Archive for the 'KNUS' Category

Fiscal hawks squawk happily about throwing billions mindlessly at border security

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Conservative talk-radio hosts present themselves as fiscal conservatives, until they land on something they want to mindlessly throw money at.

So Colorado’s newbie Congressman, Ken Buck, was right at home on the radio last week when he disclosed that a bill will be introduced by House Republicans “doubling or tripling” the amount of money to be spent on securing the U.S.-Mexico border.

The current border-security budget is about $12 billion, if you just count border patrol, fencing, surveillance, and ports of entry, according to Marc Rosenblum Deputy Director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute.

“We’ll leave that up to the experts,” Buck told Kafer, explaining how the additional border-security money will be spent and adding that there are “certainly a number of miles of fence have not been built.”

The fact that Buck had no clue what would be done with $12 to$24 billion in additional border security funding, doubling or tripling the current border-security budget, didn’t bother KNUS 710-AM’s Krista Kaffer, a proud fiscal hawk.

Such fiscal prudence!

For what, all these billions of dollars? “There’s very little evidence that the border is out of control,” Rosenblum told me, explaining that if you exclude the recent surge of child migrants, apprehensions at the southwest border have plummeted in recent years to a 40-year low.

Still, in addition to more fence, there are drones, more agents, radios, and more that have been proposed in the past.

Buck disclosed that a “number of bills” will come before the House Judiciary Committee during the next “month, month-and-a-half,” including the border-security measure, “a temporary farm worker program, another guest-worker program,” and a “high-tech visa program.”

“We are considering a border-security bill that will double or triple the amount of money to be spent on border security on our southern border,” Buck told Kafer. “There are certainly a number of miles of fence that have not been built. There’s a question over what’s the most efficient way to secure the border, and I think we leave that up to the experts. But the funding will be there for border security and the guest worker program. And I think the two of them go hand-in-hand.”

“We don’t trust the government,” said Buck explaining why Republicans like him oppose comprehensive immigration reform and want to focus on border security. “If we solve the problem of what to do with the 11 million people who are here illegally, then the government will not have border security and a guest-worker program that works.”

But, in reality, if you only focus on border security and guest workers, you’ll get nothing, because comprehensive immigration reform unites enough Democrats and Republicans to actually pass a bill. Remember the Senate’s comprehensive bill passed last year, only to die in the border-security-crazed House, where Colorado’s Republicans, including Rep. Mike Coffman, opposed the Senate’s comprehensive reform.

So keep trying to throw money at border security, Ken Buck, and see where that takes us.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/congressman-ken-buck-on-kelley-company-may-20-2015

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/congressman-ken-buck-on-kelley-company-may-20-2015

Who is they guy who tried to order a cake with “Homosexuality Is a Detestable Sin” written on it?

Monday, April 27th, 2015

It’s not for everybody, but if you’re me, you can’t help but be curious about a guy who asks Azucar Bakery, on Broadway in Denver, to make cakes shaped like an open Bible with the these messages:

One cake: God Hates Sin, Psalm 45-7. Homosexuality Is a Detestable Sin, Leviticus 18-22.

The other cake: God Loves Sinners. While We Were Yet Sinners, God Died for Us. Romans 5-8.

It turns out that Bill Jack, the man who placed this cake order, is also a sometime talk-show host, which gives a radio aficionado an opening to find out more about him.

After listening to a few hours of his shows on “Generations Radio,” a fundamentalist Christian outlet, and talking with him on the phone, I would describe him as a deeply religious individual who feels so besieged and alienated by cultural norms that he has to carve out an extreme path to function in everyday society.  His path has an internal logic to it, but to the rest of us, it can be hateful and discriminatory.

For example, on a podcasted “Generations Radio” show in January (below), Jack and co-host Steve Vaughan got angry about Planned Parenthood teaching sex-education in public school.

They read an article alleging that a student felt “pressured to have sex” by the lessons. This led to some harsh words about Planned Parenthood and public school education.

Vaughan: (@23:45 below): “The reason why, especially with Planned Parenthood, tthe more sex these kids have, the more business [Planned Parenthood] has in aborting the babies.

Jack: It’s conflict of interest [for Planned Parenthood to be teaching sex education], I would think.”

