Start spreading the news. I’m a news junkie, and so are many of you. We crave information and informed opinions. It is part of our search for truth. The truth is out there.
Let’s start right here. The Colorado Sun should be a daily destination with its fair, balanced, and accurate reporting. Our Opinion page is prime real estate for diverse guest commentators, including top elected officials, to express themselves. If you are not a Sun subscriber, you should be.
Ah, but where else to subscribe? Through thick and thin (jab intended), the Denver Post arrives on my driveway. Veteran Post photographer Helen Richardson demonstrated the Post’s essentiality with her astonishing photos of the tragic Denver killing of Lee Keltner.
Raw footage and sound allow us to see and hear for ourselves. 9News captured Mr. Keltner’s last words which were, “Cameras out! This is not a place for a camera! Get the cameras out of here or I’m going to f— you up.” An altercation followed and then, the chemical spraying, followed by the shooting.
Conservative Colorado commentator Michelle Malkin, an outspoken ally of white supremacists, reported the incident quite differently for Newsmax. She’s intimated that journalists were in on the killing.
Malkin recently tweeted, “Denver is a lawless shithole ruled by the mob and mob-enabling media like Kyle Clark who sneers at law-abiding citizens attacked by violent Antifa/BLM thugs.”
It was sickening to read similar spurious accusations in the Denver Post. Daniel Cole, former communications director for Colorado’s Republican Party, echoed his friend Malkin’s malicious claims against Clark and 9News. Are not some opinions out of bounds?
Journalistic newcomer Axios is interesting, good and free. Hiring smart and well-resourced reporters is critical to great journalism, and has long been the hallmark of the Associated Press, which Malkin belittles as Antifa Propaganda.
Also worthy of subscriptions in these historic times are the New York Times, Washington Post, and perhaps, the Wall Street Journal. The Journal had a rocky week with internal disputes between its news and opinion sides. Reporters rebutted columnists who gave credence to bogus Joe Biden Chinese corruption stories.
Trump’s October Surprise has not gone smoothly. The Hunter Biden laptop story was even rejected by Fox News. FNC corroborates Joe Biden’s claim he’s never taken money from China.
Russian misinformation on Biden is as pervasive this campaign season as the coronavirus. The label “fake news,” coined by Canadian media maven Craig Silverman (no relation) in 2014, was used to describe many influential 2016 campaign stories that turned out to be false. Stung by accusations he won election via Russian-generated fake news, Trump turned that accusation against mainstream media.
Reuters is another excellent worldwide news organization, employing 2,500 journalists and 600 photojournalists in about 200 locations worldwide. Reuters’ ace White House reporter, Jeff Mason, hails from Colorado.
Last Friday, while on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Trump again belittled this Coloradan for wearing a facemask in the Oval Office. Last Monday, while campaigning in Arizona, Trump called Mason a criminal for not reporting the Biden corruption story.
Trump has proclaimed COVID to be like the so-called Russian Hoax; a media-invented deception designed to destroy Trump and his followers. CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter’s book, Hoax, reveals profitable coordination of such theories between Trump and Fox News, especially its primetime hosts. However, as Stelter told me, many journalists at Fox News want nothing to do with untruthful reporting.
FNC dutifully broadcast all weekend Trump’s campaign rally claims that COVID fears are overblown. However, Fox News came back with segments where real journalists reported America’s catastrophic climb in COVID cases. Who are FNC viewers to believe? Some may switch to Newsmax or Trump’s favored One America News Network, where no such contradictions occur.
With his bizarre post-hospital performance on the Truman Balcony, President Trump spurred memories of Benito Mussolini. After first gaining fame as an opinionated newspaperman, the Italian dictator applied the “twin tools of censorship and propaganda” to dominate the press. Mussolini created the term “fascism” in 1919 to describe his political movement.
Other European fascist regimes followed, characterized by dictators wielding absolute power while utilizing extreme nationalism. The free press was denigrated as the lying press, and as enemies of the people. Non-supportive newspapers and radio stations were targeted. Hmmm….
Modern societies must avoid fascism. Renowned Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari explains how we might do so in a fascinating Ted talk. Beware governments that seize control of media, data and information.
We should all choose good, reliable sources for information while we still can. 60 Minutes is the most watched and respected newsmagazine in American history. Last night, we witnessed an unprecedented 60 Minutes episode as Trump performed a White House walk away from Leslie Stahl.
All that might be good news, though. Perhaps it will contribute to an electoral repudiation and hopefully, another peaceful, but permanent, presidential walk away from our White House.
Craig Silverman is a former Denver chief deputy DA who also has worked in the media for decades. Craig is columnist at large for The Colorado Sun. He practices law at the Denver law firm of Springer & Steinberg, P.C. and is host of The Craig Silverman Show podcast.
The Colorado Sun is a nonpartisan news organization, and the opinions of columnists and editorial writers do not reflect the opinions of the newsroom. Read our ethics policy for more on The Sun’s opinion policy and submit columns, suggested writers and more to email@example.com.
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Updated at 7:26 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020: This story has been updated to correct the author of this opinion piece. It was written by Craig Silverman.