people in the state of Colorado and across the country that they otherwise wouldn’t have. I hope we’ll have bipartisan support to do that.”

So, whether media figures see the hard-edged edition of Gardner (e.g., on talk radio) or the softer Gardner (e.g., on 9News) they should keep asking what health care bill Gardner supports.

 

Local TV reporter Julie Hayden retired after Fox 31 Denver told her she had to stop co-hosting her conservative radio show

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

On her radio show over the weekend, veteran journalist Julie Hayden said she’d had “dreams” about leaving local TV news, and finally the “universe conspired to give me a kick in the fanny.” And so she retired last week from Fox 31 Denver.

Most of the reasons Hayden gave on air for retiring are what you might expect to hear from a 58-year-old local TV news reporter. But others appear to be mysterious, like the universe.

Hayden’s parents, who were both declining, died during the last month, Hayden said in a touching moment during her KNUS 710-AM show Saturday, as she explained why she began thinking seriously about leaving the station. She also said she wants to spend more time with her son, and she has the opportunity to do other work on her terms. And the grind of the news business gets old, she said.

All that makes sense, but the mysterious part was the on-air explanation offered by Hayden’s co-host and husband, Chuck Bonniwell:

Bonniwell: And also, they suddenly discovered after 10 years you’ve got a radio program and that everybody in the news is on it. And they said, ‘Hey, you can’t do the radio program.’ And you said, ‘Wanna bet? [laughs] Wanna bet?’

Hayden: Yeah, the gen–.

CB: And we’ve also got an establishment Republican politician, who hates to be criticized, is calling everywhere we work and trying to get people fired. So, that’s fun! It’s always fun! It’s always exciting. There’s nothing but excitement.

As she often does, Hayden laughed off her husband’s comment, when he tossed it out there on air. It seemed as if she was about to respond to what he said, but, as he’ll do, Bonniwell talked over her.

So I called Hayden and asked if it was true that she’d been told to drop the radio program. I’d long ago questioned Hayden’s dual jobs as journalist and weekend opinion monger, and it’s true, if you follow Colorado politics closely, you’ve heard about the show. So it’s odd that the show would suddenly be a problem. But a source confirmed that station management told her she had to quit her radio work.

Asked about this, Hayden said:

Hayden: “Lawyers being involved in everything, I had to sign what is essentially a boiler-plate routine departure agreement that says I won’t talk about the specifics. I can neither confirm nor deny anything there.

And, the million-dollar question: Who was the “establishment Republican politician” referenced by Bonniwell? Or, more likely, because an establishment Republican is involved, that’s a multi-million-dollar question.

Hayden wouldn’t say.

It’s not as if there’s one establishment Republican who gets grief on Hayden’s and Bonniwell’s show, which is called, “Weekend Wakeup with Chuck and Julie.” With Chuck leading the way, the show goes after U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora), U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), and many others.

Did a Republican apply pressure on Fox 31 Denver to get Hayden off the radio air?

Fox 31 Denver General Manager Joan Barrett didn’t return a phone call.

But if there was a dispute between Hayden and her bosses at Fox 31 Denver, Hayden doesn’t seem to care at this point.

“But I will tell you it was all positive,” said Hayden, who emphasizes that she left the station on good terms with a three-cake party. “It just became clear that this was where I wanted to devote my time and energy. And I had a wonderful career in the TV news business, and I loved most of it. But for me, it just wasn’t that fun anymore. The business has changed. I had changed. It became totally clear that it was time to do some of the things I’d been talking about doing, rather than just talking about doing them.”

“Chuck put it well,” Hayden said on air Saturday. “And I don’t want to offend anybody, but [being in the local TV news business at her age is] kind of like being a 40-year-old stripper.”

Hayden, who also reported for Channels 2 and 7 over her career in Denver, told me she’ll sell advertisements and write stories for Bonniwell’s Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle and “not have to stand by the side of the road in a blizzard and say it’s snowing. Not that that isn’t fun sometimes,” she said. She will also spend more time on the radio show and help at her daughter’s media company.

I talked to Hayden Tuesday just after she’d had breakfast with her college roommate.

“It was depressing how long it had been since we’d seen each other,” Hayden said.

“If I’d still been [working at Fox 31 Denver], and my old college roommate called, I would have had to say, ‘No, I can’t get together.’ But now I can.”

So if it’s true that an establishment Republican played a role in pushing Hayden out, it might be one of the best things the GOP has done in Colorado in a long time.

