Off Limits

Look who's talking now.

Hmmm...6,000 similar incidents would equate to a death toll of 90,000 -- which we've somehow missed. Perhaps coach Mac meant that within a month of Columbine, there were 6,000 similar stories published about the incident. Pulitzers were provoked.

Also caught opining about Columbine recently was the Reverend Al Sharpton, coming to Denver at the end of the month to speak at a Denver Black Police Officers Organization banquet. Sharpton's reputation, which makes the Denver Police Department's recent bad press seem like a valentine, was quoted in Tuesday's News saying harsh things about the Denver area: "I'm coming to a city where you have young people that are part of a 'Trench Coat Mafia,' and you have others who are wondering whether a guy who goes to jail for nonviolent marches is controversial. I'm the one who should be worried."

Okay, Reverend, except outside of the media, there never really was a Trench Coat Mafia -- certainly not a gang that included Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Maybe Sharpton's thinking about the Blue Suited Mafia and its leader, Jim Nicholson, a Denver lawyer/developer who's been chairman of the Republican National Committee for the last several years (and remains there, despite George W. Bush now stacking the deck with three of his cronies). Responding to the Washington Post's description of Sharpton as "a civil rights leader," Nicholson wrote a letter to the paper last month calling Sharpton "a hate-monger, an anti-Semite and a racist." Two weeks later, Sharpton stood outside Nicholson's Washington, D.C., office and announced that he was slapping the RNC and its chairman with a $30 million libel suit -- an announcement that prompted Nicholson to repeat his assessment of Sharpton. Double or nothing.

They go together: Laurie Marie Muha and John Travolta as Tony Manero...
They go together: Laurie Marie Muha and John Travolta as Tony Manero...
...and Danny Zuko.
...and Danny Zuko.

Colorado Republicans are talking big these days -- and none bigger than Colorado governor Bill Owens. Although he's stayed silent on the JonBenét Ramsey case since he took on Barbara Walters late last month, he's rarely reluctant to share his opinion on other topics. Including what passes for journalism in this town. Caught at Monday's baseball game by a couple of allegedly on-duty reporters, Owens reminisced about a brief daily column-writing stint for the Denver Post back when he was in the Statehouse. When you realize a deadline's looming about 2 p.m., he confided, you realize it's time to start making stuff up.

So what's more difficult? Governing Colorado or writing a column? "Writing a column, definitely," he responded.

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