Different edits of Obama speech story on the Deuce and Channel 31

Denver-area media has given enormous coverage to the brouhaha over Barack Obama's speech to America's schoolchildren, scheduled for later this morning, which makes sense: It's a national story that demands to be localized. No shock, then, that the two-headed monster known as the Deuce and Channel 31 both aired packages on the subject yesterday, and as expected given the content-sharing agreement between the affiliated outlets, the same reporter, Eli Stokols, oversaw each. However, they weren't identical -- and the change I noticed is especially suspect.

Last night, while channel surfing, I happened upon the Deuce piece, in which, at one point, a woman who objected to the speech was quizzed by Stokols. When he explained the actual content of the address to her, she admitted that it didn't seem problematic to her, and seemed caught off-guard that it didn't include specific instructions for kids to do Obama's bidding. Stokols then asked where she heard reports suggesting it would, and she said, "A cable-news channel" -- and subsequently pinned it down to Fox News. Then, this morning, I watched the video of the Channel 31 offering, which can be viewed above, and while Stokols shrugged off the alleged dangers of the Obama speech, which he called uncontroversial and far from socialistic, the line about Fox News didn't appear in the taped footage, even though the same woman appeared on camera.

Couldn't find the Deuce video on its website, which is devoted to everything except actual news: On the home page this morning, the most dominant photo features a woman's inked cleavage and the headline, "Tattoos: WTF were they thinking?" But to allow implicit criticism of Fox News to run on the Deuce, only to edit it out on Channel 31, comes across as either cynical or gutless -- or a combination thereof.

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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