CONTACT Breathes, er, Boyd blows it - Dr. Christian Thurstone

Denver’s alt-weekly newspaper, Westword, is heavily subsidized by the marijuana industry — so of course it has a pot critic who basically gets high for a living to enlighten the rest of us about Colorado dispensaries and whether this strain of weed is better than that one. Surely, his “Toke of the Town” blog and “Ask a Stoner” advice column round out his busy work week.

Though he writes anonymously under the name “William Breathes,” many people in marijuana industry circles have known his real name — Boyd Fletcher, which he uses for his more “serious” coverage about marijuana — for quite awhile. So have I — but I haven’t cared enough to give this guy much thought.

Until this evening, when William, er, Boyd, decided to weigh in on a mutual friend’s Facebook thread about this post on If he’d debated the subject matter, fine. But no, he immediately got personal — and that’s where he crossed a bright line in journalism — and with me:


I’ll give Boyd/William this much: indeed, Facebook was not an appropriate place for his comments. It would’ve been much better for him to limit his insults to his newsroom, where he and his colleagues and editors could continue pretending that they report fairly, accurately and ethically — and that they would never stoop so low as this, this and this. OK, and this, too.

But gracious, I guess the cat is out of the bag now in more ways than one.

The irony of a journalist cloaked in anonymity — especially one who zips in and out of bylines as they suit him — talking smack about a doctor who works very transparently is rich.

And let’s not get me started about the irony of a journalist stupid enough to post a careless comment in a public forum insulting someone whose research is more stringently reviewed, edited and analyzed than anything that has ever — or will ever — come out of said journalist’s newsroom.

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