It's now been over 22 weeks since Jane Norton has been quoted directly in The Denver Post.
Now wait a minute, you say, in The Post on Nov. 11, in the year 2009, there's a quote attributed directly to Norton, not to one of her spokespeople or to a news release. Norton was quoted as saying, "The very heart and soul of who we are as Americans is being eroded. We're seeing Washington's giant hand grabbing everything in sight."
Yes, that's a Norton quote, but alas the Nov. 11 quote is apparently taken from a speech she gave at a Republican forum. The words went from Norton's mouth to the ears of a reporter. But this doesn't count, because it wasn't a two-way communication, as far as I can tell. The reporter quoted her speech.
So you have to go all the way back to October 4, 2009, to find a Post article containing words that came directly from Norton's mouth into a reporter's ears, in a two-way conversation.
During Norton's 22 quoteless weeks, reporters have had a string of excellent reasons to talk directly to Norton. The reasons keep piling up.
Just yesterday Talking Points Memo published a video in which Norton describes Social Security as Ponzi scheme. I'm sure a lot of us Post subscribers are curious to hear directly from Norton about what she means.
Post readers would also benefit from hearing from Norton about the gross misrepresentation or outright lie found in one of her first political ads. Denver's FOX 31 (KDVR) aired an interview with Norton Tuesday, showing that she did not cut the budget of the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, as she claimed in a recent political advertisement.
Post readers also need to hear directly from Norton about these lingering questions:
• Why does she favor the elimination of the Department of education? The Post tried to obtain a comment from Norton's campaign on this, but was told by a spokesperson, "It's a holiday. Nobody cares." The spokesperson told The Post that Norton would address the issue after Jan. 1. That's two-and-a-half months ago, and it appears The Post hasn't followed up.
• Why does she support a national sales tax and flat tax, and why does she think a "simplified flat tax with exemptions for mortgages and charity" would be more viable than a pure flat tax? (On its blog, The Post published a Norton statement about this proposal to radically re-write the U.S> tax code, but it hasn't questioned Norton directly.)
• On what basis does Norton think that the "rights of terrorists are more important in this administration than the lives of American citizens"? This statement was quoted in an opinion column in The Post, but no reporter has asked Norton about it.
• If she's never been a lobbyist, as she's claimed, what was she doing from 1994-1999 as head of the lobbying department of Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)? An MGMA spokesman told the Colorado Independent that Norton headed the organization's lobbying department.
I actually don't know why The Post hasn't quoted Norton directly in 22 weeks (from her mouth to a reporter's ears in a two-way conversation), and a Post spokesperson declined to comment for this blog post. All I can do is speculate.
If Post reporters are asking to speak with Norton, as they should be, then they should inform readers when she declines to answer questions directly. Only once since Norton announced her campaign Sept. 15 has The Post informed readers that she declined an interview. On Oct. 25, 2009, in an article about Norton's ties to high-powered Republicans, The Post told readers that "Norton, through her spokesman, declined to comment."
If she's declining interview requests, reporters should tell us this. If she's not, then why aren't Post reporters talking to her?
As more and more time goes by, and the good reasons to talk to Norton pile up, you have to think that Post reporters just aren't doing their job to represent the public, at least in this case.