More Messages: Like Rolling Stone

Although even supporters of Tom Tancredo and Marilyn Musgrave would agree that they don't rock, the twosome wound up in the current issue of Rolling Stone anyhow, albeit for unflattering reasons.

The Matt Taibbi-penned cover story of the November 2 issue is headlined "The Worst Congress Ever: How Our National Legislature Has Become a Stable of Thieves and Perverts -- in Five Easy Steps." This piece is accompanied by a sidebar introducing readers to "the 10 Worst Congressmen," and -- whoo-hoo! -- Colorado is one of only two states (California is the other) to land a pair of lawmakers on this disreputable roster. The Tancredo item dubs the Republican longtimer "Mr. Bigotry" for "unbridled looniness," among other sins, and notes that the National Review recently reached the conclusion that "Tom Tancredo is an idiot." As for Musgrave, she earns a pair of monikers. In the online offering, she's labeled "The Christian Soldier," while the print effort deems her "The Queen of Gay Bashing." However, both versions include the following quote from Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank: "If you're going to have someone who's a hater, it's best that she's not very bright. I appeared with her in a couple of forums to debate her bill [to outlaw gay marriage], but she's totally incapable of even explaining what it says."

Such negativity might seem damaging mere weeks prior to an election, but not in these instances. Tancredo, a former Westword profile subject, is so certain of reelection that his only televised campaign commercial to date appears to have been made on a budget of about $8.95. (In it, a teacher praises him for his work to fight genocide in Darfur -- probably the only issue on which his opponents would give him high marks.) Musgrave's spots, meanwhile, don't highlight a single positive contribution she's made since entering office. Rather, they relentlessly assault the character of opponent Angie Paccione, with one ad even accusing the Dem of running "a negative campaign." Guess Musgrave's minions don't want anyone treading on their turf, which they seem to be holding: The Pink Lady is way ahead in the polls.

In this climate, Tancredo and Musgrave can afford to shrug off the invective from Rolling Stone. When you're winning, it's easy to ignore bad reviews. -- Michael Roberts

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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