January 31, 2012 in Press
The following is an open letter that was drafted by an Occupier as a response to the Denver Post’s coverage of the Occupy Denver Oakland Solidarity March that took place on Sunday. We are publishing it here:
Mrs. Moore, Dale, and Bunch:
As an example of the Post’s incompetence and substitution of bias for journalism, one could hardly find a better example than the article referenced. I draw your attention to two sentences from the middle of this sorry bit of reporting: “On the last leg back to Civic Center, some members shouted above the din to give the middle finger to TV cameras they expected to be waiting for them at the Capitol. No TV cameras were there, however”. Here, Mr. Bunch’s antipathy towards Occupy overwhelms his command of English: “the middle finger” is a gesture — no “members shouted above the din to give the middle finger”; that is nonsense! The insinuation in “TV cameras they expected to be waiting for them at the Capitol. No TV cameras were there, however” that Occupy are media whores is palpable, but since Bunch failed to interview any participants, the claim sticks out as uncomfortably unsupported, and the assumption that readers will buy into it and relish Occupy’s supposed failure to manipulate the media is unwarranted, has nothing to do with journalism, and is also obvious to objective readers.
The Post is able to get away with this sort of yellow journalism because it has no competition and because Coloradans are largely unacquainted with the genuine article, but consider that literate people still occasionally read your pages. The provincial and reactionary tone of articles such as this one and the poor caliber of writing employed become apparent to a wider audience than semi-literate Broncos-fans when you write about subjects of national interest such as Occupy. More to the point, you still have local readers of discernment who read the Post out of force of habit, because they hope to glean something about local news, and who are used to holding their noses while doing so, who are disinclined to climb aboard your bandwagon of disdain for Occupy — the stench of reporting such as this is penetrating, and it confirms the general understanding that Denver has one of the worst newspapers in the country.
Robert D. Chase