Why is this Billboard now across the street from the Denver Post building?
I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea, so let me explain. I really miss the days of Denver being a two newspaper town. The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News for a century had a competition which gave Coloradans superior news coverage of state and local issues. Those days are gone. The Rocky went under a few years ago and sadly, the Post is a frail shadow of what it once was.
Much of this demise is not the fault of the Post. Younger people don’t buy papers, they get their news for free online. Online classified ads like Craigslist took away the paper’s largest steady income source. The Post is also straddled with crippling debt.
But the Denver Post is still the paper of record for Colorado. And it needs to act like it.
I want to see the Post survive and thrive. The state needs a trusted news source. But just like when a friend needs an intervention, the Post needs to hear the truth no matter how painful.
To the good and extremely overworked people at the Post, we have to tell you that you are failing to cover news. My guess is you know this. We understand your staff has been slashed to a fraction of what it was and how this economy has hurt your industry. But we rely on you for actual reporting, and you are failing to do that job. Rerunning Associated Press stories and writing about gardening tips and Bronco games are fine. However, you have a responsibility to report the news.
When Denver Public Schools changed their evaluation for teachers, judging them on how well they got our children to get involved in “social justice,” there was no news coverage from the Post. 9News did the story. When DPS reversed this politically-driven policy, there was again no coverage. You could read about it in the Washington Times, however.
When it was found that the co-chair of President Obama’s reelection committee, Denver’s former mayor Federico Pena, was a venture capitalist just like Mitt Romney, laying off a thousand workers and closing three domestic factories, there was no coverage. Rush Limbaugh did a better job informing Coloradans about this story than the Post did.
But hiding from the Abound Solar story is beyond excusable.
In our own backyard is Solyndra on steroids, and not a peep from the Denver Post. A politically-connected solar company gets a $400 million guarantee of government loans. And we learn of the Pat Stryker connection from Complete Colorado. http://completecolorado.com/stories/markey-stryker-pay-to-play.html
When the firm went belly-up the company execs told a Congressional committee it was because of cheap Chinese competition. But when whistle blowers show that the product was so faulty it would catch fire, it was the Daily Caller that told the story http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/02/sources-documents-suggest-government-subsidized-abound-solar-was-selling-faulty-product/. As one worker said – it was a fine product, so long as you didn’t put it in the sun.
When documents were found suggesting Abound falsified its books to secure funding, there was no story in the Post. You had to go to Fox News http://nation.foxnews.com/abound-solar-inc/2012/10/08/congress-local-authorities-investigate-doe-loan-recipient-abound-solar
When the District Attorney of Weld County opened a full investigation into Abound, you could find the story on Channel 7 http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/abound-solar-under-investigation-by-weld-county-district-attorney-received-68-million-stimulus but not in the Post.
When the US House Energy and Commerce Committee announced a further investigation into Abound, http://energycommerce.house.gov/press-release/committee-leaders-probe-does-knowledge-loan-recipients-faulty-solar-panels – now the story made it to Reuters, but not the Post.
We put a billboard across the street from the Denver Post to remind them that they are STILL the paper of record in Colorado. And it’s time they stopped turning a blind eye to news that matters. We want the Post to succeed.