Denver writer and radio-show host David Sirota claimed in a tweet Friday that Denver Post Editorial Page Editor Curtis Hubbard blocked Sirota from Hubbard’s Twitter feed:
Following my @harpers piece, @DenverPost editor @CurtisHubbard blocked me on Twitter. Dear lord, that’s friggin’ hilarious.
He followed that tweet up with this one:
Can’t say I blame
@curtishubbard – he knows Dean “Citizen Kane” Singleton signs his paycheck and is watching…
You wouldn’t expect Hubbard to block Sirota over one article, even if it comes down hard on The Post. Hubbard gets hit constantly.
So I asked Hubbard if it was true, he wrote:
“No, it’s not true.
I tried to unfollow him several months back. For some reason his tweets kept coming through, so I blocked him. My guess, and I’m not going to waste any time researching it, was that it was in the spring or early summer. It’s nothing personal.”
In the Harper’s piece, Sirota argues that big-city dailies, even in their weak state, wield as much power over civic life or more than they did in their heyday. Hence the article’s title, “The Citizen Kane Era Returns.”
There’s no question The Post is a major force in Colorado politics, and Sirota’s argument has some validity, and it’s fun to read, especially with so many local media observers quoted.
But Sirota gets carried away at times, for sure. He doesn’t prove that the Post is pushing a conservative agenda in its news section.
For example, in trying to prove that The Post’s conservative bias ushered Michael Bennett into the U.S. Senate, Sirota writes:
Considering that a mere 14,200 votes would have changed the outcome of the race, the Post’s omissions and evasions almost surely helped secure the Senate nomination for Bennet. They also serve as a smoking gun in a larger journalistic crime against voters.
In particular, Sirota thinks Bennet’s financial deals, as Denver Public Schools Superintendent, should have gotten more play in The Post, which, Sirota argues, would have sent shock waves throughout other Denver media and to the public.
I think the story was indeed underplayed in The Post, and it should have been reported earlier by the newspaper, but to assert that it was a game changer? No way.
Actually, conservatives can make a stronger argument that the McInnis plagiarism story was overplayed by an inordinately powerful Denver Post and resulted in the election of Hick. This might have better proven Sirota’s point about the staying power of newspapers.
But neither side can prove bias at The Post, which is largely owned by venture capitalists, not Singleton.
No doubt Singleton likes power, but he doesn’t get his way like he wants to, as described in Sirota’s article:
“He fancies himself an oldfashioned power broker–publisher,” says former Rocky Editor John Temple. who is now a managing editor at the Washington Post. “He loves the idea that he can call people into his office and be in the center of everything.”
So overall, with respect to the part of Sirota’s piece that focuses on The Post, Sirota is right that the paper, even in economic decline, has more power than it deserves, and in some ways as much or more influence on politics, due to its influence on elites, as it ever had.
But as for a conservative agenda, beyond cultural norms, I don’t see it, overall, though you can point to anecdotes, just like righties do in alleging liberal bias.
But you should read Sirota’s article yourself.
As for Sirota’s tweets, I, unlike Hubbard, like receiving them, even if Sirota stetches things a bit sometimes.