Rush to judgment: Ouch. Not since the Broncos lost their last Super Bowl has Denver taken such a drubbing from the national press. In reporting the delayed opening of the "huge and controversial $3.2 billion" airport "28 miles from downtown," the March 2 Wall Street Journal noted that the postponement "only reinforces the notion that DIA is out of step with the airline industry. Indeed, the airport's very existence flies in the face of such industry trends as the shrinking of big hubs and cost-cutting by large carriers to compete with low-cost airlines." USA Today shrank DIA's distance from downtown by five miles, added $800 million to the price tag, and reported that the delay "gave new meaning to the term `Airport of the Future.' Attacked as too costly and unneeded to begin with, the nation's first major new airport in twenty years is now bogged down by a balky baggage system, and a cartload of other problems."
Such as Rush Limbaugh's radio show on March 1. After noting the airlines' purported promise to cover the $30 million cost of the postponement, the blabby blabbermouth declared that the people who'd really pay would be the consumers.
I ink, therefore I am: Ironic as heck, wasn't it, that Denver's dailies and TV stations--the very outlets that could have predicted DIA's postponement had they done some real reporting--also wound up getting dinged by the February 28 announcement. By then it was too late for Channel 9 to recall its perky DIA guide (available at a hamburger stand near you). And the Denver Post was too far gone with its special DIA sections (read: advertisers had been promised a March 6 publication date) to stop the presses. Instead, editor Neil Westergaard put this hopeful spin on the peculiar appearance of those supplements Sunday: "The new airport may have missed another deadline. But we didn't miss ours."
Although the Rocky Mountain News managed to postpone any supplements, its TV ads could use an update. After Channel 9 reported DIA's opening date, the station cut to a commercial for Denver's "better informed newspaper." As evidence, the spot showed a sample News: one whose front-page headline heralded DIA's March 9 opening. Truth or consequences: Larry Bohning, presiding judge of Denver County Court, offers an entertaining look at disorder in the court in the current issue of The Docket. The best anecdotes (all guaranteed true) come from criminal justice specialty clerk Ambrose Trujillo. Exhibit A: Judge to woman: "How do you plead to dog running at large?" Woman: "Absolutely not guilty--my dog is a very small Chihuahua!"
Exhibit B (on which Trujillo shares credit with magistrate Al Minton): Magistrate to defendant: "How do you plead to petty theft, guilty or not guilty?" Defendant: "You can see by the citation, I was born in May and I'm a Gemini. You know Geminis have dual personalities, so I don't know if I am guilty or not guilty." Magistrate: "Well, the bottom line is you will have to plead not guilty, guilty or no contest." Defendant: "Because of my split personality, I really don't know if I am guilty or not, but I guess I will plead guilty." Magistrate: "Well, one of you is going to have to do ten days." Deputy sheriff (waving to the defendant from the side of the room): "Both of you guys come over here!