Grauer: Times should endorse candidates |

Grauer: Times should endorse candidates

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Now that the Aspen Daily News has stepped up to its election duties of informing, analyzing, and making endorsements, it’s time for The Aspen Times to meet its reader responsibilities, as well.

The Aspen Times editor, Don Rogers, called a time out during the last, super-heated sheriff’s race (and all the others), apparently worried about losing readers by the paper supporting either candidate. He cited other newspapers making the same decision and given the perilous state of print journalism, with some justification.

Now is the right race and the right time to jump back in. This election’s impact is much greater than deciding the top county cop. The Aspen mayor and two council members will have considerable sway over a much greater range of policy, including policing. Those policies quite often roll down-valley to Snowmass Village and Basalt.

Rogers’ random observations this week about elections and candidates, in general, was a poor substitute for the hard work of an editorial board parsing the political issues and the candidates’ positions for its readers. 

Some critics are saying that this is just another journalism cop-out by The Times’ new owners, Ogden Newspapers Inc., gutting the paper’s editorial independence.

In other editorial areas, however, Rogers has shown some fortitude. He laid out a comprehensive opinion policy, requiring that alleged facts and claims actually be truthful and verifiable. (“What is yours and what is ours in commentary.”) 

Announcing a uniform and clear opinion writer policy is now incumbent on the Daily’s editor, Andre Salvail, to meet his readers’ expectations. Does a fact have to be a fact, or can it be an “alternative fact”? 

Rogers even invited criticism and backed that up by publishing my criticism of his and the Aspen Times Publisher, Allison Pattillo’s, past claims. (“Grauer: Kicking another horse,” Feb. 25)

Bernard Grauer


Editor’s note: Ogden newspapers each make their own decisions about endorsing candidates. The Times likely will resume the practice after forming a community editorial board.