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More Messages: Giving Us the Business

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The October 19 Message


dealt with the shrinking percentage of local newscasts devoted to business news. In response, Channel 7 "consumer champ" Bill Clarke penned a persnickety

letter to the editor

suggesting that yours truly didn't understand the difference between simply reading business-oriented headlines and original business journalism. He also took umbrage at a joke about the sort of consumer stories that pop up so frequently these days. "I've checked all my scripts for the last five and a half years," he wrote, "and I can't find one that covers those 'vacuum cleaners that suck well' that Roberts describes."

Maybe not, but betcha Clarke came across a pile of supermarket-oriented items about the best deals on produce, and only a real vegetable would mistake them for real business reporting. Still, he outdid himself with Wednesday's package about the Lexus LS 460L, a de facto commercial for the luxury car that ate up a ridiculous percentage of the program on which it appeared.

The hook for the piece was a new feature that allows the auto to parallel park itself, and Clarke did mention one caveat, noting that the procedure is time- consuming. However, he gushed about another improvement -- one that maintains a set distance between the Lexus and the vehicle in front of it -- and went on and on and friggin' on about the sedan's fabulous styling and luxurious appointments during a live intro and an endless taped segment. Then, to make matters worse, the presentation wrapped up with anchor Mike Landess joining Clarke at curbside to heap more compliments on the car. Had either of them brought a chamois, they could have washed the damn thing with all the drool spilling out of their yaps.

If that's Clarke's idea of giving viewers the business, include me out. -- 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.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.