Totally Unacceptable: Denver Post Sanitizes Senate GOP Rally

UPDATE: As promised, here are more clips from yesterday’s rally: Sen. Tim Neville making a remarkably cute comparison of Nazi Germany to the Obama administration, Sen. Shawn Mitchell on the major gripe he has paying for you ladies’ birth control, and Sen. Kent Lambert reading some pledge he took to never be forced to recognize “immoral sexual partnerships.”

Or participate in euthanasia.

Because, you know, that’s what birth control coverage leads to.

But remember, folks, it’s just those rascally Democrats distracting you with this “non-issue!” The freaked-out words coming out of these elected officials’ mouths aren’t news apparently.


Yesterday evening, we posted video clips of three Colorado Senate Republicans, Sens. Ted Harvey, Kent Lambert, and Scott Renfroe, speaking at a rally on the steps of the state capitol against contraceptive insurance coverage as mandated by federal health care reform. This rally came in response to a much larger protest held earlier in the day by supporters of Planned Parenthood in support of contraceptive coverage–and in opposition to recent comments by national pundits and local Republicans disparaging both contraception and women generally.

The video clips we posted consisted of Sen. Harvey declaring that a program of mandating contraceptive coverage is “not a slippery slope, but a cliff” to “genocide somewhere down the road.” Sen. Lambert called the policy “mind control,” and read from a right-wing column warning that the same authority could be used to force the purchase of “euthanasia pills.” Not to be outdone, Sen. Renfroe said that it could to a situation “where England was when their king decided he needed to rule the church.” Read the transcript of their remarks here–and we’ve got more video from Sens. Lambert, Shawn Mitchell, and Tim Neville of similarly embarrassing over-the-top rhetoric that we’ll be posting a little later today.

And why, you ask, are we writing again about this less that 24 hours after our original post?

Because if you read today’s Denver Post, you’ll have no idea that Republicans said any of it.

In a story published this morning ostensibly covering both rallies held yesterday, reporter Kurtis Lee goes into considerable detail about the controversy over mandated contraceptive coverage in federal health care reform–but mostly from the angle of the issue helping President Barack Obama politically. Lee quotes more than one speaker from Planned Parenthood’s rally, but managed to find only a single completely inoffensive quote from GOP Rep. Marsha Looper.

That’s right, folks. No mention of Ted Harvey and Hitler. No mention of Kent Lambert and “mind control” or “euthanasia pills.” Nothing about Scott Renfroe and Henry VIII. We’ll show you the quote of Sen. Tim Neville waxing eloquent about “national socialism” later today, and Shawn Mitchell grousing about how affordable birth control really is–nothing about them either. Not even a mention of Sen. Greg Brophy, who briefly appeared but did not speak at the rally, and whose regrettable comments in defense of Rush Limbaugh and attacking Sandra Fluke were a big reason Planned Parenthood’s rally was organized at the state capitol to begin with.

This isn’t about spin. This is about facts, and there is evidence of a problem well beyond one junior beat reporter. Immediately before the February GOP presidential caucuses in Colorado, we pointed out absolutely incredible things being said by Republican presidential candidates on the trial in our state. Newt Gingrich declaring oil scarcity predictions “a ploy by the left to control people’s lives.” Rick Santorum saying that mankind was “put on Earth” to use it “for our benefit, not the Earth’s benefit”–neither statement getting coverage. Even after national media lampooned Mitt Romney’s hypocritical visit to a factory in Colorado Springs that took millions in stimulus dollars, the Denver Post recap of his visit completely ignored the story.

Last weekend, the Denver Post published one of the most laughable and misbegotten “campaign finance exposes” in its long history. This story misleadingly argued that Democrats in Colorado outraised Republicans “by 150 times” in 2010, but only looked at one type of spending that is actually disclosed–and seems to presume that no other spending exists. The absurd conclusions and stupefying factual omissions in this story are a bipartisan joke among political insiders around the state today. We’ll have more to say about this soon as well.

