Rocky Mountain News editor John Temple rose to Denver's defense in his March 10 column -- but he apparently didn't realize the writer he criticized for his superficial take on the city's recent woes was a longtime resident who once worked for his own paper.
"View From Mile High Not So Down," the Temple offering in question, took on a March 1 Time magazine article headlined "Low Down in Mile High." The latter's author, Bob Diddlebock, suggested that our town "has been sullied by a string of unconnected calamaties, adding up to one long winter of discontent. Meteorological disasters, shocking deaths, bureaucratic fumbles and other improbabilities, all separate but equal in their impact, have confounded natives and newcomers alike." The result, in Temple's view, was "a caricature of the city I know" that insisted upon seeing a half-full glass as half-empty. The implication was that a reporter for a national publication like Time couldn't possibly understand the nuances of life in this burg like journalists at the Rocky, who beat these streets on a regular basis.
However, Diddlebock didn't exactly parachute in to cover the story. According to a June 1998 brief published in the Denver Post, he moved to Colorado in 1981 to work as a reporter for, yep, the Rocky -- and he stayed at the tab for five years. He subsequently worked as a veep at TransMedia Partners, a Denver-based publishing company, and edited Cable World, a trade magazine that focused on one of Denver's biggest businesses. After that, he served as a business reporter at the Post, which helps explain why the broadsheet's former music critic, G. Brown, popped up in the Time piece to offer a quote about keeping the "wild in the Wild West."
One more thing: A couple of the images that appeared with Diddlebock's Timely effort were snapped by Marc Piscotty and Ahmad Terry, respectively. They're photographers who work for... the Rocky Mountain News.
At least Temple didn't have anything negative to say about them. -- Michael Roberts
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