Gullible Utahns | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Gullible Utahns 

Utahns get a dose of fake news; get to know the state's "dirty lobbyist" and the LDS church's fight against medical marijuana.

Pin It
Favorite
news_hitsmisses1-3.jpg
news_hitsmisses1-1.jpg

Gullible Utahns
Some Utah stories are more than just Utah stories. This week saw one that demonstrated both Utahns' gullibility and their unrealized spiritual desires. Yes, it all had to do with the LDS church, and on another level, with Americans' odd embrace of hoaxes in an increasingly cyber-dominated world. But local TV and news reports hit the big one: some tech genius created a look-alike Mormon newsroom website and trumpeted an apology for past exclusion of blacks from the priesthood. It sparked angst and confusion rather than the dialogue he'd hoped for. "He suggested some of his detractors were directing their anger toward him because it was emotionally safer than being angry at an institution they are still devoted to," Slate reported. Said one black LDS woman about last week's announcement, "What we actually got—it was nothing."

news_hitsmisses1-1.jpg

The Dirty Lobbyist
Meet Jeff Hartley, a "jokingly" self-described "dirty lobbyist" who works for oil and gas, Rocky Mountain Power and other energy giants. Hartley is the working face of the Inland Port, a crude plan to place a rail and trucking hub out by the Great Salt Lake. Hartley, speaking to a Vernal Energy Summit, sang its praises while salivating over "3,500-4,000 acres of developable land." Oh, it will be wonderful, just like a photo he took of the Singapore port, but without the ocean. It's all good because Utah's a right-to-work state, and shippers wouldn't have to wait at a real port to go through customs. There's a pipeline already permitted, too. Hartley so loves the industry that he sent his son to school with a report on how fantastic and safe fracking is. Thing is, he couldn't remember how old his son is.

news_hitsmisses1-2.jpg

Bare Testimony
The good news is that it's likely four of the citizen-backed cannabis ballot initiatives will reach voters in November. Besides those power-loving legislators, who's really upset about this? The LDS church. That's because of medical marijuana. Suddenly, they have started looking into the issue big time. They are finding studies where research could not be done, you know, because it's illegal. Drug Safe Utah has whipped up a gaggle of supporters to doom the initiatives, created a website and flooded the media with horror scenarios. Not even heroin addiction has created such momentum. Despite the disdain from whomever runs the Utah Medical Association, CBS News reports that 46 percent of cancer docs recommend medical cannabis to their patients despite a lack of studies. For a religion that depends on testimonies, it's odd that the church won't hear this one.

Pin It
Favorite

More by Katharine Biele

  • Citizen Revolt: Feb. 21

    Learn how to turn that anger into change. Attend a vigil for Trayvon Martin. Plus, hear from the growing resistance to the inland port.
    • Feb 20, 2019
  • Feeling Depleted fsf

    Try as they might, the radioactive waste debate goes on. Look what Utah's compassionate lawmakers have done. Plus, how Utah coal benefits Trump.
    • Feb 20, 2019
  • Idle No More

    A possible win in the air-pollution fight. Yet again, another way to elect state Board of Education members. Plus, the old majority is feeling disenfranchised in San Juan County.
    • Feb 13, 2019
  • More »

Latest in Hits & Misses

  • Feeling Depleted fsf

    Try as they might, the radioactive waste debate goes on. Look what Utah's compassionate lawmakers have done. Plus, how Utah coal benefits Trump.
    • Feb 20, 2019
  • Idle No More

    A possible win in the air-pollution fight. Yet again, another way to elect state Board of Education members. Plus, the old majority is feeling disenfranchised in San Juan County.
    • Feb 13, 2019
  • Ignorant Fools

    The Legislature doesn't seem to think voters understood Prop 3. Southern Utah's Phil Lyman makes a statement. Plus, the power of the people in the fight against the inland port.
    • Feb 6, 2019
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Dear Jon

    A letter to Jon Huntsman Jr., more kids means fewer taxes in Utah and some perspective on the inland port debate.
    • Jul 25, 2018
  • Hot Air, Mind the Gap and A for Effort

    It's summer and the livin' is easy.
    • Aug 9, 2017

© 2019 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation