Susan Greene compares working at Denver Post to Stockholm syndrome in HuffPo debut

susan greene screen capture.JPG
Susan Greene.
Update below: Susan Greene resigned from the Denver Post late last year after being told her column would be canceled -- and while she was clearly saddened by the circumstances of her departure, she had only positive things to say about colleagues and didn't criticize the paper as a whole. But that's all over now that she's landed at the Huffington Post's Denver branch. Indeed, her HuffPo bow makes working at the Post seem like a living hell.

The headline of her debut -- "Post-The Denver Post: A Recovering Newspaper Veteran Moves On" -- suggests a settling of affairs, and while she doesn't name anyone other than columnist Mike Littwin, who she mentions in a laudatory aside, she portrays the management at the Post as weak-willed when it comes to tipping sacred cows. An excerpt:

In my own experience, staying true to the Denver Post brand required a certain type of Stockholm syndrome. It meant internalizing what you figure your boss and your boss's boss might deem inconvenient to print, say, before they hop on the train to Frontier Days with a posse of politicians and advertisers.

Their directives were loud and clear. No mas with the undocumented immigrants, one editor told me. Enough already about police brutality and mental illness, winced another. Ixnay the grit, they warned. And for God's sake, they said, give it a rest about the baby Jesus on the steps of City Hall.

According to Greene, she knew her days were numbered when Miles Moffeit, with whom she co-wrote 2007's "Trashing the Truth," a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, was asked to leave the paper before completing his two-weeks notice. This action was taken following an interview with Westword in which he said concerns about the financial health of the Post's owner, MediaNews Group, factored in to his decision to join the Dallas Morning News' investigative unit.

In her HuffPo salvo, Greene reveals that her column about the influence of Moffeit's investigative projects was spiked, as was a piece about body searches of female inmates in Colorado; she maintains that editors found the subject matter too "distasteful" for a family newspaper. And when convicted murderer Tim Masters was set free based on DNA evidence that Moffeit and Greene helped bring to the fore, she writes that her immediate boss rolled her eyes and "remarked something like, 'Great, so he can just go kill somebody else?'"

The strong implication? The Post prefers staying afloat to making waves -- and she fears this timidity isn't isolated to employees at a single Colorado broadsheet. Her words: "I worry for their futures when such a stifling culture has infected the newsroom, as it has many others."

Update, 2:10 p.m. January 27: Earlier today, I received a phone call from a very polite representative of the Denver Post, who asked that we remove from this item a photo of Susan Greene that previously accompanied her column for the paper. I noted that we have used similar photos of Post columnists and reporters to accompany media pieces for years under the assumption that they were the equivalent of publicity photos, and we've never previously received a complaint from the paper. But the representative informed me the photos are taken by a news photographer, not the promotional department, and therefore should be treated like any other proprietary news or sports photo copyrighted by the Post.

However, the representative went on, the Post would be open to allowing use of staff photos if Westword asked and received permission to do so, as long as the Post was properly credited. With that offer in mind, I requested permission to use the aforementioned photo of Greene. The representative said he would check to see if that was all right -- but because more than an hour has passed since this conversation, we decided to swap out the image for a screen capture of Greene from an appearance she made on a Channel 12 public-affairs program hosted by Jon Caldara.

The Post representative made it clear that the request to remove the image from this item wasn't made because of the negative things Greene had written about her former employer. Instead, he characterized it as part of an effort to better control use of the paper's copyrighted work -- and indeed, the Post's owner, MediaNews Group, has been active in this regard of late. In December, for example, a Las Vegas firm working on behalf of MediaNews sued a South Carolina blogger for unauthorized use of a Mike Rosen column. That was followed days later by a copyright infringement lawsuit targeting Internet powerhouse Matt Drudge.

At this writing, Greene is still using the Denver Post photo in question as the profile pic on her Facebook page. Don't be surprised if a suit aimed at Mark Zuckerberg is filed in the near future.

More from our Media archive: "Dean Singleton interview about stepping down as CEO of MediaNews Group."

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32 comments
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Wriprodir
Wriprodir

The Denver Post will soon be providing it's readership with the one thing electonic media cannot: full-page liquor store advertisements. BTW: My Irish Wolfhound pup refuses to poop on it... he hates redundancy.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Strong take, Clolorado Shu. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Joe
Joe

Why was Susan Greene's post taken down from the Huffington Post's main page after just a couple of days? Funny, a 2-week old "Boulder UFOs Identified" post is still on the "featured posts" scroll, but the ever-groan Greene is gone. Everybody censors Susan. What else is new? Can you get us an answer on this, Westword? Did she get mad because she didn't like the font and quit?

Alex Miller
Alex Miller

Sorry to see Greene surface on HuffPo -- she's a terribly irresponsible and vindictive columnist. No journalist at all, in my view.

DB
DB

So let me see if I have this straight. Susan Greene doesn't want to do what her employer -- the writer of her paychecks -- wants her to do. Ummmm. Susan, dear, wake up and smell the real world. That's every job ever invented. One thing your literary score-settling on the Internet guarantees is that that you;ll never have another paying job. Enjoy volunteering at the Huffington Post, while your children do without, just so Mommy can have a massive ego.

