DENVER — Legendary Denver Broncos QB John Elway and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney learned this weekend that liberal media slant isn’t confined to network newsrooms in New York and Washington, D.C.
If the Denver media’s reporting on Elway’s endorsement of Romney is any indication, pro-Obama mainstream media bias appears to be alive and well in the Mile High City as well.
As The Observer first reported on Saturday, Elway sent out an email to thousands of Coloradans over the weekend urging support for the former Massachusetts Governor and asking donors to open up their wallets for the cause.
“The vote is extremely close in the swing states, like Colorado, that will decide this election,” Elway said in the email.
“I know it has been said before but this is the most important election of my lifetime. Next week will be an exciting week here in the Mile High City! Please help me give Mitt a Mile High Welcome and consider contributing $50, $250, $1,000 or whatever you can via my secure Romney Victory website link.”
The mainstream media routinely celebrates news of Obama endorsements from Hollywood moguls like George Clooney and power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z, but Romney’s own Mile High Celebrity endorsement was met with intense initial skepticism, with the state’s most watched TV station focusing the bulk of its initial reporting on the question of whether or not the email from Mr. Elway was a scam.
“Voters wary of a Romney campaign solicitation letter from John Elway contacted 9NEWS concerned about the validity of the email,” the 9News report began. “Viewers raised concerns since the email came from a Gmail address and the donation link did not directly lead back to Mitt Romney’s website.”
Assertions by 9News that links in the email didn’t tie back to the Romney website were in error. Those wishing to contribute to Romney were quickly toggled over to the Romney “victory” site through a link in the email.
Even after confirming the authenticity of the endorsement, rather than framing Romney’s celebrity nod in the affirmative, a la “Elway endorses Romney,” 9News muddied the story by centering its coverage on complaints that the email was a fraud.
It wasn’t until the Drudge Report linked to a more flattering write-up a day later (and until Mr. Elway himself swaggered out on to a stage and uttered an endorsement of Romney with his own indisputable lips) that the story took root in the local Denver media, giving Romney a feel-good lift across the swing state in the critical days before the national media descended on Colorado for the first presidential debate.
There is no way to know for certain whether the Denver media would have covered the endorsement at all in the absence of the Drudge Report’s link and Mr. Elway’s public appearance with Romney. What is clear is that there was no mainstream media coverage of the endorsement beforehand – except the 9News report centering on whether the endorsement was a hoax.
Is pro-Obama media bias alive and well in Denver? The media will say no, but one station’s initial treatment of the Elway email seems to suggest that, like the endorsement itself, preferential treatment for Obama among Denver’s media elite is no hoax.