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April 18, 2012 08:40 PM UTC

GOP Partisans Overwhelm Democrats in Denver Media

  • by: Jason Salzman

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

If you look at Denver media, you find way more partisan support for Republicans than Democrats.

I’m not talking about “conservative” media figures versus “progressive” ones. I’m talking about media types who urge people to vote Republican.

Here’s my list of Denver media figures who are partisan Republicans:

Freelance Denver  Post columnists John Andrews and Mike Rosen (also on KOA); Michael Brown, KOA; Ross Kaminsky, KOA; Jon Caldara, KHOW; Dan Caplis, KHOW; Steve Kelley, KNUS; Jimmy Sengenberger, KNUS.

As for partisan Democrats in the Denver media, I can’t think of any. Can you?

AM 760’s David Sirota, who no longer appears regularly in The Post, is a leftist, but he trashes Democrats repeatedly, even saying last year he didn’t “give a shit” about who’s elected president this year. KHOW’s Craig Silverman, who will argue with GOP-talking-head Caplis on KHOW, wanted to attend GOP caucus meetings because of his love for Mitt Romney.

In my tally of partisan Republican media figures, I’m not even counting Denver Post columnist Vincent Carroll, who predictably sides with Republicans.

Carroll doesn’t say, outright, to vote Republican or that he favors Republicans, though he routinely attacks Democrats and their initiatives.

Similarly, left-leaning Post freelance columnists Ed Quillen and Susan Barnes-Gelt don’t tell us to vote Democratic or to support Dems. Same with Littwin, when he was at The Post.

In contrast, Post freelance columnists John Andrews and Mike Rosen don’t hide their partisan support for Republicans.

Andrews’ column can look like it’s a memo to the GOP faithful, as it did in the Post in October:

“I have no foresight about how the race will go, other than to implore my fellow Republicans against overconfidence in the face of President Obama’s potent incumbency and billion-dollar war chest.”

Rosen, is unabashed partisan Republican, whose partisan support for the Republican party is boring. In a February Post column endorsing Romney, Rosen described himself “as a philosophical, principled, right-leaning, Reagan Republican.”

I asked Wesword’s Latest Word blogger Michael Roberts, who writes about media issues frequently, if he could think of a local media figure who’s a partisan Democrat.

“You certainly have a few not-entirely conservative voices,” he told me, citing AM 760’s David Sirota. But he describes Sirota as “not a guy who says you must go out and vote for the Democrats.”

“If there’s an example out there, the equivalent of a Jon Caldara or something, I can’t think of it right now.”

Neither could right-leaning media-type Kelly Maher.

Reached by phone, the always-quotable John Andrews told me his Denver Post column was established when Andrews went to then Post Publisher Dean Singleton in 2004 and told him that The Post’s commentary page lacked partisan Republicans.

Andrews said:

“I went to Dean Singleton and said, I see Gail Schoettler has  a column in the newspaper. Wouldn’t it be fair if I had a similar platform? But I haven’t seen anything from Schoettler in a long time.”

So now the opposite is true, I told Andrews. Partisan Democrats are needed at the Post for basic fairness.

“If your thesis is that there is an asymmetry, I would say there probably is,” Andrews said. “It’s partly a result of Democrats having decided that they are not going to be as out there saying their party is good. That partly accounts for the fact that you get a lot of liberal voices, but they are not saying, I’m a Democrat and proud of it.”

Andrews says this is a strategy by Democrats, like former legislator Ken Gordon, to get more Democrats elected, by pretending political parties are a bad thing and “it’s all about good government.” But political parties enhance civil society, Andrews said.

In any case, whatever the reason, there’s obviously a partisan commentator gap out there in the Denver media. You’d like to think the radio station executives in town would look to the greater good and create at least one itsy bitsy slot for a partisan local Dem, but this won’t happen.

The Post is another matter. Its commentary page shouldn’t favor partisan Republican over partisan Democratic columnists. More on The Post in a future blog post.