A-K Dan
A-K Dan

Isn't about TIME the Denver Post tries to connect me some Terrorist Plot again ???

MDmike
MDmike

Depressing, disgusting, derelict... To think that a job as IMPORTANT as journalism would take a back seat to the TRUTH! Susan said NOTTA for how long? To preserve her personal well being? f her and the Post!

Lyn_M
Lyn_M

I'd be more likely to read and subscribe to a paper that called a spade a spade rather than tippy-toeing around reality. Too bad, because I'd really like reading a daily paper. Til then will continue to read HuffPo's Denver section.

salmo trutta
salmo trutta

Who is Susan Greene and who cares if she has a beef with a former employer. Wasteword tabloid journalism at its worst.

Guido
Guido

My company use to spend over $125,000.00 annually with the Denver Post until we figured out (thank god) that advertising in the Post DOES NOT WORK. No one reads that rag anymore. I also find it interesting that they buried Tina Griego (needs a new photo, she looks made as hell) and Mike Littwin (needs a hair cut, looks like a sissy) in the OBITUARIES section. Great section for both liberals since their opinions are dead on arrival. You would think that the owners of this rag would sit down and understand that the direction they keep moving in is also Dead when Printed and very few will pay for this liberal rag any longer. You would think that maybe just maybe they they would come to the center and start printing the truth or a least try. Finally, I would sincerely hope that everyone at the Post will learn how to spell, "illegal alien" especially Tina Grego. We will all miss Susan Greene who really tried to be more honest and centered than anyone at the Post.

salmo trutta
salmo trutta

You spent $150,000 and didn't have any idea of the demographics or effectiveness of the add and you moan about it? What were you selling three handled gredunzas?

Me
Me

Good point, Salmo. Sounds like Guido wasn't much of a businessman, had never heard of "market research," and/or was selling AK-47s and sheet-and-hood sets.

Diane
Diane

I don't know Susan Greene personally and I have mixed feelings about the Denver Post. However, what a horribly unprofessional exhibition. Her screed says much more about her than the Post, IMHO. If I recall from Westword, Ms. Greene quit in a tantrum because she was being relieved of her column-writing duties. So rather than accept the fact she was being demoted, she casts herself as an ideological martyr -- a fact that leads me to think she should have been relieved of her journalistic privilege long ago. Blek. Apparently she needed a stern editor to save her from her own self-absorption.

Chilledbongo
Chilledbongo

and does she believe this self-censoring mentality is confined to the denver post? honey, this sort of thing has been going on in the newspaper biz since time immemorial.....

Guest
Guest

Wah, wah, wah.

mak
mak

In the absence of any fresh, hot tips from Dave "The Post is folding" Milstead, Michael Roberts once again is reduced to repeating gossip from disgruntled ex-employees.

salmo trutta
salmo trutta

Agreed mak. Michael Roberts has zero class.

postblows
postblows

"Disgruntled ex-employee" at the Post is becoming a rapidly expanding subset.

mak
mak

I think you missed the point of mak's comment.

Bill
Bill

Gee, I'm shocked to hear the Denver Post is run by a bunch of dysfunctional nimrods. Whenever I pick up that paper and happen onto its Web site, it's just a big joke.

SamIAm
SamIAm

Greene was every bit as dreadful as Diane Carman as a columnist. Littwin is the only one who consistently produces something worth reading, and they stupidly bumped him deeper inside the paper. Griego and Johnson rarely offer anything of interest.

Paulette
Paulette

Isn't this the same woman whose plagairism is said to have cost her newspaper a Pulitzer?

Sidney
Sidney

The Post actually paid Ms. Greene for her navel-gazing drivel and she's complaining?

wiggy
wiggy

There's a special place in hell for people who, after having been provided with the greatest of opportunities including a salary, benefits and a byline can't stomach the idea of a graceful exit when they no longer agree on terms of their arrangement. She sounds like a bitter ex-wife. I hope there's a rebuttal. I'm sure the Post management and her colleagues have way more to say about her questionable and unethical nature while she served at the Post. Her name was synonymous with 'correction box'. Be gone, cruel witch, be gone!

postblows
postblows

Wiggy, I'd have to agree: You'd think anyone would be jumping for joy to not work at the Post any more.

salmo trutta
salmo trutta

So she speaks highly of the post in December and trashes them in January? And we're supposed to believe her? Wild that she thinks so highly of herself.

Mojado
Mojado

Granted, the editors of The Denver Post are among the lightest weights in the country, having much more in common with CEOs and lesser corporate crumbs than hard-charging journalists. Still, coming from a columnist who spent far more years than should have been tolerated writing fluffy liberal thumb-suckers, Ms. Greene's complaints about the oppressive Post ring hollow. A real editor would have canned her years ago. She should thank her lucky stars that Greg Moore isn't a real editor.

Bartrain
Bartrain

Susan, thy grapes are sour indeed.

Denvercruiser
Denvercruiser

We all know the Post is politically motivated and its articles, in large part, are shaped by special interest. I'm glad more people are coming out to expose the publication and hope that word spreads quickly.

salmo trutta
salmo trutta

Seeing as how she can't keep her story straight it should be no surprise that they hammered her. Can't have waffles on staff.

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