If you’ve ever wondered about whether reporters can be “objective,” well, wonder no more. Like anyone, they can be objective while seeing things in wholly different ways. Take the stories in The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News about the Utah Commission on Immigration & Migration, for instance. The D-News’ Marjorie Cortez focused on funding for a study on the impacts of illegal immigration, and then she got to the public testimony. The Trib’s David Montero went with the arguments and whether lawmakers would ever pass an employee-verification system with teeth. In the Trib, we got to hear the Sutherland Institute’s Paul Mero “undermine” the cases of people who just assumed Mexicans or Spanish speakers were illegals who take their jobs or otherwise get away with murder. Both stories were subjectively “objective,” but the Trib’s was just more fun.
Thanks to public pressure, the Utah Senate decided to think again about appointing a member of the radioactive-waste company EnergySolutions to the Radiation Control Board. Yes, we know the law now states that you’ve got to have a member from “industry,” and surprise surprise, EnergySolutions is the only industry that fits the bill. But please, can’t we realize that there’s something inherently wrong with having someone on the board whose company could benefit financially from the decisions he makes? The Senate decided to hold up the appointment of a pro-environmental choice, too, saying Sarah Fields—an advocate with Moab’s Uranium Watch—also has an agenda. She might not profit financially from her decisions, but she might reap the benefits of a healthy environment. So, they both have agendas, but only one is based in greed—oh, we mean capitalism.
For the past several years, Rep. Jim Matheson was the anti-Democrat who activated the liberal wing against him. The reddening of Utah Dems even pushed former Mayor Rocky Anderson into the third-party arena. Now comes Peter Cooke, the Dems’ sacrificial lamb in the gubernatorial race. But if Cooke had any goodwill among the Democratic left, he lost it big time in coming out against same-sex marriage and legal abortion. Sure, the national party affirmed the concept in its platform, but it was by no means an issue in this state—until now. Cooke, as UtahPolicy.com notes, was never asked about it, and now has drawn attention to it and all the Mormon underpinnings of his campaign.