Our Friend Joey Bunch Missed The Mark
If a top Colorado news reporter like Joey Bunch raises concerns with one of our stories, we take it seriously. Western Wire is a new reporting project, and we will always welcome constructive criticism from those we respect.
On Saturday afternoon, Joey emailed Western Energy Alliance, the organization that supports Western Wire, regarding our story, “Winter Blast Putting Climate Protests On Ice In Colorado.” In the story he published at Colorado Politics later that evening, Joey attempted to take us to task. But in our opinion, he failed to read our story closely, and he missed the point of our reporting entirely.
In his article, he alleged that our story about the postponed climate march in Colorado Springs was intended to dissuade reporters from covering the march in Denver – apparently by implying the dozen or so events around Colorado had all been canceled due to snow.
Although he wrote about the Denver protests, Joey explained that he did not attend in person, as he chose instead to stay inside in his pajamas. Perhaps Joey’s desire to stay warm is the reason his reporting was informed by environmental activist organizations on the ground promoting the protests.
We certainly don’t blame Joey for choosing to skip out on the cold and snow. Most people we know stayed in the comfort of their warm homes, too – just as the activists in Colorado Springs suggested we should!
But all in all, Joey missed the intention of our post. We WANTED reporters to get up and go down and cover the marches in Denver, or any of the others in the state. After all, the giant snowstorm that hit Colorado highlighted the supreme irony of the anti-fossil fuel activists’ campaign. Even I was present at the Denver march, observing the protests and taking pictures. And I wish Joey had joined me.
He would have observed that many of the activists had arrived at the event in their gasoline-burning cars – that is, if they had left a home likely warmed by fossil fuel-generated energy. He would have seen them bundled up with all sorts of petroleum-based products. And he would have run into many afterwards in nearby coffee shops, warming up with heat made possible by fossil fuels. He may even have noted the irony of them carrying petroleum-based plastic “ban fossil fuels now” signs the whole time.
Even though Joey himself decided against getting out into the cold and covering the event, he did manage to hit on some of the key issues. For one, Joey noted that the activists had been forced to change their campaign slogans from “global warming” to “climate change,” precisely because of weather events like the blizzard Colorado saw this weekend.
As our original story noted, national outlets like the Washington Post were playing up the high temperatures in Washington, D.C., as if that made the activists’ case even stronger – even though weather, of course, does not equal climate. So if prominent media like the Post are going to play up the heat in our nation’s capital, it is fair game for Western Wire to point out the contrasting image a major snowstorm provides as a backdrop for a climate march – a point Joey missed when questioning the purpose of our coverage.
Finally, Joey tried to claim we did not provide updated details on the postponed event in Colorado Springs. But in our post, we linked to the announcement from the group itself, and anyone seeking more information on the event just needed to click to view it.
All of this leads us to believe that Joey missed the mark this time around.
It also makes us wonder why Joey didn’t just ask for a clarification in his email, instead of seeking comment for a critique of our story. Western Wire, like any other news outlet, is open to readers asking for clarifications or corrections. But that’s not what happened here.
The question to Joey is: Why not?