It is a longstanding tradition of print media to endorse candidates and issues. These endorsements are quite telling about a publisher’s bias and none are more so than this year’s endorsements by the publisher of Mile High Newspapers and MetroNorth Newspapers.
The very premise of the so-called ‘unbiased media’ providing political endorsements is counter-intuitive and contrary to their mission as a watchdog without leanings. It is of course a well-known fact that the media tilts left and it appears the new publisher of many local newspapers has fallen off the deep end.
Mile High Newspapers and MetroNorth Newspapers publish many local newspapers in Adams and Jefferson counties. Among their print outlets are the Northglenn – Thornton Sentinel, Westminster Window, Arvada Press, Golden Transcript, and Lakewood Sentinel.
Like all media, the previous publisher of the papers leaned left but at least could be reasonable. These papers, under a new publisher, have offered up endorsements that show a new bias far off the liberal side of the scale.
In 17 municipal races across these papers’ coverage area where a candidate’s political party is easily discerned, Mile High and MetroNorth endorsed the leftist or unaffiliated candidate 13 times versus giving their nod to only four conservatives. This is a ratio of 3.25 to 1 – a rather telling number given the supposed unbiased look that media is supposed to have.
Analyzing some of the races provides clear cases of the leanings of the new publisher.
Here in Thornton we see where the Northglenn – Thornton Sentinel endorses the liberal candidates across the board. Further, the three candidates can’t even pretend to be bipartisan as they represent the most leftist elements of Adams County Democrats.
Val Vigil receives the endorsement for mayor of Thornton from the Sentinel despite serious questions about his ability to lead the city. The paper laments that the two previous Thornton mayors left before their terms are up and lauds Vigil’s pledge that “he’s not going anywhere.”
Really? Vigil is abandoning the city ward he was elected to represent on city council after two years. They also commend his previous service in the state legislature which was nearly 20 years ago and hardly applicable today.
Heidi Williams should get Thornton voters’ nod for mayor.
In the Ward II race, the Sentinel asks voters to give Eva Henry their vote. This is despite her clear leftist leanings and casting of votes during her first four years in office that hurt the city, its citizens and its businesses. Henry appears to be a political opportunist and voters should look to Richard Gianzero instead.
On to Ward III where the local paper endorses Sam Nizam over incumbent Beth Humenik. While Nizam is touted as being pro-business, he otherwise tilts far left as can be clearly seen by postings he has made on Facebook.
It is amusing that the Sentinel writes Nizam, “knows the challenges of making payroll.” Clearly MetroNorth Newspapers didn’t bother to look at Nizam’s campaign finance reports. Had they done so, they would see that his largest campaign contributor – more than 70% of the money he has raised – has come from Nizam’s business, Booze Barn.
Interesting. Run for office and your business pays for it. I wonder if he gets a tax deduction for that kind of fuzzy math? Whether he does or not, it is a telling number and raises questions about the business experience the Sentinel lauds in Nizam when he apparently couldn’t raise much money other than his own.
In Jefferson County School District RE-1, two seats are being fiercely contested as parents fight for the future of the school district and their children’s education. Staying in tune with their new liberal bias, Mile High Newspapers endorsed Lesley Dahlkemper and Jill Fellman.
Both Dahlkemper and Fellman are endorsed by the teachers union, a sure warning sign, particularly when the union warns teachers that the election is about “protecting your contract.” And here we thought it would be about education!
Factor in that both have ties to the well-entrenched status quo in the financially troubled school district and flags keep going up. Fellman supports the massive Proposition 103 tax increase and is a former teacher (ever heard of the fox watching the hen house?). Dahlkemper’s biggest campaign contributor is none other than the brother of the combative Cindy Stevenson, superintendent for the district.
On the other side you have Jim Powers and Preston Branaugh, two admittedly conservative candidates that offer real alternatives. The “two dads” as they have come to be known are needed outside voices that can lend themselves to real reform for a troubled school district. They however are given short shrift by the paper. Voters should not do the same and should bubble in their ballots for Powers and Branaugh.
In the end what we have is a system of local newspapers under one umbrella that clearly shows a new-found leftist lean. Old media like newspapers have grown increasingly irrelevant as readers have become more aware of the bias therein and turn elsewhere.
It would appear that media bias has infiltrated our local news sources to a new level and that is a shame. Voters would do well to find other sources for information about candidates in local races as it is clear Mile High Newspapers and MetroNorth Newspapers have succumbed to the leftist tilt seen in other media.