News organizations routinely shrug off criticism from Colorado Media Matters because the website operates from a liberal perspective -- something its overseers don't hide. Yet CMM frequently finds examples of journalistic errors and oversights that should dismay anyone, no matter their ideological bent. Example: An item about Weld County Sheriff John Cooke's criticism of Amendment 49 at an October 29 press conference. Turns out that Cooke is married to Amy Oliver, director of operations for the Independence Institute, the conservative think tank that's sponsoring the measure and planned the event. But this fact wasn't mentioned in subsequent articles that ran in the Rocky Mountain News, the Pueblo Chieftain, the Greeley Tribune or the Denver Post.
Of course, Cooke very well might have felt as he does about Amendment 49 whether he was married to Oliver or not. But newspapers should disclose such information anyway and let readers decide for themselves whether or not it matters. That the quartet of dailies didn't do so is problematic even if Colorado Media Matters is furthering its agenda by making note of it. -- Michael Roberts
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