Guerin Green is a Journalist Like Colorado Pols is an Apple Pie

You may have been following the strange, bizarre saga of a Denver School Board Member recall and the threats by the editor and publisher of two local newspapers to a couple of Polsters. (*We should note, by the way, that we have never written one word about this attempted recall — a few people have done so via diaries, but Colorado Pols has never weighed in on the issue one way or the other).

Guerin Green, the editor and publisher of the North Denver News and Cherry Creek News, has been masquerading as a “journalist” in order to justify the harassment of two people for posts made on Colorado Pols. Yesterday we posted the audio file of a threatening message left for the Polster Laughing Boy. If you missed it, here’s the message:



Can’t see the audio player? Click here.

Today, Guerin Green wrote a blog post at Cherry Creek News where he confirms that it was he who left the message, and then he has the audacity to try to explain it away as some sort of fact-finding journalistic mission:

The quickest way to get an anonymous party to break his cover is to get him to do it himself. It has always been this way. On Friday, I placed an inflammatory call to the party, without identifying myself. That was followed on by communication via a trusted vector- done publicly. As in most cases, the anonymous party generally overreacts, and places, in this case, on the internet, indisputable proof of his identity. It may seem unconventional, but it was the only way to get the story, as the anonymous party would never agree to confirm his identity on the record because of the clear harm that could come to his employment. [Pols emphasis]

The ironic thing, in this case, is that the anonymous party came to our attention via a tiff he had with Jose Silva in the course of his real job. Silva was the principal antagonist in a failed effort to recall Andrea Merida. The task then was to corroborate Laughing Boy’s identity independently. Posting on ColoradoPols, he has done so. In confirming his identity, he also proved, within reason, that the attacks on DeFENSE on that site and elsewhere, are not likely a coordinated effort. It just seems unlikely to use someone as careless and as hot-tempered as a political operative, or even a stooge.

Um, yeah. What “story” was Green trying to get? The story of the true identity of a poster on a political blog? This wasn’t an “investigation.” This was and is harassment, and it should be treated as such. No real reporter leaves anonymous messages threatening the employment of another person in order to “get a story.”

We’d say that Green should be ashamed of himself, but this is the same guy who once published a completely untrue story as real news, and later ripped his critics for not understanding that it was obviously satire.

Green is no journalist, and certainly not a news “editor,” whether he takes the title or not. He’s not even qualified enough to be labeled a “yellow” journalist. Green is a huckster. A 21st Century snake-oil salesman who uses his “newspaper” to make himself look more professional. But you can’t hide a fraud with ink and newsprint.

Mr. Green obviously pulls stunts like this in an effort to bring more attention to himself and his “newspapers,” so unless we are forced for some reason to bring him up again, this will be the last time we discuss him or his “newspapers.”

70 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Ralphie says:

    That he publicly outed MOTR.

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    Green could explain to the authorities about his journalistic bona fides.

  3. Aristotle says:

    although I haven’t seen it myself, word is that there’s a registered user whose handle is Guerin Lee Green (or maybe guerinleegreen or some variation). He didn’t out MOTR here, but ought that user be banned anyway?

  4. Green is a great counter-example to the current argument over whether or not bloggers are journalists and should receive press immunities.

    Green has two actual hard-copy newspapers to his name and at this point, regardless of the actual content of his articles, I wouldn’t credit him with the level of journalism I’d ascribe to a three year old at a keyboard.

  5. c rork says:

    I can hardly read the thing without becoming angry. Shame on him for harassing private citizens and outing bloggers.  

  6. WitnessProtectionForGeeks says:

    I read the link to GLG’s slam book (?  I don’t know what else to call it).

    Could I have those to minutes of my life back, but then I read this.


    In the course of investigating this story, the identity of four other ColoradoPols commentors have been uncovered and verified.

    Chilling. and why I am in the Witness Protection Program.

  7. Middle of the Road says:

    A nice addendum to a hit piece, ending with…another hit piece.

    Nice friends you have, Andrea.  

    • Ralphie says:

      was plagiarized from a post by Fong at SquareState.  No reference, no link.

      Do you think Fong will go after him for that?

      Please show your work.

      • calicoloradan says:

        After all, as far as I know she’s part of their gang. I got an emailed this invite to an event they had a long time ago. Took me awhile to find it posted anywhere online, but Green, Fong, Merida, Kaplan, Jimenez etc, are clearly all part of the same gang: DEFENSE.

        http://northcitypark.com/2010/

        Panelists include author and visionary Angela Engel (author of “Seeds of Tomorrow”), newspaper publisher Guerin Green (Cherry Creek News), teacher’s union president Henry Roman (Denver Classroom Teachers Association), urban education specialist Dr.Shelley Zion (DU’s Exec. Director, Continuing Education & Professional Development), editor and writer Roger Clendening (Denver Weekly News), new media specialist and blogger Sarah Fong (Squarestate.net) and Denver school board members Jeanne Kaplan and Arturo Jimenez, and more!