Vaughan (at @26:15 below): “If you are a Christian, you should not have your kids in public school anyway. This is not a place for them to be witnessing to other people. Bad company corrupts good morals. And your children are going to be the ones to get changed. If you hug a pig, the pig doesn’t get cleaner. Your kid gets dirty. [Laughs]

Jack: I never heard that one before. [Laughs] But everybody needs a hug. But this is what Planned Parenthood does. They want your children to be pigs.

Vaughan: Yeah.

Jack: They want them to wallow in the muck. And what we need to is, we as Christians need to expose evil…Shine the light of truth and grace on such activities. And so I urge you, as home schooling parents, to investigate what’s being taught in the public schools.

I told Jack that my kids go to public school, and even though rats were discovered at East High School in Denver this year, the place is full of beautiful kids. Why call my kid a pig?

Jack: That’s an illustration. It’s an analogy, and the analogy is fairly succinct and pithy, and makes it clear. You don’t want to entrust your student to someone who has an opposing worldview. That’s not as pithy, as punchy.

Salzman: But it’s mean. Would you agree?

Jack: No. it’s not mean. It’s a statement of fact.

Salzman: I take it as mean. I respect what you just said about not sending your kid to public school. That’s your right. But you’re telling me my kid is dirty?

Jack: No. I didn’t say your kid’s dirtier. Your kid gets polluted by a secular worldview.

Jack’s war against the “secular worldview” is key to understanding where he’s coming from.

“For a Christian, your faith dictates your economics, you view of science, of art, of education,” said Jack, who’s a founder of Worldview Academy, which “trains Christians to think and live in accord with a biblical worldview.”  “It’s not compartmentalized.”

Jack has produced a video, showing one way he applies this thinking. It’s titled, “Biblically Correct Tour of The Denver Zoo, The Denver Museum of Nature and Science, The Denver Museum of Art, Law and Order at the Colorado State Capitol, and Dinosaur Ridge outside Denver.”

Which brings us back to Jack’s cake order, with the anti-gay message.

When we spoke, Jack was upset that The Denver Post characterized what he’d asked the baker to write on the cake as “gay slurs” and “hateful words.”

I told Jack I agreed with The Post’s decision to report, in a news story, that the phrase “homosexuality is detestable sin” is a slur, even if it’s in the Bible. Our laws and cultural values affirm this, and so did Colorado’s Civil Rights Division when it rejected Jack’s complaint that his civil rights had been violated when Azucar Bakery refused his order for a cake emblazoned with “homosexuality is a detestable sin” and other phrases.

But Jack believes the “the Civil Rights Commission is acting like the Nazis. They are acting like those who want to re-educate the public.”

It’s a bible verse, Jack has said in numerous interviews about homosexuality being a sin. He emphasized that if the Civil Rights Division is going to force one baker not to discriminate against gays who request cakes for their weddings, then it should force another baker not to discriminate against Christians who request an anti-gay Bible verse on another cake.

“So the Bible is an illegal, immoral book to be censored from the public arena?” he says. “That is offensive. It’s censorship. It’s tyranny. You either believe in the First Amendment or you believe in tyranny.  My bottom line is that this is an effort to censor God from the public square.”

But there are competing rights, I told Jack. Colorado’s public accommodation law bars businesses from discriminating based on sexual orientation and religion, among other things. Even Colorado Republican John Suthers agreed that, under Colorado law, a baker must serve gay costumers. Or it’s discrimination.

But, under the law, a baker isn’t discriminating against a Christian if he or she refuses to make a cake with slurs on it. Civil society can reject the hateful words in the Bible, and still protect Christians from legitimate discrimination.

“We are gutting the First Amendment,” Jack said. “I’m talking about Bible verses, and suddenly they are being labeled gay slurs.”

So for Jack, his religion, his practice of strict adherence to the Bible, no matter how archaic and out-of-step with how most people practice Christianity, is the trump card, his license to do things that most people—as well as Colorado law—see as hateful and discriminatory.

It’s also the reason why he thinks my public-school-attending children are dirty, polluted by a secular worldview. It’s part of the same continuum.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/bill-jack-on-public-school-education

There’s just gotta be better ways to advance the conservative agenda on talk radio than holding the hand of Lisa Pinto

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

One wonders if the conservative-run Leadership of the Rockies Program, which schooled GOP operative Lisa Pinto, needs to add a class on how to gracefully ignore anonymous tweets.

