All of us can agree that it's a good thing when media organizations are careful with facts. But there's a difference between reasonable caution and treating the reader like an idiot. Case in point: "Denver Police Focus on Misuse of Computer," a small item in today's Rocky Mountain News. The piece involves an e-mail reportedly sent from a Denver Police Department computer implying that one of the current presidential candidates is the Antichrist via lines like, "The Anti-Christ will be a man, in his 40's, of Muslim descent."
To that, Rocky reporter Hector Gutierrez added, "Neither John McCain nor Barack Obama is Muslim."
Feel stupider after reading that line? I know I do...
To state the obvious: There have been unfounded rumors throughout the campaign that Obama is a Muslim, or was raised a Muslim, or wants to be a Muslim, or is in league with Muslims. But if there's been a single suggestion anywhere, at any time, that McCain is a Muslim, I've missed it. And if such evidence wasn't enough to convince Gutierrez the e-mail is an attack on Obama, not McCain, here's one more clue. Only one of the men is in his forties, and it sure as hell ain't McCain, who's qualified for the senior discount at Denny's for years; he turned 72 in late August.
By the e-mailer's criteria, then, McCain can't possibly be either a Muslim or the Antichrist -- although the Rocky Mountain News doesn't seem quite ready to confirm it. -- Michael Roberts
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.