In contrast, Shaun Boyd, political reporter for CBS Channel 4 in Denver, filed an in-depth “Reality Check” on Obama’s ads on the same day Romney spoke in Grand Junction. Boyd’s report stated clearly that many of the president’s claims were misleading.

The story shifted somewhat after that point, of course, with new information coming to light and the debate moving from Romney’s personal involvement—which the Obama camp had initially focused on—to his ultimate responsibility for Bain’s actions.

Given the story’s evolving character, I was hoping to see a complete account over the weekend in the Post, the state’s flagship paper, that fleshed out its earlier deadline story and helped readers make sense of what had been reported elsewhere. Those hopes were disappointed. But we’ll keep in mind Stokols’s point about not evaluating coverage in isolation, and expect to see a fuller discussion of this central message war—and the facts that lie beneath the claims—as the campaign unfolds.

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Mary Winter has worked for seven newspapers, most recently the Denver Post, and was assistant managing editor at She spent the bulk of her career at the Rocky Mountain News, first in features and later managing the legislative and state government teams. In 2008, she oversaw delegate coverage at the Democratic National Convention for the paper. She wrote a weekly column for the News for 10 years.