Ten Ways Donald Trump's New Strategist Steve Bannon Has Spun Colorado

President-elect Donald Trump has sparked another firestorm of criticism by naming Steve Bannon as his chief strategist and counselor.

Why? Prior to joining Trump's campaign, Bannon was executive chairman of Breitbart News, an outlet that the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, has excoriated as a purveyor of "white nationalism" and more. In a release prompted by the hiring, the SPLC quoted former staffers as saying that under Bannon, Breitbart "aggressively pushed stories against immigrants and supported linking minorities to terrorism and crime.”

How has Breitbart covered Colorado? We've collected excerpts from ten examples below. As you'll see, the stories portray immigrants as dangerous disease-carriers, blame unions for student protests, promote the carrying of guns on Colorado campuses and consistently rip environmentalists as clueless idiots, among other things.

Is this the kind of messaging we can expect from Trump's minions over the next four years? If so, consider these pieces to be a sneak preview. Count down the top ten below.

Number 10:
Colorado Increases Number of Refugees Diagnosed With Active TB to Sixteen
July 12, 2016

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment admits that sixteen refugees were diagnosed with active TB between 2011 and 2014.

The admission comes one month after Breitbart News reported ten recently arrived refugees in Colorado were diagnosed with active tuberculosis (TB). Between 2011 and 2014, 16 out of 7,754 refugees were diagnosed with active TB at the time of their initial medical screening.

That’s one out of every 484 arriving refugees.

During that same time period, 67 out of the state’s estimated 4.5 million U.S.-born residents were diagnosed with active TB.

That’s one out of every 67,164 U.S.-born residents of Colorado....

Number 9:
More Colorado High Schools Close as Union-Provoked Teachers Join 'Sickouts'
September 29, 2014

Two more Jefferson County (JeffCo) public high schools were shut down Monday due to an organized teacher “sickout,” in which large numbers of teachers called in sick late Sunday night, according to the Denver Post. In addition, students said they had also planned a district-wide protest this week, pushing the unrest in JeffCo into its third straight week.

Lynn Setzer, a district spokeswoman told the Post that about 81 percent of teachers at Golden High School had called in sick, and an unknown number had done the same at Jefferson High School. Classes were also cancelled on Wednesday, September 17, due to a large number of teacher absences....

Number 8:
Colorado Campus Carry: 12 Years, No Mass Shootings, No Crimes by Permit Holders
April 20, 2015

On April 20, The Washington Post ran a column showing that campus carry has been the law of the land in Colorado since 2003, and the results have not been anything like those currently fighting against campus carry claim it should be.

There have been no mass shootings and, apart from one incident in which a gun was accidentally discharged by a Colorado University employee, there have been no crimes by permit holders.

No one was injured in the accidental discharge, and the employee was fired.

The success of campus carry in Colorado is especially good news for women, who are able to level the playing field by being armed and better able to defend their dignity when under sexual attack....

Number 7:
Evidence Mounts of Unions Exploiting Protesting Colorado Students
October 10, 2014

Evidence is mounting that protesting students in Jefferson County, Colorado – who claim to be concerned about “censorship” in a school board committee’s plan to review the new Advanced Placement U.S. History framework – were urged on by teachers and teachers’ unions at the national, state, and local levels because they were enraged that a conservative-led school board moved the district toward a merit-pay system....

Number 6:
Colorado School District to Begin Distribution of Satanic Materials to Children
March 24, 2016

After coming under fire from atheist groups for the distribution of free Bibles, the Delta County School District (DCSD) has approved the circulation of atheistic, secular and Satanic literature to middle and high school students.

Several atheist organizations, including The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF) and the Satanic Temple, applied to distribute their literature as a challenge to the school district’s “open forum” policy that allows any group to distribute non-curricular literature to students, as long as it conforms to policy guidelines....

Continue to see five more examples of how Breitbart News has covered Colorado.

Number 5:
Colorado Supreme Court Rejects Fear Mongering of Environmentalists
May 9, 2016

On May 2, a unanimous Colorado Supreme Court decision declared Fort Collins and Longmont’s limits on fracking “invalid and unenforceable” because state law trumps the local ordinances. Several states, including Colorado’s neighbors, New Mexico and Texas, have faced similar anti-oil-and-gas initiatives that have also been shot down.

The consequences of the decision are “comparatively small,” according to the New York Times (NYT), as the land now opened up for exploration represents only a fraction of Colorado’s oil-and-gas development. “More significant, said experts on both sides of the conflict, is that the rulings shut down future efforts to stop fracking in local jurisdictions"....

Number 4:
New Film Highlights How Colorado Got Hijacked by the Left
October 17, 2014

President George W. Bush won Colorado twice and the state had Republican senators throughout the 1990s. But in recent years liberal activists have won a series of victories at the state and federal level, including winning the governor’s mansion, the state legislature, both of its U.S. Senate seats, and victories for President Obama in 2008 and 2012.

The story behind this transformation is told in Rocky Mountain Heist, a documentary that examines how Colorado turned blue announced Thursday by Citizens United Productions President David N. Bossie. Native Coloradan and conservative commentator Michelle Malkin hosts the film, which was written and directed by Jason Killian Meath....

Number 3:
Colorado Held Hostage: Hickenlooper Says He 'Could' Grant Clemency To Mass Shooter If Not Re-Elected
October 7, 2014

If Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D) is not re-elected in November, he says he “could” respond to the loss by commuting the death sentence of mass shooter Nathan Dunlap.

Dunlap is the infamous killer who shot 5 and killed 4 at an Aurora Chuck E. Cheese in 1993. He was angered over being fired, and Denver Magazine 5280 reports that Dunlap was at his girlfriend’s apartment having sex with her when the police tracked him down “only…a few hours” after the shootings.

Number 2:

Did an Op-Ed Predict the EPA Disaster in Colorado? No, Not Really
August 12, 2015

On July 30, a local Colorado newspaper called the Silverton Standard & the Miner published an op-ed by a concerned geologist which seems, at first glance, to have anticipated the EPA-caused disaster which made national news a week later.

Looking closely at the letter, it appears the actual disaster was much worse than the op-ed predicted, but the author was right about some of the factors (and results) mentioned in the letter....

Number 1:

Colorado: Expanded Background Checks, ‘High Cap’ Mag Ban, High Profile Shootings
November 28, 2015

Colorado has expanded background checks, a “high capacity” magazine ban, and two high profile shootings within a month’s time.

One of the shootings took place on Halloween, when Noah Harpman opened fire on the streets of Colorado Springs, killing three innocents before being killed by police. The second happened on November 27, when Robert L. Dear opened fire from inside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, killing two civilians and University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) police officer Garrett Swayzee....

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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