I'm looking back at the greatest collection of quotes of outrage from the past-pissed-off year.
It’s the end of 2011, which means it’s time to trot out my list of the pissed. For a reporter, there is no greater gift than an individual who can really crystallize their passion, anger, outrage, etc. ... into a nice haymaker of a quote. Below are the winners for the stories I’ve done for 2011. They are in no particular order except this first one, which is a tribute to Tim Lawson, the verbose, would-be-corporate-fix-it man and confidant to Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.
To be fair, if I weren’t limiting these nods to one quote per person, this whole list would be Lawson quotes (pictured).
1. “There’s a lot of people out there who don’t like me,” Lawson says. “I don’t give a flying monkey’s ass if they like me or not—this is America, they can go fuck themselves. But there are also people here who would trust me with their lives—with their children’s lives.”
--Tim Lawson, “The Fix It Man,” Feb. 2, on his detractors.
2. “There’s no gray area there.”
--Former East High assistant basketball coach Gianni Ellefsen, “Bad Call,” Aug. 31, complaining about head coach Skip Lowe allegedly saying that the basketball program had fewer problems when it was “whiter.”
3. “This gives hospitals a free hand to court, retain and profit from the exploits of predatory, addicted, sloppy or incompetent physicians. Why? Because there’s no risk to them. This [bill] allows hospitals to take a dangerous [physician] and turn them into a moneymaker.”
--Attorney Dustin Lance, “Negative Cred” Feb. 16, on Senate Bill 150 that passed the 2011 Legislature and shields hospitals from being sued for giving knowingly giving credentials to bad doctors.
4. “I think it’s a red herring. It’s meant to scare constituents.”
--Journalism professor and former reporter Joel Campbell, “HB477 Put on Hold,” May 7, on the argument legislators made in attempting to rewrite Utah’s openrecords laws by saying that reporters could take personal information from constituent e-mails and publish them, despite existing privacy protection in the law.
5. “It feels like retaliation right now. Whether or not that’s the intent, that is the effect.”
--Sophia Hawes, “Coverage Denied,” Oct. 19, on feeling that she was being punished by her insurance provider SelectHealth for seeking to have her gender-reassignment surgery covered. The provider denied coverage of that procedure and retroactively denied coverage of other unrelated procedures that happened before she underwent gender-reassignment surgery.
6. “We’re talking about a man who, years ago, registered the domain name ‘ChaffetzForSenate.’ He lives in a fantasy world where he’s win, win, win all the way.”
--Joseph Puente, one-time independent challenger to Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, “Chaffetz Revealed,” June 29
7. “I was never late, never even close to missing a payment until [Bank of America] contacted my wife to ‘help us’. All they did was help me lose my house.”
--Cody Livingston, “Zombie Homes,” Oct. 5, on how an inefficient foreclosure-relief program actually helped push him into foreclosure.
8. “The way they get rid of the problem is they get rid of the tenants, but it doesn’t really take care of the bedbugs.”
--Eric Thurber, “Tenants-Be-Gone,” July 20, on how he and his partner were evicted from low-income housing for complaining to their landlord about bedbugs in their building.
9. “The taxi driver is Indian; he’s a vegetarian and doesn’t drink. On the police video, he says, ‘I didn’t see a thing’—the only way you didn’t see a thing is if you’re not looking out the window.”
--Attorney Larry Long, “Crash Cab,” Dec. 7, complaining of a cab driver who negligently killed a motorist and received a light sentence from the Salt Lake City Prosecutor’s Office that meant only a fine and driving class that resulted in no points on the taxi-driver’s license.
10. “We were a victim of our own success.”
--Occupy SLC member and former City Weekly reporter Jesse Fruhwirth, “Unoccupied Territory,” Nov. 23, on how the Pioneer Park camp’s success in bringing attention to homeless issues helped facilitate their own eviction when a homeless man died in the park in November.