Editorial: Denton Knapp Is the Only Candidate Who Cares About The Public Right Now

War hero Denton Knapp is the only candidate, or person for that matter, who is trying to get Thursday's U.S.House debate open to the public after Wyoming PBS decided to make it a private affair.

Jimmy Orr

June 28, 20223 min read

(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

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Cowboy State Daily Editorial

Is it that surprising that the only person who isn’t playing the victim card in Wyoming PBS’ debate debacle is a veteran?

U.S. House candidate Denton Knapp isn’t the only one to say he’s not pleased with Wyoming PBS’ decision to bar the public from attending Thursday’s debate.

But he is the only person who is trying to do something about it. 

Yes, we know that Liz Cheney and Harriet Hageman say they don’t like the idea of a private debate.  But they are resigned to it. We heard from their spokespeople. There’s nothing they can do, they say.

And we heard from Anthony Bouchard too. He was a bit more creative laying the blame on Cheney, of course without any proof. But he isn’t doing anything about it either.

We know that one of the three media panelists — Bob Beck — isn’t pleased the media can’t come and was going to ask that be changed. That’s fine if you are a member of the media. But what about the public?

We don’t know what journalists Steve Peck and Stephen Dow think because they won’t go on the record.

Wyoming PBS says there is nothing they can do about it and lays blame on some mysterious “security team” out there.  

It couldn’t be the same security team that made sure President Trump’s rally was safe a month ago. This is apparently a security team that has deemed an auditorium in Sheridan College impossible to secure.

That claim is ludicrous said candidate Denton Knapp, the war hero from Gillette.

Hero isn’t a throwaway word.  He was awarded the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals (one with Valor) after being deployed to combat three times for Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

After serving for over three decades, he retired as a Colonel in 2017.

Knapp doesn’t think it’s right that the public should be barred from a debate for public office.

Knapp doesn’t think it’s right that the public should be barred from a debate for public office being hosted by an entity that is publicly funded and has “public” in its name — Wyoming Public Broadcasting Service.

Knapp said he was going to reach out and actually try to do something about it. We know that because we spoke to him, not his “spokespeople.”

“The public needs to be allowed to read the reactions and emotions taking place,” Knapp told Cowboy State Daily. “It’s important to have open doors. We really need to be asking why this is being closed.”

Regardless of what happens, there is only one leader here who is standing up for the public right now.

That leader risked his life for the public for three decades.

And now that leader is the only one who is committed to serving the public right now.

You might want to give Denton Knapp another look. Because at least when it comes to serving the public right now, Denton Knapp is the only one who appears to care.

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Jimmy Orr

Executive Editor

A third-generation Wyomingite, Jimmy Orr is the executive editor and co-founder of Cowboy State Daily.