22 thoughts on “GOP Partisans Overwhelm Democrats in Denver Media

  1. Remember back in the day when the Rocky was the conservative paper and the Post was the liberal bastion? Times certainly have changed. I can’t stomach the Post any more.

    1. Whether or not reporters for the Post have a slant is in the eye of the reader, but they certainly aren’t openly advocating for one Party over the other. That’s the difference with the comparisons above.

    2. Lets see . . . talking points memo:

      NPR = evil

      Union = evil

      Teacher’s unions = really evil

      Vaginas = evil

      Food stamps = waste of money

      Tax breaks for the wealthy = really good for all Americans

      Bombing the shit out of a Middle Eastern Country = good for America

      Did I miss anything?

      1. Tim Hoover, Alison Sherry, Kurtis Lee, Jeremy Meyer. I love how every time someone tries to disagree with anyone’s outlandish claims on this site, it turns into a confirmation that you’re even more right than you thought you were!

        I’m not even disagreeing with Jason’s diary. He’s totally right about the disparity, I’m just trying to think of a few people who might loosely qualify.

        1. You don’t even try to discuss that aspect of it.  The Krummy’s get their hit pieces on the front page so then you have this whole side issue of Democratic sympathetic pieces if there are any getting buried in the back pages but Republican coverage is consistently on the front page.  The opinion editors are even more right wing then Libertad.  The editorials are even more telling about this conservative bias and all about promoting the Republican agenda.  It isn’t a liberal or neutral paper at all if it ever was.

    1. We Dems aren’t perfect but its the Repubs who want to legislate exactly what is required and what is forbidden in everyone’s private life.

      We Dems just want to provide a level of government services that will grow the economy. (Granted, the result is often inefficient.)

    2. … then the rest of society seems left. Just keep marching rightward until there’s nobody on your right, and suddenly everyone appears to be on the left

  2. Great to call out the Denver Post on its partisan loyalty. But, it is insufficient to count only media figures who specifically advocate for the Republican Party.

    The Republican Party consists of several political movements, including Libertarians and Right-wing Christians. You also have a large number of well-funded Conservative Thingk Tanks feeding policy papers and writers to the Post.  This would include economists playing for team Republican who might not specifically identify as such. It is clear that ALL economists who defend tax cuts for the rich and deny counter-cyclical deficit spending are by definition Republicans.

    Finally, the Denver Post is owned by a partisan, Republican, just as Fox News and the Wall Street Journal are Republican propaganda operations. The owner of the paper calls the shots, like when Dean Singleton over-rode the editorial staff back in 2000 to demand that they endorse George Bush.

    The problem is the overwhelming dominance by Republican voices in the media, but also the pretense of objectivity.

    1. Because on top of the monopoly the Right has on print, radio and TV, we still constantly get to hear their boohooing about how supposedly victimized and suppressed they are by the “lame stream media.”

      And by the way, calling Silverman anything but a rock-ribbed Republican at this point is a joke. He’s more spineless than Colmes was with Hannity. The show is an endless diatribe by that blowhard hypocrite Caplis, with occasional bleats of “me too” by Silverman.

      And my God, Coloradopols, you didn’t even mention that outrageous Tea Party Birther Peter Boyles.

      1. You are right.  But, we are not the target audience.

        The point I was trying to make is that this has been true for years.  Jason acts like he just discovered it.  

        Neither of you offer any remedy.  Saying “they are just terrible” and “they should do this, that and the other thing,” is pointless, IMHO.  In the olden days, this was called “preaching to the choir.”

        1. The Singleton story is interesting, no, and relevant to today’s situation at The Post, with no partisan Dem voice present.

          And until recently, The Post at least had Littwin and Sirota, even if they’re not partisan Dems.

          So there’s some new issues there.

          You’re correct about talk radio, though Marvin was more aligned with the Dems. Silverman has also moved to the right.

          And these GOP hosts become figure heads, in their way, and it’s worth thinking about ways the Dems can match this, if they want to.

  3. I hardly ever agreed with the man, but he was fun to listen to. Instead I’m left with Michael “My world is an echo chamber” Brown on my drive in to work. No more KOA for me.

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