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July 30, 2013 12:12 PM UTC

Again, What The Hell Is Wrong With The Pueblo Chieftain?

  • by: Colorado Pols

As the Colorado Independent's John Tomasic reports, also noted by our friend Jason Salzman yesterday:

In the storm of passions that erupted this spring in Colorado around proposed state gun-control laws, The Pueblo Chieftain made little attempt to hide its opposition and blasted Pueblo Democratic Senator Angela Giron for supporting the measures…

On Sunday, activist group ProgressNow Colorado reported that Stafford and at least two other Chieftain newsroom executives — Assistant Publisher Jane Rawlings and Production Director Dave Dammann — signed petitions to have Giron recalled. The group says the signatures amount to a breach of professional ethics.

“Presented with clear evidence of an unethical conflict of interest, ProgressNow today called on The Pueblo Chieftain to disclose to its readers that several members of upper management at the paper signed the recall petition against Sen. Angela Giron,” the group wrote in a release.

Stafford and Dammann didn’t return messages seeking comment Monday.

Giron special-election campaign manager Jennie Peek-Dunstone said the news about The Chieftain comes as little surprise.

“We certainly have been aware there’s a problem there. We think it’s important to have an unbiased paper. These revelations call into question again the nature of the [Chieftain’s] coverage… We’ll leave that question for others to answer. The Senator is focusing on knocking on doors and talking to voters.”

We've written about the Pueblo Chieftain's troubles with basic accuracy in both newsroom reporting as well as opinion coverage a number of times over the years. During the 2011 off-year election cycle, Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert Ortiz joined with Denver to fight off a lawsuit from Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a move the Chieftain opposed to the point of grossly misreporting the big success Ortiz enjoyed turning out so-called "inactive" voters. This year, the Chieftain totally botched reporting of the court battle over gun safety bills passed this year, inventing details and attributing motives regarding the new magazine limit bill seemingly out of whole cloth.

As for upper management at the Chieftain having signed the recall petition against Sen. Angela Giron, and family members having donated to the recall campaign as well as her Republican opponent? Tomasic turns to an expert:

Fred Brown, longtime Denver Post politics reporter and Vice chairman of the Society of Professional Journalists’ ethics committee, wrote the Society’s position paper on questions surrounding journalist political involvement. He thinks public disclosure in this case would have been a baseline requirement.

“Anybody associated with the news room, with objective reporting, signing a petition like that? That should be forbidden,” he said. “You don’t get involved… If you’re going to sign something like that, you’ve got to tell somebody, everybody.” [Pols emphasis]

As of this writing, we're not aware that the Chieftain has told anybody, or even responded to questions.

Wouldn't you say this paper's 50,000 readers deserve better?


15 thoughts on “Again, What The Hell Is Wrong With The Pueblo Chieftain?

  1. As anyone who's followed the goings on of the "right" the last 2 plus decades, "professional ethics", love of country, or facts don't fit in their plans or operations.

    When your "conservative" message itself embarrasses you, then the alternative is to MSU. And the Chieftain's latest assault on the commons illustrates the bankruptcy of the entire conservative communications shell game………..from anti choice, anti immigrant, anti firearm common sense, anti worker, anti woman, homophobic, racist, and fascist leanings to outright election theft, the republicans , conservatives, teabaggers, the entire rightwing culture, are the biggest threat to the American Democratic Republic experiment in our nation's history.

    There isn't a bottom of a barrel with these schmucks.

  2. Since when are newspaper owners not entitled to their opinion? This is ridiculous, especially coming from an anonymous blog. Who is behind this blog? Have they made political donations to Angela Giron? Is Bloomberg paying for this blog to trash the Chieftain? Nobody pays the Chieftain except advertisers and readers.

    People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones……

    1. Since when are newspaper owners not entitled to their opinion?

      When it's published on the front page as "news".  The fact that you don't appear to know that is disappointing.

    2. Why do I suspect that you already knew the answer to your question before you asked it??!!??

      … unless, of course, you're a regular FOX news channel viewer …

  3. They're entitled to their opinion. If they're presenting themselves as an unbiased newspaper and reporting on an issue, while contributing to one side of it, it's customary (and ethical) to make that disclosure. Reputable news outlets do it all the time.

    As for Bloomberg (aka the GOP Boogeyman) paying for this blog, I doubt it. But I think he did slip into your apartment and drink the milk out of the container, leaving only a little bit left. The filthy bastard. 

    People who don't understand the difference between a newspaper and a blog should do more research….

  4. I am pretty sure (I learned everything I know about newspapers from Citizen Kane) that a newpaper can print whatever the hell it wants.

    I do not see a problem here. The ony possible problem is deluded readers who think the paper "has a neutral viewpoint". And, that is the readers' problem.

  5. Journalistic Ethics, Dave… read up on it.

    Sure, a paper can print anything it wants, but that doesn't mean it's ethical, or even legal, in some cases. 

    Our own Daily Sentinel often ignores that, but that's because Jay Seaton is not a publisher. He's a lawyer who decided one day it'd be fun to play publisher. He's probably seen Citizen Kane, too. 

  6. Geesh these CPols panties ( should I say Depends?)   are surely in a wad for no reason…


    Signing a petition is nothing because it is  1 of many signatures required and more importantly, the petition must pass legal standards and finally the voter, many of them have the final say.  Signing a petition is nothing except a small check and balance.


    Signing a petition is nothing.  1 vote is not worth much, 1 petition signature is worth much less.


    Would you rather have representatives who seldom represent the people whom elected them, hold all the power?


    CPols makes much to-do about nothing often when it benefits the Demoncrats.


    Too bad Pols does not get exited in both directions, then maybe, just maybe, this CPols organization would have some worth…

    IF editors are not to have an opinion, then all editorial boards need be abolished, heck maybe CPols is on to something.

    None of this matters as the Feds control the production of money, the banks and the markets, therefore central socialization taints every transaction we make, central money is the invisible half of EVERY action you make. Socialism is well rooted in America, it is too late.

    "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild



  7. Signing a petition is nothing

    Should I read that to mean, "Honesty isn't important if it's only preseason."

    You're seriously going to go with that?

    Oh,and this…


    None of this matters as the Feds control the production of money, the banks, and the markets.

    The "Feds" and "Big Money" are joined at the wallet. I recommend you vote for people like Buddy Roemer…and Andrew Romanoff…tell your friends.  


    1. …and I forgot to mention that you have this sentence:


      None of this matters as the Feds control the production of money, the banks and the markets

      exactly backwards…which was my point.

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