Category Archives: Denver!

Reporting on mass shootings – How far should we go?

A father of one of the theater shooting victims is challenging the media not to say the suspect’s name in an effort to curb copy-cat crimes and notoriety.

He believes media coverage can motivate more mass-shootings.

He named this challenge after his son, Alex Teves.   (See the challenge here.)

We have received feedback at 9NEWS asking us to avoid saying the suspect’s name and to avoid showing his image as much as possible.

In my opinion, this is a sensible request.

I have tried my best to avoid saying the suspect’s name and showing his image as much as possible over the last several weeks when talking about the criminal case.

We must be sensitive to the requests of the victims and their request just makes sense to a point.

On the flip side….

We journalists have a duty to the truth, even if people find the truth offensive.

Often people blame the media for a lot of things and we reporters become the target of a hateful emails and phone calls when we report on tragedies and horrible events like the theater shooting.

Reporting on horrible incidents like this is NOT fun for many of us because what we do is seen as superficial and plastic. We get hateful looks and receive a lot of contempt.

Out all the noise, sometimes we can add perspective about things like loopholes in laws, lack of government services and taboo issues like mental illness.

Sometimes we can rally a community together and call for donations and support.

Sometimes we find problems and they get fixed.

Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable to put a face to these problems and that’s where reporting facts and names can often offend many.

There is a thin line in reporting the news and sanitizing copy out of fear you will alienate your audience and offend those who have already been hurt by a tragedy. I struggle with this daily hoping to serve our viewership respectfully.

I want your honest opinion. How far should we go with this challenge? I think it’s an interesting idea. And please…in the comments section…..go easy.

Credit card thief is lonely and orders adult toy

As a newshound, I love sniffing out documents.   Often I run across interesting things that are not really fit for a full-blown investigation.

Take a look at this excerpt from search warrant below (Douglas County) I picked up today.  It describes how a credit card thief ordered an adult toy and some sort of wood cutter.  The products still ended up going to the victim’s home.

The dude must be lonely.

Someone has a weird, credit card thief neighbor

 

This Blog Post Sucks – On Peyton and Tebow

Salad Sucks.

Salad sucks.

This post is going to suck.

Don’t waste your time here.

This post is going to be horrible like cafeteria salad.

I hate salad.  Salad sucks.    Especially salad with the little cuts of carrots.  I also really hate that salad that comes  pre-wrapped with saran wrap too.

Screw salad.    Next time I see a salad, I’m gonna punch it in the face.

Anyways….

Tonight, I’ve decided to write about the Peyton-Broncos newly announced marriage.

I’m warning you now because I’m not a sports guy.

My sports credibility is just as reliable as a Kardashian wedding vow or that resolution you made a few months ago to start working on your flappy pecs and your tortilla abs.

We Bronco fans are in the audience as we watch Peyton and Elway stand at the altar together and we’re all entitled to say something because this is America.

After all, The Constitution says we have a right to status updates, twitter feeds,  blog posts (this sentence may contain some inaccuracies) and taco shells made out of Doritos.

I’ve invested in several tickets at Mile High as a new Denver transplant and I must say the dividends of Tebow memories have paid off well.

I’m going to miss the guy if he’s traded.  I’m gonna miss him a lot….bro.  Sniff.

[FRATERNITY HUG HERE]

I’m NOT going to miss Tebowing among some of the fans.   Cut it out people.   Go do the Macarena.

Remember the Macarena?   I think I did the Macarena once when I used to buy Oxy acne medication.  I also think I confessed about the Macarena in a Catholic confessional.

I’m really going to miss the excitement when Tebow jogs out the field for the first play of the first quarter.

It’s like Christmas morning.  You don’t know what the guy is going to do, but something exciting always happens.

Yes, sometimes Tebow made some sloppy plays and it felt like getting socks or an ugly sweater as a gift.

No exchanges or refunds, but  at the end of the day when all the wrapping paper is on the floor along with the bud light puke, Tebow made the price of a ticket worth it.

That Steelers game was fantastic.   The Steel Curtain turned into my grandmother’s curtains that night.  What a game.   I remember walking away from the stadium pumped.

As for Peyton, I’m not sure what to think about his arrival in Denver.  Behind the scenes, it’s quite clear business is business with the Broncos and they see more capital in a refurbished Peyton.

Sorry for the lame writing here, but Elway is certainly sticking his neck out on this one and if the $95 million dollar contract is correct, I hope to see free neck-brace day at Mile High for the first 3,000 fans if things turn sour.

Whatever happens, this football season is going to be exciting.  And whatever happens to Tebow, he deserves another good QB job somewhere.

He’s an exciting player to watch, a decent dude off the field who defied the cocky stereotype of NFL players.   That’s respectable.

He made things interesting.

Let’s hope this season doesn’t end up like……….salad.

Good luck Peyton.

In the Middle of Occupy Denver – What I Saw [PICS BELOW]

As you’re reading this I’ll likely be in bed after covering the Occupy Denver movement downtown for 10 hours.  Hopefully my journalism was fair, objective and accurate.

Covering protests are challenging because any observations I make, how I phrase words and my tone of voice can be interpreted as bias.

There’s no doubt there’s a lot of passion behind the protests and a lot of skepticism too.    I tried to be as neutral as possible while making significant observations.

My work began tonight/today after a regular shift at work.  I got home but I couldn’t sit still as the Occupy Movement was making news.  I headed downtown with the intent to tweet everything I saw.

