Poor ol' Phil | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Poor ol' Phil 

A Lifted Letter & Waterworld

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Poor Ol' Phil
What is it about the Deseret News and Phil Lyman? Once again on Sunday, the D-News featured the convicted scofflaw on its front page, and said he "doesn't believe" he broke the law. Isn't that rich? If only we could all break laws and simply say, hey, we didn't "think" we did anything wrong. Instead, the paper has chosen to cloak Lyman with a hero's robe, humbled and reading "Hamilton" in his cell next to a drug addict. That was during his "grueling" 10 days in jail for an illegal all-terrain vehicle ride on protected federal lands. There is no comparison between him and Tim DeChristopher, who got two years in prison and a $10,000 fine for faking a bid on 22,000 acres of land destined for energy development. Lyman will have to be happy with three years probation, and a newspaper keeping the myth alive.


A Lifted Letter
Of course, Utah GOP Chair James Evans didn't return KUTV's calls. Nobody likes to be called a plagiarist—not even Melania Trump. That's because plagiarism is a serious breach of someone else's intellectual property. Just ask Brigham Young University's Joel Campbell, who said, "In my journalism/PR class any student who would do this would fail the assignment and possibly the class." But then you have to know Evans' sense of humor. He obviously wanted to make fun of his counterpart, Democrat Peter Corroon, who was bemoaning the Utah governor's decision to support Donald Trump's presidential bid. As Trump has said: "I was obviously being sarcastic ... but not that sarcastic, to be honest with you." So Evans took Corroon's letter and, ahem, plagiarized it with a Republican bent. Whether you believe Trump will be a disaster or not, KUTV gets kudos for taking the campaign seriously—and for running the letter through a plagiarism checker.


Here in Utah, water is always an issue. On the other hand, it seems like an issue that doesn't resonate. Recently, there was the Blue Castle ruling to allow a future nuclear facility to use 53,000 acre-feet of Green River water. Now it looks like West Jordan is considering major tax breaks for a Facebook facility that will require 5.3 million gallons of water per day. The Salt Lake Tribune said no community opposition was apparent, while the Deseret News said residents were concerned about costs. But then there's Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams' Facebook post: "This just seems like a colossally bad deal for the taxpayers of West Jordan and Salt Lake County, and we're about to get locked in for 20 years to the tune of $240 million (plus a state tax incentive) and a legal commitment of 4.8 million gallons of water (per day!)"

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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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