Archive for the 'KNUS' Category

Publisher of Glendale Cherry Creek newspaper says Obama “doesn’t like” Christians

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

President Obama gives his last State of the Union Address tonight at 7 p.m.

Presaging the type of sophisticated criticism we’ll see of the speech on conservative talk radio, KNUS 710-AM’s host Chuck Bonniwell, who’s also the publisher of the Glendale Cherry Creek Chonicle, accused Obama Saturday of disliking Christians.

“He’s a left-wing secularist,” Bonniwell said on air of Obama. “He grew up in a country, Indonesia, part of his life, from which he got  a favorable view of Islam, because he went to a school that had a favorable view. And since then, he’s the same secularist. But he knows what he doesn’t like, and that’s Christians. That’s the one group he knows did the crusades and everything awful.” [BigMedia emphasis] Listen @ 26 minutes here.

Bonniwell is trained as a lawyer, but he doesn’t think much of Obama’s legal mind either.

“I’d hate to have taken a class from that idiot,” said Bonniwell on KNUS, referring to Obama’s tenure as a professor of constitutional law. Bonniwell hosts a Saturday morning show on KNUS 710-AM with co-host Julie Hayden, his wife and a Fox 31 Denver reporter. He didn’t return an email seeking comment, even though he’s in the newspaper business.

Talk-radio host falsely claims Hickenlooper wants to shut him up

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is taking heat on talk radio for suggesting that America “tone back the inflammatory rhetoric” that may drive “emotionally unstable or psychologically unbalanced” people to “commit these acts of unthinkable violence.”

Hickenlooper made the comments during a CNN interview Sunday about Friday’s murders at a Planned Parenthood center in Colorado Springs.

This morning, KNUS host Dan Caplis said Hickenlooper “just doesn’t want us speaking the truth” about Planned Parenthood.

But Hickenlooper repeatedly said he doesn’t want to limit free speech. Read Hick’s comments for yourself.

Hickenlooper (at 5 minutes here and below): Certainly, it is a form of terrorism. Maybe in some way it’s a function of the inflammatory rhetoric that we see on so many issues now. There are bloggers and talk shows where they really focus on trying to get people to the point of boiling over to intense anger. And I think, maybe it’s time to also look at, how do we tone down some of that rhetoric. Honestly, no one is going to try to reduce free speech in this country. But if people are in some way emotionally unstable or psychologically unbalanced, that intensity of rhetoric sometimes seems to pull a trigger in their brain that they lose contact with what reality is.

Host: …Are you calling for changes in blogging or video games.

Hickenlooper: No. I am in no way trying to limit free speech. I think our community, the United States of America, ought to begin a discussion looking at, how do you begin to tone back the inflammatory rhetoric that in some ways might be good for, I don’t know, selling products in advertisements or whatever, but in some way it is inflaming people to the point where they can’t stand it. And they go out and they lose connection to reality in some way and commit these acts of unthinkable violence. I’m not saying we should restrict people’s free speech, nowhere near that. But I think we should have a discussion of at least urging caution when we discuss some of these issues so that we don’t get people to a point of committing senseless violence.

Radio host apparently filing lawsuit connected to random injury of a police officer after a protest at East High School

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

After using his radio show, a newspaper column, and misinformation to whip up anger against a peaceful East High School protest last year, KNUS radio host Dan Caplis is now apparently suing the Denver Public Schools, city officials, DPS teachers/administrators, or possibly even students, because he thinks they are somehow responsible for the random and tragic injury to a Denver police officer that occurred after the East-High demonstration.

The issue came up recently, when KNUS host Craig Silverman told Caplis he wasn’t sure if they could discuss the issue on air, presumably due to a lawsuit. And a frequent KNUS listener told me he’s heard Caplis himself mention that he’s representing the police officer.

But Caplis, who’s considering a U.S. Senate run, did not return multiple emails seeking comment. So, unfortunately, I can’t tell you for sure what’s going on–or even if Caplis, a personal injury attorney, is involved in a case relating to the police officer at all.

What I do know is that, in the past, Caplis has falsely stated that the police officer, John Adsit, “was horribly injured while trying to protect the lawbreakers.”

