"Discredit us": Face the State's Jones asked for substantive critique of website; Colorado Media Matters has provided it


During an appearance on KNUS 710 AM's Backbone Radio, conservative activist Brad Jones defended his website, FacetheState.com, by saying critics should "[d]iscredit us" instead of launching "[a]d hominem attacks." Colorado Media Matters has, in fact, detailed numerous inaccuracies and misleading information in Face the State's "political news" coverage.

In defending FacetheState.com, the conservative website he founded, activist Brad Jones challenged critics during a guest appearance on the April 22 broadcast of KNUS 710 AM's Backbone Radio not to "launch an attack on me or the site" but to "[d]iscredit us." In fact, Colorado Media Matters has substantively critiqued Face the State's content and documented Jones' ties to the Colorado Republican Party.

As Colorado Media Matters has noted, Face the State describes itself as "a one-stop-shop for political news affecting Coloradans." Furthermore, Jones reportedly has called for higher "journalistic standards" in Colorado political reporting. However, Face the State -- which Jones launched March 26 -- has provided factual inaccuracies in its reporting to the detriment of liberals and Democrats, misleading headlines on aggregated news stories, and frequent use of the noun "Democrat" as an adjective instead of the grammatically correct "Democratic" (a well-established conservative tactic).

In addition to the earlier examples noted by Colorado Media Matters, Face the State inserted false or misleading language into some of its recent "Front Page" links to reports published by other news organizations.

On April 23, Face the State linked to an article in the April 23 Fort Collins Coloradoan; the wording of the link faulted the Coloradoan for purportedly failing to substantiate references to a "recent economic downturn":

Coloradoan References "Recent Economic Downturn" in Story, Offers No Evidence

In fact, the Coloradoan noted that poverty rates in Larimer County -- the region which was the focus of the article -- have risen substantially since 2000:

In 2000, 9.2 percent of all people living in the county fell below the federal poverty limit, according to numbers from Larimer County. That number jumped to 13.3 percent in 2005, according to county numbers.

Similarly, Face the State's link to an April 20 Denver Post article referred to a coalition proposing a lobbying reform initiative as "Grueskin and Friends" and misrepresented what the initiative would do:

Grueskin and Friends File Ballot Language to "Tax" Lawmakers for Amd. 41 Panel

The Post reported that on April 19 attorney Mark Grueskin, acting on behalf of a coalition seeking to clarify Amendment 41, the lobbying reform initiative voters passed in November 2006, "filed a November ballot proposal Thursday to clarify Amendment 41 and impose a tax on lobbyists." Contrary to Face the State's assertion, the proposal's $50 annual tax -- the proceeds of which would fund an ethics commission mandated by Amendment 41 -- would fall on lobbyists, not lawmakers.

(Grueskin serves as legal counsel for Colorado Media Matters.)

From the April 22 broadcast of KNUS 710 AM's Backbone Radio:

JOHN ANDREWS [host]: For you to be on the receiving end of a shoot-the-messenger backlash by Democrats -- helped, I'm afraid, by the mainstream media after revealing the "go to hell" email from Mike Merrifield [D-Manitou Springs], state rep, to Sue Windels [D-Arvada], state senator -- Brad Jones, had to be no fun for you. But on -- it's a compliment to you and to the FacetheState.com website that, that this venture has, has got to be taken seriously. And some Democrats said, "Well, Jones has been involved with dirty tricks-style activities in the past." That, that seemed to me to completely miss the point. If there was any dirty trick, it was the one that Merrifield and Windels played on themselves, and your site simply shined the bright light of public awareness.

JONES: Well, the dirty trick being perpetrated by many legislators on their constituents -- not themselves, but their constituencies -- is what's troubling. And you're right: Ad hominem attacks on the messenger rather than the message are a sign of a dying ideology. A dying breed. If, if you don't like what I'm saying, talk about what I'm saying. Don't launch an attack on me or the site. Discredit us. I'm, I'm more than happy to talk to people about ideas, and I wish that we would be taken on on that level rather than trying to -- to, to look at other issues regarding my life and, and the website and its funding. Those aren't what's important. It's the issues that we're talking about.

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