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With Colorado progressives energized in a way that has not been seen since Bill Clinton won the state in 1992, it would seem that the Denver Post picked the wrong year to track to the right. As Jeralyn has already pointed out, reader backlash has been strong over the paper’s endorsement of George W. Bush, and it’s not letting up. The Post printed even more objections to its endorsement in this morning’s paper.
It used to be that you could classify the Rocky Mountain News as Colorado’s rock-ribbed Republican editorial page and the Denver Post as the moderate to center-left alternative. But that began to change in 1987 when the Post was taken over by Media News Group, which is controlled by major Republican contributor Dean Singleton. Sunday’s Bush endorsement marked the completion of that transformation.
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It was especially notable because the Post endorsed Al Gore in 2000, a year in which newspapers favored Bush over Gore by a nearly three to one ratio. With its Bush endorsement, the Post became one of only two newspapers in the country — of any size — that endorsed Gore in 2000 and Bush in 2004. (The other is the York (PA) Daily Record.) Kerry leads Bush in newspaper endorsements nationwide by an approximately two to one margin, according to Editor and Publisher.
The Rocky Mountain Progressive Network has encouraged its members to cancel their Post subscriptions. It remains to be seen whether that will have any effect on the Post, but it seems clear that there is a large portion of the Colorado population whose desire for progressive editorial opinion is currently unserved.