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Jason Salzman

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You Never Ducked Us, Congressman, but What About the Rest of the Media?

Posted: 06/29/2012 11:50 am

During their final, good-bye broadcast Friday, KHOW radio's Craig Silverman and Dan Caplis thanked Rep. Mike Coffman for "being a real friend of the show" and for being "accessible."

Caplis told Coffman, "You never ever ducked us," which definitely ain't what 9News and other media types have been saying lately about Coffman's refusal to answer questions about his statement that Obama is not an American in his heart. (Coffman's dodgings led Democrats to mock him on a website, AskCoffmanAnything.com, unveiled today.)

If I were Silverman, I couldn't stomach complimenting Coffman for his grand openness when he's in the midst of hiding from most reporters in town.

I might even ask him, "Hey Mike, any plans to talk to Kyle Clark at 9News? Or Steve Kelley at KNUS?" (Coffman has been refusing to talk to both.)

Wouldn't it be great if media types stood up for journalism by asking those types of questions of politicians who are hiding from other reporters? So what if they're loose competitors. Media figures build up their own platforms nowadays by promoting their competition. And in the case of Silverman, he's on his way out of the biz anyway.

But Silverman took the insular route, thanking Coffman for being "good enough to come on our show to break your silence" about his birther statement.

Coffman broke his silence Silverman's show over a month ago, and questions have piled up since then, including a troubling question flowing from Coffman's comment on KOA radio that his birther comment has been hyped by journalists.

Coffman attacked journalists in a similar vein Friday, telling Silverman that the press "won't care" about Nancy Pelosi's remark Friday that Republicans are attacking Attorney General Eric Holder as part of a GOP voter suppression effort.

"That's unfortunate that she made that statement," Coffman said. "Of course, it won't resonate like the statement I made, I'm sure. [Laughs.] The press won't care about that."

Coffman is right that Pelosi left the door open for more questions about the GOP's motivations in attacking Holder, but does that mean Coffman's birther moment was overplayed by journalists?

Coffman thinks he's being unfairly targeted for his birther comments, while Pelosi gets a pass.

As if it's unfair for journalists to simply want to talk to him about it?

What's a reporter supposed to do when Coffman will only take questions from conservative talk-radio hosts like Caplis and Silverman?

Look the other way and forget about the story because Coffman wants it to go away?

I hope not.

 

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