Parents Beware

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Cease-fire: As noted here last week, the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post are offering advertisers deals again -- and nothing illustrates this practice more than the full-page ad in the May 20 Post-News classified section pimping Jerry Roth Chevrolet, the most prominent business besides Jake Jabs's American Furniture Warehouse to attack the papers for raising rates. The spread, Roth's first since the rate hike, features two wine glasses clinking together under the banner declaration, "The Newspaper War Is Over!"

Thank goodness a just and lasting peace has finally been achieved. But not everyone at the Denver dailies is spreading a message of love...

Temple of doom: Much to my chagrin, John Temple, editor of the Rocky Mountain News, doesn't seem to like me. I've tried to change his mind; God knows I have. I've phoned. I've e-mailed. I've called him on Peter Boyles's radio show, and afterward clutched each nasty thing he said about me to my heart like a treasured keepsake. In short, I've done everything except send a singing telegram, but Temple still won't respond to legitimate journalistic questions or otherwise acknowledge my existence. At least not in the usual way.

A few weeks back, I received an e-mail from Aaron Harber, host of the Channel 12 talk show Spontaneous Combustion, inviting me to participate in a show devoted to discussing the state of Denver's dailies in the wake of the joint operating agreement. I agreed, and shortly thereafter he informed me that Temple had confirmed as well. I was thrilled, thinking that Big John had finally realized I wasn't the Antichrist. But Harber soon disabused me of this notion: Temple, he said, didn't know that I'd be there.

In most cases, this wouldn't have mattered, but since a couple of Rocky wits had already given me the nickname "Stalker" for phoning their boss during the Boyles broadcast, I didn't want Temple to think I was sandbagging him again. So I asked Harber to run my name past the Exalted One, hoping against hope that this brawling, gutsy, take-no-prisoners newsman would at last allow me into his virtuous presence. But (sob!) it wasn't meant to be. A couple of days later, Harber informed me that Temple said if I was on the program, he wouldn't be.

What have I done to offend you, John? And what can I do to make you feel better? Can't we all just get along?

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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