KHOW lands Coffman interview when other media outlets can’t

KHOW’s Caplis and Silverman show featured Mike Coffman for a long segment yesterday, talking about his statement at a GOP fundraiser that Obama “in his heart” is “just not an American.”

Coffman happily answered Dan Caplis’ questions after his spokeswoman, Danielle Adams, told The Denver Post Coffman had nothing to say for a Post article about the “possibility of repercussions and challenges to his campaign.”

(Nothing to say? Coffman? You’d think The Post wouldn’t lie there and accept this response, but that’s what it did, running a tiny sentence in paragraph 15 about Coffman’s rude treatment of the state’s leading news outlet. When will The Post show its loyal readers that the newspaper hates it when public figures blow off its reporters?)

If it makes The Post feel better, Coffman is also ignoring KNUS’ Kelley and Company, a morning radio show that’s getting more conservative by the minute. KNUS’ Steve Kelley said today on air that Coffman, a frequent guest on the show, did not return calls (plural) to be on the program.

Under soft questioning from KHOW’s Dan Caplis, with Craig Silverman away for the day, Coffman reiterated his apology for the birtherish statement. Coffman did not do so in the automaton-fashion he used the other night when confronted by 9News’ Kyle Clark, who deserves a lot of credit for tracking down Coffman after he’d been ignoring his interview requests as well.

A progressive website, Think Progress, pointed out, in a blog post titled Birther Congressman Confirms That He Only Walked Back His Comments ‘For Political Reasons’, that Coffman acknowledged during the KHOW interview that “to some extent” Coffman actually believes Obama is not an American “in his heart.” Think Progress’ Scott Keyes wrote:

The hosts told Coffman that a gaffe in Washington “is when somebody tells the truth” before asking the Colorado Republican, “Were you just at that moment speaking what was in your heart and are you now feeling you need to walk it back for political reasons?” Coffman conceded that this was the case — “to some extent that’s true” — before explaining that his main regret was talking about the issue because birtherism is a “horrible issue” for Republican.

Think Progress also spotlighted Coffman’s statement, in the KHOW interview, praising birthers:

Later, Coffman praised those who don’t believe President Obama was born in the United States. “[Issues are] going to determine this election, not focusing on the birther question. God bless people that do that. I understand their passion.”

Yesterday’s Coffman interview on KHOW, as well as his response to 9News’ questions this week, shows the value, from a public-interest perspective, of going the extra mile to get public figures to air out their views on topics they’d rather dismiss with a simple sorry-I-misspoke soundbite.

Journalists shouldn’t settle for this treatment during the election season which is upon us.

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