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"When you hand people a paper, sometimes you can see them turn up their nose in disgust at it," he says. "But doing that means they had to think critically about what we're doing, at least for a few seconds -- and that's something."

Not going quietly: For the better part of fourteen years, Christopher Brauchli wrote a regular column for the Boulder Daily Camera -- but his soapbox was abruptly taken away in mid-December. At first Brauchli assumed that he'd been disappeared for his consistent condemnation of George W. Bush's policies, but he was told differently in a January 13 letter from Camera editorial-page editor Steve Millard. His devastating critique declared, "Your writing has become chained to a formula. You tended to rely on the same techniques, the same sources, the same narrow range of topics and the same stock responses, week after week. More and more, you also tended to make your points by looking down your nose rather than arguing."

To put it mildly, Brauchli doesn't agree. He's upset at the Camera because it's published only a couple of letters from readers decrying his absence (he provides copies of nearly a dozen that haven't seen ink) and believes that by not giving an explanation for his removal in print or to those who've called or written to complain, the paper is violating standards of openness and transparency. "To my way of thinking, sharing their reasons is preferable to saying 'We're not telling you what they are,'" Brauchli maintains. "That makes it look as if they figured out I'm a shoplifter or who knows what -- a hint of dark things."

Speaking for the Camera, editor Sue Deans says about Brauchli's column, "It was time for a change. It had nothing to do with politics." Meanwhile, more than sixty Boulderites, including well-heeled politico Jared Polis, have signed an advertisement calling for Brauchli's column to be reinstated. Brauchli hopes the Camera will print the ad the last weekend of February. It may be the only way his name will be published in his old paper again.

Losing its Edge: If "The Edge," the name of a much ballyhooed new recreation section the Denver Post introduced on February 15, struck you as familiar, it should have. Westword has been using the same moniker for a ski guide that's been both an annual insert and an online staple for, oh, a decade or so. Lawyers for NT Media, Westword's owner, sent a stern letter stressing this fact, and the Post responded by changing the feature's handle to "Outdoor Extremes" in time for its second try, on February 22. The note explaining the switcheroo to readers was headlined "What's With the Name?" Perhaps someone should have asked that question earlier.

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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