Archive for the 'Media' Category

Now HERE’s a worthy charity

Posted by on Jan 16 2015 | Media, TABOR, Taxes

As you know, we here at the Independence Institute sometimes fundraise for charities with whom we feel a special connection, like our work supporting Children’s Hospital. Well, there’s another charity that needs your help. Badly.

I’m proud to announce our goal of helping the Denver Post, Colorado’s newspaper of record, hire an actual copy editor.

If you are unaware, a copy editor is the person at a newspaper that not only checks an article’s spelling, grammar, and style before it is published, he or she also checks that the story is factually correct to certain standards. In other words, they’re the poor slob who has to make a liberal’s article seem at least plausibly objective.

And the poor Denver Post, well, they must not have even one.

We all know the Post has issued a fatwa against the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, but they really let their anti-TABOR Freudian slip show when they labeled it the “so called” Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, even though that’s exactly what it is called in the state constitution. Funny, when slobbering over the Affordable Care Act, they never reported it as the “so-called Affordable Care Act.”

The conservative blog,, beat us to the punch skewering a poorly-written, typo-filled Post hit piece on the new Republican senate president. Any veneer of professional journalism the paper tried to project was wiped clean. Check it out.

Anyway, we’re thinking maybe of starting a 10-mile “Copy Editor Fun Run,” or something like that. A blind newspaper reader could be the poster-child. Won’t you help one of “Dean’s Kids”?

Let me say, I might disagree with most of the Denver Post’s editorial stances. However, they have every right to have them. But for the sake of honesty, shouldn’t they replace their front-page masthead with the simple words, “Editorial Section”?

Speaking of editorials, we do a number of them, including some in video form. We call them the Freedom Minute.

no comments for now

Collective Bargaining For Firefighters And Taxi Cab Cartels On Devil’s Advocate Tonight

Posted by on Feb 22 2013 | Government Largess, Idiot Box (TV Show), Media, PPC, Proposed Legislation

Go ahead and give the role playing websites a rest tonight and instead enjoy public affairs tv with the Independence Institute on Colorado Public Television 12.  First at 8:00 catch research director David Kopel on the roundtable show Colorado Inside Out. Then at 8:30 on Devil’s Advocate, host Jon Caldara is first joined by Kevin Bommer from the Colorado Municipal League to discuss the league’s issues with a proposed state law forcing collective bargaining rights for firefighters on local taxpayers. Then Uber Denver general manager Will McCollum sits down to describe the Colorado Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) efforts to protect the Denver taxi cab cartel from competition. That’s all tonight starting at 8:00, and rebroadcast Monday at 12:30 PM.

You can find your local CPT12 channel by zip code here.

no comments for now

Kopel on CNN’s Piers Morgan Show Tonight

Posted by on Dec 03 2012 | guns, Kopelization, Media, Second Amendment

Catch Independence Institute Second Amendment scholar and DU law professor David Kopel on CNN’s Piers Morgan show tonight at 7:00 Mountain Standard Time. They will be discussing (and debating) gun control post Kansas City Chiefs tragedy.

no comments for now

South Park’s Top 10 Greatest Free-Market Hits

Posted by on Nov 28 2012 | Media, Politics, Popular Culture, PPC

One of the reasons Freedom is in retreat is that the Left creates the narrative. They tell the stories. They write the songs. They make the jokes. Our culture’s entertainment is almost solely the purview of the Left. And hidden inside those stories and tunes and jokes are the messages of collectivism and political correctness. Artists and entertainers have become the greatest sales force for command-and-control authoritarianism.

For the most part we on team Liberty just suck at entertainment. I mean we stink at it, and for a whole bunch of reasons: our team is prudish, stale, peevish and as easy to be offended as a Women’s Studies professor. We are great in communicating within our own team. We like to sing to our choir. News flash: our choir keeps getting smaller. And we keep losing.

But the biggest reason we can’t sell our message in entertainment is that when we try, we lead with the message and then attempt to make the entertainment fit around it. Think of the failed Fox News’ Half Hour News Hour or the comedy movie An American Carol. If you haven’t seen them or even heard of them, I rest my case.