In fact, the tragedy occurred after Adsit had finished escorting East High students on their march down Colfax.

“The bicycle officers were no longer providing traffic control for the march and were returning to service when the accident occurred,” a spokesman for the Denver Police Department emailed me last week.

This is in keeping with initial reporting in The Denver Post, which stated that Adsit was hit by the car as he was returning to his beat after escorting the protesters on their march. I confirmed this fact with Post reporter Jesse Paul.

Unfortunately, subsequent reporting in The Post stated that Adsit was hit as he was escorting East students. That’s why I confirmed the facts with Denver Police before writing this blog post.

Adsit had left the protest when he was hit by driver, Christopher Booker, who was apparently unconnected to the demonstration and who was experiencing a medical problem that apparently caused him to lose control of his vehicle. (Disclosure: My kid goes to East.)

Obviously, we don’t know the exact nature of Caplis’ lawsuit, if there is one. But in a Denver Post column, Caplis suggested that DPS authorities should be held accountable: “Any adults in the DPS system who encouraged students to leave school and illegally occupy the streets should be prosecuted for contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” wrote Caplis.

Actually, these adults should be thanked for educating students and allowing them to exercise their First Amendment rights. That’s what we want from adults in the Denver Public Schools. That’s why the DPS exists.

Radio host still upset that GOP elitism was big reason Republicans made themselves irrelevent in the presidential nomination process

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

It’s been a couple months since Colorado Republican Party Chair Steve House appeared on Craig Silverman’s radio show and said, in part, that it would be too unweildly to for Republicans to vote on the GOP presidential candidates at Colorado’s caucuses.

Silverman is still talking about House’s comment, arguing just yesterday on air that it would not be difficult to hold a straw poll at the caucuses. Silverman rightly maintains that without the presidential straw poll, which was nixed by an executive committee of state Republicans, Colorado is irrelevant in the national Republican nomination process.

Just because Silverman is saying the same thing repeatedly doesn’t really make me want to pay attention to it. He repeated himself for years about JonBenet Ramsey, and few cared. But in this case, I thought I’d head to the podcast archive and listen to what House actually factually told Silverman, whose show airs Saturday mornings on KNUS 710-AM.

It turns out that House said that holding a straw poll “inflates the number people who come [to the caucuses] by a dramatic amount, and all kinds of problems ensue.”

To be fair, House also argued that new GOP rules would bind Colorado Republicans to their straw poll selection, even if their preferred presidential candidate dropped out by the time the convention rolled around. And House didn’t want to risk that Colorado delegates to the convention would not be able to cast a vote.

But House said the logistics of running the caucuses with an increased number of participants was “one of the bigger reasons why the decision came down the way it did.”

Silverman called that an “elitist game,” and he hasn’t let go of it, to his credit.

Here’s what House said on air Aug. 29:

House: When you go to caucus – and I have run a county before — you go to caucus and instead of having 50 people show up you have 500 people show up because they want to vote in the straw poll, you’re trying to get the caucus process executed properly, which is very important because we have state politics that depend on that experience.  And what goes on in selecting delgates — and ultimately, candidates –it’s very, very important for us to do that. When you add in the straw poll, during that experience, it inflates the number people who come by a dramatic amount, and all kinds of problems ensue.  And I think that is part of the reason why the county chairs, on executive committee especially, were very opposed to doing it this way because they believed it will disrupt the overall process and it won’t gain us that much.  So, I think that’s part of the – that’s probably one of the bigger reasons why the decision came down the way it did.

And here is the full discussion on the topic:

HOST CRAIG SILVERMAN:  Well, I appreciate you coming on my show. The talk of the Colorado right now is, why don’t we get to participate in this exciting GOP presidential primary?

