Banned in Aspen: Newspaper chain fires its only conservative.

Carried on the website The American Thinker

January 11, 2020

Banned in Aspen: Newspaper chain fires its only conservative
By Glenn K. Beaton

Orchestrated media bias extends all the way down to small-town newspapers owned by big-time media companies. Consider the Aspen Times and its parent, Swift Communications.

That lefty little newspaper in this lefty little resort town started publishing my conservative columns seven years ago, back when Donald Trump was known as a blustery reality TV host.

My columns sometimes went to the top of the newspaper’s trending list, generating more clicks than frontpage news. They invariably produced more comments and letters to the editor than all the other columns combined. Most were positive.

I usually dealt with national political issues, where I often but not always criticized the clown car of Democratic presidential candidates while siding with Trump’s policies if not his personality. My stuff contrasted with the mindless and unread Trump-bashing of the other half-dozen columnists.

My columns also covered touchy local issues such as Aspen’s $3-billion (yes, with a “b”) subsidized housing program, where the yearly income limitation for a family of four is about a quarter-million dollars. In that black hole of taxpayer money, many local politicos along with Aspen Times editors and newspaper staff who endorse them enjoy seven-figure housing for dimes on the dollar, sometimes in the middle of town or even slope-side.

I revealed that some of the lucky recipients of this housing welfare illegally sublease their near-free housing for five-figure rents at Christmastime while evading lodging and income tax on the rental proceeds. That scandal has attracted attention in the Denver media 200 miles away, which sent an investigative reporter to cover it, but is often overlooked or back-paged in the Aspen Times.

I also wrote about the silly feel-good hypocrisy of locals who make a show of banning plastic straws on the fanciful notion that the straws somehow get transported from Aspen to the ocean a thousand miles away.

Meanwhile, those same locals happily use coal-generated electricity to be transported up snowy hillsides in order to amuse themselves by sliding back down, over and over, by a big ski company that buys carbon indulgences from the local greens by banning plastic straws in its restaurants.

Ten days before Christmas, I wrote a nuanced column — the last, as it turns out — about the human side of Jesus. It was widely admired by both Jews and Christians, including a prominent Episcopal bishop and a longtime local religious leader.

All that wasn’t enough, or maybe it was too much. On Christmas Eve, I received an email from the managing editor of the Aspen Times notifying me that effective immediately, without prior notice or even discussion, they had terminated our seven-year relationship. The reason he gave was that my bi-monthly column was contrary to their “values.”

His boss later contended that I should have anticipated this blindsiding. Their reasoning apparently goes like this: I knew that (1) they are lefties, (2) lefties don’t tolerate disagreement, and (3) lefties like to express their intolerance rudely.

The corporate parent of the Aspen Times is Swift Communications, which owns 26 newspapers. In effect, 26 newspapers around the country have banned this conservative voice.

Letters to the editor blasting the Aspen Times flooded in, but they printed only a fraction of them.

Then they announced that they would replace me with another “conservative.” But by the replacement’s own account, she is not a conservative.

They also promised that the replacement will focus not on national politics, but on local issues, though their other columnists face no such constraint in their non-stop Trump-bashing.

The replacement’s first column, published last Sunday, announced that “what we desperately need” is additional taxpayer-subsidized, city-provided housing welfare.

As for me, my story became national news. Power Line led with it the day after Christmas, and then other outlets picked it up as well. That weekend, more people read my column predicting the events of the new year than read the Aspen Times.

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