Westword editors thought Denver Mayor Michael Hancock's new Denver International Airport underground train greeting "begs for the sound of a cracking whip" because the African-American city leader's "Welcome to the MILE HIIIGH CITY!" has the twang of a rodeo announcer. Joel Warner wrote:

Cowboy-speak? Really? Sorry, but most folks don't want to imagine themselves on a dude ranch when they're packed like sardines in an underground train after a four-hour red eye from Newark.

The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels, who was in Albuquerque in 1992 covering March Madness when Bobby Knight cracked a bullwhip across the butt of one of his black players, says she was "weirded out" by the whip sound, but media critic Michael Roberts points out:

Post readers haven't flooded its website with angry invective. As of now, there's just one comment on the item, which doesn't really take a stand one way or the other. And on Westword's original post, published yesterday, only two of six comments were critical -- and neither mentioned race.