The Left knows how to lead with entertainment first, not message. The humor and jokes, the compelling tale, and the great music come first. Then they slip in the message, insults and whiny lyrics. “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live” go for the yucks first. If that doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter what the message is;- no one will hear it. (By the way, I want to become Jack Donaghy. Damn Alec Baldwin.)

Freedom, however, has at least one outlet in Hollywood that makes people laugh and, maybe by no intentional way, weaves in pro-liberty messages – South Park.

This raunchy animated show on Comedy Central does what almost no one on the Right does: it reaches people who might not consider themselves limited-government fans, then convinces them that they just might be.

South Park‘s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, like me, survived the fascist political correctness and forced liberalism of the University of Colorado. That compelled me into politics. It drove them into show business. I’d submit they do a better job illustrating the danger of overly burdensome government than I do.

So, here it is, the list of all lists, the one you’ve been waiting for – the top 10 free market, limited government, stop-the-nanny-state episodes of South Park. WARNING: this show is immature, childish, highly offensive, and just plain gross. I wonder why I like it. Did I mention it’s offensive? Watch at your own risk.

  • #10: ManBearPig – Former Vice-President, Al Gore, speaks to the students of South Park Elementary about a serious threat to the planet; Manbearpig. Gore enlists the boy’s help to search for the elusive creature and gets them all trapped in a cave-in.
  • #9: Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes – The Main Street of South Park starts looking like a ghost town when a giant Wall Mart lures all the townspeople to its newest store with all of its incredible bargains. Cartman becomes possessed by the power of Wall Mart and its low, low prices. In order to save South Park, Stan and Kyle have to find a way to destroy the ever-expanding superstore while keeping Cartman from stabbing them in the back.
  • #8: Follow that Egg! – Mrs. Garrison realizes that he still has feelings for Mr. Slave. But, Mr. Slave has moved on and plans to marry his new love as soon as the governor signs the same-sex marriage bill. Mrs. Garrison leads the charge against gay marriage.
  • #7: I’m a Little Bit Country – The boys join some anti-war protesters because it’s a free pass out of school for the day. Their simple plan to protest their way out of class goes south when they find themselves in the middle of the two opposing sides of the issue. Meanwhile, Cartman attempts a flashback to 1776 to avoid studying for his American History assignment.
  • #6: Death Camp of Tolerance – Mr. Garrison desperately tries to get fired from his new job as South Park Elementary’s 4th grade teacher and presents his assistant, Mr. Slave. Meanwhile, the boys get sent to the Deathcamp of Intolerance for not tolerating Mr. Garrison’s intolerable behavior. Lemmiwinks the gerbil guest-stars.
  • #5: Medicinal Fried Chicken – A new Colorado Law makes smoking marijuana legal, as long as you’ve got a physician’s reference. Randy’s first in line but is denied because of his pristine health record. Desperate to get a medical excuse, he takes some ballsy measures. Meanwhile, Cartman faces the ultimate crisis when all of his favorite fried chicken restaurants are replaced with medicinal marijuana shops.
  • #4: Butt Out – Representatives from the anti-smoking campaign rap about the dangers of smoking for the children of South Park. For fear of growing up to be giant nerds, the boys decide to take up the nasty habit.
  • #3: Reverse Cowgirl – One of the boys had been told time and time again about leaving the toilet seat up after he goes to the bathroom, but he didn’t listen. His actions have consequences and ultimately result in an unimaginable catastrophe.
  • #2: Gnomes – Cartman, Stan, Kyle and Kenny are assigned to write a report with Tweek, the very nervous and highly caffeinated boy who insists gnomes are stealing his underpants. When they are unable to come up with a topic, Tweek’s father offers to write the paper, and uses this opportunity to vent his frustration at the corporate juggernaut Harbuck’s Coffee and its attempt to drive him out of business. Meanwhile, the boys try to stay awake to see if the underpants gnomes truly exist.
  • #1: Smug Alert – Kyle and his family are moving to San Francisco. The only way Stan can get his best friend back is to convince everyone to start driving hybrid cars. Just as everyone starts to feel really good about what they’re doing for the environment, scientists discover a stormy, dark mass accumulating over the town.
  • 2 comments for now