COLORADO GOP CHAIR, STEVE HOUSE: Well, we are going to participate.  I mean, if you were sitting in that executive committee meeting when we had that discussion, I mean – the executive committee is made up mostly of large and small county chairs, and a lot of liberty activist folks are on the committee, and people believe that by picking the right delegates and giving them the authority to represent Colorado at the convention, we’re still participating.  I don’t believe for a minute the Presidential candidates are not going to come out here and try to have impact on who those delegates are, and what they vote for.   I think if the rules hadn’t changed, I don’t think – well, there would still be a question, Craig. Because there’s a fair number of counties that deal with preference polls at caucus, and I think that’s the other thing that a lot of people don’t understand.  When you go to caucus – and I have run a county before — you go to caucus and instead of having 50 people show up you have 500 people show up because they want to vote in the straw poll, you’re trying to get the caucus process executed properly, which is very important because we have state politics that depend on that experience.  And what goes on in selecting delgates — and ultimately, candidates –it’s very, very important for us to do that. When you add in the straw poll, during that experience, it inflates the number people who come by a dramatic amount, and all kinds of problems ensue.  And I think that is part of the reason why the county chairs, on executive committee especially, were very opposed to doing it this way because they believed it will disrupt the overall process and it won’t gain us that much.  So, I think that’s part of the – that’s probably one of the bigger reasons why the decision came down the way it did.

SILVERMAN:  But it seems like such an elitist game.  You talk about “the right delegates” being selected.  How do people in the public know who the right delegates are? It seems like it’s all going to be Republican insiders.

HOUSE:  You know, it’s not really the people in the public.  If you are willing to go to caucus, and you’re still willing to go to caucus, and you work through the process, ultimately it comes down to picking 37 –acutally, 34 delegates – three are already designated, but picking 34 delegates and 34 alternates at the state assembly –  that processes hasn’t changed at all.  So, if you go participate, and you start to figure out, you know, which delegates are to going to represent your interests, they in many cases will talk about who they represent from a presidential perspective that, in the end, the people who go there are very invested, very committed Republicans who want to see the right thing happen to the state, and for the nation, as opposed to – you know, what if you did a preference poll where you said, “Look, instead of doing it in a caucus, you did a preference poll across the entire state to decide who our delegates are.   Now you’re getting into the primary territory, and that’s where a lot of people are very passionate about caucus want those delegates to have the ability to pick the presidential candidate they want, and not be based on a straw poll in March, if they many things change between March and July, as they probably will.

SILVERMAN:  Right.   But why doesn’t Colorado have a primary? I think back to 1992, and my old Colorado College professor, Bob Loevy –  who is going to be a guest next week on my show — he decries the way that political parties select nominees.  It seems like a fixed process.  Now we’re learning the Democrats, with their superdelegates, Hillary Clinton kind of the has it in the bag, if she can stay out of jail.  But back in ’92, I remember when Paul Tsongas, Bill Clinton, Tom Harkin — they debated in Denver, Colorado. And even back then with the Republicans there was incumbent George Herbert Walker Bush being challenged by Pat Buchanan and people in Colorado got to vote on those things. Coloradans like to vote. They like elections.  How come you’re not giving it to them?

HOUSE:  Well, look, you talking about a primary process that did occur back in ’92, and I think, that’s a legislative issue.  I mean, that’s something where you’ve  got to get to the legislators and decide how you want to handle that.  Um, we really think that what will happen here is, the process is not any different than it was four years ago, now.  If we don’t do a binding straw poll,  it’s no different than it was four years ago. The delegates are selected the same way.  They go to the convention unbound, exactly like they were four years ago.   And there has been many, many people who defend that process very, very passionately.  In fact, I’ll tell you that all the feedback I’ve got – besides, you know, Chuck Todd and his stoner comment, and as far as I’m concerned, we’d be stoned if we were going to listen to Chuck Todd to begin with.  Um, you know, that whole thing – that whole process–

SILVERMAN:  You mean, sleepy-eyed Chuck Todd? That’s what Donald Trump calls him.  And, just to bypass the rest of this stuff, doesn’t this come down to Donald Trump?  Isn’t it true that the Republican establishment really disdains Donald Trump and is going to design every role to pose an obstacle to him becoming the Republican nominee?

HOUSE:  I haven’t heard Republican National Committee people say that, Craig, but, you know, look.  When you go back—

SILVERMAN:  But they feel it.

