Mike Rosen slams David Sirota for distorting his "satirical" mosque-destruction comment

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At this point, though, the question of winners and losers has been subsumed by the chatter about the Islamic Center line, which Rosen pins on Sirota.

"He launched this Internet attack and completely misrepresented my position," he says. "On his Huffington Post piece, the headline over it made it sound as if I'm actually endorsing that policy."

This spin led to the item on MSNBC's Countdown, during which host Keith Olbermann identified Rosen with the Denver Post, not KOA. That seemed wrong to Rosen, who notes that "I'm known primarily by my radio show. The fact that I write a once-a-week column in the Denver Post is nice but tangential. It goes to show that Olbermann and his people didn't do any vetting on this. They didn't make any attempt to find out if it was the truth. Maybe Olbermann believes that was my actual position, in which case Sirota is responsible for that misperception. But you'd think the staff would spend at least a few minutes to find out if that could be taken at face value or not."

Rosen lays out these and other arguments in "It's Satire, Stupid," his latest Post column, published today. He pointedly avoids mentioning Sirota by name in the offering, so as to not stoop to his rival's level, although he concedes that he has used the moniker while talking about the issue on the air.

From Rosen's perspective, Sirota is like the doctrinaire Tom Courtenay character from the classic film Dr. Zhivago. "He reminds me of that character," Rosen says. "He's sullen, grim, humorless, ideologically committed."

As for a potential sequel to their verbal fisticuffs, don't hold your breath. Back in April 2009, Rosen and Sirota jousted about Barack Obama's first hundred days in office, with Colorado Pols subsequently declaring that Sirota bludgeoned Rosen -- a point made visually with a photo from the first Kennedy-Nixon debate. Months later, Rosen said he wouldn't get into the ring with Sirota again.

Obviously, he changed his mind about that -- but he sounds firm today. "Frankly, I have no interest in doing anything with David Sirota again," he says.

Page down to see the Olbermann segment -- and to read David Sirota's response, click here: "David Sirota apologizes to Mike Rosen -- but not for attacking comments about NY Islamic center."

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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