The Colorado Independent: I write in solidarity with hundreds of news outlets nationwide that are heeding a call by The Boston Globe to rally today for freedom of the press.
Given President Trump’s characterization of journalists as arrogant, out-of-touch gasbags, I’ll spare you a thinky spiel about the First Amendment and cut to the chase: Journalists aren’t just being iced out by the White House. There are enough efforts hindering reporters here in Colorado for all of us to start taking notice.
Last month, a Denver policeman handcuffed and held me in a patrol car for taking pictures of how officers were treating a man they had restrained, butt naked, on a public sidewalk.
And in June, responding to an open records request by The Independent, the state Supreme Court handed down a factually flawed and constitutionally questionable opinion thwarting the public’s right to monitor state judges’ official actions. The decision has made Colorado the only state without a presumptive First Amendment right to review any court documents. No other court in the nation has gone so far. Not even close.
With Donald Trump, we see time and again that the harder a reporter’s or news outlet’s questions, the fiercer he snipes back publicly with personal insults and attacks on their credibility.
But that’s not the way in Colorado, where antipathy predates Trump and takes other forms.
A year before the 2016 election, you could feel the hostility toward the media in the way Republicans attending a CNBC debate between GOP presidential contenders in Boulder rocked the auditorium during commercial breaks by stomping their feet in condemnation of the journalists asking questions.
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