Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I wouldn't wipe myself with the Colorado Springs Gazette

...I would either find a tree, or chafe.

I'm in Colorado this week - wife and I have a house up here which I occasionally escape to, to write, to relax, to smoke a cigar or to unwind.

This is a military state. This is a conservative state. This town, back in the '80s, set up a "evangelical zone" (my term) and invited the religious right to take root here, and boy did they. It's the home of "Focus On The Family," and it's tyrannical patriarch, James Dobson.

It's also home of the Colorado Springs Gazette, which purports to be a newspaper, but is really just a third arm of the military and church. FISA arguments in congress: Page one story about how wiretapping busted some drug dealers. Barack Obama's visit to Colorado Springs?

Below the flap coverage in the Metro Section. THE SECOND SECTION OF THE PAPER.

Let repeat this in terms even someone at Focus On The Family could understand:

An historic presidential candidate who is making faith part of his campaign is coming to ground zero of the evangelical Christian movement in the same week he plans on announcing his support of faith based programs AND James Dobson decides to go after him, and they give the story all the coverage of a Cow getting caught on the street.

What was above the Obama story in Metro?

* A teen arrested in a killing. (Which, by the way, is bad.)
* A huge story about the dangers of fireworks (Which, by the way, is obvious.)
* Barry Noreen's surprisingly positioned story about how the community should welcome immigrants. (Which, by the way, is left of everything else in this paper, and more than a little surprising.)

What made the front page that pushed Obama to the second section?

* A story about how a hospital is using "Guerrilla ads" to advertise itself. (A little news about our advertisers!)
* A poll about how oil drilling is more of a priority (Good news, oil companies!)
* A story about how bad the housing market was the first half of '08 (Breaking news!)

At best, this is a turd of a paper who had already laid out the days news, and nobody bothered to realize Obama was a lead story until it was too late. At worst, it's a calculated fish wrap that buried the lead about Obama coming to the springs, all the while knowing it would move every single story on the front page to the classified section, to cover James Dobson farting.

What a waste of tree, paper, and journalistic integrity.

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