Denver Post attempt to politicize Clements murder backfires

(This merits an explanation – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

My friends know I am quite critical of the Denver Post. Some of the things that have upset me most about the Post's journalism have come from this blog, things that I don't think anyone would know about if Colorado Pols didn't publicize them: the Senate GOP rally that compared contraceptive coverage to the Nazis, or the interview with the NRA president where the guy lied about the NRA's support for post-Columbine gun control bills.

On Friday, the Denver Post's front page screamed this headline:

2011 law got Ebel out early

The front page story from the Denver Post Friday claims that a 2011 law, sponsored by Sen. Morgan Carroll and Rep. Claire Levy and signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, allowed the suspected killer of Colorado Department of Corrections director Tom Clements to be released early:

Evan Ebel, the man suspected of killing Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements, probably would still be behind bars were it not for a law approved by legislators and Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2011.

This law, which allowed inmates to earn time off their sentences for time spent in solitary confinement. The hundred some-odd days that Evan Ebel earned are supposedly what allowed him out of jail to commit two alleged murders, including Clements.

Senate Bill 176, which changed administrative segregation, was introduced in the 2011 session by two Democrats, Sen. Morgan Carroll of Aurora and Rep. Claire Levy of Boulder.

This comes across like a damning attack on Colorado legislators and Gov. Hickenlooper. According to the next day's Denver Post, though, it's complete bullshit

Relatives of a pizza delivery driver possibly killed by a parolee are angry after learning the convict probably was released four years early because of a clerical error.

According to a new story that did not involve the Denver Post's political reporters Lynn Bartels and Kurtis Lee, the true reason Ebel was released was an error in his sentencing documents that didn't specify Ebel's sentence was to be served consecutively. That means Ebel was released several years earlier than he should have been, and the 100 days or so he may have earned in solitary under this 2011 law wasn't the problem.

The story from Bartels and Lee also neglects to mention that the 2011 bill had huge bipartisan support, and passed 34-0 in the Colorado Senate. But that doesn't matter since the whole premise of bringing it up is wrong. Ebel should not have been released when he was, but it's not the fault of this law.

Colorado Pols has documented the Post not telling the whole story, completely ignoring stories, and reprinting GOP lies with no analysis. I personally think this is most easily seen in their political journalism staff, and their relentless desire to pursue a political agenda in their stories. This time, it blew up their faces.


7 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. GalapagoLarry says:

    Now if it would only blow up the rest of their heads.

  2. allyncooper says:

    "Don't bother me with the facts, let's Willie Horton them. "

  3. morgancarroll says:

    Thanks for posting this.  To try to blame SB11-176 for Ebel's release is really stunningly misleading.  I am waiting to see if a correction is coming.

  4. JeffcoBlue says:

    Thanks for the promotion, Pols. Enough is enough. At least with regard to political news, the Post is no longer serving the interests of its readers.

  5. Gilpin Guy says:

    This is why I keep coming back and reading diaries at Colorado Pols.  You guys do a better job of objective journalism than the professional journalists.  Thanks for the analysis.

  6. bullshit! says:

    If this story does not piss you off, you're not paying attention. A horrible breach of trust.

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