Transcript of discussion between Julie Hayden and Chuck Bonniwell Feb. 26 on KNUS 710-AM regarding Hayden’s retirement from Fox 31 KDVR-TV Denver

JULIE HAYDEN: You know, Chuck put it well. It’s kind of like being – and I don’t want to offend anybody – but, a forty year old stripper. You know? When I’m – I’m 58 years old and I’m a general assignment reporter and I have loved my career. But at a certain point, it’s just like, “You know, this is not as fun as it used to be, standing in the cold in the snow — in the blizzard by the side of the road, um, you know, it’s – it loses its luster after a while. And it was clear to me it was time. And I’ve been thinking about this a long time, too, you know, “Retire from doing the daily grind of the news business.” And, not to mention –.

CB: Well, you’re going to be in the daily grind of the news business, except with a small local paper!

Hayden: Yeah, so what I’m going to do is focus more time here at the radio station, focus time with Chuck’s newspaper, my daughter has a video production company and I’m going to be working at that. So, I have a lot of things going on. And, um, I’m really excited. Um, and it’s always nice, I think, in the TV business is such a – oh, a non-loyal one. It’s not – to me, it was a true joy to be able to go out on my own terms, rather than being like a 70 year old person in a walker where they slash my salary, and said, “You know, Julie? I think it’s time for you to go.” So, [a] lot of changes in my life, but –.

CB: And also, they suddenly discovered after 10 years you’ve got a radio program and that everybody in the news is on it. And they said, “Hey, you can’t do the radio program.” And you said, “Wanna bet?” [laughs] Wanna bet?”

Hayden: Yeah, the Gen–.

CB: And we’ve also got an establishment Republican politician, who hates to be criticized, is calling everywhere we work and trying to get people fired. So, that’s fun! It’s always fun! It’s always exciting. There’s nothing but excitement

[introducing the new producer]

Hayden: So, that’s it. For me, — just to kind of wrap it up – I do believe that, you know. I’ve had these dreams and plans and wanted to be leaving the TV news business for a while. So, the universe conspired to give me a kick in the fanny, and say, “What are you waiting for?” You know? “Go on! It’s time for some new adventures and some new things.”

Talk show host asks right question about GOP circular firing squad but doesn’t answer it

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

Sometimes KNUS 710-AM’s Dan Caplis doesn’t shy away from the simple questions, and sometimes, honestly, they’re the best ones. Take this query that he put to Jeff Hays, who’s campaign to lead the Colorado Republican Party.

Caplis (@8 min): “What can you do as GOP chair to make sure that we don’t get a circular firing squad, where whoever wins the primary has been so crippled in the primary that they can’t win the general? What can you do about that as chair, if anything?”

Hays: “Well, we can use the infrastructure of the party. And that’s something that needs to be made more robust and more capable to communicate to folks, ‘Let’s give everyone the respect they are due.’ There are certainly going to be points of contention and disagreement. That’s fine. But we can disagree without being disagreeable. When we treat each other with better respect, when Republicans win, the state wins and the nation wins.”

Caplis: “Well said. I hope we can keep the conversation going.”

If you’ve watched the Colorado Republican Party’s string of spectacular self-immolations (Schaffer, McInnis, Maes, Buck, Beauprez, Keyser, etc, etc.), you know how good Caplis’ question is.

But the fun here is in the follow-up, which Caplis dropped.

I mean, Hays is already under serious attack by an opponent, George Athanasopoulos, for bringing Obamacare to Colorado by backing former Rep. Amy Stephens, who sponsored the bill (SB 200) that established Colorado’s insurance market, Connect for Health Colorado. How can Hays’ bloody history of sparring with the right wing of the GOP possibly be forgotten?

There’s almost nothing Hays can say that’s not loaded, even in answering a simple question like Caplis’.

Take, for example, Hays’ simple promise to “use the infrastructure of the party.” I’m sure I’m not the only one who reads that and thinks about the state GOP’s failed Independent Expenditure Committee, which some in the GOP thought would be used against their own. The phrase brings to mind the attacks on the current Chair Steve House for allegedly opposing Trump in the primary.  Then there’s the Republican Governors Association’s attacks on Tancredo, etc, etc.

In short, when it comes to the GOP in Colorado, you can’t tiptoe lightly enough. You have to walk on water. Can Hays do that? Can Athanasopoulos?

Trump isn’t going to make the divisions among Republicans in Colorado go away. Exactly the opposite. The right wing of the party is empowered by Trump’s victory. Listen to talk radio these days! And the establishment remains skeptical, especially in light of Hillary Clinton’s solid win here.

So the next GOP chair has his or her work cut out for them. Ask Steve house. Or Dick Wadhams. Or poor Ryan Call.

Radio host drops the ball in interview with Gardner, who signals support for Tillerson

Friday, January 13th, 2017

In an appearance on KNUS 710-AM Thursday, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner said Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is “somebody that a president should be able to have on his cabinet.”

