Schoenberger objects to two Times stories |

Schoenberger objects to two Times stories

Aspen Times Staff Report

Local political activist David Schoenberger has objected to portions of two recent Aspen Times stories that referred to him.

Mr. Schoenberger raised objections to the final paragraph of a story that appeared in the Times on June 6. That story reported on Mr. Schoenberger’s appearance at an Aspen City Council meeting, during which he expressed strong criticism of the city’s progress – or lack of progress – in investigating a number of issues which he has raised regarding the affordable housing program.

That paragraph, the last one in the story, said that the issues he raised are “either under investigation, have been discussed at City Council meetings or have been resolved by the Housing Board.” Mr. Schoenberger feels that the statement, not attributed to any source whatsoever, was simply an expression of “the reporter’s opinion” and should not have appeared in the story.

In discussions with Aspen Times management, the reporter who wrote the story agreed that no official was cited and argued that no such citation was necessary, since the city and housing board responses to each issue he raised have been a matter of public record. Those responses, according to the reporter, were virtually all discussed in public meetings at which Mr. Schoenberger was present. In addition, most of the responses have been covered in the local media.

Mr. Schoenberger feels that the story should have focused instead on the fact that he began raising these issues as long as two years ago and that the city and housing board have been unconscionably slow in responding.

Mr. Schoenberger also raised objections to the final paragraph in a story in the June 8 edition of The Aspen Times.

The main topic of the story was the fact that one of the leaders of the effort to recall County Commissioner Mick Ireland has declared herself as a candidate to replace him. However, the last portion of the story reported on the gathering of signatures for the recall petitions and the very last paragraph referred to the fact that Cassandra Schoenberger, Mr. Schoenberger’s wife, signed the various recall petitions three times.

Mr. Schoenberger feels that any mention of his wife in this particular story was inappropriate, since the main focus of the story was on an entirely different topic. The Aspen Times agrees on this point. Two separate stories were combined because of an unfortunate error in editorial judgment.

In addition, Mr. Schoenberger says that his wife signed the petitions three times at the specific instructions of county officials because of confusion over her address and her changing names from her maiden name to her married name.

Although our story was not factually incorrect, the Times regrets not having researched this issue sufficiently prior to publishing the story.

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