Happy birthday, Backbone Radio: Another year of misinformation

On the November 11 “birthday” broadcast of his Backbone Radio program, KNUS 710 AM host John Andrews stated that “ever since November 2004, we have been bringing you the most principled, most patriotic, most faith-based, most Colorado-proud radio programming in your Colorado weekend.” As Colorado Media Matters has noted repeatedly, however, Andrews and his guests have made numerous false, misleading, or inflammatory statements during the past year. To celebrate Backbone Radio's third anniversary, Colorado Media Matters has compiled the following examples:

Columbus' discovery of New World “good for the inhabitants” and for “the people from Africa who were brought here against their will”

Discussing opposition to Columbus Day parades, Andrews asserted on his October 7 broadcast that explorer Christopher Columbus' discovery “was good for the inhabitants of the New World.” While acknowledging later in the program that “bloodshed” and “atrocities” were committed during the ensuing conquests, Andrews also claimed that the discovery “was good too for the people from Africa who were brought here against their will.” He further stated that “people of African ancestry” had claimed to have “ended up benefiting immensely as a result” of their ancestors' slavery, and concluded that "[t]here is no one that didn't benefit" from the discovery of the New World.

On Backbone Radio, former Hitler Youth member accused ACLU of “distributing Nazi philosophy”

In response to Andrews' question: “Who are the neo-Nazis around us today?” during the January 14 broadcast of Backbone Radio, former Hitler Youth member Hilmar von Campe replied, “I think the ACLU is distributing Nazi philosophy.” Earlier in the broadcast, von Campe claimed, “I have read the Quran, and I couldn't find any moral imperative as I find in the Bible.” Von Campe is the author of How Was It Possible?: The Story of a Hitler Youth and a Vital Analysis for Today's Times (Top Executive Media, 2006).

Andrews mischaracterized Colorado Media Matters' criticism of his show

Calling Colorado Media Matters “the local arm of the George Soros left attack machine,” Andrews misleadingly suggested on his May 13 show that the research organization criticized his co-host, Krista Kafer, for her “political incorrectness.” However, rather than directly impugning Kafer, a former Heritage Foundation analyst, Colorado Media Matters has highlighted numerous instances of false or misleading information Andrews or his guests have dispensed on Backbone Radio since August 30, 2006.

Andrews praised energy-industry funded CEI as one of his “favorite sources of non-junk science”

During the July 15 broadcast of his show, Andrews touted the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) as one of his “favorite sources of non-junk science.” In praising CEI for its “sound scientific and public policy research,” however, Andrews ignored the institute's substantial funding from the energy industry. He also omitted the fact that CEI has been criticized on numerous occasions for distorting global warming science.

Broadcasting from state Capitol, Andrews and Republican lawmakers repeated numerous falsehoods about Democrats

On the April 15 broadcast of Backbone Radio, Andrews aired a pre-recorded April 11 visit to the Colorado state Capitol during which he interviewed several state Republican legislators and allowed them to make false or misleading statements about Democrats and Democratic-sponsored legislation. Along with Andrews, Reps. Cory Gardner (Yuma) and Amy Stephens (Monument), and Senate Minority Leader Andrew McElhany (Colorado Springs) mischaracterized or made blatantly false statements about issues ranging from sex education legislation to labor reform.

On KNUS' Backbone Radio, Andrews let Schultheis omit key element of his “religious bill of rights”

During a February 11 interview with state Sen. Dave Schultheis (R-Colorado Springs) about his so-called "religious bill of rights" for public schools, both Andrews and Schultheis neglected to note a provision in the bill that would hold “individual members of local [school] boards personally liable for lawsuits brought under the act if the local board fails to adopt policies and procedures to implement the act or to ensure compliance with the act.”

Andrews and GOP strategist Wadhams served up numerous falsehoods about Democratic politicians

Andrews and current Colorado Republican Party chairman Dick Wadhams spread a number of falsehoods about Democrats during the January 21 broadcast of Backbone Radio. The misinformation included Wadhams' claim that Democrats have “no fundamental idea of what they want to do” ; Andrews' suggestion that state Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald (D-Coal Creek Canyon) wrote the Mexican consulate in Denver to ask “for direction from them about how to back off on the securing of our borders” ; and Wadhams' accusation that, during the gubernatorial campaign, Gov. Bill Ritter misrepresented his stance about restoring funding to Planned Parenthood.

From the November 11 broadcast of 710 KNUS' Backbone Radio:

ANDREWS: Boy, oh boy, is it ever Backbone Radio, and happy birthday to us -- broadcasting live from Lodo's Bar and Grill on Quebec and C-470 in Highlands Ranch. And the party is already under way, and if you're out there driving around in your car and you'd like to join us anytime during the next three hours, Backbone Radio with John Andrews, helped out ably by my friends Matt Dunn, Krista Kafer, Joshua Sharf, Karen Kataline, and the indispensable Kathleen LeCrone. We'll be on the air live from Lodo's in Highlands Ranch until 8 p.m. this evening here on 710 KNUS, as well as, of course, 1460 KZNT Colorado Springs. And we're just delighted that ever since November 2004, we have been bringing you the most principled, most patriotic, most faith-based, most Colorado-proud radio programming in your Colorado weekend.