Gardner also said he was “very impressed” with Trump’s education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos (SSSP).

But Caplis dropped the ball by not challenging Gardner on his comments about Russia.

Gardner: “One of the biggest threats that we had created ourselves is the fact that the U.S. presented weakness over the last eight years. And when we present weakness, we embolden our enemies.  As a result, we’ve seen an emboldened Russia, we’ve seen an emboldened Iran, we’ve seen emboldened terrorists around the globe, and you know, from the Middle East to North Korea.   So, that’s got to change.  And I believe it will change based on the conversation [in hearings] with Rex Tillerson yesterday and what we’re hearing out of the new administration,  that it will be a strong, engaged U.S. foreign policy that shows that the United States will be an active strength and will support our friends and will take it to our enemies.”

Right now we’re having a conversation about whether the next president is actually subject to blackmail by the Russian government, and the next president seems to be entertaining a new policy of capitulating to the Russian position on sanctions, Syria, and Ukraine.

Talking to Caplis, Gardner is saying that an emboldened Russia is a problem, and it’s Obama’s fault for not being tough enough.

But Gardner just participated in a hearing with a nominee for Secretary of State who admitted that he hasn’t talked with Trump about Russia, and this is what Gardner has to say?

You could be Gardner’s very best friend, like Caplis seems to want to be, and still ask Colorado’s U.S. Senator more pointed questions about Tillerson, Trump, and Russia. But Caplis was mum.

 

 

Billboard prompts CO Springs radio host to say atheists should go after Muslims not Christians

Monday, December 12th, 2016

In a ironic twist, a billboard promoting atheism has prompted a Colorado Springs radio host to attack the religion of Islam.

Demonstrating the same brazen bigotry of KNUS host Peter Boyles, not to mention Trump, KVOR 760-AM host Richard Randall said Thursday that if athiests have a “problem with religion,” they should after Islam.

Without acknowledging how un-Christian he was sounding, Randall said he’d respect atheists a “whole heck of a lot more” if they put up a billboard saying, “skip Ramadan this time of year,” and telling Muslims “they should abandon their religion.”

Christians, he said, are “a great bunch of people to pick on. Why? Because they are Christians.”

“Why would our religion [Christianity] irritate somebody?” asked Randall on air, suggesting that the atheists should have spotlighted Islam instead of a Christian holiday. “We’re not the religion throwing people off of buildings if they are gay. We’re not beheading people.”

“If they have a problem with religion, why don’t they start there [with Islam]?” Randall asked, failing to note any distinction between Islamic militants and the religion of Islam.

A caller said atheists spotlight Christmas because they aren’t “familiar with the Muslim religion [sic]”

The billboard, sponsored by the American Atheists and located along I25 in CO Springs, reads, “Atheist Christmas, The More the Merrier.” It also features a series of texts, made to appear like they were sent by teenagers, stating:

“U going to church this Xmas?”

“LoL. No way. I don’t believe that stuff anymore.”

“What’ll your parents say??”

“They’ll get over it. :-P”

A caller suggested the billboard, which is protected by free speech, should be removed by the government because it’s distracting drivers. It’s a safety issue, she said.

The bigotry of talk radio hosts would be bad enough if we didn’t have a bigot president-elect who’s proposed creating a Muslim registry. But since we do, we need to be ready to respond if Randall, Boyles, Trump, or anyone else in these hateful times goes after our Muslim neighbors.

In case we need to respond, ProgressNow Colorado has set up a “rapid response” network so we can help if needed. Sign up here.

Brauchler announces possible gubernatorial run in 2018

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

In an interview on KNUS 710-AM Saturday Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler announced he’s considering a run for governor in 2018.

Asked by host Craig Silverman what he thought about going for the governor’s job in 2018, Brauchler said:

Brauchler: “I am going to consider it, Craig, of course. I am going to look hard at it. And I have been really encouraged by a bunch of different people across the spectrum… It’s surreal for people to be saying, ‘Hey, you should consider taking a stab at the biggest statewide office in Colorado.’ That’s kind of bizarre.”

When Brauchler announced his decision in September, 2015, not to run for U.S. Senate, he told The Denver Post he “”had gone pretty far down the road” toward running but had decided against it for family reasons.

But now, looking ahead to 2018, he said:

Brauchler: “It’s something I would definitely consider. I wouldn’t say no. I love this state. I’ve been here almost every minute of my life. And I want my kids to want to be here. I want other kids from across country to move to Colorado and have the same opportunities I had. And I’m concerned that that may not be the case. So for those reasons, yeah, I will definitely consider it.”

Brauchler is the first candidate, Democrat or Republican, to announce a possible gubernatorial run.

Listen to Brauchler on KNUS 710-AM here: