Tabloid embarrassment at the Rocky

Open letter from John AndrewsTo John Temple, Editor & Publisher, Rocky Mountain News

Dear John: Twice this week your paper has shown glaring lapses from journalistic standards and gross disrespect of important public figures. I and other readers expect better from the Rocky.

Policeman Ken Jordan's murder was ignored in the wording and dishonored in the tone of your Wednesday front page headline (print edition): "A cop's last stop: DUI suspect, 'tired of drama' with police, opens fire on Springs officer." A lawman who gives his life in the line of duty does not deserve such oblique, breezy treatment in a news story.

Congressman Bob Beauprez's honorable service and unsuccessful run for governor, supported by the votes of over half a million Coloradans, were bashed by the editorial spread on page 4A, Tuesday. The main story, though written straight, was undercut by ridicule in the photo caption: "You've got Bobmail." The mocking sidebar, "Extra! Were we at the same election?", should have been signed and identified as opinion -- if placed on the news pages at all.

Such juvenile attempts at irreverence are unworthy of a good high school newspaper, let alone a major metropolitan daily. Are you really so desperate to be in contrast with the Denver Post, to sell papers by appearing hip and cute?

You owe a published apology to the family and friends of the heroic Officer Jordan -- and in lesser degree to Congressman Beauprez and his supporters. Shame on the Rocky Mountain News.