        For more information, or to RSVP, click here to send us your email.

        Supporting Organizations: Northeast Community Congress for Education, Colorado Black Round Table, Colorado Progressive Coalition, Black Education Advisory Council, and the Diverse Neighborhood Collective

        For more information or to join the DeFENSE coalition, please contact: democrats4excellentschools@gmail.com

        • droll says:

          Where’s the distancing? Whether or not you agree with a political issue doesn’t mean you agree with the tactics. Even if they are done by a friend.

          At the very least I’d think she’d want credit for her “investigation.” 😉

  8. Diogenesdemar says:

    is it possible that Green sourced some of his information about bloggers’ identities from some other blog or blog owner?

    • Middle of the Road says:

      knows who I am in real life, knows who several of us are actually and is friends with Guerin Lee Green and owns a blog. I’m somewhat nervous for those that comment at her blog because she has their email and IP address.

      Does that mean she outed me or anyone else? Who knows? But she certainly outed Colorado Pols so I’d say your question is a reasonable one.

      • Colorado Pols says:

        First of all, this is weeks old unsourced hacky sack–nothing new. We don’t confirm or deny the identity of anyone who posts under the moniker “Colorado Pols,” but we can say a couple of things about the comment left by “Fong” at Squarestate.net:

        1. There have always been multiple authors posting under this name, and no one person controls the content posted as “Colorado Pols.” Our longtime readers are probably already aware of several varying styles of writing and grammar in posts under this name: we’ve tried to get everybody using a consistent stylebook but have so far not been successful.

        2. The allegation that an organization has ever once paid a bill on behalf of Colorado Pols, or that Colorado Pols has ever been funded directly or indirectly by any organization, is completely false. The costs of the Soapblox blog software and other web services used to run this website are negligible, and are more than offset by our ad revenues. This blog is not funded by anyone because funding is unnecessary. This lie calls into question everything else “Fong” says.

        The fact is, since 2004 there have been an endless chain of theories about who “runs” Colorado Pols. Last year, it was the Bennet campaign. In 2008, it was the Udall campaign. In 2006, we evidently didn’t give Bob Beauprez a fair shake and were therefore in the tank for Ritter. In all of this time we have never once received any funding other than the same ad revenue Squarestate gets. Well, we do get a little more of that due to higher traffic. So “Fong” has got us there.

        As we’ve said repeatedly, we would be happy to get a real Soros check at any time.

  9. DavidThi808 says:

    Everyone, on your own blogs, post something like the following.

    Blah, blah, blah Cherry Creek News blah blah blah North Denver News blah blah.

    If enough of us do this, then a Google search for either will put this diary up as the #1 or #2 result. That will have some impact. What’s key is the link to this page with the words being the his websites.

  10. John Tzekara says:

    Why not be open with who runs your site?  This Green guy seems to make a big deal about naming you (correctly or not, but it seems like a big deal).  If you did then this whole question of whether progress now (which I can’t say I’m overly familiar with) or anyone else is financially supporting the site would be open and in the public view right?

    I’ve read a bit on this whole DEFENSE thing that this seems to stem from — yeah it seems super shady of them not to explain who is running the group, but isn’t it also shady for you to run a site like this without saying who you are?

    It’s a serious question — I don’t really get the big deal about anonymity around here — everyone so crazy about others “outing” them.  I mean I get that a few people who post here are probably in positions where they can’t be publicly (or possibly legally) engaging on sites like this, but everyone?  Really?

    • Ralphie says:

      But I’ll give you my take on it.

      There are some people here who know stuff that most people don’t know.  That makes this site valuable to some of the rest of us.  We get to read stuff we wouldn’t otherwise read.

      If Pols made people post under their real identities, then some people might be intimidated and not post what they know.

      And the rest of us would be poorer for it.

      In fewer words, if you can post anonymously, you’re more likely to post.

      • John Tzekara says:

        It just seems hypocritical for an anonymous organization to go after another anonymous organization for being anonymous.  This all seems to have started before DEFENSE and grown beyond it, but that still seems to be a major catalyst in this whole bizarre escalation.

        I mean this is a news site.  I think people would have a problem if the Denver Post suddenly refused to say who their reporters were (again, the organization, not all of us peons who post in the comments).

        • Ralphie says:

          That’s made possible by people feeling free to post what other people might not know.

          Actually, it’s a community.  It exists for its members, but also because of its members.

          To refute your Denver Post analogy, if the Post suddenly stopped giving their reporters bylines, they’d still get paid and would still be expected to write stories.

          Pols wields neither that carrot nor that stick.

          • John Tzekara says:

            should those be publicly known?

            I have the same view on any organization really.  527 groups who bash candidates/elected officials but stop short of endorsing someone else are sleazy in my mind because they often don’t reveal who is behind them.

