9News anchor Kyle Clark is admitting an uncomfortable truth — and challenging local news outlets to find a solution.
The intrigue: In commentary for his prime time “Next” show, Clark acknowledged that his NBC-affiliated TV station covers U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Rifle) differently than any other elected official in Colorado.
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“We hold Congresswoman Boebert to a far lower standard,” Clark said. “If we held her to the same standard … we would be here near nightly chronicling the cruel, false and bigoted things Boebert says for attention and fundraising.”
Background: Boebert took to the U.S. House floor in November to make Islamaphobic remarks about Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, calling her a member of the “Jihad squad.”
Why it matters: The double standard that allows Boebert to avoid scrutiny is unfair to other elected officials “who display human decency,” Clark said. He prodded local journalists to find a corrective approach.
What he’s saying: Clark didn’t reply to an email we sent him, but he acknowledged in the interview with Maddow that he doesn’t have a solution.
“Even if we are not sure what the answer is, we need to acknowledge the double standard so we can do something about it,” Clark noted.
The other side: Boebert’s congressional office didn’t respond to Axios’ requests for comment, either.
The reaction from local media has also been limited — at least publicly. Clark told CNN that he heard a lot of private agreement from fellow journalists.
Bernie Lange, assistant news director at KKCO and KJCT in Grand Junction, told a local media newsletter that he thinks coverage of Boebert’s comments is “counterintuitive to the greater good,” but his station has not discussed it in the newsroom.
Our thought bubble: The question of fairness is one we take seriously at Axios Denver as part of our clinical coverage of politicians in both parties.
We decide coverage of what elected officials are saying on a story-by-story basis, always anchored in our reader-first approach that focuses on why a story matters and the big picture context that informs the news.
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