In her job as Chief Communications Officer for the Jefferson Country  School District, Pinto has massively more important problems on her plate than complaining tweets directed at her. Yet, she’s wasting time on conservative talk radio whining about her tweets.

You’d any right-leaning talk radio program, normally home base for the get-over-it approach to personal problems, would boot her off the show, but KNUS host Krista Kafer wrapped Pinto in a warm blanket, introducing a April 3 segment on the tweets:

Kafer: “So there are these people out there. I don’t know. Do they not work? Do they not have a hobby? Do they not garden? I don’t know, but apparently they have a lot of extra time just to be mean. I guess being mean is a hobby.”

This opened the floodgates from Pinto, who emphasized that she took time on vacation to discuss the tweets on KNUS 710 AM, not on the taxpayer dime. (Listen below.)

“Thanks for taking up this really important topic,” Pinto told Kafer. “It’s really crazy that this is going on in this day an age in Colorado.”

Really important? Crazy in this day and age?  She’s a communications pro? Maybe she’s under the spell of the Independence Institute, which found recent tweets about Jeffco-School topics so important that it established a website, MeanGirlz.org, to promote them. Read more about this in Westword.

Anyway, Pinto went on for the next 20 minutes or so, making me wonder if she knew anything at all about the content of Twitter.

Pinto: “It’s so personal…I’m a staff member. I’m being paid to do my job. I show up. Sometimes I work 50 hours a week…It’s really hurtful. From day one, I kept hearing this. Unqualified. Had no experience. And if you think back to the civil rights struggle, this is what they always said….Not to brag, but I’m a Yale grad. I’m a lawyer, admitted in the state of New York. I’ve been a veteran prosecutor. I’ve hosted cable TV shows…I’m here for the children…Why don’t we join in doing what’s good for the children, which is modeling mature, kind, spiritual behavior. And when I said spiritual, I don’t mean religious. I mean a path of kindness and tolerance…I marched against injustices in college. I served women and children as a prosecutor advocating for domestic violence victims and children who have been sexually abused. And they don’t know any of that about me, and they don’t seem to care…It’s hurtful. Coming from the east coast, we were really unprepared for this type of name calling…It’s shocking…I have a terrific boss, who’s very supportive…And you know a reporter came up on this, and the tone of outrage in her article, it really made me realize I’m not alone on an island…

Kafer: Racism, to me, is so grotesque, as well as sexism, is so grotesque that when I run into it, which is rare, it’s like running into a dinosaur.

 Pinto: …So that, I guess, would be my ask today. Everyone who sees this stuff say. ‘That is not okay.’ Direct message the site…Unfriend. Direct message. Make your statement. Say it’s not appropriate. That ends the discourse right there.”

Bottom line: These are anonymous tweets! I’ve reviewed the tweets, and I can’t believe Pinto doesn’t have better things to focus on.

As for Kafer, there’s just gotta be better ways to advance the conservative agenda on talk radio than holding the hand of Lisa Pinto.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/lisa-pintojeffco-comms-chief-discusses-social-media-bullying-on-kelley-company-april-3-2015

Media omission: Anti-choice activists push for fetal-homicide bill that could undermine civil rights of pregnant women

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

In a KNUS 710-AM radio interview yesterday, Colorado Senate President Bill Cadman said he’s “really hoping” to get a fetal homicide bill introduced “by the end of the week.”

KNUS radio host Dan Caplis, who’s a deep-red social conservative, urged Cadman to push for a law like California’s, which establishes a fetus as a potential victim of a crime.

Cadman replied that the California law is “definitely one of the models that we’re looking at.”

Pro-choice advocates, however, say the California law undermines civil rights protections of pregnant women, allowing for criminal investigations of pregnant women based on the legal rights of the fetus. They say any fetal homicide measure is unnecessary, as Colorado’s Crimes Against Pregnant Women Act is the gold standard insofar as it mandates severe penalties for perpetrators of crimes like the Longmont attack, while protecting abortion rights and the civil rights of pregnant women.

The Longmont attacker faces charges that could result in a 100-year prison term.

And if history is our guide, it’s unlikely that the anti-choice members of Cadman’s Republican caucus will go along with anything short of the California model.

In 2011, bipartisan support for a bill allowing for criminal prosecution for reckless crimes against pregnant women unraveled after attacks by anti-choice activists.

They were angry about language in the bill specifically stating that the legislation did “not confer the status of ‘person’ upon a human embryo, fetus, or unborn child at any stage of development prior to live birth.”

