The Message

The media's massive buildup to battle makes war seem almost anti-climactic.

Granted, much of the stop-the-war gab on Denver radio hasn't been any more listenable than its counterpart. The aforementioned Greg Dobbs, KNRC's morning host, is capable of putting his opinions about the dangers of armed engagement in terms that are worth hearing by those who agree or disagree, but Enid Goldstein, a liberal yakker who handles afternoons on KNRC, has grown increasingly shrill and dogmatic when sharing her outlook on Iraq. Anyone wanting a definition of "preaching to the choir" need search no further.

News organizations outside Denver often fall into traps much like this one. Witness a National Public Radio story on March 17, aired locally by Colorado Public Radio, hinting that the corporations being handed the richest contracts to rebuild Iraq after the war have unreasonably close ties to Vice President Dick Cheney and other members of the Bush administration. This might have been a story on another day, but its timing can't help but lend credence to the claims of right-wingers that NPR consistently leans to the left.

In contrast, the lion's share of coverage on Fox News and MSNBC cable (now little more than a Fox imitator) slants so far to the other side that it's a wonder the anchors don't tip over while delivering it. To list every example of the phenomenon would require this edition of Westword to have more pages than the Encyclopedia Britannica, but one transparent ploy is defining the peace movement by the celebrities who are involved in it -- which Redmond has also been doing lately. Not all of these luminaries are dopes, as demonstrated by comedienne Janeane Garofalo, who gave Fox News's Bill O'Reilly more than he anticipated during a recent faceoff. (John S. Hall of King Missile III, profiled on page 82, is also an informed critic, albeit an exceedingly profane one.) Nonetheless, the constant focus on Fred Durst and his ilk allow non-objective-information purveyors to portray protesters as naive dilettantes who have no clue how the world really works. Or aren't we all in agreeance with that?

Whether anti-war types will get more than minimal exposure once the U.S. infantry begins to march is an open question. Already, other news is going uncovered or is receiving less attention than it would under other circumstances. A case in point is the death of Joe Coors, heir to a brewery fortune and close advisor to President Ronald Reagan. For better or worse, Coors was one of the most powerful and influential individuals ever to hail from Colorado, but on March 17, the Post and the Rocky recounted his legacy in a relatively modest amount of space because of Iraq-oriented events. If this keeps up, no less a media sensation than Elizabeth Smart may find herself struggling for ink.

In every war, there are winners and there are losers.

This just in: With all that's taking place internationally right now, media consumers in general are sticking close to radios and televisions in order to receive updates about the looming invasion of Iraq -- and every time a "breaking news" bulletin sounds, their hearts do a Keith Moon impression. So imagine how many near coronaries took place among listeners to KOA on March 17 when, just short of half past two, the Rush Limbaugh show was interrupted to reveal that...the Denver Broncos have decided to move their training facility from Greeley to their Dove Valley headquarters.

Saddam may be hot stuff to some -- but how 'bout them Broncos?

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