News Nuggets, 20 August 2009: CU’s Lahn gets a few more minutes of fame

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NOT EXACTLY OXFORD STYLE: CU student Zach Lahn continues to follow up on his contentious questioning of President Barack Obama in Grand Junction last weekend with a tour of cable news shows. Yesterday, the conservative Lahn had a few minutes to explain to MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer why Fed Ex doesn’t have to deliver a postcard to Alaska, or something like that. Westword says MSNBC “shut down” the “Obama basher,” though it looks more like the breathless 23-year-old ran up against a commercial break. Best Lahn line? Explaining why it’s inaccurate to call him a McCain volunteer because he didn’t start volunteering until Sarah Palin was on the ticket.

MEDIA WATCHDOG TURNS TECH FLAK: Roughly six months after Media Matters shuttered its branch in Colorado, former chief watchdog Bill Menezes has landed a permanent gig as a bigwig account director at VisiTech Public Relations, a Denver-based “boutique agency specializing in the tech field,” reports Westword’s Michael Roberts. “I’ve always had a personal passion for tech,” the former Denver Post and Wireless Week journo told Roberts.

DEMS TAR GARDNER WITH ‘BIRTHER’ HEDGE: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee didn’t wait long before jumping on news Republican Cory Gardner, the front-runner to take on first-term U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey, wasn’t willing to say for sure whether President Barack Obama was “born in this country” at a town hall Wednesday night. “With his comments last night, it’s clear that Cory Gardner has latched onto a fringe movement whose central belief has been debunked and proven false time and again,” said DCCC flak Andy Stone in a release posted soon after Coloradoan editor Bob Moore posted the story on his blog. “Gardner had an opportunity to put the issue to rest, but now joins an illustrious group of Birther supporters, including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and the notorious ‘Birther Queen’ Orly Taitz.” That last one’s gotta hurt — for a full run-down on the “Birther Queen,” see Dave Weigel’s dogged reporting at our sister site, The Washington Independent.

YOU MEAN THE O.J. TRIAL WASN’T GONZO ENOUGH?: Yes, the 1994 trial that brought us Kato Kailen, Johnny Cochran and Judge Ito could have been even more of a circus. Dethroned San Francisco Examiner boss Phil Bronstein — whose former newspaper is now the heart of Denver-based billionaire Phil Anschutz’ free-tabloid empire — wanted Aspen-based gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson to cover the proceedings. “The best idea I ever had, that never got acted on, was to have Hunter Thompson cover the O.J. Simpson trial,” Bronstein told Market Watch’s Jon Friedman. “We had an eight-hour negotiating session. Hunter wanted satellite dishes, an unlimited expense account and a suite or two at the Chateau Marmont. We were a dying afternoon paper with no budget.”

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Ernest Luning

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