The Republican sponsor of the 2011 bill, Rep. Mark Waller, pulled his own legislation in frustration over the dispute about whether anti-personhood should be part of the language of the bill, telling journalists in 2011, “The right to life folks bring up a valid point when they said that this is a criminal justice provision. Why does this language need to be in there?”

Anti-choice forces in 2011 insisted on legislation modeled on California’s fetal homicide law, as they appear to be doing this year. As the Colorado Independent reported at the time:

Father Bill Carmody said he had met with Waller for close to an hour to express his concerns about the bill and had advocated for California style fetal homicide legislation.  He said he was concerned that though abortion had been decriminalized since 1967, the bill’s removal of the criminal statute would take Colorado back a step “if and when the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade.”

“The other problem is that other than in the title, there is no mention of the word child in the bill. It goes out of its way to say it is not a person. It goes out of its way to say it is not anything human, so bring manslaughter charges if it is not human.”

When Democrats got control of the state legislature 2013, they passed a law similar to the failed 2011 legislation.

Last year, Colorado Democrats passed another law allowing civil penalties to be filed against perpetrators of crimes against pregnant women.

 

Media omission: Beauprez blames Republican Governors Association for election loss

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez appeared on KNUS’ Craig Silverman Show Saturday and blamed, among other things, the Republican Governors’ Association (RGA) for his November loss to Democrat John Hickenlooper.

“We would have liked to have had a little more backing from some of our friends,” Beauprez told Silverman. “Notably the Republican Governors Association went dark for three weeks right during the middle of the campaign. That one hurt quite a little bit.”

Beauprez’s opponents would wail at the irony of it, of course, because it was an RGA-funded campaign that arguably allowed Beauprez to prevail against his opponent Tom Tancredo during the Republican gubernatorial primary last year.

Beauprez has rejected accusations, from former Rep. Tom Tancredo and others, that he had any knowledge of the RGA’s surreptitious campaign against Tancredo. But Tanc is so mad about it, he’s started a Stop Chris Christie PAC to fight Christie.

“But didn’t you get in bed with Chris Christie, and then he ultimately rolled over and squished ya,” asked Silverman, in a flashback to the kind of edgy questioning he used to deploy on some Republicans during KHOW’s Caplis and Silverman Show. “I hate to use that kind of imagery. But Chris Christie is a bed you got in, and he ended up betraying you.”

“Getting in bed with Chris Christie, I do reject that metaphor, that analogy, the use of that kind of phrase” responded Beauprez on air. “I’m not a Chris Christie supporter in this election right now. And I had some issues with Chris Christie, but the reality was, he was the chairman of the Republican Governors Association. So was I going to accept the help of the Republican Governors Association, just as John Hickenlooper accepted massive amounts, massive amounts, of money from the Democratic Governors Association? Of course I’m going to do that. So the presumption that I was in lockstep with Chris Christie on everything he ever said or would do or say in the future, that’s simply not fair.”

Beauprez rejected Silverman’s assertion that Beauprez’s opposition to marijuana legalization hurt him in the election.

Beauprez said he didn’t take a position against pot, per se, but instead simply said the future governor would have to deal with the law as passed.

Beauprez also rejected KNUS talk-show host Peter Boyles’ accusation, repeated to Beauprez by Silverman, that Beauprez backed off his suggestion that Colorado should send troops to the Mexican border to help stop illegal immigration.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/craig-silverman-knus-asks-bob-beauprez-why-didnt-you-win-co-governorship

Media omission: GOP recall activists on talk radio circuit opposing Ryan Call

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

In the race for chair of the Colorado Republican Party, activists who led recall efforts against Democrats in 2013 have been on the talk-radio circuit dredging up their attacks on the current GOP Chair, Ryan Call, who’s facing a serious challenge from former gubernatorial candidate Steve House.

On Monday, for example, Mike McAlpine (who led recall efforts against Sen. Evie Hudak) and Victor Head (who helped spearhead the recall against Sen. Angela Giron) were on KLZ 560-AM trashing Ryan Call in no uncertain terms. The pair was also on KNUS’ Peter Boyles Show.

Both activists were responding to Call’s assertions Saturday on a KNUS radio show that he’d backed recall campaigns in Pueblo and Colorado Springs to the tune of $140,000, plus other support.

