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A think tank levels a bias accusation.

The primitive technique, which Pryzgoda hopes think tanks elsewhere will replicate, actually wasn't a bad way to go about the task. Granted, sections of the study that complain about the Post publishing a pro-C and D editorial on its front page and the Boulder Daily Camera ordering Caldara not to attack the measures in his column for the paper are more peevish than persuasive. But the findings as a whole generally support the Institute's contentions and provide a significant margin of error. "Let's say we were off by a factor of three," Caldara says. "So that means 3 percent of the stories favored opponents. Does that change a damn thing?"

Maybe not. Nonetheless, Temple doubts that Caldara and company have resolved the liberal-or-conservative-bias question. "The Independence Institute is allowed to invest in anything they want," he says. "But in my view, what an incredible waste of money."

Trouble in store: We've all seen them: men and women sitting at kiosks in supermarkets and box stores trying to cajole passersby to subscribe to the Rocky or the Post. Some are congenial and some are rude, but John Gorklo believes they all deserve empathy -- because, based on his experiences, they're doing an extremely tough job and are lucky to get back anything in return.

A retired minister living in Castle Rock, Gorklo thought he could earn extra income peddling the dailies at retail outlets, so he signed up to work one day a week for a slice of each sale; he says he gets about $42 of a $99 subscription and earns a smaller percentage for a $19.99 "weekender." But over the past few months, he's discovered that most people who still like newspapers already get one, and those who don't have no interest in reconsidering. "I sat at a Safeway in Superior for eight hours and didn't sell a single subscription," he notes.

To make matters worse, he continues, vendors are compensated for fuel by the sale -- and the reimbursement of $2 per subscription (paid with a $30 gas card after fifteen are sold) doesn't come close to covering Gorklo's mileage. He has to drive to weekly meetings in Denver to pick up his last check and get his next assignment, many of which take him far from home. On one occasion, he had to shlep all the way to Broomfield -- and although he sold a subscription that day, it didn't do him any good. When a subscription lapses, the paper is delivered for another ninety days and another bill is sent in the hopes that the customer will absentmindedly pay it. Gorklo reveals that if a vendor gets such a person to re-up during that three-month span or a subsequent thirty-day grace period, he winds up with zilch. "They benefit and give me nothing," he grumbles.

Gorklo didn't receive an assignment the week after complaining about this policy -- which probably saved him money in the long run.

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