Readers will remember the Aspen Times. They’re the little but old – venerable, we’re told – newspaper of Aspen. These days it’s a hard left rag in a hard left town of limousine liberals who are screwed, swindled, salved and soothed by the local Stalinists in an obscene spectacle something like a Mexican donkey show.
One of the frequent perks for Aspen Times editors and reporters, as for many other members of the ruling Aspen establishment, is housing subsidized by the limo-libs for dimes on the dollars – often slopeside.
I was the token conservative columnist with the Aspen Times for seven years. But I grew a little big for my britches. Over that time, I became the most-read columnist in the newspaper. Then I started to become more-read than even front-page news. I was occasionally the very most-clicked item in the newspaper.
Ah, but that wasn’t their goal. I was hired not to succeed in offering a viewpoint contrary to the Aspen leftwing establishment, but to be a token. So, on Christmas Eve in 2019 they fired me. By email.
It all worked out for me. I started this blog which now has over 800,000 readers. In an annual poll conducted by the Aspen Times, meanwhile, their readers named me “Best Columnist” in Aspen for each year since I was fired, and last year also voted me “Mr. Aspen.” (Thanks guys!)
Here’s where my dear friend Karma comes in. The Aspen Times was sold last winter to a respected newspaper family named the Ogdens out of West Virginia. They’re Republicans, which is intolerable to the “tolerant” leftists of Aspen. Those slopeside multimillion dollar subsidized digs for Aspen Times employees are rumored to be in jeopardy,
The Aspen Times’ distaste for the political leanings of their new owners may have something to do with ensuing events, which I will now summarize (more is available HERE).
It started when the newspaper ran a report months ago that one of the local billionaires (they’re a dime a dozen here) was somehow in league with Vladimir Putin. The evidence of this was apparently thin, at best. So, the billionaire sued the Aspen Times for defamation. The Aspen Times understandably wanted to settle this lawsuit.
The new owner apparently asked staff not to comment on the lawsuit. That’s normal and prudent. Employees are typically asked not to issue gratuitous commentary on litigation involving their employer, because the comments become evidence at trial which may or may not be consistent with the company’s legal position.
Some of the employees defied that request, either deliberately or negligently. At least one of those employees was consequently fired.
Another (who might be just an “independent contractor” as opposed to an actual employee) quit. His reason for quitting was evidently that he objected to being restrained in commenting on the pending litigation.
This grown man bragged in a public forum that he “cried” about all this. Literally. He literally cried about it and he literally bragged about crying. Several times he cried and several times he bragged about it.
He feels his pain, even if the rest of us don’t. Notably, while this baby cries for being assigned the grown-up task of not compromising pending litigation involving his boss, he and the rest of Aspen journalists (ah, what an oxymoron) made nary a peep back when yours truly was canned for being unwoke.
Blissfully unaware of their hypocrisy, the crybabies spin their own reckless insubordination into a horrible act of censorship by the new owners. Freedom of the Press is at stake, they cry. It’s a First Amendment issue (one of the few amendments they still like, at least when it’s on their side). And because they have strong feelings about the issue, we’re supposed to infer they’re right about it.
In other words, their “journalism” comes from the school of “left-is-always-right-and-the-right-is-always-wrong” and “the-harder-I-cry-the-more-persuasive-I-am.”
The kids of Aspen City Council got involved too, as they do in everything. I’m not being mean in characterizing them as kids – one is a tennis instructor with just one name (which might be one more name than he’s earned) and another is named “Skippy” (which might be exactly the name he’s earned). These kids control a $200,000,000 city budget for this 7,000-person town. Do the math – that means the city budget is about $30,000 per resident.
Accustomed to their daily fellating from the Aspen Times, the City Council-eers have begged liberal Aspen billionaires to buy the newspaper back. Maybe they’ll rename it “Pravda.”
I’m not a businessman, and not really even a newspaper man. I’m a retired lawyer with a fantastically witty and informative blog (to which you can obtain a free subscription HERE!). But my sense after living in Aspen a while and writing for the Aspen Times for seven years until they fired me (did I mention they did it by email on Christmas Eve?) is that some housecleaning is in order.
The Editor had already been fired or forced out before this latest brouhaha. Now it looks like a few others will follow. Nothing sweeps like a new broom.
Best of luck to the Ogden family, but I don’t think they really need it. They know how to run a business and how to run a newspaper. They may be from the East, but this ain’t their first rodeo. And they don’t seem to be the crybaby type.