            • Ralphie says:

              As you have now been told in two different responses, this isn’t an organization, it’s a community.

              What’s your point?  I’m not saying that in a snarky way, I just don’t understand.  Are you saying that we should all post under our real names?  That’s not going to happen.

              • John Tzekara says:

                I get the idea of some individuals on here who want to post anonymously.

                Colorado Pols is a person (or several as they say).  They are an organization, be it a small one.  They have some agenda in who they decide to write/promote negative stories about.

                As you say, the people who run larger news outlets like the Post are public — I’m glad they are, and I wish the people who are actually Pols were too — an open and honest media is good.

                • Ralphie says:

                  As is the Denver Post.

                  Until the government foots the bill for domain registration and hosting costs, blogs are private places, as are newspapers. You have no First Amendment rights here.  You also have no First Amendment rights on the Post web site.  Just try to post something controversial on the Post web site sometime.  First Amendment rights are one-way.  The Post gets ’em, but they don’t give ’em.

                  You have way more rights to say what you want here, although your rights are not absolute.  There is a “terms of use” you must follow.

                  You say, “They have some agenda in who they decide to write/promote negative stories about.”  Really?  Stories are promoted by whoever “Pols” is (are), but stories are also promoted by the Front Page Editors.  They are elected by the registered users.

                  Anyone can write a diary.  It doesn’t matter whether it fits some conspiracy theory agenda you think the site has.  Write one and see.  If other users like it, it will be “Recommended.”  If a Front Page Editor likes it, it will be promoted to the front page.  If we don’t like what a Front Page Editor promotes, we’ll elect a different one next time.

                  This is about as democratic (small “d”) a place as you’ll ever find on the ‘net.

              • nancycronk says:

                Regular people. No conspiracy. Just regular people who would rather not get calls at home complaining that so-and-so said thus-and-such to you-know-who and needs to apologize. I don’t blame any of them for not wanting to use their real names.  

    • droll says:

      I’d like to answer your two main questions anyway.

      First, the difference between a site that posts stories and endorses no one and a group that actively engages in electioneering is vast. DeFENSE is campaigning pretty hard AND collecting donations to do so. That puts them on shaky legal ground. There’s nothing on this site that does that for the owner (of public record).

      Sub-part to the beginning of that question; all of this doesn’t stem from this site, rather the alleged support of Bennet… the chosen leader of the majority part of the DPS Board. Anonymity has nothing to do with anything, it’s just a means to the end, a cancelling of yet another countering voice.

      Now to the question about “outing”; it’s respect. Part of the rules of the site are that it’s anonymous. That’s it. At worst, the persecution of a citizen expressing a counter argument is offense. I didn’t think the threats to out warranted police protection like many suggested. It is a bit of blackmail to me. “I don’t like your viewpoint so I’m going to get you fired.” It’s anti-American. This is the forum we’ve chosen, it’s really not OK to force our leaving it.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      And it’s a community of a bunch of voices where the is always disagreement. Even DeFenseDenver is a member. So the idea of “Pols” having a single opinion or working for a given candidate makes no sense.

      As to individual staying anonymous, there are times I wish I was anonymous. And I’m about as far from getting blowback from expressing my opinion as one can get and still be living & working in Colorado. A lot of the people here could never contribute if they were known (although someday I really want to know who RedGreen is).

      And you also have many here who do share who they are with others here. For them it’s more they don’t want their name in the paper or subject to a Google search – and that is very understandable.

    • Colorado Pols says:

      First off, we should repeat that nobody writing under the Colorado Pols name has EVER written a word about DEFENSEDenver. A few other individuals have made comments, etc., but those are independent from anything we write.

      This site long ago decided that we would allow anonymous users, and it is nobody’s right to try to force those people into providing their real name. Those are the guidelines we created, and we stand by them.

      Second, this is a BLOG. Nothing more. It’s not a news site, and it’s not a campaign tool. We don’t endorse candidates or take positions. What DEFENSE does is NOTHING like what we do. There is no comparison.

      We don’t receive funding, and we never have (though if you’re looking for a blog to underwrite, let us know). We learned long ago not to get into trying to “prove” anything about Colorado Pols whenever someone demands it, because it is a never-ending game. How do you “prove” a negative? We can’t exactly produce a copy of a check that never existed.

      And it never ends if we say, “No, John Smith  is not a Pols contributor,” because the next question is, “Okay, but what about Sally Brown.” It goes on and on, and if we get tired of answering, then someone will say, “A-ha! Then it must be this person because they didn’t answer.” We’re not going to go down that road. Sone people don’t like the anonymity. To those people we say, “Sorry you feel that way.”

    • JeffcoBlue says:

      Start your own blog where the authors are not allowed to be anonymous?

      Hey, you can be first!

  11. Ray Springfield says:

    Trying to explain away extortion should be done in criminal court.  

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