The very best part of being the producer of Colorado Inside Out is the people I have the opportunity to work with at the table and behind the scenes. I have had the honor to work with some amazing individuals over the course of my years with the show.
We lost one of those amazing people this week when Pierre Jimenez passed away. Pierre was one of the four original panelists of the program when it was created in 1992 by my mentor, Barbara Jabaily and our former General Manager at Channel 12, Ted Krichels.
The original cast included Ken Hamlin as host, Pierre Jimenez, the late Sue O’Brien, Al Knight and Patricia Calhoun, who remains the heart and soul of the show.
From the very beginning, Pierre typified the perfect elements of a Colorado Inside Out panelist. He had a unique perspective because of the many roles he played in the community and he was never afraid of speaking his mind.
Pierre was a free thinker willing to agree with a political party on one issue and skewer them on the next, which made him impossible to pigeonhole on any issue.
But I think what will be Pierre’s enduring legacy both as a panelist on our program, and more importantly, as a fixture in the Denver community, will be his passion for fairness and quality education for all. That passion was apparent in his comments on Colorado Inside Out and in his leadership with organizations throughout the community.
On Friday’s Colorado Inside Out, we dedicated our entire first topic to Pierre and his legacy. We featured a short series of clips of some of Pierre’s prescient comments through the years, including accurately predicting Mike Shanahan’s success as coach of the Denver Broncos, and astutely pointing out in May of 2009 that the U.S. Senate seat that the Republicans thought they had in the bag could easily still go to Bennet. We all know how that one turned out.
What struck me as we put together our tribute series of video clips was how often Pierre offered analysis that was reasoned and spoke truth to power. Too often political pundits in today’s media spend their precious access to the viewers simply demonizing their opponents and never offering solutions. Pierre wasn’t about that. Pierre was about calling them like he saw them, and pointing out how things could improve.
Imagine if more people in today’s media were about speaking the truth and less about toeing a party line. Imagine how far we would be as a community if our leaders did the same thing.
What separated Pierre from most was that he could imagine that and be the example.
Pierre will be sorely missed at the Colorado Inside Out table and by the entire Colorado community. Hopefully, we can carry on his legacy by being willing to speak from our passion and act on our convictions.