Elliot Fladen 
Member since Dec 3, 2011


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Re: “Is the Gazette's new marijuana series a joke?

Another problem with the Gazette's "Up in Smoke" series on the horrors of Colorado's experiment with marijuana: It repeatedly cites Ben Cort, who is "director of professional relations for the Center for Addiction Recovery and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Hospital [apparently properly called the Center for Dependency, Addiction, and Rehabilitation, i.e. "CeDAR" ]" for a series of sensationalist quotes. One example of such a quote is "But the ugly truth is that Colorado was suckered." Another is a purported statistic (without anything that goes into how an "addiction" is determined by the organization) states "Local addiction treatment centers are reporting more admissions for marijuana addiction. Among them is the CU adult-treatment hospital, which is continuing to track numbers"

http://gazette.com/article/1548296

Sounds really authoritative right? However, Ben Cort's LinkedIN profile fails to reveal ANY medical or statistical training (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/ben-cort/1/53…). Instead, Ben Cort is a Human Resources/Public Relations guy who received his education at "AIRS Academy", a "recruiter academy" apparently owned by Automatic Data Processing, Inc. https://www.airsdirectory.com/mc/training_…

There, Ben Cort claims he learned such skills as (in his words): "Fearless Cold-Calling", "Googling for Candidates", and "Diversity Recruiting". His "medical" training at AIRS Academy is supplemented by real-world job experience to include (a) "coordinating adventure based trips"; (b) working as a professional/executive "recruiter"; (c) then having enough experience from that stuff to be an officer of a non-profit drug "recovery" organization (Phoenix Multisport); (d) transitioning from there into another public relations/staffing gig with Cort Consulting; (e) going from there to yet another drug recovery gig, this time with CeDAR.

And as for CeDAR, it does not appear to actually be part of the University of Colorado Health System. Instead it appears to merely just have an alliance with them. https://www.uchealth.org/cedar/Pages/defau… And, where is it physically locate? Well, their webpage tells you: "a private, seven-acre tract of land on the ANSCHUTZ Medical Campus." (emphasis added)

So let's get this straight now: one of the major quote sources in the Gazette series has no apparent medical training, has an education where his major skills learned included "fearless cold-calling", has real-world job experience that basically consists of being an HR guy and yet the Gazette holds him out implicitly as an addiction expert? Are you fucking kidding me? Even worse, his own gig right now with CeDAR seems to have some connection (its at the ANSCHUTZ Medical Campus) with the owner of the same Gazette that has put up a series on marijuana that has both been roundly criticized and has allegations that Gazette reporters who are critical of it may be in jeopardy of losing their jobs.

It is crap like this why I don't take anti-marijuana people seriously. Too many fudged statistics and quotes from hacks, people with a moral grudge on the issue, or people whose livelihood depends on maintaining prohibition.

21 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Elliot Fladen on 03/25/2015 at 5:57 AM

Re: “UPDATED: Gazette employees reportedly could be fired for commenting on marijuana stories

Another problem with the Gazette's "Up in Smoke" series on the horrors of Colorado's experiment with marijuana: It repeatedly cites Ben Cort, who is "director of professional relations for the Center for Addiction Recovery and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Hospital [apparently properly called the Center for Dependency, Addiction, and Rehabilitation, i.e. "CeDAR" ]" for a series of sensationalist quotes. One example of such a quote is "But the ugly truth is that Colorado was suckered." Another is a purported statistic (without anything that goes into how an "addiction" is determined by the organization) states "Local addiction treatment centers are reporting more admissions for marijuana addiction. Among them is the CU adult-treatment hospital, which is continuing to track numbers"

http://gazette.com/article/1548296

Sounds really authoritative right? However, Ben Cort's LinkedIN profile fails to reveal ANY medical or statistical training (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/ben-cort/1/53…). Instead, Ben Cort is a Human Resources/Public Relations guy who received his education at "AIRS Academy", a "recruiter academy" apparently owned by Automatic Data Processing, Inc. https://www.airsdirectory.com/mc/training_…

There, Ben Cort claims he learned such skills as (in his words): "Fearless Cold-Calling", "Googling for Candidates", and "Diversity Recruiting". His "medical" training at AIRS Academy is supplemented by real-world job experience to include (a) "coordinating adventure based trips"; (b) working as a professional/executive "recruiter"; (c) then having enough experience from that stuff to be an officer of a non-profit drug "recovery" organization (Phoenix Multisport); (d) transitioning from there into another public relations/staffing gig with Cort Consulting; (e) going from there to yet another drug recovery gig, this time with CeDAR.

And as for CeDAR, it does not appear to actually be part of the University of Colorado Health System. Instead it appears to merely just have an alliance with them. https://www.uchealth.org/cedar/Pages/defau… And, where is it physically locate? Well, their webpage tells you: "a private, seven-acre tract of land on the ANSCHUTZ Medical Campus." (emphasis added)

So let's get this straight now: one of the major quote sources in the Gazette series has no apparent medical training, has an education where his major skills learned included "fearless cold-calling", has real-world job experience that basically consists of being an HR guy and yet the Gazette holds him out implicitly as an addiction expert? Are you fucking kidding me? Even worse, his own gig right now with CeDAR seems to have some connection (its at the ANSCHUTZ Medical Campus) with the owner of the same Gazette that has put up a series on marijuana that has both been roundly criticized and has allegations that Gazette reporters who are critical of it may be in jeopardy of losing their jobs.

It is crap like this why I don't take anti-marijuana people seriously. Too many fudged statistics and quotes from hacks, people with a moral grudge on the issue, or people whose livelihood depends on maintaining prohibition.

54 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Elliot Fladen on 03/25/2015 at 5:50 AM

Re: “Is the Gazette's new marijuana series a joke?

The series also cites officials at the hardly neutral NIDA. Some background on that governmental organization can be found here.

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/art…

Although NIDA has a monopoly on access to weed for medical research it has refused to release weed in past to studies designed to demonstrate Marijuana has a potential health benefit.

http://www.rxcbc.org/legal/Legal/Supreme_C…

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Elliot Fladen on 03/25/2015 at 4:36 AM

Re: “Republican Party executive coordinated Gazette opinion pieces

New idea: the Indy should disclose, tar, and feather each contributor, editor, or person with an ownership stake that voted for the Dems, has joined or supported a union, or has a major that ends in "Studies" or contains "Sociology/Political Science". After all, what is good for the Goose is good for the Gander.

/slight sarcasm

8 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Elliot Fladen on 08/08/2013 at 11:35 AM

Re: “UPDATE: Community questions reporter change at The Gazette

Louiet,
Chacon covered me when I was at the City. He got me in a lot of hot water (not due to my fault, it was just a political thing at that point), but I never blamed him. As John Leavitt (formerly of City Communications) once told me, Chacon is a highly ethical reporter.

13 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Elliot Fladen on 01/26/2013 at 8:36 PM

Re: “Gazette and Wayne Laugesen, thy name is class

sum things up, not some things up. Stupid typo.

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by Elliot Fladen on 07/29/2012 at 6:57 AM

Re: “Gazette and Wayne Laugesen, thy name is class

"How horrible it must be to have to make things up in order to feel good about yourself."

Great way to some things up. See my first comment.

2 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Elliot Fladen on 07/29/2012 at 6:57 AM

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