Artist's Revelation of Hoax Kills Press Conference Coverage

Representatives of Re-create 68, Denver CopWatch and other activist groups can't be too happy with the artist who punked them with a flyer and e-mail message pretending to threaten violent retribution against protest groups at the Democratic National Convention -- the subject of this July 10 More Messages blog. There was a big media turn-out for a July 10 press conference at which participants planned to accuse a rogue cop of being behind the mailing. But after speakers admitted that an artist had contacted Westword to confirm he was responsible, the vast majority of the news agencies present apparently lost interest lickety-split.

I monitored as many local newscasts as possible on the 10th and saw no reports about the event -- and a morning search of websites associated with channels 2, 4, 7, 9 and 31 turned up only one score. Channel 31 ran an advance item about the press conference, complete with an interview segment featuring Re-create 68's Glenn Spagnuolo. Both the text version and the video package remain on the site at this writing, complete with outdated accusations against police.

As for the Denver dailies, the Rocky Mountain News ran "E-mails Likely Not From Police Officer," a brief item published on July 11 that referenced the Westword blog above. And while Spagnuolo was part of an article on the front page of the July 11 Denver Post, his participation was limited to a quote about the real subject of the piece -- another activist organization, Unconventional Denver.

Somewhere, an anonymous prankster is probably chuckling. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts