December 15, 2013

Denver Post Scrubs ‘Socialist’ Reference to Arapahoe High School Shooter; Editor Offers Lame, Insulting Defense

This morning, I followed a link at the Drudge Report entitled “REPORT: Colorado school gunman ‘very opinionated Socialist.’” The link took me to Australian news site news.com.au. The story there carried quotes from several classmates of Arapahoe High School shooter Karl Pierson, including one from “Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with” Pierson. Conrad “described him as a very opinionated Socialist,” who “was exuberant I guess.” The story indicated that it had seen the statements of Conrad and others at the Denver Post, and linked to that story.

But that Denver Post story, written by Zahira Torres and Yesenia Robles, now only has Conrad describing Pierson “as very opinionated.” That’s because, as Bob Owens at Breaking Arms, Ace, Twitchy, Noah Rothman at Mediaite, and surely others noted, the Post edited out the word “socialist” without telling readers that it had done so. Wait until you see the lame, condescending attempt at a defense by the Post Senior Editor/News Lee Ann Colacioppo:

DenverPostEditorOnSocialistReference121413

Twitchy accumulated a host of tweeted reactions. Here are several of them (slightly edited to correct misspellings and punctuation errors):

“… the entire article is ‘WHAT HIS CLASSMATES SAID ABOUT HIS POLITICS.’ Why take that out?”

“Without explanation, it seems @denverpost just determines what is approved speech, and edits accordingly.”

Does @denverpost think high school seniors can truly label Karl as a ‘good political thinker’? That’s in the article.”

I guarandamntee you that if a student told @LAColacioppo that the shooter was right wing, it would not be stealth edited out of the piece.”

I just find the ‘teenagers are dumb’ edit hollow when the entire article is about what his classmates were saying.”

Especially when many of them are eligible to vote. I guess we should expect an editorial from the Post any day now about how the voting age needs to be raised to 21 so that these uninformed kids can’t vote. Sure.

Conrad was not the only student who cited Pierson’s socialist views.

A video at Real Clear Politics reveals that they were commonly known, and specifically quotes another student:

The gunman responsible for Friday’s shooting at Arapahoe High School in Colorado is being described as a “socialist” by his fellow students.

“He was friendly enough. Very proud of being a socialist. He was very outspoken on his political views,” student Angie Mock said. “To him, it just meant economic — more economic equality.”

So it’s not like Pierson’s outlook was a secret.

The Post’s behavior was shameful enough. Colacioppo’s defense indicates that her paper would rather insult students, their high school, and Post readers’ intelligence rather than have the S-word appear be associated with violent and deadly acts.

What’s the point in subscribing to a publication such as this?

A related post is at NewsBusters.

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