Over 20 weeks since words flowed from Norton’s mouth to a Post reporter’s ears

The Colorado Independent points out that Senate Candidate Jane Norton is still not talking to The Denver Post. Today’s Post article, about ads attacking her, quotes a Norton spokesperson.

This prompted me to find out the last time that Norton gave a direct word-from-mouth-to-reporter quote to The Post. In a November 11, 2009, story, The Post quoted Norton giving a speech at a Republican forum. The words went from Norton’s mouth to the ears of a reporter. But this doesn’t count, because it wasn’t a two-way communication, as far as I can tell.

So you have to go all the way back to October 4, 2009, to find a Post article containing words that came directly from Norton’s mouth into a reporter’s ears, in a two-way conversation. In that Oct. 4 article, Norton told The Post she doubts that her decision, as head of the CO health department under Bill Owens, to cut family-planning money from Planned Parenthood will be a campaign issue. She told The Post: “I think the issue in this campaign is all about the debt and the economy. It’s all about big government.”

I calculate, then, that it’s been exactly 144 days since Norton has been quoted directly in The Post. That’s over 20 weeks. I’ll been counting the days, weeks, and months, and I’m hoping The Post finally runs a words-from-Norton’s-mouth quote in the newspaper soon. I’ll post an update with each time another quote-less week passes.

Just as I’m ragging on The Post for its passive coverage of Norton’s Senate campaign, I find that FOX News has interviewed Norton yesterday on its national TV show “America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum” during a segment titled “Martha’s Midterm Madness.”
FOX failed to ask Norton about some of her recent eye-brow-raising statements such as: 
 ·         Why does she favor the elimination of the Department of education?
 ·         Why does she support a national sales tax and flat tax, and why does she think a “simplified flat tax with exemptions for mortgages and charity” would be more viable than a pure flat tax?
 ·         Why does she think health care reform is unconstitutional?
 ·         On what basis does she think that the “rights of terrorists are more important in this administration than the lives of American citizens”?
 ·         If she’s never been a lobbyist, as she’s claimed, what was she doing from 1994-1999 as head of the lobbying department of Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) and why would an MGMA spokesman tell the Colorado Independent that Norton headed the organization’s lobbying department?

Still, FOX gets an itsy bitsy amount of credit for interviewing Norton at all, because you never know what a political candidate will say when questioned by a live reporter on a live broadcast, no matter how soft ball the questions are. And sure enough, the FOX interview has spurred some public debate, which is what interviews and journalism is supposed to inspire.


I mean, look at what happened to Sarah Palin under the gentle questioning of Katie Couric. That’s why all live interviews are in the public interest to some degree.
But you expect journalists to ask about the tough stuff and pick up on the subtleties, and to do this, journalists have to do homework. In this case, it’s pretty clear Martha MacCallum didn’t.
MacCallum did not return an email message seeking comment.

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