Anyone who has read this blog for more than a few days has to know that we take more than a little pleasure in pointing out political and media hypocrisy where we find it.
Last week we observed that Republican troublemakers were trying to stir up an ill-advised primary by setting strawman standards for Doug Lamborn that they, themselves, hadn't met in their own public life. What was especially galling was that there was no possible way that they could meet their own standards as elected officials, and they knew it.
Today, it is the media's turn. Specifically, Denver 4, but others as well. We're picking on Channel 4 because it chose to use the word "hypocrite" in one of its stories.
Suppose for a moment that the media were reporting on a bear attack on a child. Would we want the media to concentrate on the bear and the child, or on a flea that happened to be along for the ride?
Here in Colorado, two men are running for the US Senate.
One, Mark Udall, is in Congress and is taking large sums from people whose positions he champions. Some say that those positions are in conflict with what many view as the public interest.
Examples are sponsorship of a bill which would eliminate the ability of workers to reject a union by secret ballot, and sponsoring a Federal lands roadless policy which makes forest fires and bug infestations difficult, if not impossible to fight. He also introduced Federal legislation to ban drilling on the Roan, effectively destroying years of careful work by local officials and depriving Colorado higher education of as much as a billion dollars in trust funds.
It is reported that Udall has taken in excess of a million dollars in campaign donations from unions, environmental organizations, and individuals associated with them. He has received not a word of criticism from anyone in the media or any suggestion that he return them.
Bob Schaffer has taken one $4,600 donation from an individual who has been a long time contributor to his campaigns and who benefited from a vote Schaffer made as a member of the State Board of education. While Mark Udall's votes can easily be characterized as being controversial and opposed to the public interest, no one has claimed that Bob Schaffer's vote was in any way against the public interest. Any "controversy" has been of the manufactured variety.
If one believes that campaign contributions corrupt the political process (we don't), then the bear in this story is Mark Udall. Why is Channel 4 focusing its outrage on the flea? This is exactly the kind of stupid (there is no other word for it) reporting that plays into the hands of pseudo reformers like Jared Polis and results in Amendment 41's.
Our strong recommendation to CBS Channel 4: When you give a story the kind of outrageously slanted coverage that this story has gotten, you should avoid using the word "hypocrite" in 24 point type in your sub headline. It makes you look foolish and... hypocritical.