“Let me start by saying that he objected and opposed to the recalls every step of the way,” McAlpine said on KLZ. ” And only with this $140,000 after a Republican candidate was selected and it was officially Ryan’s job, as state Chair to get someone elected, did he come up with some money.

“This is a man who did not support the grassroots in Colorado,” McAlpine continued. ” And for him to step out now and paint himself as a person who did, as a leader, and to take credit for all the hard work of the volunteers, of the independent Republicans who came down, the independent Independents, the Unaffiliateds is wrong!  It is just wrong!”

“The elections went through,” Pueblo’s Victor Head told the KLZ radio audience, agreeing with McAlpine. “We won. Everyone was happy.  [Ryan Call] is out there taking credit, you know, waving at everybody, saying, ‘Look what we did!’  And we’re standing there like, ‘Well, yeah, we’ve still got this huge bill.’ And there were just regular guys like me who got stuck with it.  And so we eventually had to have this press conference and say, ‘Hey, Ryan basically lied to us, and said he was going to help and he never came through.’ And It was only after we basically dragged him out, kicking and screaming, that he said, ‘Oh, okay.  I’ll go ahead and make good on that promise, and I’ll cover the legal fees — or well, the Party will.’  And you know, that’s just the type of person he is.  He’s not there to really help empower the grassroots of the Party.  He really is in this simply to self-serve, as far as I can see.”

“Now, the local party stepped up, in the face of Ryan,” continued Head. “Ryan actually threatened our county chair down here in Pueblo and said, ‘Don’t you dare help those recall people!’ And she defied him, and of course, you know, the rest is history. We won.  And it’s all grand and happy.  But, that was the big thing we had, was, why are you actually coming out saying what we’re doing is actually a bad idea?  That’s where it really stung.

 

Media omission: Ryan Call changes tune about his opposition to at least one recall campaign

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Appearing on KNUS 710-AM’s Jimmy Sengenberger Show Saturday, Colorado GOP Chair Ryan Call emphasized his support for Colorado’s 2013 recall campaigns, when, in fact, Call flat out opposed at least one recall effort.

“From a tactical perspective, frankly, the worst thing that I could do is to get to the head of the column and say that this is a Republican initiative,” Call told Sengenberger Saturday, explaining why he didn’t take an earlier or higher profile stance in the recall campaigns and pointing out that Republicans would have had a harder time winning over Democrats and independents if the recall campaigns were perceived as GOP-led.

This contrasts with what Call told Fox 31 Denver at the time about his decision not to support the recall campaign of Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak:

Call: “This recall election would undermine our efforts in the governor’s race, the U.S. Senate race and to win a senate majority if voters perceive that Republicans are trying to win a majority through recalls.”

“The job of the Republican Party is to get Republicans elected when there are regular elections,” said Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call. “And there are already a lot of things competing for our time, attention and resources. [BigMedia emphasis]

Hudak recall organizer Laura Woods, now a state senator who went by the name “Laura Waters” at the time, told KNUS radio host Peter Boyles that Call obstructed their efforts.

In a similar vein, shortly after his victory in a Colorado Springs recall election, newly elected State Sen. George Rivera said Ryan Call put “a little cold water on our parade” during recall campaign. Rivera is a Republican.

But at the time, and in his KNUS interview Saturday, Call also said that he supported recall campaigns once a Republican candidate was in place, and he spent state-party resources to support Republican candidates in their recall campaigns.

“The principled purpose and objective of the Republican Party is to support Republicans in elections,” Call said in 2013.

Republicans will decide whether to retain Call as State GOP Chair March 14. He’s being challenged by former GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve House.

Excerpt of comments by Ryan Call on KNUS’ Jimmy Sengenberger Show Feb. 28, 2015. Begins one hour into the show.

Call: Generally speaking, recalls are reserved for fraud or embezzlement or a serious abdication of a lawmaker’s constitutional duties, but it’s important that those recalls, if initiated, be initiated by the citizens and not be driven simply out of a partisan interest. Our job from the party, as I saw it, and this was not my decision alone. This was discussed at length by our state party’s executive committee, and we determined that rather than set the precedent that the state party, as a partisan objective would go out there and try to foment or start recalls, our job was to support the citizens if the recall went forward. And that’s what we did. But there is always a concern. And what we found also, for example, in the work that was done in the recalls of Scott Walker in Wisconsin. When voters believed it was a grassroots-initiated citizen-originated recall election, they were successful. But if there was a perception in the public that this was simply a partisan power grab, that this was done by Republicans in an effort to win back seats or to try to obtain a majority, then Democrats and unaffiliated voters who are so critical if we are going to be successful—support among those key demographics and segments of the electorate completely collapsed. It was important that the strength of the recalls was led by the grassroots, supported by the party as one of many groups and individuals that were out there supporting it. From a tactical perspective, frankly, the worst thing that I could do is to get to the head of the column and say that this is a Republican initiative.