    Newsflash: Denver Post Reports News

    Posted by on Oct 23 2012 | energy, Media, PPC

    After months of frustration with the Denver Post refusing to cover the explosive Abound Solar debacle, last week we put up these billboards around the Denver Post:

    Yesterday the Denver Post’s front page, top-of-the-fold story was on the failures of the new energy industry, writing, “The Weld County district attorney’s office is investigating the failure of Colorado solar-panel manufacturer Abound Solar, and congressional Republicans are asking tough questions about Abound’s federal loan guarantees.” Full story here:

    Thanks to the Post for reporting the story.

    1 comment for now

    The Denver Post Needs an Intervention

    Posted by on Oct 19 2012 | Economics, Economy, energy, Environment, Media, obama, PPC, Taxes

    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.

    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 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

    When the District Attorney of Weld County opened a full investigation into Abound, you could find the story on Channel 7 but not in the Post.

    When the US House Energy and Commerce Committee announced a further investigation into Abound, – 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.

    4 comments for now

    The Denver Post’s Cry for Help

    Posted by on Oct 18 2012 | energy, Media

    Billboard: Post Hides from Abound Solar Investigations

    Ad Near Post Building Highlights Failure to Cover Prominent Local Stories

    DENVER, Colo — A new Independence Institute billboard sends a message directly to Colorado’s largest newspaper, taking it to task for failing to cover prominent local stories.

    Placed right across from the Denver Post building at Court Place and 15th Street, the billboard highlights a recent major story ignored by the daily publication: “Solar Panels Fry. Abound Solar Lies. Jobs Died. The Denver Post Hides.” The message also has been placed near Lincoln Street and 18th Avenue.

    Abound Solar, touted by President Obama and bankrolled by federal stimulus dollars, now faces both a Congressional inquiry and local criminal investigation. Stories have revealed the Colorado-based renewable energy company’s product consistently fell short of commercial expectations and occasionally caught fire, causing many of their installations to suffer catastrophic failure rates.

    “Our solar modules worked as long as you didn’t put them in the sun,” an ex-Abound employee told the Daily Caller. Whistleblowers also have alleged substantial use of accounting fraud to secure both private and federal loan guarantees.

    “We’re calling for an intervention,” said Independence Institute president Jon Caldara. “We’re trying to help stop the state’s only major newspaper from speeding off a cliff.”

    The Abound Solar scandal represents one in a series of major local stories with significant political and cultural impact that the Post‘s news coverage has neglected, which also includes:

  • Former Denver mayor and Obama campaign co-chair Federico Pena’s venture capitalist role, after the President made Gov. Romney’s work at Bain Capital a central campaign issue
  • Controversial language in Denver Public Schools’ evaluation system, rewarding teachers for encouraging students to “challenge the dominant culture” and participate in social activism
  • Congressman Jared Polis’ potential conflict of interest, taking a financial stake in a medical tourism company while voting to pass ObamaCare
  • Each of these stories was brought to light by local TV or alternative online media.

    “Competition from the Internet and sites like Craigslist has definitely made it challenging for newspapers to adapt,” Caldara said. “But the Post could help itself by giving some print to major stories in its backyard.”

    More information on the Abound Solar story is available at Complete Colorado.

    Listen to Caldara and investigative reporter Todd Shepherd on this morning’s Peter Boyles Show (630 KHOW).

    The Independence Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit public policy research organization based in Denver, Colo.


    *** PS – Billboards will be unveiled tomorrow ***

    1 comment for now

    I Never Thought I’d EVER Say This…

    Posted by on Oct 02 2012 | Economics, Media, Politics, PPC

    I don’t think I have ever uttered these words before, but here goes – be sure to grab a copy of the Denver Post today!