HOUSE:  They may very well feel it. As far as I’m concerned, I’m very interested in hearing from Donald Trump as much as I am anybody else.  And I believe they will actively come to Colorado, not only for the debate on October 20, but throughout the process to try to get Colorado delegates and people who support those delegates, to go their way.  I think if the guy standing is there with 25% of the vote, you’ve got to take him seriously.  He’s got a double-digit lead.  I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t take every single candidate seriously.  I had somebody ask me the other day, “Are you doing this to prevent fringe candidates from getting delegates?” And I said, “I don’t consider any of our people to be fringe candidates, I don’t know where you come up with that process.”  So, the overwhelming response I’ve got has been that it’s better the way it is.  If the preference poll were not binding and our delegates could ultimately go and make decisions based on what was current at the time – and especially if the potential exists for a brokered convention, although it doesn’t happen often –   this is a very unique year. We will be in a lot more powerful position to influence what happens, and who the eventual nominee is, this way, than we would if we were bound to a preference poll five months before the convention

SILVERMAN:  Steve House, the chairman of the Colorado GOP, good enough to join us.

Witt says teachers “bring students” (pawn-like) into Jeffco recall fight

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

On KNUS 710-AM’s Weekend Wakeup with Chuck Bonniwell and July Hayden Saturday, embattled Jeffco School Board Chair Ken Witt continued his attack on Jeffco teachers and students, saying that students are essentially pawns, “brought into this kind of thing” to advance the agenda of teachers and unions.

Questioned by Hayden, Witt said:

Witt: It’s absolutely the case that passions run high in education. And it’s unfortunate when our educators get involved in the passion, and bring students into it, instead of keeping it outside and the dialogue outside the school grounds… The unfortunate fact is that as these kinds of dialogues happen about education, particularly the union, brings those who are actually delivering the education into the fray, if you will. Unfortunately, there is some spillover into the classrooms. And of course it’s never appropriate for our students to be brought into this kind of a thing.

Bonniwell: Well, the children are pawns…

Witt: Yeah. It is unfortunate.

Listen to Witt here.

The accusation that students and others in Jeffco are pawns of the teachers’ unions, or somehow brought into the debate agains their will, is demonstrably false, as everyone knows after seeing the spontaneous protests against Witt, Williams, and Newkirk’s policies.

Why Witt keeps saying it, particuarly as he’s fighting to save his seat on the Jeffco Board is beyond me, because it damages him. It insults the intelligence of the students and community has no zero chance of helping him stay in office.

Listen to the entire interview here:

Media omission: Tancredo doesn’t think establishment Republicans will torpedo Neville like they did him

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

As State Sen. Tim Neville of Littleton starts to make his case for taking on Democrat Michael Bennet, he’s embracing his conservative background, not trying to modify or conceal it, like Sen. Cory Gardner did, framing himself as the kind of no-compromise conservative who will shut down the government, if necessary, to get the job done.

By conservative, for Neville, I mean across-the-board from guns (opposing permits to carry concealed guns) and vaccinations (supporting parents who reject them) to immigration (against in-state tuition for undocumented students) and choice issues, which I addressed in a RH Reality Check post Monday.

“We’re not going to shy away from issues, whether it be issues we brought up last year in the Parent’s Bill of Rights [or] issues that are important to life,” Neville told Rocky Mountain Community Radio’s Bente Birkeland last week.

Neither is Neville shy about using the budget process to shut down the federal government. Asked for his view of  the “no-government-shutdownmantra” on KNUS 710-AM Oct. 4, Neville said it’s a “false premise. When has the government ever shut down?” He said he’s the kind of conservative leader who draws other lawmakers to him, rather than the kind who compromises. Listen to Neville on KNUS here.

So, the big money question is, will the country-club Republicans respond to Neville, like they did to former Rep. Tom Tancredo.  When Tanc was poised to win the GOP gubernatorial primary last year against Bob Beuaprez, the national Republicans knocked him out by funding an ad campaign directed at Republican primary voters. It worked. Down went Tancredo. Up went Beauprez. And down went Beuprez later.

