KOA’s Rosen says he’d be “fair” if he moderated a Hickenlooper-Beauprez debate

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

CORRECTION: This post incorrectly states that most journalists consider themselves Democrats. Over half of journalists in a recent survey self-identify as having no party affiliation. About 7 percent said they were Republicans, and 28 percent Democrats. My point about Rosen is unchanged.
From: Jason Salzman
To: [KOA Radio Host] Mike Rosen
Subject: question for my blog

Hi Mike –

I hope all’s well.

I noticed you told Bob Beauprez the other day that you’re hoping to moderate a debate between him and Hick.

You said, “By the way, even though I’m a partisan Republican, I’ve moderated these debates before, and I can set that aside and be fair in a head-to-head debate.”

How does this square with your belief that journalism is biased toward the Democrats because more reporters are registered Dems?

Thanks for considering a response.

From: Mike Rosen
To: Jason
Subject: RE: question for my blog

Moderating a debate is different from reporting. I’m not a reporter. I admit my bias when doing commentary and set it aside when I moderate a debate. Too many liberal “reporters” don’t admit their bias (some may not even recognize it) but infuse it either intentionally or unintentionally in their news stories or so-called analysis.

From: Jason Salzman
To: Mike Rosen
Subject: RE: question for my blog


A moderator of a debate tries to be fair, just like a reporter does. Why can’t a reporter, who is a registered Democrat, also set aside his or her bias, like a moderator of a debate?

Are you saying that if reporters were to state party affiliation in public, like you do, then they would be more likely to be fair?

From: Mike Rosen
To: Jason Salzman
Subject: RE: question for my blog

No, I’m not saying that stating one’s party affiliation would make them more likely to be fair. Certainly, a reporter can be fair in a news story. Some are. Too many aren’t. They either don’t try or do try and fail. We’re all subject to our perspectives formed by our perceptions, our values, our ideology, our knowledge or our ignorance. The dominant liberal culture in newspapers like the NY Times, magazines like Time or broadcast media like NBC CBS, CNN, NPR, or PBS cultivates liberal bias in their editing and reporting. Some of those liberals don’t think of themselves as liberals, others are consciously engaged in advocacy journalism in order to affect policy as they see it. (That’s OK for opinion journalists but not for reporters claiming fairness). There’s a conservative culture at FOX, but its audience is a small fraction of the others.

I’m not opposed to civil unions or same-sex marriage but I can observe that The Denver Post doesn’t just report on it but cheerleads for it on its news pages. The theory that human activity is a dominant cause of global warming is another widespread example of liberal advocacy journalism from news organs. The science isn’t “settled.” Science never is.

That’s an actual exchange from last week between me and Rosen, in case you were wondering if it were real. Bottom line for Rosen seems to be that newsrooms need more Mike Rosens, or at least more conservatives. But this might not do the trick either.

Rosen has Hick and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on his show every month, and he’s reasonable with them, as he’s been with other Dems over the years. Hence, they keep coming back on his show.

But a lot is at stake in a debate, an you wonder, given what Rosen wrote above, would Rosen-the-Moderator ask about same-sex marriage at all?

If Rosen-the-Moderator were in charge, and Beauprez said, as he wrote in his book, that climate change is “at best a grossly overhyped issue and at worst a complete hoax foisted on most of the world,” would Rosen challenge him, like an professional-journalist moderator, and ask for his evidence that climate change could possibly be a complete hoax?

I don’t think so.

9 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. marklane1351 says:

    The motto of Fox and Fox News is Fair and Balanced. Yet they are little more than a PR machine for the Republican party and for those who watch it critically and then fact check. Fox news spreads half truths and lies in a conscious effort to promote a conservatiive agenda. There is a big difference between having bias in reporting and lying. Rosen should point this out if he is going to be honest.


  2. The realistThe realist says:

    This line from Rosen about humanity's role in climate change is very telling:

    The science isn't "settled." Science never is.

    The statement suggests that we'll never know what is causing/has caused climate change, and that implies we shouldn't do anything about it.

    Nice, neat conservative (oil/gas industry-driven) view of the world.


  3. dwyer says:

    My impression is that Rosen considers "journalism objectivity" to be a liberal value and so if a journalist claims to be objective, he is by definition a liberal…..although this is just my impression.  

    Would you have an opportunity, Jason, to ask Rosen who he might recommend, other than himself, as a moderator for a Beauprez-Hickenlooper debate?  

    • Jason Salzman says:

      Here you go, Dwyer:

      Rosen: "Journalistic objectivity isn't a liberal value or a conservative value.  It's a non-ideological, non-partisan ideal.  It's something to strive for as an ethical goal.  It's also unachievable.  No one is perfectly objective.  So subjective objectivity is in the eye of the beholder. 

      I'm an imperfect moderator but I  don't delegate that to someone else on my radio show."

  4. ZappateroZappatero says:

    Don't fall for it, Hick. The Big Lie of these ultra-conservative hosts is how once every blue moon or so they praise a D or criticize an R. This makes them "faile and blanaced". Then they go on to their vitriolic hatred and despicable lies about D's the second after that……..

  5. gaf says:


    The science isn't settled. Science never is.

    Well, true. Gravity isn't "settled" in that scientists are still working on a unified field theory, on quantum gravity, etc. But surely Mr. Rosen realizes gravity is a thing–gravity is real. It affects every bit of our lives and we have to account for it (mostly unconsciously) in everything we do.

    Climate change (Rosen uses the term "global warming" that the critics have worked hard to discredit) is also a thing. No, the science is not settled so that we understand it completely, but there is broad sceintific consensus about the general aspects, and refusing to take action because we don't know everything is of course absurd except to the Rosens of our world. To dismiss evidence because there is still more to learn is the mark of an idoit or a hack. (Or both.)

  6. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    Mike Rosen being fair and balanced:

    Public school teachers' unions; Educrats indoctrinating our youth, or the vanguard to Obama's march to socialism?  What's your opinion?

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