Unabashed favoritism

(Copy of letter e-mailed to both publications.)
The way The Denver Post and Longmont Times-Call are promoting their favorite liberal politicians lately, giving them glowing publicity of the kind and extent that no conservative could ever hope for, I’m wondering what sort of ethical standard for journalistic fairness today’s newspapers follow.

The Post’s display of ecstasy over Mayor Hickenlooper’s gubernatorial candidacy defies description. The syrup oozed all over the front page and spilled over inside. It’s as if we had never seen nor heard of this fellow.

Under the headline “Call to order” (1-14-10 Times-Call), readers were exposed to similar fawning involving another liberal, this time it was State Senator Brandon Shaffer of Longmont, whose photo graced half the newspaper’s front page and the minutia-filled story with more photos went on and on to occupy nearly a whole page inside. And this is news?

While it is an honor for Shaffer to have been selected by his peer group to lead the Colorado Senate, it is not the first time that a Longmont resident was chosen by his fellow senators to serve in a leadership role.

Back before Art. IV of the Colorado Constitution was amended in 1974, the lieutenant governor automatically served as president of the senate. From 1877 to 1974, the senate leader, elected by members, bore the title of senate president pro tem. At the fourth legislative session in 1883, Rienzi Streeter of Longmont was selected by members to serve as leader (president pro tem) of the Colorado Senate. Streeter also had the distinction of serving as speaker of the house during the second session, in 1879. I doubt that he received 1 1/2 pages of glowing publicity.

I may be an old-fashioned journalist, but I still believe that political favoritism belongs on the opinion pages, not in news reports.

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