A slanted Squirm Night
October 28, 2002
Under Bil Dunaway, The Times had a reputation for fairness, but the forum Tuesday night did not live up to that standard.
The political debate, Squirm Night, as represented by The Times, was heavily slanted.
There were three sets of panels, and each got to speak five minutes. There were two sets for the straight shot and one set for the S-curves. Thus, the straight shot group got twice the time of the S-curves group.
Despite your claims that Jeffrey Evans is not a neutral observor, he is clearly for the straight shot and has been advocating for the four-lane highway over that route. He’s not even an Aspen resident, but was speaking for a position to be decided by Aspen voters.
The moderator, John Sarpa, is not an unbiased party. He was the front man for the hated Ritz Carlton group and a major growth proponent.
The seven-member panel was given about an hour to either make statements or ask questions. Once it became evident that the audience favored the S-curves, Sarpa did his best to stifle any real debate from the audience, especially with longtime local David Amory.
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A free and unbiased press is vital; the Times wasn’t an example that night.