You might think history is about to repeat itself soon, with moneyed Republicans thinking that Neville would, Tancredo-like, sully the GOP brand in Colorado and, even more importantly in our swing state, undermine the efforts of the Republican presidential candidate.

I asked Tancredo if he thought the establishment Republicans would try to bring down Neville.

Tancredo called it an “interesting question,” saying, “I happen to like Tim Neville. I think he’s a great guy, and he could win the primary.”

“Will they do to him what they did to me?” Tancredo said. “I don’t think so, because I don’t think they have an alternative whom they think can win.”

“In my case, they knocked me out because they thought they could perhaps win with Bob. But I don’t think there is a sense that they could win this race with anybody presently on the scene. So they don’t give a rat’s ass. And they’re not going to spend any money necessarily attacking Neville, because they don’t think he’ll win but they don’t think anybody they’ve got will win.”

“It’s got to the right circumstance for the [establishment Republicans] to do it. After all they couldn’t stop Dan Maes. And if you can’t stop Dan Maes, baby, I don’t know what kind of shot you think you have.”

But, I asked Tancredo, what if Republicans bring in a self-funding placeholder?

“Let’s see what would they look for?” asked Tancredo. “Oh, I know! A really rich old white guy? I bet that’s who they’d try to find to run. [Laughs.] Sure. There’s the key. That’s the ticket. Rich old white guys have so much appeal in Colorado.”

We laugh together at this, and the interview ended.


Post interview spotlights Brauchler falsehood that he was “one vote away” from getting death sentence in Aurora trial

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Excellent reporting today by The Denver Post’s Jordan Steffen, who breaks the news that three jurors in the Aurora theater trial voted affirmatively for life in prison, according to one of the three jurors, who was previously thought to have been undecided.

Steffen’s interview is beautifully written, giving you a great sense of the juror’s struggles and a journalist’s experience talking to her, but what caught my eye, as someone who listened to prosecutor George Brauchler repeatedly say he was “one vote away” from getting the death penalty, were these three paragraphs:

“There were three,” [the juror] said. “Not one.”

…Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler has said he wouldn’t second-guess his decision to pursue the death penalty because of one juror’s position that led to the life sentence.

Last week, he said all of the deliberating jurors he’s spoken with have indicated that Juror 17′s account was accurate. He conceded that he hadn’t met with all of them.

More of an explanation from Brauchler would have been nice, because you have to wonder why a man of his intelligence and intensity would deliver rotten information about the jury count, without at least saying he wasn’t sure or acknowledging, as  juror 17 had clearly said after the trial, that juror 17 was against the death sentence and two jurors were undecided. That’s obviously three, not one, votes away from conviction.

Maybe Brauchler, who subsequently announced he wouldn’t challenge Sen. Michael Bennet, was just trying to make himself look good? But as a veteran prosecutor, he had to know that his misinformation could be hurting real people.

Steffen reported that the juror he interviewed ended “her silence because she could no longer bear to watch the weight of public scrutiny — what she described as a ‘witch hunt’ — fall solely on the shoulders of her fellow juror.”

Brauchler was partly responsible for the witch hunt, as today’s Post piece makes clear.



Media omission: On radio, Republican chair again takes moderate position and praises stem cell research

Monday, September 28th, 2015

On a couple of ocassions, Colorado GOP Chair Steve House has stated publicly that Rep. Gorden Klingenschmitt doesn’t speak for the Republican Party. Last week, for example, after Rep. Gorden Klingenschmitt called Allah a “false god,” House told 9News:

 “House: Representative Klingenschmitt has a Constitutional right to free speech,” House wrote in a statement. “However, as I’ve said several times in the past, Gordon does not speak on behalf of our Party, and his hurtful words do not represent our values.”

Last week on KNUS 710-AM’s “Rush to Reason,” House supported stem cell research, a view that’s also not shared by all in the GOP.

Stem cells are obtained from zygotes, or fertilized human eggs. Some Republicans, including Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman, want to ban stem cell research because they consider zygotes to be a human life, even if the zygotes are obtained from fertizilization clinics that would otherwise dispose of them. (Even “pluripotent stem cells,” which are sometimes used in research and are derived from adult stem cells, are grown using embryonic stem cells for comparison purposes.)

