Touchy, Touchy 

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Some people are very touchy about being criticized. That’s understandable, of course, no body likes to get the brown helmet. But when powerful people whine about getting a little jab here or there, it can be pretty pathetic.

People like Sen. Orrin Hatch whine all the time. Hatch has built an entire career—no make that a lifetime—on whining. When he didn’t do well in the presidential primaries, he blamed it on his religion, or rather people he said wouldn’t vote for him because he is Mormon. Following that logic, if Hatch weren’t Mormon, he’d be the Republican nominee right now, duking it out with Al Gore for the presidency. Yeah, right.

Then, there are our nice friends over at the Salt Lake (Olympic) Organizing Committee. They whine that this newspaper picks on them too much. Here is SLOC, practically a sovereign nation unto itself, getting its collective rosy red behind kissed by the entire state—but hey, they’re sensitive.

Recently, City Weekly referred to SLOC as something of a criminal enterprise. Oh boy, Excedrin Headache 38. SLOC attorneys were immediately on the telephone screaming bloody murder. SLOC is not a criminal enterprise, they insist. See, they don’t like that terminology ’cause in legalese it refers to the racketeering statutes called RICO.

Tom Welch and Dave Johnson continue to insist that if they are guilty of felonies surrounding Salt Lake City’s Olympic bid effort, then so are others at SLOC and its predecessor, the Salt Lake (Olympic) Bid Committee. Welch and Johnson, of course, have been criminally indicted, and SLOC is incorporated under the same articles as the Bid Committee was.

But if our nice friends over at SLOC don’t want us to call them a criminal enterprise, then we won’t. We don’t want to hurt their feelings—any more than we have to.

Another item from our “don’t-throw-stones-if-you-live-in-a-glass-house” file is somewhat curious. Well, maybe not. A couple years ago, we here at Smartbomb learned that a certain female Salt Lake Tribune columnist talked to Orrin Hatch on the phone every day—every day—for what seemed to other Trib staffers like hours on end. And we learned that the conversations seemed rather friendly.

We asked the burning question: Who at The Salt Lake Tribune is having phone sex with Utah’s senior senator? Oh boy, did that smart (no pun intended). We kept it up for a while just to be silly. Like a fisherman gutting a trout, some Trib columnists don’t mind ripping people apart on the front page of the local section. We figured that if they could dish it out, maybe they should see how it looks coming the other way.

Squawk, squawk, squawk. Smartbomb has not made mention of the phone sex bit for a couple years now, but there’s still squawking. There is so much squawking, in fact, that it has come to our attention here at Smartbomb. And you know what that means …

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