Stalk Market

If journalists condemn Bill O'Reilly, he'll strike back anytime and anywhere -- even in the parking lot of a local Wild Oats.

As for the matter of whether O'Reilly is a racist, Ostrow never called him one. She branded his words, not him -- a distinction that neither Berry nor O'Reilly recognized on the Factor. In the April 10 interview, which sports several easily noticeable edits, a calm but uncomfortable Ostrow justifies her "racist bile" description by noting that O'Reilly used the term "illegal alien" rather than "undocumented worker." This argument "made it look like the height of liberal concern over a PC piece of terminology," she admits; in retrospect, she wishes she'd simply echoed Rivera. Even so, she managed to get off one good line, asking Berry, "Is O'Reilly upset that Imus is getting more attention these days?"

Ostrow certainly isn't pining to remain at center stage. "My editor asked, 'What do you want to do?' And I said, 'Nothing,'" she reveals. "To keep at this is just fanning the flames, and I won't do it." Moreover, she insists that she holds no personal animosity toward O'Reilly. She recalls writing nice things about him when he was at Channel 7 and has no negative memories about a lunch they shared in 1998, when he was in Denver pimping a book. "I remember thinking, 'This guy really puts on a good TV show' -- and I still believe that," she says. "I disagree with him politically in a lot of ways, but he's a showman, and his ratings reflect that."

Betcha O'Reilly doesn't find this last observation to be ridiculous -- but he may not like the implications of a subsequent Ostrow query. After pointing out how expensive it was to parachute a team into Denver just to disrupt her trip to the grocery store, she asks, "Aren't there more important things they should be covering?"

In the wake of the horrific April 16 slayings at Virginia Tech, this rhetorical question has even more resonance.

Storm-free: From mid-December through February, when Denver was rocked by mammoth weather systems, local prognosticators did something unexpected: They consistently delivered accurate forecasts. Since then, their record has normalized, and on April 13, they pissed away their newfound trust by predicting another huge snowmaker that missed the metro area by miles.

Among those who looked stupid for believing weather pros were flight-canceling airlines, the Today show, whose national correspondent, George Lewis, jetted into town for a mere dusting of white stuff, and the Rocky Mountain News, which ran a big article about city crews preparing for the worst. The next day, the Rocky retaliated with the headline "Are We Weather Wimps?"

Most forecasters spent the day looking sheepish, including Channel 9's Kathy Sabine, who admitted that it was a lucky Friday the 13th for viewers, but an unlucky one for her.

So much for the science of weather prediction. Next time, flip a coin.

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