Politicians’ threat contradicts their free speech stance

Dear Mayor Torre,

It is now national news that current and former elected officials in Pitkin County brought pressure to bear against Ogden Newspapers concerning the internal management of The Aspen Times, particularly regarding staffing matters and the content of news reporting.

Having read the letter sent to Ogden Newspapers, I find this letter heavy-handed, threatening and unseemly. In short, the letter flies in the face of the First Amendment. It is one thing for an individual citizen to express displeasure with a given newspaper’s reporting and editorial stances.  I myself have done this on numerous occasions. It is another thing for public officials — with their real or implied powers of governance — to threaten a news organization to bring them to submission.

I call upon you and the other writers of the letter to walk the threats back.

Frank Moore

Columbus, Georgia