The Salt Lake Tribune is doing well at not hiding its’ viewpoint. It is perfectly fine that newspapers are liberal, conservative, communist, libertarian, gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist, or whatever. Just don’t lie about what you are.

It seems that The Salt Lake Tribune is firmly against whatever the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints wants to do in developing Salt Lake City, is in favor of “alternative lifestyles”, supports the UEA, and is against the death penalty.

The LDS Church owns some business interests and lots of downtown land in Salt Lake City, not unlike the Vatican in Rome, Italy. That’s just the way it is. Part of the development includes two new shopping malls built in the same location as two old shopping malls. Part of the plan includes a second story sky bridge between the two structures over Main Street. The overall budget for the project is more than $1 Billion. Salt Lake International Airport has a Sky Bridge between the short term parking area and the airport. So something that is good for the City is not good for private developers.

The Salt Lake Tribune, under the guise of celebrating “Architecture Month” in April, published an editorial from an architect that is four-square against the sky-bridge. They have also printed an article against it claiming that people must be too lazy to go down, cross the street and go up again while noting that Rocky Anderson doesn’t want to sell the “air rights” to The Church. If any other developer were coming to down town to spend that kind of money to revitalize downtown, these same obstacles would likely not be in the way. The Salt Lake Tribune was against the Main Street Plaza project in the past too.

Maybe Rocky Anderson could sell the air rights at an over-inflated value like he did with the easement on the Main Street Plaza. The land rights for the Plaza were sold for $8 Million which was the fair market value of the land. To just buy the public easement part remaining, Salt Lake City received more than ten times the assessed value of the easement between The Church and private contributions with The Church paying $100,000 more than the appraised value. The City received cash and land worth more than $5 Million for the easement.

Actual Headline: “‘Devil worshiper’ execution on hold“, by Pamela Manson, presumably not related to this Manson. The subject of the article is Von Lester Taylor who killed two women at a mountain cabin and then doused a third person in gas while lighting the cabin on fire. During the shooting, a 16 year old started praying and Taylor told her to stop because he is a “devil worshiper”. No word about whether Taylor continues to profess his devotion to Beelzebub. There are allegations that Taylor also has brain damage. The article itself is somewhat sympathetic to Taylor, an admitted (he pleaded guilty) murderer. The article is lacking in sympathy for the family of the victims and the 16 year old girl who witnesses the murders. Why not a headline like “convicted murderer’s execution on hold”?

How about “PTA ad for gays attacked“? National PTA magazine ran an ad for the PFLAG scholarship program. Bountiful High School PTA wrote a letter complaining about the ad because they did not think it was appropriate for those types of ads to be in their magazine. The Salt Lake Tribune decided to make a story about it and whip up hysteria about persecution of the gays (is it OK to write that because the Tribune did it first?) with a parting shot at asking the Bountiful High PTA to apologize for daring to exercise their First Amendment Rights:

When Utah Pride Center Executive Director Valerie Larabee read the Bountiful letter, she was appalled.
My immediate concern was for the safety of the kids at Bountiful High School,” she said, noting that the letter had initially been posted online on the Bountiful High School Web site. “If you’re the maligned population and your administration doesn’t do anything to counter that kind of rhetoric, then you’re not going to feel safe.”
The letter was removed from the Bountiful Web site once Principal Ryck Astle realized it was there. A student had raised concerns about the letter, Astle said.
“We’re there to take care of students,” he said. “We’re not there to advertise pro or against anything.”
Larabee would like to help educate the school and PTA about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students and see the group apologize to the student body for posting the statement online.
They can have whatever opinion they want, but having that in a public place where students have access to it is completely inappropriate,” she said.

Or in other words, ‘you can’t say that in public’. It appears that the Tribune would rather have someone else state their opinion which the Tribune agrees with rather than just writing it themselves.

The Tribune has also come out against the free market of ideas and all sides exercising their political rights in the public forum. In establishing public policy, parties on all sides of an issue will often result to trickery of one kind or another, within the guidelines of the law. Sometimes illegal measures are used too, but not always. Apparently using your political clout against something the Tribune agrees with is inappropriate. In an editorial titled People power: Is voucher law result of sleight of hand?” the Tribune staff is upset about political tricks that are perfectly legal. House Bill 148 is the law people are seeking a referendum on. From the article:

Now Utahns for Public Schools is working feverishly to gather the 92,000 signatures required to put HB 148, the most far-reaching voucher law in the nation, to a vote of the people. That would be the people who have consistently opposed vouchers conveying public money to private schools.
As expected, Republican voucher supporters are working just as hard to undermine the referendum petition drive and the constitutionally protected right of the people to reject a law they don’t want.
They say House Bill 174, which makes minor amendments to HB 148 and includes most but not all of the same provisions, is sufficient to implement the voucher program even if the referendum succeeds. Maybe so. Maybe not. That will be up to the
courts.

What about the “constitutionally protected right” of Republicans to participate in the political process? Maybe there is some provision allowing the politically correct groups to participate in the referendum process unopposed that the Tribune alone is aware of. Good thing they are here to inform us of it. Also, the Tribune supports litigating any issue they disagree with instead of letting the political process take care of issues. The U.S. Supreme Court, our new overlord, has already determined that voucher programs that allow people to attend private religious academies is not violative of the “separation of church and state”. What is left to litigate? The State has decided to engage in a perfectly legitimate exercise that could introduce large scale competition with the public schools. It is possible that inartful drafting of the legislation may lead to a lawsuit, but it appears that the Tribune simply supports a lawsuit just for the sake of continuing to fight the issue.

This is just a short survey of http://www.sltrib.com/ taken today. It appears that The Salt Lake Tribune is not generally a paper worth reading unless you agree with their world view, just like any other paper you may or may not decide to read.

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