MSM Reporter Goes Candid

Straight from the reporter’s mouth

Lynn Bartels, political writer for Denver’s Rocky Mountain News, gives some personal insights in a long Q & A she had yesterday over at The Dead Governors website. Bartels proves to be candid, often witty and self-deprecating, but above all fair-minded. She may lean a little left of center but she’s by no means an agenda-driven journalist.

That being said, it is interesting to point out what Clay has already highlighted: Bartels stated flat out that Bob Beauprez can win any office in Colorado he runs for. That must have been a real downer for the Dead Governors and their “Draft Hick” campaign to get the Denver mayor on the statewide ballot.

Another interesting passage in the interview is the Rocky reporter’s response to a question on blogging. Though Bartels believes political blogs will play a larger role than ever in the 2006 election cycle, her earlier experiences with them have left a sour taste in Bartels’ mouth. She wrote:

Last year, a Colorado blog blasted the Rocky for failing to report the controversy surrounding the mix-up over Pete Coors’ photo in the New York Times, and the quip from his campaign spokeswoman. What happened is the NYT mistakenly used his mug shot in a brief about a KKK member convicted of killing a sharecropper.

“It cold [sic] have been worse,” joked Coors’ spokeswoman, Cinamon Watson. “Pete could have been identified as John Kerry.”

Of course, the Political Correctness Police went nuts and her comment went national. That story and her comment were broken by yours truly. And for a blog to report we had ignored the story when we were the newspaper responsible for the story was insane.

I wrote the blog and they posted my response, but they kept their report up. So, if you logged on to the blog, you read their inaccurate posting, then eventually got to my response. And in their response to my posting, they insinuated it was somehow the Rocky’s fault they couldn’t find our stories on line.

She certainly wasn’t referring to this post by our friend Joshua.

Need a tutorial on Colorado politics? A political reporters’ inside perspective? To read some witty and colorful barbs? Go read through the whole interview.

Update: I hit the ‘Publish’ button too quickly. I wanted to highlight the following candid and intriguing anecdote Bartels made:

One night at the GOP convention in New York City I had dinner with Laura Teal and her husband George. She had worked on Bob Shaffer’s [sic] campaign. When we were done, she said, “How does it feel to have had dinner with the right wing nuts of the party?”

And that statement was an eye-opener because I had so much fun with them and it made me realize about labels. And I said, “What about having dinner with the liberal media?” And I think that was an eye-opener for her too, because I think she believed I really gave Bob a fair shake in the primary.


  1. says

    Man you are really coming along. I did a internship at the II about 7 years ago, a still live right on the other side of the Mills. When I get back to Denver I’ve got to chat with you, I’m really impressed.

    Also, how about doing a interview that I could post on Polstate? I think that the PEA story could get huge (imagine what could come up during depositions of at least three State Senators).

    Keep up the good work, the high temp in Colorado is about the same as the low temp here in Mazatlan, stay warm.

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