Ditto for Truth | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Ditto for Truth 

The people's need for media literacy, will Michael Clara return to UTA and good luck to the church's rebranding.

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Ditto for Truth
Well, that didn't work, did it? The Deseret News, after much angst and forethought, published a one-word editorial, "Ditto," that should have said it all: The press is not the enemy of the people; it is the people. That came after the elegant wording of the First Amendment. But let's forget elegance. Let's even forget our personal responsibility to "freedom of religion, speech or press, assembly and petition." The editorial was meant to join newspapers in decrying the president's favorite insult, calling the press "the enemy of the people" and #FakeNews. Editor Doug Wilks tried to explain in a later column, and mentioned the concept of "media literacy," something the public needs now. Then came the online comments about Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and how the press says Donald Trump is lying. Good on the D-News for trying, but we live in an era where "truth isn't truth" anymore.


Seeing Clara
UTA should have known better than to mess with Michael Clara, perhaps Utah's most prolific and exasperating social activist. But Utah knows its favorite transit agency has been less than trustworthy, so we'll start with that. Clara had been a UTA employee for more than 20 years when he identified what he perceived was an unsafe bus stop shelter along the 200 South corridor. Reporting that led to a years-long fight with the transit authority and, ultimately, his termination. Now, Administrative Law Judge Lee J. Romero Jr. has found in his favor—to the tune of $300,000 and Clara's reinstatement. "In particular, I found [Clara's] testimony regarding the improper installation of the bus stop shelters ... to be very credible," the judge said. Will he return? Stay tuned.


Best of Luck
Just to belabor two stories that have had plenty of press, here goes: First, San Juan County, the beauteous home of Bears Ears National Monument and a political miasma born of a hunger for development. While the county and its federal government partner seek to downsize the monument and thumb their noses at environmentalists, San Juan has now engaged in what many call irony, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. Yes, it wants tourists to come for the pristine landscape. The second much-reported story deals with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has no nickname and like Voldemort, must not be named. The church's pronouncement set off massive gnashing of teeth, people complaining that they are no longer "Mormon," and a great concern about all the websites and entities with that name or simply "LDS." The church has tried this before, and all we can say is good luck with that.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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