Few would describe John Temple as “subtle.” But I couldn’t help but thinking that the in-your-face Rocky Mountain News editor was sending a not-so-obvious message with his column in today’s paper. Ostensibly, Temple was writing about media coverage of the Eliot Spitzer scandal. But near the end of his column, Temple wrote the following:

My grandmother, and probably yours, could tell the powerful and prominent in our society a simple truth: If you don’t want something in the newspaper, the best way to keep it out is not to do it. This doesn’t mean that the private lives of public people should be fair game. But it does mean that if their actions in private bear on their ability to do their public job or contradict a stance they’ve publicly advocated, they should count on those actions being exposed.

For weeks, Denver’s “powerful and prominent” have been waiting (and, in some cases, worrying) to see if the Rocky or any other major media outlet will reveal the client list of a high-end prostitution ring that was recently busted in Denver. (To date, the only client name made public is that of embattled Judge Edward Nottingham, who was already under investigation for bringing “disrepute to the judiciary.”) Is Temple saying the Rocky will only publish the names of patrons who meet the above-mentioned criteria? Can the others rest easy? Stay tuned.