While Mr. Hooper has “apologized” for his behavior on Feb. 19 and claims to embrace the Aspen Daily News’ slogan of “If you don’t want it printed, don’t let it happen,” his behavior after the Feb. 19 incident, presumably while sober, of threatening to sue The Aspen Times and The Associated Press if they reported the story, speaks volumes.
As a reporter and the editor of a newspaper, Mr. Hooper should embrace the right of the freedom of the press, and should not be creating his own “chilling effect” on their exercise of their First Amendment rights as a means to further his personal agenda. Despite the claim in his apology, Mr. Hooper’s own motto seems to be, “If you don’t want it printed, then bury the story at your own newspaper and then threaten to sue any other news source that tries to cover it.”
Mr. Hooper should be apologizing to our community for this conduct, too. While Mr. Hooper might be able to use the always-popular “I was drunk” excuse for the Feb. 19 transgressions, the subsequent conduct apparently happened while he was sober and from his official Aspen Daily News e-mail account.
I applaud the Aspen Daily News for finally covering this story and living up to the commitment that they have made to our community in their slogan. Mr. Danforth’s candor in the article is refreshing. I, like many others, hope that the Aspen Daily News will put appropriate oversight in place to ensure that the news coverage in our community cannot be distorted by the personal agenda of any single employee.
The Aspen Police Department did not do Mr. Hooper any favors by taking him home without charging him with a DUI. Mr. Hooper’s “get out of jail free” card has cost him his credibility as a journalist. A DUI would have had a much smaller cost. Mr. Hooper is a talented writer and I truly hope that he can find his way and restore the trust that has been lost. But in the meantime, I personally think that Mr. Hooper should be covering sports and the local social scene rather than local police and court matters.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Amid the pre-Thanksgiving gloom of grim pandemic news here in Aspen, across Colorado and the mountain west came a small but significant dose of hope in the unlikely form of an Aspen Music Festival and School announcement.