Letters to the Editor

From the week of May 17, 2001

Sucker Punchline

Troubleshoot first, ask questions later: Regarding Michael Roberts's "OutFoxed," in the May 10 issue:

Tom Martino is well-known for scolding consumers who put money into risky investments without doing proper due diligence. But now, when he finds himself on the losing end of a dubious $50,000 investment with a co-worker who said he needed money for an IPO deal (how risky can you get?), the famed Troubleshooter claims he was pressured into the deal and winds up suing his employer. Go figure.

Why didn't Tom take some of his own advice and do some due diligence before loaning Scott McDonald $50,000? A little investigation would have shown that the National Airlines IPO being pushed by Scott was risky at best. And a check into McDonald's past business dealings would have revealed that this was a man who relentlessly pesters people for money, with little more than a trail of bad debts to show for his "investments." In fact, a lot of prominent Denverites -- many of whom are Martino's friends -- had already smelled a rat and refused to give Scott a dime.

But Tom would like us to believe that he was pressured into making the loan because Scott McDonald was his boss. Well, anyone in the TV business will tell you that the real power at any TV station lies with the on-air personalities, not newsroom managers like Scott McDonald. And the Troubleshooter is one of Fox's star players. If Scott was really pressuring him for money, all Tom had to do was go to the general manager and tell him to have Scott back off. That would have been the end of it. Management has a huge stake in keeping Mr. Troubleshooter happy.

It's troubling to see Tom try to spin this as someone else's fault. Why doesn't he just fess up to his mistake and take personal responsibility for being sucked into a boneheaded business deal? I think Tom himself said it best when he told Roberts, "It could seriously affect my credibility as a consumer advocate if people thought I'd fallen for something like this." Guess what, Tom? We already know you fell for it.

Jim Levy
Denver

A loan again, naturally:What a bunch of suckers live in Denver! And according to Michael Roberts's "OutFoxed," this time the suckers are high-and-mighty media and PR people who made stupid loans to a TV guy. Even Tom Martino got taken!

That gave me a good laugh. In fact, I just might contribute to Scott McDonald's defense to keep the yuks coming. How stupid can Denver get? And people say this isn't a cowtown!

Ray O'Hara
via the Internet


At Home on the Range

Kowtow to a cowtown: I'd like to address this to John E. Turner and James Elliott, the May 3 letter writers who would rather be anywhere but our dusty ol' cowtown. Apparently suffering from cranial-rectal inversion, they cannot see what the majority of us see.

Even with the growth, Denver is and will remain one of the most livable big cities in the U.S. The climate is perfect. We live within a stone's throw of some of the most beautiful scenery on God's green earth. Remove your heads from your backsides and look to the West, guys.

Elliot's complaints about this "dirty" cowtown are rich, since he's from New York City. The only place I've been where the streets are as dirty as in Manhattan is Tijuana, Mexico. As a gay man, rightly repulsed as all of us were by Matt Shepard's murder, he must realize that Colorado isn't Wyoming. Perhaps he would prefer Arkansas, where a thirteen-year-old boy was sodomized and murdered by two gay men.

I know a lot of people in and around this town. Obviously, Turner and Elliott don't get out much, at least not beyond whatever trendy neighborhood they may live in. The only "buffoons" I see are these two letter writers.

To these gentlemen, I can say only this: Don't forget to wave back at us when you get to Burlington.

Pat Desrosiers
Denver

State of bliss: I am a Colorado native of 54 years, except for the two that I was in Vietnam (for you young people, the war lasted thirteen years). Living in the Denver metro area for thirty-plus years, I have seen the East Coast/West Coast crowd come and go many times. Well, in New York City, during the Macy's Day parade, there were twenty policemen on every corner, and drunk or stoned drivers ran into the storefronts. Broadway was great, though the cost to see a play was high.

I talked to a lady from Israel and told her I was from Denver. She asked if it was far from Boulder. When I told her it was close, she asked me who killed JonBenét Ramsey.

I feel that all the critics of our fair city have missed the boat or have come and gone. We are different here, and that's what makes America. Why can't the people who are never pleased and love to hear themselves complain give us a break? Denver is not L.A., NYC or Dallas: It is our home, and you should try to make it yours. Maybe you will learn how far we have come in the last thirty years. At least we try to tolerate the bad rap.

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