    As you may recall our investigative reporter, Todd Shepherd, found that the National Co-chair for the Obama Campaign was himself an evil venture capitalist, very much like Mitt Romney. This man’s firm closed domestic factories and laid-off around 1,000 people in order to save failing businesses. That man was no other than Denver’s own former mayor, former Clinton cabinet member, Federico Pena. This was newsworthy enough for Rush Limbaugh to take it on during his radio show, but the Denver Post, and most all of the Denver media, wouldn’t touch it.

    So in today’s Post on page 16a, please enjoy a full-page “Thank You” from us to Federico for his successful work as a venture capitalist. Not only do we want to celebrate free enterprise, but we also want the newspaper of record to cover a story worth telling.

    Ready for the fun inside story?

    Originally the Post quoted us a price of $6,800 for the ad. After they saw the ad that price magically changed to $23,800. Why? They decided that it should fall under their “political advocacy” rates, even though it didn’t urge a vote or have a call to action. As they told me, “It FEELS like advocacy.” After weeks of asking exactly what magic words in our ad made it “advocacy” the vice president of the paper said it was the identifier “co-chair of the Obama reelection campaign” that would cost the extra $17,000. So what you see on page 16a today doesn’t include those very expensive words.

    You can see the original ad here.

    A big thanks to our donors who chipped in to celebrate another great American capitalist and helped get it into the Post. Who knows? Maybe this is a new funding model for newspapers. If you want a story covered, you have to buy the ink yourself. If only that applied to both political sides…

    UPDATE: Our friends at Colorado Peak Politics did a write-up of our ad as well here.

    1 comment for now

    David Martosko on NRA News

    Posted by on Aug 21 2012 | Events, guns, Media, PPC, Second Amendment

    It’s no exaggeration to say that our annual Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Party is the most fun event of the year. We get people from all over coming out to celebrate the perks of adulthood with us each summer. This year marked our 10th annual ATF Party. I almost can’t believe it’s been that long. Ten years of decadence! Anyhow, to honor such a momentous occasion, we invited the executive editor of The Daily Caller, David Martosko, out to keynote the event. He did a wonderful job lambasting the ills of our ever expanding nanny-state. If you missed David’s speech, or any of the madness that went down this year, don’t worry. C-SPAN was there and filmed the festivities post-shooting. Watch the video here.

    David also found himself on the NRA News program “Cam and Company” with host Cameron Gray on the 16th. The show was interesting because they both spoke about our ATF Party and how cool it is. David mentioned how much fun he had this year and strangely enough, realized that our keynote speaker for next year’s party is none other than Cameron Gray himself! What a coincidence! It goes without saying that we are very excited about having Cameron out next summer and he is pumped to finally make it out to our big shindig.

    Below you’ll find the two-part video of David’s appearance on Cameron’s show. They mention our ATF Party in the very beginning of part 2.

    no comments for now

    AUDIO: Penn Pfiffner, Rob Natelson on Mike Rosen Show

    Posted by on Aug 20 2012 | Constitutional Amendments, Constitutional History, Constitutional Law, Constitutional Theory, Media, PPC, TABOR, Taxes, U.S. Constitution

    This morning on 850 KOA’s Mike Rosen Show, two of our senior fellows joined Mike in studio to discuss the lawsuit against our Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR). Officially called Kerr v. Hickenlooper in federal court, the suit attempts to kill TABOR in Colorado because it allegedly violates our United States’ Constitution’s guarantee clause. The guarantee clause, ehem, guarantees us a “republican” form of government. No one expected the lawsuit to go very far and indeed, it came as quite a surprise when one of our federal judges allowed the suit to proceed.

    Now we defenders of the TABOR amendment are left scratching our heads wondering how this could be, and curiously, whether there is any merit to the case. That’s where senior fellows Penn Pfiffner of our Fiscal Policy Center and Rob Natelson of Constitution Studies come in. In their 30 minute segment on the Mike Rosen program, they explain the background of the case, why it matters, and most importantly, why it’s total bunk (and deserves to be thrown out).

    1 comment for now

    Next »

    Clicky Web Analytics