Who "got it wrong"? Daily Sentinel editor Herzog used distortions, falsehoods to attack Colorado Media Matters


In a June 26 weblog entry, Managing Editor Dennis Herzog of The Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction falsely stated that Colorado Media Matters "got it wrong" in an item about a Daily Sentinel editorial that distorted public attitudes toward immigration reform. Herzog didn't specify what Colorado Media Matters purportedly got wrong, and instead parroted the false claim that the group is "funded by billionaire George Soros" -- an assertion that parent organization Media Matters for America repeatedly has debunked.

Responding to a June 25 Colorado Media Matters item with a June 26 entry on his Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction weblog, Managing Editor Dennis Herzog falsely claimed that "ColoradoMediaMatter.org (sic) got it wrong" and went on to note that "we wrote and told the editors as much" but "no correction was forthcoming." However, Herzog did not inform his readers what he alleged that Colorado Media Matters got "wrong" -- omitting mention that the organization had pointed out the newspaper's distortion of public attitudes toward immigration reform legislation. In his blog entry, Herzog also repeated the falsehood that Colorado Media Matters and its parent organization, Media Matters for America, are "funded by billionaire George Soros." In fact, Media Matters repeatedly has pointed out that the progressive philanthropist Soros never has given money to Media Matters, either directly or through another organization.

From Dennis Herzog's June 26 Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction "View from the Newsroom" weblog, "Media Matters and Hillary Clinton":

We are often taken to task by Colorado Media Matters, a Colorado version of MediaMatters.org, a radical liberal organization funded by billionaire George Soros that claims to monitor news organizations for conservative bias.

It seems to find that often in the pages of The Daily Sentinel, the most recent being our editorial Sunday on the poor showing of Congress in the latest polls. Per usual, ColoradoMediaMatter.org got it wrong and we wrote and told the editors as much, and, per usual, no correction was forthcoming. We're used to such treatment by CMM. I've blogged about our treatment at the hand of Colorado Media Matters before, here and here.

As Colorado Media Matters noted, a June 24 Daily Sentinel editorial made the unsubstantiated claim that "80 percent of Americans are now said to oppose" the immigration bill under consideration in the U.S. Senate. The editorial did not cite a source for its assertion.

A Rasmussen Reports poll released June 13 did find that "[j]ust 20% of American voters want Congress to try and pass the immigration reform bill that failed in the Senate last week." However, Rasmussen did not ask poll respondents if they "oppose[d]" the bill. Rather, the poll asked, "Should Senate Try and Pass the Same Immigration Bill Again?" While only 20 percent of respondents answered that the Senate should try again to pass the same bill, Rasmussen stated that "51% would like their legislators to 'take smaller steps towards reform' while 16% believe they should wait until next year":

Survey of 800 Likely Voters
June 11-12, 2007

Should Senate Try and Pass the Same Immigration Bill Again?

Try and Pass Same Bill Again


Take Smaller Steps Towards Reform


Wait Until Next Year


Furthermore, a Rasmussen poll released June 25 found that "[f]ifty percent [of American voters] ... oppose the Senate bill" -- not the "80 percent" the Daily Sentinel cited.

Survey of 1,200 Likely Voters
June 22-24, 2007

Senate Immigration Bill





Not Sure


In addition to falsely claiming that Soros funds Media Matters and Colorado Media Matters, Herzog further stated that both organizations "monitor news organizations for conservative bias." As Colorado Media Matters' website states, "Colorado Media Matters is a Web-based progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation" -- not "bias" -- "in the U.S. media."

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