The Message


Temple thinks the way Johnson handled his latest faux pas was appropriate, and he gushes over his work in general. "He's a fabulous writer with a proven record," he says, singling out Johnson's writing from Iraq, where he survived a roadside explosion, for special praise.

In contrast, Boulder Babe calls Johnson's "quasi-apology" inadequate and declares, "I think he should be fired. If this was made up, who knows what else is made up?"

To that question, Johnson says, "Anyone can find whoever I've written about. They exist. So I'm up for that scrutiny."

Patrick Merewether

Lucky thing, because he's likely to get it.

My turn: Last week in this space, I criticized University of Colorado spokeswoman Pauline Hale for trafficking in misinformation. Turns out I should have aimed my condemnation elsewhere.

In August, I received a tip that enrollment among out-of-state CU students might fall by 20 percent for this school year. I contacted Hale on this topic, and she said final figures weren't in, but the slide was likely to be less than half that amount. Days later, the Denver Post ran an item credited to "Denver Post Staff" and headlined "CU Enrollment Down; Costs, Publicity Cited," which reported that out-of-state enrollment at CU-Boulder was down 17 percent -- a number a lot more than half of 20 percent.

In truth, though, out-of-state applications dipped by 17 percent, while enrollment in that category is projected to fall by 6.7 percent. In an e-mail, Hale wrote, "Clearly, the Denver Post article to which you referred was in error."

I was, too. On this occasion, I unwisely assumed that the Post was more reliable than CU. And you know what happens when you assumeÖ

Ghost TV: On September 6, the Denver City Council's technology services committee voted to cancel funding for Denver Community Television, the entity that managed public-access channels 57 and 58. The next day, seven employees were laid off and cleared out of offices in the Five Points Media Center, which is also home to Channel 12 and KUVO. In essence, and in fact, DCTV is dead.

So why are the stations still broadcasting? The city's contract with Comcast says the cable provider can take the channels back if they're "underutilized," so everything's running on auto-pilot. Telecommunications-office director Darryn Zuehlke, who will oversee the channels during this period of limbo, says, "We can accept new tapes from producers who can make them on their own, but there'll be no access to equipment or studios for the next three months." That's how long the city plans to search for another organization brave and foolhardy enough to take over management of the channels sans operating funds the city once provided but no longer will. Until then, the former DCTV will endlessly loop its library.

The lights are on, but no one's home.

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