Sengenberger: But I heard some people say that you were actively trying to prevent these recalls from happening. Is there any truth to that?

Call: Not true. Not true. I was actually in very close contact with representatives from the Liberty Call committee…. Think about it, in a county like Pueblo, where Republicans are outnumbered two-to-one by Democrats, if was perceived to be a Republican initiative…

 

 

Talk-radio hosts should seek explanation from Buck on his pro-Boehner votes

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

In standing with House Speaker John Boehner on Friday to avert the shutdown, albeit temporary, of the Department of Homeland Security, Colorado’s new Republican Congressman Ken Buck has apparently had second thoughts about his pledge to shut down DHS if necessary to stop Obama from allowing some immigrants to avoid deportation.

Asked by KLZ’s Randy Corporon in January whether he would resist “public pressure and media assaults” and refuse to fund DHS along with Obama’s immigration program, Buck said:

Buck: “I can tell you this: Ken Buck will. I will make the case, and I will make sure that we are not funding those portions of his executive action that are so repugnant.”

In another interview, delivered to KFKA guest host Nancy Rumfelt in January, Buck pledged stand firm against any moderating winds that might emanate from House Speaker John Boehner:

Buck: “Speaker and the leadership team know that they cannot count on me when they move to the middle, that I will be voting against leadership’s efforts in certain areas, especially is true when it comes to the fiscal issues, the appropriations bills and the regulatory issues. And I include Obamacare in that. But absolutely. The people in the 4th Congressional District can count on Ken Buck to be with the conservative votes when it comes to the bills that are coming up in the future.” 

Colorado Springs’ Doug Lamborn did what Buck said he’d do, when Lamborn voted against temporary funds for DHS.

Lamborn: “I cannot support funding, even for a short period of time, the President’s unlawful executive action that violates the Constitution,” Lamborn said in a statement, reported by The Denver Post.

Denver TV reporter goes too far in saying Obama “doesn’t like America” and has “contempt” and “disdain” for our country

Friday, February 27th, 2015

It’s obvious to me that journalists should no longer be expected not to express opinions, even on the topics they cover.

But, sometimes, if journalists have opinions that are so extreme, so rude or out-of-step with everyday sensibilities, they should refrain from expressing them. And if they do throw out such opinions, reporters should recuse themselves from covering anything related to their extreme/rude/bombastic utterances.

To my way of thinking, Fox 31 Denver reporter Julie Hayden’s repeated comments that Obama “doesn’t love,” doesn’t even “like America” and, in fact, has “disdain” and “contempt” for our country, fall into the extreme/rude/bombastic category. And Hayden shouldn’t be covering any story related to Obama, federal political issues, and, to be safe, any partisan political topic.

Hayden, who says she once voted for Obama and doesn’t cover the president, has been trashing him on her Saturday morning radio show, “Wake Up with Chuck and Julie,” which she co-hosts with hubby Chuck Bonniwell, on KNUS 170-AM.

On her radio show last Saturday, in the wake Rudy Giuliani’s comments that Obama doesn’t love America, Hayden even presided over a debate on the topic of whether Obama likes America, with Hayden and Bonniwell taking the side that he does not.

“To me, it just seemed so obvious he doesn’t like America, and, you know, I think has disdain for it and contempt,” said Hayden a typical comment (Listen below at 20:50).

Here’s another exchange:

Caller (at 9:40 minutes): It’s not only that he doesn’t love the country. I actually think that he hates it, that he does everything he can to undermine the country at every turn.

Bonniwell: You’re absolutely right.

Hayden: I don’t disagree with you.

