It doesn’t take much to tell readers what they need to know to evaluate this well-worn claim. Hanel’s October 17th piece, for example, was under 300 words total. In the tight presidential race here in Colorado—and the hard-fought 3rd Congressional District contest—those few extra words could make a real difference. It’s unfortunate that reporters here haven’t consistently made the effort.

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Mary Winter has worked for seven newspapers, most recently the Denver Post, and was assistant managing editor at PoliticsDaily.com. 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.