Dean Singleton and the Obama/Osama Gaffe

MediaNews Group head honcho Dean Singleton made headlines -- even in the Denver Post, the flagship paper of his multi-media corporation -- for an April 14 slip of the Freudian variety. At the Associated Press' annual luncheon, Singleton, speaking in his capacity as chairman for the AP's board of directors, asked Senator Barack Obama, who was a guest at the event, if he could imagine shipping more troops into Afghanistan in light of the fact that "Obama bin Laden is still at large."

According to the report linked above, Obama laughed off Singleton's verbal boner, and the Dean of the Post apologized "if I did that" -- something that isn't in any doubt at this point. Still, Singleton observers didn't need this blunder to tell them that the Post is unlikely to back Obama for the presidency if he winds up as the Democratic nominee for the office.

Why not? For answers, turn to this October 2004 Message column, which presented evidence that Singleton overruled the Post's editorial board to endorse President George W. Bush, a friend he'd supported for years, over Senator John Kerry in that year's election -- a fact that Singleton confirmed to Rocky Mountain News media columnist Jason Salzman two years later. More recently, in 2007, Singleton was the driving force behind a front-page editorial attacking a union measure supported by Governor Bill Ritter that critics saw as a capitulation to organized labor in advance of the Democratic National Convention slated to open in Denver this August; the November 10, 2007 Message has the details.

Given these incidents, the odds of Singleton letting the Post put its stamp of approval on Obama in the run-up to the 2008 presidential vote are somewhere just south of zero. Sorry, Senator bin Laden. -- Michael Roberts