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Conflict is clear

Dear Editor:

I commend Glenn Rappaport for responding eloquently and succinctly (“Biased reporting by the Times,” Feb. 29, The Aspen Times) to The Aspen Times’ Friday article “Conflict to affect review of major Basalt project,” written by Scott Condon.

The article was comprehensive and well-written and I have no reason to believe any part of the reporting was untrue.

At the same time, I have nothing but admiration for both Basalt mayoral candidates and commend them for their civic contribution.

But Glenn brings up a valid point about the friendship between Condon and Jacque Whitsitt. Of course being from a small valley, we all have friendships that at one time or another could be viewed as too close for comfort when it comes to business dealings or, in this case, politics.

For the record, I am good friends with Glenn as well as with Leroy Duroux and Anne Freedman, all current members of the Basalt Town Council. And for further disclosure, I served with all three members on the Town Council from 2004 to 2008.

That being said, if The Aspen Times and Condon are going to report on such matters as was printed in Friday’s newspaper and, in effect, hold Glenn to the litmus test of credibility and integrity as an elected official, then they should hold themselves to the same. In fact, as the election season is upon us, knowing that a close friendship exists between a reporter and candidate, it is The Aspen Times’ credibility that should be questioned. When the newspaper prints its candidate endorsements for the town of Basalt elections, it will be perceived as biased and tainted if The Aspen Times doesn’t come forward to make a change in who covers the Basalt beat.

If The Aspen Times is interested in fair and balanced reporting, then it should do the right thing and appoint another reporter to cover Basalt and its elections. Anything short of that would make any endorsement dubious.

Laurie Dows

Basalt and Boulder


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