The Message

The ESPNing of America is being felt in Denver.

In response, Post editor Glenn Guzzo says he thinks the anger of the parents "is misplaced," and promises that his reporters will keep doing "the best we can to get the best information we can."

Time was also excluded from the meeting (Rohrbough says the magazine misled parents about the article that divulged the contents of videos made by killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold), as was Channel 7, for regularly screening helicopter footage that, according to Rohrbough, shows his son lying dead on the ground. He says he and Daniel's mother, Sue Petrone, joined by their current spouses, met with Channel 7 news director Diane Mulligan, whom he describes as "the coldest person from the media I've run into yet," and asked her to stop, but she refused.

Mulligan's version of this exchange is much different. She explains that the shot to which Rorhbough objects is taken from so far away that Daniel is in no way visible. "We went through it frame by frame," she says, noting that her station hasn't shown students fleeing the school in ages, and she describes the majority of its coverage in the months following the assault as "focusing on how people are getting through this tragedy -- the courage, the bravery, and how people are putting their lives back together. And that's the case with most of our competitors, too. I don't know of another market that has reacted with as much restraint in any major tragedy as the journalists in Denver have." However, she goes on, "anytime these parents see pictures from that day, they're going to see their son, no matter what -- and as much as I understand and sympathize with what they're going through, I cannot make a blanket statement about never using aerial shots again. No matter how much we'd like to, we can't pretend that Columbine never happened."

He could go all the way: Channel 4's Vic Lombardi spices up Denver's sports news.
Susan Goldstein
He could go all the way: Channel 4's Vic Lombardi spices up Denver's sports news.

Rohrbough doesn't buy that argument. "Diane Mulligan said she wasn't doing it for ratings, but when we said, 'Why not just show a shot of the school or the sign?' she said it wouldn't have the impact. The reality is that it is about ratings and being sensational, and it's not too much to ask all these months later for it to stop."

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