I’ve been loosely documenting the complaints against journalists from top elected officials in Colorado for years, and guess who just made the nastiest comment yet (in public, that is)? U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO).
How’d you know?
Here’s what Boebert said about respected 9News anchor Kyle Clark Saturday.
“I don’t even want his name to come out of my mouth. He’s really disgusting,” Boebert told KNUS’ Randy Corporon Saturday. “But he is a conspiracy theorist through and through. He is obsessed with them. He is continuously working on creating them. I can’t even imagine what his basement looks like. I’m sure there’s photos and [web strings] and cats all over the place. He is a conspiracy theorist, and he is obsessed with them.”
In response to a Colorado Times Recorder tweet with Boebert’s insult, Clark deadpanned over Twitter:
“Rep. @laurenboebert’s communications director left this weekend after a few weeks on the job,” tweeted Clark, “Her new team has Boebert laser-focused on issues of importance to Western Colorado like water, public lands, and economic recovery,”
Colorado lawmakers who attack journalism publicly are mostly conservatives.
But unlike Boebert, they hold back on the personal insults, focussing more on what they see as liberal bias, an accusation that’s usually unsupported by evidence, in the form of a study or data of any kind, especially at the local level.
Former Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), for example, baselessly accused 9News’ Anusha Roy of bias last year after she asked him an uncomfortable question. Gardner’s comment came after he aired multiple broad swipes at journalism over the years.
As a Congressman, Mike Coffman, also a Republican, accused the New York Times without any proof of rigging a poll against him.
Even U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), whose extremism is well documented, refrains from lashing out at journalists, limiting his barbs to garden-variety accusations of liberal bias.
The broad fact-free accusations of “liberal bias” are actually worse than Boebert’s personal nastiness, because they undermine the profession of journalism, not just an individual reporter, and journalism’s essential role as arbiter of what’s true and what’s not.
But calling a reporter disgusting is damaging too, and stupid, especially when you consider what prompted Boebert to level the barb.
During a show after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Clark called out Boebert and other Colorado conservatives for promoting “conspiracy theories and fantasies” leading up to the attack.
“Congresswoman Lauren Boebert from western Colorado gave her first speech in Congress today, trying to overturn the election results and told her followers this morning, ‘Today is 1776,'” said Clark on air.
For this, Clark is a disgusting conspiracy theorist in Boebert’s mind? WTF? Boebert could only believe such a thing if she had a history of falling for make-believe stuff like QAnon. Hmm.
UPDATED with an extended Boebert quote from the KNUS interview.