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Channel 7 station manager Byron Grandy, who served as the station's news director at the time Caldara contacted Ferrugia, doesn't feel the Post deserves a Pulitzer for its October 7 "Idiots" package, either. "It seemed kind of thin to me," he says, expressing no regrets that his station passed. The same goes for Rocky managing editor Deb Goeken. Via e-mail, she dismisses bias claims by noting that earlier this year, reporter Bartels broke the story about another memo that reflected badly on Dems; it spoke about a "foot on throat" campaign to squash Republican senatorial candidate Bob Schaffer. But in this case, she writes, "we decided that it was impossible to verify to the Rocky's standards whether the so-called 'smoking gun' document was legitimate" — and "once we had made this latest decision, we weren't going to change our minds when a blog that has no standards for verification reports it."

Them's fightin' words for Jones, who insists that he spent a lot of time with Smith before determining that the "Idiots" memo was bona fide. Still, Caldara doesn't understand why journalists at Channel 7 and the Rocky let their doubts about this single document dissuade them from digging into the rest of them. "If they couldn't authenticate the 'Educate the Idiots' memo, they didn't have to use it. That memo was just a few pages in a hundred pages of incredible stuff that the Colorado Democracy Alliance did authenticate," he says. To him, it remains "a huge frickin' story" — and if telling it would be a little more difficult without the grabby hook of the "Idiots" memo, "isn't that the media's job?"

It is from Clark's perspective. He implies that the Post will be looking even deeper into the CDA as the November election grows nearer. But when speaking about the "Idiots" memo, about which the Post has written twice thus far, he concedes that "I have no way of knowing if it's a forgery or not."

In this media environment, such distinctions seem to matter less and less with each passing day.

Contact the author at michael.roberts@westword.com; read More Messages at blogs.westword.com.

"They no longer seem to have the resources and the confidence, really, to handle a story of these proportions."

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