By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
I'm afraid that Michael Roberts saw an easy way to get in his 2,000 words (or whatever if may be) -- or it was a very, very slow week indeed. How about a top ten list next week? Or perhaps a detailed account of his night with a drug dealer or weird cabbie? Those are all great ways to get to your word count. Recounting old CU stories is destroying the Post's and News's readership (five people on my block dropped subscriptions because of the coverage, as did I). Don't let Westword stoop to the same level.
CU in court:While CU richly warrants most of the ridicule thrown its way by Michael Roberts, I write to defend the university's poor, overworked lawyers (well, overworked, at any rate) on one point.
Roberts charges CU with insensitivity towards women and engaging in "bullying tactics" for many justifiable reasons: Betsy Hoffman's bizarre attempt to rehabilitate the "C-word," Gary Barnett's childish disparagement of Katie Hnida, CU's punitive efforts to publicize Lisa Simpson's identity, and other shameful and silly episodes. But then Roberts throws in this weird charge: "While administrators did their damnedest to portray the university as sensitive to the plights of women, their efforts were shown to be nothing more than lip service when CU's attorneys forced Simpson's case into federal court...."
"Forced"? Oh, for crying out loud. Roberts seems to be spinning CU's legitimate and wholly routine transfer of Simpson's case to federal court as almost a second round of victimization of the coed: First she's forced to engage in sex, and then she's "forced" to appear -- the horror! -- before a federal, rather than state, judge. I'm bothered by Roberts's melodramatic use of the word "forced," not only because it trivializes by comparison the real abuse that Simpson may have faced at the hands of others, but even more because it makes one wonder whether Roberts is gullible or disingenuous.
Many plaintiffs with federal civil-rights claims file suit in federal court right from the start. However, when plaintiffs like Simpson choose to sue in state court on claims based in part on federal law, it is fairly routine for defense lawyers to "remove" such cases to federal court. All it typically takes is filing a standard form called a "Notice of Removal" and -- poof! -- the case gets transferred, just like that. It's simply not that big a deal. One has to wonder whether Roberts was either fed a line by Simpson's lawyers -- if so, one that he apparently swallowed without a second thought -- about their heroic efforts to oppose such dastardly tactics by CU's lawyers, or worse, whether Roberts just concocted this bit of drama on his own merely to add a little more spice to his story. Whatever the reason, the result detracts from Roberts's otherwise solid and entertaining reporting.
Plus, the last thing lawyers need are unfair attacks: We get enough well-deserved vilification as it is.
Sticks and stones:In the August 11 On the Record, it is astounding, preposterous and breathtakingly hypocritical that Michael Huttner claims not to know who Ward Churchill is! What? Has he been living under a rock? No, he refuses to hold Churchill to the same standard for similar but infinitely more offensive rhetoric actually designed to incite real violence. This is proof positive that Huttner's rantings and selective outrage is purely for his political gain and his radical far-left agenda. (Few journalistic outlets are willing to call it what it is but love to suggest that every conservative who doesn't have faith in more government laws and restrictions is of the James Dobson ilk.)
Now if only the minions that jerk their knees to Huttner's political hyperbole would hold himaccountable for his hypocrisy!
He auto know better: Your man Bill Gallo referred to motorsport fans as "gearheads" in the August 11 "Grinding Gears," so one must assume he is a sportswriter of the stick-and-ball variety, for they tend to lump all racing enthusiasts into that borderline prejudicial "greaseball" category. Whereas he reiterated the scandalous tales of the warring race-sanctioning bodies, there was not one sentence concerning the discipline, technique or art of race driving. The implication was that NASCAR is winning the battle.
The truth is that most NASCAR fans could not care less about open-wheeled racing of any kind. Likewise, fans of Formula One, Champ Car and/or Indy Car have little interest in NASCAR. The appeal of NASCAR is that the cars look like passenger cars; the racing is close, thanks to the many yellow flags; there's lots of banging into each other; and the drivers are good old boys. The open-wheel draw is single-purpose, high-tech race cars that must be driven precisely, as wheel-banging can be perilous.
The first United States Grand Prix at Indy was in 2000 -- my son and I drove there from Colorado for the event -- not 2001. And, yes, this year's Formula One at Indy was a terrible farce. But, Formula One is nothing if not an historical institution, and people will someday be bragging over the fact that they were there on that fateful day!