Post's Knight omitted VDARE's "white nationalist" connections; misled on drought in Colorado

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

Discussing immigration in his Denver Post column and on Peter Boyles's show, Al Knight cited an article from the website VDARE without noting that the website has published work its editor "regard[s] as 'white nationalist.' '' Knight also misleadingly stated that "there is general agreement that the drought isn't current."

In his October 18 column, "Which party owns immigration?," and as a guest discussing immigration on the October 19 broadcast of 630 KHOW-AM's The Peter Boyles Show, Denver Post columnist Al Knight cited "an article by Rep. Dave Schultheis, R-Colorado Springs, at vdare.com." But Knight did not identify the website as one whose editor has acknowledged publishing work from writers the editor "regard[s] as 'white nationalist.' " Additionally, in criticizing former Gov. Dick Lamm (D), Knight made the misleading claim in his column that there is "general agreement that the drought [in Colorado] isn't current." In fact, the Rocky Mountain News reported October 16 that "some parts of Colorado are still plagued by drought."

Knight referenced the Schultheis article while discussing the political implications of illegal immigration. Schultheis, whom Knight described as "a vocal opponent of illegal immigration," had asserted in his VDARE article that "former Democratic Governor of Colorado, Dick Lamm" was "[t]he chief culprit" in "the sabotage of the Defend Colorado Now ballot initiative [DCN], which was aimed at banning non-federally mandated social services to illegal aliens." On June 12, the Colorado Supreme Court disqualified the initiative for inclusion on the November ballot. Defend Colorado Now (DCN) had urged that a special session of the Colorado legislature place the initiative on the ballot as a referred measure. Instead, Lamm, a leader of DCN, struck a deal with Democratic opponents of the initiative to support alternative immigration reform legislation during the special session.

As Colorado Media Matters has noted, a July 15 investigative article by staff reporter Kevin Flynn reported that DCN received "[i]ts largest contributions from a national group whose longstanding campaigns for immigration cuts, border defense and official English have brought it some fringe and sometimes unwelcome bedfellows -- racists." In his article, Flynn described VDARE as a "white nationalist Web site." The editor of VDARE, Peter Brimelow, responded in a July 23 "Speakout" op-ed in the News that "we are not 'white nationalist,' " but that "[w]e also publish on VDare.com a few writers -- for example, Jared Taylor -- whom I would regard as 'white nationalist,' in the sense that they aim to defend the interests of American whites." Taylor is editor of the magazine American Renaissance, which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has described as "focus[ing] on alleged links between race and intelligence, and on eugenics, the now discredited 'science' of breeding better humans." The SPLC also described Taylor as "a courtly presenter of ideas that most would describe as crudely white supremacist."

Knight noted in his column that VDARE published a response from Lamm to Schultheis's article, and stated that it was "astounding" that Lamm's response asserted that "as important as illegal immigration is, those who say it is the most important issue facing Colorado don't understand the current drought." Knight asked, "What about the general agreement that the drought isn't current?" He then noted that "[j]ust the other day, the state's biggest domestic water distributor, the Denver Water Board, said that for practical purposes the drought is over." However, the News reported that "some parts of Colorado are still plagued by drought":

While Denver Water reservoirs have thrived, some parts of Colorado are still plagued by drought.

Early October's cool, wet weather in western Colorado brought an end to abnormal dryness there, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report, released Thursday.

But much of northeastern Colorado continues to suffer moderate to extreme drought conditions, according to the multiagency federal report.

On October 3, the Colorado Department of Agriculture announced that it "is now accepting grant applications for drought assistance in 24 eastern Colorado counties" and that state agriculture commissioner Don Ament stated, "We have drought impacts all over the state."

From Knight's column, "Which party owns immigration?," in the October 18 edition of The Denver Post:

The question that hovers over this election and this state is, "Who owns the immigration issue?" More particularly, "Have the Democrats successfully stolen this issue from the Republicans?"

Definitive answers can only be known once the votes have been counted, but insights are already available. Internet users can find some of them in an article by Rep. Dave Schultheis, R-Colorado Springs, at vdare.com. Schultheis, a vocal opponent of illegal immigration, makes a convincing case that the Democrats have been able to hijack the immigration issue, largely because of the efforts (or duplicity) of former Gov. Dick Lamm.

[...]

When the folks at vdare.com asked Lamm for his response, what the former governor said was in some ways startling. Of course, he defended the special legislative session, saying it achieved "our objectives." But Lamm went on to say the results were achieved without a "redundant vote of the people."

It is remarkable enough that Lamm believes allowing the public a direct say on immigration policy would be "redundant," but what is even more astounding is what he had to say about what he thinks is the most important problem facing Colorado.

Lamm's choice for that honor, believe it or not, is the "current drought." Lamm specifically says that "as important as illegal immigration is, those who say it is the most important issue facing Colorado don't understand the current drought."

That statement is stunning on three counts:

Unless the former governor is advocating cloud seeding, there isn't a whole lot a political party or the legislature can do about a drought.

What about the general agreement that the drought isn't current? Just the other day, the state's biggest domestic water distributor, the Denver Water Board, said that for practical purposes the drought is over.

From the October 19 broadcast of The Peter Boyles Show:

KNIGHT: There are cases all over the country in which immigration figures prominently in a local race, and they're all quite different. And so, somebody's going to after the election have to add it up and say, "What does this say about the American attitude toward illegal immigration?" And that's a question that I'm very much interested in seeing answered. Here in Colorado, it seems to me that the thing that I was writing about the other day was that you could now choose up sides. You could now take the view, you can take the view that the immigration issue has been dealt with. Or you can take the view that the issue of immigration has not been dealt with. And the article that I cite in the column, by Dave Schultheis, goes to that issue. Schultheis is of that view that it has not been taken care of. Dick Lamm, former governor, is of the view that it has been -- or largely taken care of. And that exchange, which is available on VDARE.com -- V D A R E dot com --

BOYLES: You know that, yeah --

KNIGHT: -- is very interesting. I mean, it's a very interesting view -- two interesting views of what's going on relative to the issue of immigration in this state.

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