As 9News reported in 2013: “This year, Congressman Coffman was asked point blank by Colorado Right to Life, ‘Will you oppose any research or practice that would intentionally destroy the tiniest living humans, embryonic stem cell research?’ With a pen he wrote, ‘Yes.’”

On the radio Sept. 22, House included stem-cell research as part of an “optimistic view of technology” that should be part of the “GOP message.”

House: I think the next decade and a half will be the greatest decade of innovation in American history. Just reading recently about stem cell research. And how they can create brain cells. They’re trying to deal with Alzheimer’s. A lot of people don’t realize that Alzheimer’s is a $174,000 cost to manage an Alzheimer’s patient. And cost is not the major factor.

Host John Rush: But the cost is there.

House: It’s such a tough disease. They’ve figured out how to have stem cells create brain cells. So now they are doing testing on brain cells created by stem cells, so they can try to figure out drugs to slow down the progression of the disease. And $174,000 for a lifetime cost and rising, Alzheimer’s by itself could bankrupt America flat-out because of aging. So there’s some really amazing stuff going on right now with technology that we haven’t talked about. It’s advancing so fast that we could do a radio show almost every week and we wouldn’t not keep up.

Steve House on KNUS 710-AM’s Rush to Reason, with John Rush, Sept. 22, 2015

Reporters should talk to Brauchler on talk radio

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Asked by Associated Press reporter Nicholas Riccardi in September to answer questions about Colorado political issues, Brauchler said: “I’d be happy to answer those things if I got into the Senate” contest.

But over the weekend, Brauchler jumped on conservative talk radio and openly talked about Colorado politics, attacking Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet repeatedly on multiple issues.

Appearing on KNUS 710-AM’s Jimmy Sengenberger show Sept. 19, Brauchler said it was “infuriating” that Bennet supported the “ridiculous” Iran nuclear deal. On the radio, Brauchler equated peopole who urged him to accept a plea deal with Holmes to those who favored  the Iran deal.

Brauchler criticized Obamacare as hurting small business, and he also said the Dodd-Frank law was an “horrific compromise that took place during the economic downturn.”

Calling himself a “simple kid from Lakewood” and sounding like a candidate, Brauchler said the federal government has gotten too big too fast during the years that Bennet has been in office.

The lesson for reporters: when Brauchler says he’ll talk politics later, ask him again, but do it on conservative talk radio.

How long should a sitting duck present itself to journalists?

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

It’s after Labor Day, and the thin lineup of Republicans even thinking about challenging Sen. Michael Bennet would make you believe they’re scared of Michael Bennet and his war chest.

But Cory Gardner, on KNUS radio Wed., sees it this way: Republicans are actually scared of “taking fire.”

Gardner: I think getting into a race in July, you know, the year before was probably too early, or August. So, I think sometime between now and that March date — actually probably sometime between now and January is that sweet spot.

Look, any candidate knows when they announce, that there opening up to start taking incoming fire. And by waiting, getting the team in place, by getting the structure in place, they can really hit the ground running and avoid unnecessarily time being left as a sitting duck, so to speak, and taking fire.

A sitting duck? hmm.

Sounds like Gardner is talking about himself going into last year’s election. If ever there was a duck, glued down, stuck, and waiting, it was Gardner, with his far-right record across the board from global warming and immigration to abortion and even journalism. And beyond.

Gardner got in the race against Udall in March, your recall, of last year, very late by conventional standards. And there he was, a sitting duck, but also an oily one, whose feathers got ruffled at times but remained greasy enough to withstand the “fire.” And he spat back pretty well.

It makes you wonder, if Gardner had gotten in the race earlier, would he have won? If he were a sitting duck longer, would it have mattered?

One one hand, Udall’s trajectory was downward. But you also had the sense that Gardner’s reconstruction of himself from right-wing to moderate teetered toward the end, as reporters and others were frustrated but starting to cut through the grease and spit.

On balance, I think Gardner would have lost if he’d gotten in the race much earlier. And it appears he agrees.