Schultheis blames reporter for HIV moms, babies flap

Square State blogger Sufimarie posts an email allegedly from state Sen. Dave Schultheis blaming then-Rocky Mountain News reporter Lynn Bartels reporter for sullying his reputation by not helping him clarify clumsy remarks that HIV infected babies would cause families to “see the negative consequences of that promiscuity.”

The Colorado Springs senator’s troubles stem from his argument on the Senate floor Wednesday that a bill requiring HIV tests for pregnant women would reward promiscuity.

Bartels reported Feb. 25 in a follow-up story to the original flap over Schultheis’ response in the SB 179 debate:

“What I’m hoping is that, yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that,” he said. “The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior.”

That controversy now fuels the latest flap:

Now, back to Lynn Bartels (the reporter). I have known Lynn for well over eight previous legislative sessions. She has always reported my comments accurately and knows exactly what I think and how I think. Over the years, we’ve had many long discussions and I have trusted her implicitly to report accurately, not just the words but the meaning of my comments; that’s what good journalists do. I will not deny that I may have used those words, but I am confident that Lynn had to have known that the way I articulated them was not consistent in any way with my known strong pro-life stance and the compassion I have shown to numerous legislators and others over the years.

I had always considered Lynn Bartels as one of the best journalists the Rocky had. As such she should have had the good sense to question me on my hurried comments to make sure she had a clear understanding. She failed to do that, and as a result has sullied my long-standing reputation as a strong pro-life advocate and caused many good citizens to doubt my views.

The left-wing blogs are in a heated frenzy, deliberately using my comments to spread the thought that I want children to get AIDS. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. NOTHING!

Read Schultheis’ entire email at Square State.

As for Bartels, she is one of a handful of reporters, columnists and an editor who left the shuttered Rocky Mountain News for new gigs at the Denver Post.

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Wendy Norris

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