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Dan Maes decries "double standard" in Post's Michael Hancock prostitution story coverage

As noted earlier, Denver Post editor Greg Moore's explanation of Michael Hancock prostitution story coverage seemed likely to irk as many critics as it placated -- and Dan Maes, the Republican candidate for governor in 2010, proves the point. Maes is upset by the Moore-penned item in yesterday's edition because he sees it as proof the Post has one standard for liberal politicians like Hancock and another for conservatives such as himself.

In a missive sent out to folks on his mailing list that's headlined "Fathers Day Oxy Moron: Denver Post and the Truth" [sic], Maes compares the Post's willingness to wait for more than a week to publish anything about allegations involving Hancock and the Denver Players prostitution operation to the paper's eagerness to rush into print dubious info about his firing as a Liberal, Kansas cop. In his case, he believes the Post exhibited a standard that "was barely above that of bloggers who print any rumor they heard between tokes in mom's basement" -- one far beneath the approach taken to Hancock.

Indeed, Maes sees the paper's actions in regard to the mayor-elect as "coddling" -- a view he underscores with a quote from The Outlaw Josey Wales, a Clint Eastwood flick from the '70s: "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's rainin'."

Here's Maes's take:

I was amazed on the campaign trail at how many conservatives stated that they did not get the Denver Post. The numbers increased after the election and we saw Mike Litwin moved to the editorial section away from where at least some truth is to be printed in the main news sections. I stopped reading the op-ed section a few years ago because I got so upset at what I would read there. Like a moth to a flame I started reading it again during the race and still do. I guess I finally learned to calm down before I started reading it and now take most of it for its true value... opinion.

Greg Moore, editor of the Post, wisely placed his article entitled "Being Fair While Pursuing The Truth" in the op-ed section this week. He writes of his paper's double standard for truth when it comes to a Denver Democrat for Mayor and well, those of us who aren't. His most laughable comment regarding their coverage of the allegations surrounding Michael Hancock was, "there was strong agreement that rather than lobbing the allegation like a grenade into the Denver mayors race four days before the polls closed, we had an obligation to make every effort to authenticate the documents...." He then discusses a concept conservatives and he must differ on; that being the Post's "standards for publication."

Here was the standard for publication I was afforded regarding my "undercover" work while a police officer over 25 years ago during our campaign. Tim Hoover of the Post calls me and advised me that he could not get Nate, my media specialist, on the phone and he was going to print with the article TOMORROW and I could answer some questions but he was printing it either way. He had made a couple of phone calls and had made his mind up what he was going to print with little concern for truth or "standards for publication." I suspect the level of standards offered me were similar to those offered Scott McInnis. Perhaps Scott got a little more consideration given his time of service to our state. The standard was barely above that of bloggers who print any rumor they heard between tokes in mom's basement.

Let me state clearly, this is not about who I felt should or should not have won the mayor's race, or about timeliness of reporting. It is about the blatant protection of liberals in your paper versus the over exposed and poorly performed reporting around conservatives. While Hoover shot from the hip after a couple of phone calls and pressure to print, a real reporter from the AP went to Liberal, Kansas and got the facts and the truth below the superficial work done by Hoover. Your coddling of Mr. Hancock is an embarrassment to your "standards for publication." In layman's terms, permit me to quote one my favorite lines from The Outlaw Josey Wales, "Senator don't p#%% down my back and tell me it's rainin'."

During the campaign you once mentioned to me that we should have a meeting. I regret that meeting never took place as I am sure you are a fine man and I would have enjoyed it. Let's just make sure the next time you want to apply your "standards for publication" that you apply them, or maybe even close to, equally.

More from our Politics archive: "Dan Maes to set record straight about governor's race, 'campaign terrorists' in new book."


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