COLORADO Denver RTD accused of double standard on ‘issue’ ads

July 19, 2015

July 16, 2015

by Chris Halsne

Updated at 10:17pm, July 16, 2015

DENVER — The operators of Denver’s bus and rail system are now under
fire for “fact-checking” certain free speech and political ads while
leaving others alone.

Before Republicans were allowed to run a political message on the side
of a Denver bus, the Regional Transportation District in Denver asked
for edits, citing its policy on “false, misleading, or deceptive”

When a pair of animal rights groups wanted to run political messages on
the side of Denver buses, RTD again asked for edits, making certain all
the facts checked out. One of the recommendations was so drastic, the
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) walked away without
buying the space….

…President of Colorado Citizens for Canine Welfare, Dr. Cheryl Saipe,
says the group wanted a special ad placed on the back of twenty buses
around Christmas 2013.

The banner originally said, “END PUPPY MILLS – SAY NO TO PET SHOPS AND

Records show RTD said no and stamped that version “denied.”

Halsne: “Did you think that your first submission was false or deceptive?”

Dr. Saipe: “No.”

Halsne: “But RTD did?”

Dr. Saipe: “Well they didn’t use the word deception. I think they said
you can’t prove that every pet shop sells only puppy mill dogs.”

Using its editorial control, RTD changed the ad to say no to puppy mill
pet shops and online sellers – believing that was more accurate.

Saipe’s group was happy to add the words, but what was their alternative?

“We wanted an ad to get our message across about ending puppy mills by
not buying dogs from pet stores or from the Internet,” said Dr. Saipe.
“We’re new to this and I was just glad they would run it at all.” …