More Messages: Winning the Name Game

This More Messages blog from last week chides the Rocky Mountain News for avoiding mention of the Denver Post at all cost -- even when doing so means telling readers an incomplete story. But today, the Rocky made the right decision in regard to citing the Post, resulting in a piece that places accuracy above rivalry.

"Duel Over Database Vote," the Rocky article in question, concerns the continuing brouhaha over the use of information from the National Crime Information Center in ads touting Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez. Since NCIC data is only supposed to be accessible to law enforcement, campaign staffers for Democrat Bill Ritter charged the Beauprez minions with breaking the law. Beauprez's current (and probably doomed) strategy involves championing the leaker as a whistleblowing hero. But earlier, he tried to ameliorate the situation by ducking and dodging, even telling the Denver Post that he didn't even know that the NCIC had a database. However, the aforementioned Rocky piece, penned by scribes Lynn Bartels and M.E. Sprengelmeyer, reveals Beauprez "voted in Congress to strengthen protections" against abusing that very repository.

Perhaps it would have been possible to leave the Post out of this tale by using a generic term like "in a previous interview." Fortunately, though, Bartels and Sprengelmeyer didn't head down that path. Instead, they were clear and straightforward, writing that "the Denver Post reported last week that Beauprez said until the controversy over his ad erupted, he was unaware of the existence of the database."

Now, that wasn't so hard, was it? -- 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