While I of course agree with The Colorado Springs Gazette that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar should personally apologize to a reporter he recently threatened to punch out, I find it interesting that there’s no mention at all about the impropriety and possible illegality of Salazar’s numerous campaign trips to this state for President Obama, despite a federal law — namely the Hatch Act – prohibiting such activities. It was at one such campaign stop that the confrontation occurred.
It’s Salazar’s loss of composure that has Colorado’s media in a tizzy, not the fact that he was jetting in from Washington regularly during the campaign to stump for Obama, in what some saw (myself included) as a blatant disregard of Hatch Act rules. A few of the state’s fiesty media upstarts took notice, much to their credit, but none of the self-styled watchdogs in the dead tree media even blinked, although they all know what the Hatch Act is and they can get keenly interested in possible ethics violations when Republicans are involved.
But maybe that’s to be expected from media types who shrug-off deadly terrorist attacks in Benghazi but go into a feeding frenzy over bimbo eruptions in the military ranks.
The Gazette reporter was entitled to ask Salazar any question he liked. Salazar obviously was in the wrong for losing his cool (making one wonder whether the cowboy costume has gone to his head). But why has no mainstream media outlet in Colorado questioned Salazar as aggressively — or at all — about the secretary’s brazen flouting of a well-know federal ethics law? If this were a Republican administration, and a Republican appointee out campaigning on the taxpayer dime, I’m sure Colorado media folks would be all over it. But for some reason this administration gets a free pass on ethics from our less-than-consistent media watchdogs. Perhaps we’re seeing the predictable result of this double standard played-out in this administration’s growing problem telling the truth.
Yes, Ken Salazar should apologize to the reporter in question. But he also needs to produce documents proving that his pro-Obama campaigning in Colorado was in no way funded with taxpayer money. That seems to me to be an equally important question for Colorado media people to ask — even at the risk of getting punched-out by Rock’em Sock’em Salazar.