You can read all of my twitter posts here.  You’ll have to scroll down quite a bit to see my first tweet with the #occupydenver hashtag.     I did quite a bit of tweets.

There was so much I saw and experienced, it’s hard to put everything in a nutshell.    But here are my impressions:

On the Protestors:

-Most protestors wanted to be peaceful.  Some tried to echo this attitude with megaphones.  They were successful at peace for the most part.

-A very small minority of protestors seemed to be trouble makers.  One suggested to break into the Governor’s house. At the end of the protest, some were yelling a lot of cuss words at police and calling them pigs.   It was clear these few protestors were trying to bait police.

-While there was no clear leader or organizer, some protestors wearing orange vests tried to self-police the crowd.  In many cases they were successful by removing drunks who were causing trouble. They also did a good job of keeping people from entering Broadway.

-Rumors were rampant in the crowd.  Several times some protestors announced with assurance police were coming at a specific moments.

-Spirits were high and there was a lot of comradery among protesters.

On our presence

-Someone said they saw a protestor throw a rock at our news unit.  I didn’t see this.

-I mentioned on air that some protestors seemed to be aggressively posturing at the capitol building.   Later we were yelled at by a guy with a mega phone who said we were promoting violence on air.

-Many protesters were happy we were there to document and observe and thanked us.

-One protestor started verbally attacking the wife of one of my  co-workers.

-One protestor was a champ and stood behind our crew and looked out for us as encounters between some protestors and police got intense.

-People who were able to see our live video coverage said we did a good job and actually came up to us on scene to shake our hands.  That felt good.

On Police

-I expected people to physically resist once police started breaking down and removing tents.  That didn’t happen.  Protestors mainly watched officers in riot gear dismantle tents methodically.

-With loads of vulgarities tossed at police towards the end of the protest, officers didn’t seem phased at all.  They remained stoic and reserved.

-Organization was clear.  It was clear there was a plan to surround protestors bit by bit.  It also seemed police didn’t move in quickly.  They waited until the weary went home and the crowd got smaller.

Overall:

In the end it was a fascinating scene to see everything play out.  Props to the peaceful protestors.  Props to the police who restrained themselves despite some pretty inciting comments from some people.   With the exception of a few bad protestors, this event didn’t result in serious injury or death.

While some have said there is no clear message among the protestors, it is clear they don’t like corporate greed and its influence over government.   Here are some of my cell phone pics:

A Walk Through Occupy Denver – Video & Pics

Just west of the capitol building is the Occupy Denver movement.   I’ve been wanting to walk through here for a while to check it out.  Today I got my chance after work.

Here’s about 4 minutes of raw video I shot with my cell phone as I walked through the area full of tents.  There’s some commentary.  I spoke to one protestor and got video of a booth of people who were handing out free food.

Here are some photos I snapped in the area.

I was only there for a few minutes, so my observations clearly aren’t representative of the whole Occupy Denver movement.  Here’s what I saw while I was there briefly:

-Passionate protestors with signs who seem to believe in what they’re doing

-I couldn’t tell if some people were homeless or if they were there to truly protest.  I don’t mean to offend, but I’m just being honest.  A lot of people were sleeping at around 5:30 pm when I got there.   I saw a couple of shopping carts next to tents too.

-I could smell marijuana constantly and I saw some folks drinking beer.  A very Woodstock vibe.

-It doesn’t appear to be out of control at all.  There seems to be a self-controlled order to the area and among the people.

-Everyone was friendly

-For as many tents I saw there, I didn’t see much litter at all.  It was pretty clean, although it did smell bad in some areas around some tents. I can’t describe the smell.  Maybe a little bit of body odor.

Overall, I found it fascinating to see a slice of a nation-wide movement.  Whether you agree with the Occupy Wall Street movement or not, its part of American history now.  Let’s see what happens next.

Nostalgia Overdose for 25¢

25¢! And they all work!

I was in the zone, my friends.   It was a good time to be alive in Denver today.

It’s been 24 years since my hand gripped a joystick on a Double Dragon arcade game.   This time I was a couple of feet taller and I didn’t have to stand on my toes to see the screen.  I found my old favorite video game at the 1Up Bar near Coors Field.

1Up has numerous classic games, from Pac Man to Street Fighter II.   And the games work perfectly and only cost 25¢ a play. The price is stuck in the past, and I fine with that.

The last time I played Double Dragon on the arcade system was back in 1987 when I lived in Harbor City, CA as a kid.   I remember aggressively searching for lost quarters at home almost every day  to feed the beast.   Aside from Garbage Pail Kids, most of my money was spent on that machine one summer.  It was quite an expensive mission, but eventually I beat the game with a group of friends.

Today it was good to hear the old familiar theme music.   After years of playing XBox 360, nothing can beat the feeling of finding that old game again in its original form.  Double Dragon, it was good seeing you again.  Man, I’m a dork.

I also took on Galaga, Pac Man, Mrs. Pac Man, Street Fighter II and Donkey Kong.

I’m not sure who’s behind the 1Up Bar, but I do know it just opened this year according to its website.   The bar tender told me today the line at night often extends around the corner from the bar’s entrance.

If you ever find yourself near Coors Field, seek out 1Up in the early afternoon when it’s not too busy.  The kid inside you will thank you.  Oh…and make sure you arm yourself with quarters.