Asked via email whether such extreme comments are appropriate for a journalist listed as a “reporter” at Fox 31 Denver, a major Denver news outlet with a five-star reputation for its political coverage (and not linked to the partisan Fox News Network), Hayden offered these thoughts:

Hayden: I believe, like many things “extreme” is in the eye of the beholder.  I do not consider my comment  that I did not think the President likes America to be “extreme”, any more than I consider someone else saying they believe the President loves America to be “extreme.”  I have also said on the radio program that it’s my opinion that Governor Hickenlooper has shown he cares about Colorado.  I don’t think that’s “extreme”, either.  I have also said on the program many times that I supported Hillary Clinton in 2008 and was very disappointed when she dropped out.  And that I voted for President Obama.  I don’t consider those “extreme” comments and I do not think they crossed any kind of journalistic line.

I respect your question and your opinion, but I do not think it crosses a journalistic line for me to express an opinion, one way or another on the President because I don’t cover the President in my television job.  We have been fortunate at Fox 31 Denver to have Eli Stokols as our political reporter and he does a great job.

It would be a different matter if I was a White House correspondent, but that’s not the case.

I would also like to point out that whenever I express an opinion I invite and welcome people with other opinions to comment, too.  In this case, I frequently mentioned that our friend Chuck completely disagrees with me.  I think it would be wrong as a journalist and a talk show host to make it seem like there was only one side to any issue. And whatever the topic, I think we do talk about all sides and take calls and comments from all sides.  We don’t screen out any calls.

I was glad that Hayden, who mostly covers crime and general interest topics, agrees with me that she shouldn’t cover Obama, but local TV news tends to swarm around the hot stories of the day.

So it’s no surprise that Hayden reported this story the day before the 2012 election on Romney-Obama voter turnout efforts. This piece looks fair to me, but what would Hayden’s next story about Obama look like? About immigration? About women? The environment? Net neutrality!

And lots of crime stories, the staple of TV news, connect to partisan politics.

“To me it’s very bad that we have a president that doesn’t like America,” said Hayden on air (at 12:20 below). Let’s hope she doesn’t use her journalism job to do something about it.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/fox-31-reporter-julie-hayden-claims-obama-does-not-love-america

Coffmans’ split endorsements in GOP-state-chair race titillate Republicans on the radio

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Conservative talk radio is the front line in the battle over who will be the next chair of the Colorado Republican Party. (That is, for the tea-party wing of the party. The front line for the moneyed side of the party might be in buildings on 17th street or something.)

In any case, Steve House, who’s challenging current GOP chair Ryan Call, has appeared on at least nine shows over the past few weeks, including programs on KNUS (Peter Boyles), KLZ (Randy Corporon, Ken Clark, Kris Cook) and KFKA (Amy Oliver).

In contrast, I can’t find a single appearance by Call on conservative talk radio in the past month.

Even when the candidates themselves aren’t on their shows, the conservative yappers talk on and on about race to be the GOP chair, as if it’s the epic battle that will decide the future of the Republican Party in Colorado.

One of the developments in the race that titillates the Republicans is the split endorsements of Mike and Cynthia Coffman. Congressman Coffman is backing Ryan Call, the current chair. And his wife, Cynthia Coffman, who’s Colorado’s Attorney General, has thrown her weight behind challenger Steve House.

Below is an example of the kind of erudite discussion you find on conservative radio about the Coffman situation and relationship, such as it is. (Recall that they apparently don’t live together.) It occurred on Valentine’s Day on KNUS’  “Weekend Wake Up” Show with Julie Hayden and hubby Chuck Bonniwell. The guest is conservative political operative Laura Carno (who’s been crusading for powdered alcohol recently):

 Bonniwell: This leadership race for the chairmanship of the Republican Party is going wild! It’s just going wild out there. And you can read all about it in ColoradoPols, which is sad because it’s a left-wing site… It’s a battle royale with Cynthia Coffman, who’s the Attorney General, urging Steve House to run, and then her husband, Congressman Coffman, opposing him, saying, ‘Re-elect Ryan Call.’ It’s just an amazing fight.

Carno: Yeah. It’s going crazy. …I thought that the Coffman angle was absolutely fascinating.

Hayden: You have to wonder!

Carno: Cynthia Coffman is backing one guy. Congressman Coffman is backing another guy. And what does that household look like?

Bonniwell: It’s one of two things: They say, ‘You go on one side. I’ll go on the other side. And we’ll all be covered.’ Or they’re screaming at each other. One of the two.

Carno: Right. It’s a house divided, in some manner. It would just be interesting to be a fly on the wall with those conversations. Interesting Valentine’s Day.