Cory Gaines, Exclusives, Media, Politics, Uncategorized

Gaines: Colorado political press soft-pedals Democrat dominance

The political press in Colorado love them some Lauren Boebert.  It may be only a slight exaggeration to say that we’re not far from seeing weekly coverage of her trips to the grocery, the car wash, and other picayune goings on.  The obsession with Boebert coverage has already gotten high enough that they’ve started branching out into covering other members of her family.

Meanwhile, aside from the occasional peek at Democrat dysfunction, you won’t see anywhere near the detailed coverage by those same news outlets of those who are actually running this state.  You might catch something about about internal party fights here or there.  You might read about how Polis’ alleged “libertarian” streak runs afoul of the rabid environmentalists’ wishes for Colorado.

I don’t mean to imply there’s no coverage, but the ratio of crazy Republican coverage to Democrat dominance coverage is beyond lopsided.

I saw a recent column by Eric Sondermann that stuck out to me.  The basic thrust of what Mr. Sondermann said was that the craziness of some Republicans in this state is drawing attention away from the craziness of the Democrats.  He seemed to indicate that if the Republicans would just stop making it so compelling to report on them, the press could finally settle down and get to business reporting about majority Democrats.

Pardon me, but that’s hogwash.

The reasons for the disparity of coverage are likely as numerous as the different types of reporters that cover Colorado politics, from simple profit motive to the typical human tendency to see people outside one’s tribe as more extreme than those inside it.

It is fair, then, to assume that the ease with which someone pressed to fill news space can generate content plays a role here. But I say hogwash because I think Sondermann and others are ignoring what is really important here: They are purposely prioritizing coverage of Republicans over coverage of the Democrats who control Colorado, which should be job number one for them.

Put another way, paying attention to what is being actually decided and by whom in this state all too often takes a backseat to what a fringe conservative or Republican said on talk radio.

And they do it by their own choice.  I sympathize with ease and a pull to get website clicks, but ultimately the only ones responsible for what news gets covered are the people working in the media.  I don’t buy the excuse that they’re victims of temptation any more than I would for any other form of decision freely made.

We live in a finite world.  That applies not only to our ability to attend to the news we see, but it applies equally well to the ability of reporters and news outlets to attend to and disseminate what our government is doing.

Every bit of coverage about Boebert, her husband, her child, her trip to Safeway, is one less bit about something arguably much more important:  it’s one less bit about what those actually deciding policy in this state are doing.  It’s one less bit about something that will have a tangible effect on your daily life.

It’s okay to cover what conservatives and Republicans do and say, but to do so at the expense of what those running the state are doing is not.  We deserve better.  Continually ignoring who actually governs this state to put forward stories about Republican soap operas may sell papers and get clicks, but it’s not doing any of us (even those who enjoy the drama) any good.

Cory Gaines lives in Sterling on Colorado’s Eastern Plains and writes at the Colorado Accountability Project substack.


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