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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and his administration need - to stop meddling with the media

Posted: Oct 6th, 2019 - 7:02 am

Please try not to stop us even if you’ve heard this before, but we have a hard time believing Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and his administration’s press office didn’t know better.

We were shocked — even disturbed — to read this past week about Polis spokesman Conor Cahill contacting two small-town newspapers in southeast Colorado and asking them to un-publish a story each had published online.

We were equally dismayed to hear about Cahill contacting one of those papers again, this time trying to discredit the source of the article in question — which came from Chicago-based The Center Square — as well as the press office reaffirming those efforts days later in a statement, again deriding the source and questioning the way the newspapers used it.

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Perhaps most disturbing of all, though, is the fact Polis administration officials didn’t actually take issue with anything in the article — a straightforward story about a new state office the administration declined to be interviewed for — they just don’t like the source, which they call biased.

We need to be as clear about this as possible: The government has no place telling the media what to do.

We’re not even going to start discussing the merits of the administration’s issues with The Center Square because, frankly, they don’t matter. The actions of those representing Polis were completely inappropriate regardless of the content of those complaints.

While this is far from Soviet-era censorship, Polis and those is his press office have to understand the unspoken message they send when they use the office of governor in that way. It certainly isn’t a message of support for a free press.

During the past three years or so, President Donald Trump has received criticism countless times for trying to influence the media and control news about him and his administration via public speeches and social media. And rightfully so.

But even he never directly asked for something to be taken down. Honestly, we think the backlash against him would be unimaginably large and intense if he ever did.

Polis shouldn’t be spared that ire. As someone who has been in public service for as long as he has, he knows how these things work.

He knows there are appropriate ways to handle having a problem with something the media has done — writing an op-ed piece outlining their concerns, actually finding an error before lodging a complaint — and none of them include trying to directly intervene with what a newspaper decides to publish.

More than that, though, we feel Polis has much bigger issues to deal with than worrying about third-party content that, as far as we can tell, wasn’t all that far-reaching before his administration got involved.

Moving forward, we hope he moves his energy and resources to those and keeps them out of the newsroom.

LINK/URL: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and his administration need


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