With today’s story, whether a deliberate obfuscation of the facts or a green reporter who simply ignored the most newsworthy thing that happened, we feel as though a breaking point has been reached. The Denver Post newsroom is consistently misreporting and omitting basic facts, and we believe this is a new development–or at least worse now than anytime we can recall.

And if so, it is a very problematic year for that to be happening.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlue says:

    I got very pissed off when I saw their story, but only because I had seen the video here first. This was a lie of omission.

    • Jones Smith says:

      Piss poor attendance by grumpy old white men at one rally. Hundreds of women (and men) overflowing from the Capitol steps.  

      • Libertad says:

        a whole host of social justice issues and constituents that Democrats have abandoned in their lust for predetermined big government policies.

        It must be painful for y’all to see kernels of truth being reported.

      • nancycronk says:

        The stairs were packed with pro-women activists and the cement area had an impressive number as well. Out of 400+ attendees (I thought 600, someone else said 400), there were exactly three pro-life activists nearby. Who did the news cameras go after? You guessed it. The three pro-life activists! A bunch of us were standing around watching and we truly could not believe it.  

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    The better reporting is coming from the blogs. Yes back in the day we got quality reporting from newspapers. And they could devote time and resources to a subject that a blog can’t even begin to match.

    But they also controlled the story. What was printed. What was mentioned in the story. And that control could keep topics hidden and deliver a very biased story on what was covered.

    • bullshit! says:

      I think you still get more and better real journalism from commercial news outlets, and you always will. What blogs offer is a check on the unlimited power of commercial media to control stories. This isn’t the first time that Pols has done the community an invaluable service by reporting what newspapers don’t, but we still need newspapers because Pols doesn’t have time to fully explain every story (or even write every story).

      Between this and the Crummy story, I really hope there’s some pushback on the editors and newsroom director. Pols is right that this is starting to get out of hand.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Pols had hardly any coverage at all of Peyton Manning’s recent Dove Valley drive-by . . . ???

        WTF?  It’s like sometimes these politico-geeks don’t seem to have even the slightest understanding of what counts for important news in this State.   Ya gots to connect with the peoples, people.  

    • RedGreen says:

      make me feel depressed and question whether my self esteem is in the pits. But then I look to see who’s making them.

  3. Moderatus says:

    If you want to be a newspaper, be one. If you want to be the Denver Post, start selling a print edition.

    Otherwise quit whining. They can report whatever they want.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      except on their opinion page which it appears is not the case so why can’t their subtle bias be commented upon?  Is your motto “Nothing to see here so move along”?

    • SSG_Dan says:

      “Moderatus is thus left as an unimportant though interesting representative of a type of thought which had almost disappeared since the 5th century BC.”

      I say that empty bitching about a subject fits this….and while the Daily Prophet is a fine example of “flamboyant circus journalism”, they are supposed to report the news in an unbiased, responsible manner.

      If they lean left in their reporting, Conservatives get their Reagan-print panties in a knot….

      • SSG_Dan says:


        Nailing our stories can be as simple as phoning three people – or as grueling as spending months chiseling away the nonessential, the rumor, the red herrings.

        Our aim is to deliver the facts with precision and context.

        We believe in getting not only both sides, but “all” sides.

        The best stories are multi-sourced. Facts are triple-checked. Issues are balanced with diverse views and sources.

        They are, simply, as complete as possible.  

  4. Gilpin Guy says:

    How can he proclaim victimization if the media is biased towards his positions?  That’s like taking 9/11 away from them.

    • ArapaGOP says:

      Like I say, the Post has decades of Democrat bias to make up for. This is nothing compared to what they did to Ken Buck for example.

      I believe the Post does have a liberal bias, but they also understand they serve a conservative state. So they’re trying to be balanced. I’ll give them points for effort unlike you.

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