Post's Crummy to Salzman: "I'd rather not talk to you"

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According to Rocky Mountain News media critic Jason Salzman, Denver Post staff writer Karen E. Crummy repeatedly said she did not want to speak with Salzman about her controversial October 1 article concerning plea agreements Bill Ritter's office reached with legal and illegal immigrants. Salzman also reported that two individuals Crummy quoted in the article objected to the manner in which Crummy had interviewed them.

In his October 14 column, Rocky Mountain News media critic Jason Salzman wrote that when he contacted Denver Post staff writer Karen E. Crummy about a controversial article she wrote regarding Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter's record as Denver district attorney, Crummy responded, "I'd rather not talk to you."

Salzman's column, which appears biweekly in the News, addressed Crummy's front-page October 1 report that in 152 cases, Ritter had allowed legal and illegal immigrants to plead guilty to felony agricultural trespassing, a charge that apparently helped legal immigrants avoid deportation.

Crummy's article echoed an ad released by Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez's campaign two days earlier.

Salzman, who is the News' progressive media critic, reported that Crummy told him, "I don't want to talk about" the article. Salzman added, "Anything she says 'can be taken certain ways,' Crummy told me, and referred me to her editors."

Salzman further reported that two individuals Crummy quoted -- former Denver district attorney Norm Early and immigration attorney Jeff Joseph -- objected to the way Crummy conducted interviews with them for the article.

Salzman wrote, "During her one-and-a-half minute interview with Early, Crummy didn't tell him what she was investigating and why, according to Early." Salzman added, "Joseph told me that Crummy claimed to be writing a 'general article about immigration and crime.' "

Salzman is president of Cause Communications and board chairman of Rocky Mountain Media Watch.

From Salzman's October 14 News column, "Post's Ritter story a shameful deceit":

"I'd rather not talk to you," Denver Post reporter Karen Crummy told me Wednesday when I called to discuss her Oct. 1 story headlined, "Ritter helped immigrants stay."

That's awfully hypocritical, coming from a reporter, I told her.

"I don't want to talk about it," she said.

Anything she says "can be taken certain ways," Crummy told me, and referred me to her editors.

[...]

In paragraph three of her story, Crummy wrote that former Denver District Attorney Norm Early "laughed" when he heard about the agricultural trespass plea bargain, making it appear that Early disapproved of Ritter's use of the plea.

In fact, Early told me he has no problem with the plea, even though he hadn't heard of it before.

During her one-and-a-half minute interview with Early, Crummy didn't tell him what she was investigating and why, according to Early.

"[Crummy's] intent was to get my name in there, and have it look negative toward Ritter," said Early.

Crummy treated Jeff Joseph, an immigration attorney also quoted in the article, the same way.

Joseph told me that Crummy claimed to be writing a "general article about immigration and crime."

"I don't mind that she has an angle," said Joseph. "But tell me, and let me respond to it."

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