Gas-X and Olympic Pompoms 

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The cat is out of the bag. We here at SmartBomb have been saying it for a long time, but now The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News have come clean—they are indeed official sponsors of the 2002 Winter Games. The Trib is giving the Salt Lake (Olympic) Organizing Committee $100,000 in free advertising. The News is forking up a cool quarter million in free ads.

In exchange, the papers will get tickets to Opening and Closing Ceremonies and Olympic events as well as gift certificates for Mitt Romney’s new clothing line called Mister Mitt sportswear.

Some call it a sorry state of journalism. How, they ask, can you provide real news coverage of an event that you are sponsoring? And how can any self-respecting journalist do that without giving off a lot of gas? That’s a rhetorical question, of course. We don’t want to hear the fat cats at Salt Lake City’s two daily newspapers beating their gums with rationalizations about how independent their reporters are. Nah, we just don’t want to hear it. May we suggest Gas-X.

For one thing, we’ve already heard that rap from KSL-TV. Are they cheerleaders or are they news people? Sorry, here at SmartBomb we wouldn’t touch that question with an ugly stick. But you be the judge—are those pompoms at Dick and Ruth’s feet real or are they Memorex?

Speaking of sell-out journalism, what is with the Olympic torch coverage? The torch is here. The torch is there. The torch is everywhere. Many people are getting real choked up about the torch and its bearers. Perhaps nothing was more touching than coverage of Salt Lake City’s would-be crook former mayor carrying the torch in Greenville, South Carolina, where she now resides with her new multi-millionaire husband. KSL TV gal Nadine Wimmer stuck a mic in Deedee’s

face for about five minutes the other night so the Deedster could remind all of us back here that were it not for her, there would be no Olympics.

And here we thought Tom Welch and Dave Johnson did that.

Not to be outdone, the Tribune dedicated most of its front page to the torch and Deedee. One unnamed source believes the paper will cover Deedee every day she’s here for the Olympics in a special section to be called “Deedee’s Diary.” Although we couldn’t confirm the report, it wouldn’t surprise us if it happened.

On a cheerier note, here’s something from the “X-mas”?file: Acting up at a recent hearing at the Senate Judiciary Committee on proposed military tribunals for some 600 people of Middle Eastern dissent being held without charges, Attorney General John Ashcroft related a little joke: A young lad is sitting on Santa’s knee at the mall. Santa tells him, “I know if you’ve been naughty, I know if you’ve been nice. I know if you’ve been bad or good.” The kid looks over at Santa and says, “Who are you, John Ashcroft?”

Well, not everybody is laughing.

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