In reading George Pyle’s column regarding his “rewirement,” it’s good to see Mr. Pyle will still have a continuing, albeit limited, role with the newspaper. As to readers seeing the commentary The Salt Lake Tribune runs and thinking, “Hey, I could do that”, George was/is spot on. I was one of those readers. Thank you, Mr. Pyle, and The Salt Lake Tribune.
And not blaming George’s tenure, but it does seem fair to fault a portion of today’s divisive, distasteful and misinformed public discourse on the newspaper media for its age-old ownership’s tradition of publishing (and therein promoting?) disingenuous, if not dishonest, political commentary and zealous religious dogmatism.
So what I’m wondering is, as it appears The Salt Lake Tribune is now going to solicit or recruit conservative Republican voices for its opinion section, will the newspaper raise the bar for those local or syndicated voices — i.e., requiring the commentary to actually engage in a truthful semblance of a given issue?
Or will the conservative voices be allowed to continue their tradition of a carte blanche for religious and political duplicitous hackery that appears to fail to hold up under even the lightest of scrutiny? In my experience, past local examples — Paul T. Mero, Cherilyn Eagar, Stuart C. Reid.
And then there’s the syndicated and supposed intellectual conservative commentary that appears riddled with intentional omissions, projection and/or outright …prevarications.
If, in moving forward, The Salt Lake Tribune’s goal is to engage a much-needed path of honest Republican discussion from the conservatives regarding their ongoing wars on everyone and everything, now seems an ideal moment for a “commentary rewirement.”
The Tribune could be a role model for what’s left of the newspaper biz.
Imagine casting aside the fact-free verbosity, divisiveness and hypocrisy posing as intellectualism by empty conservative political hacks and their accompanying unrelenting religious colleagues.
Imagine requiring their submissions to make a concerted effort to actually engage the truth(s) of a matter. Imagine the change in the landscape that would create.
Unfortunately, I very much doubt that is going to happen anytime soon. My guess is the decision to recruit Republican voices isn’t about inviting an honest discussion but rather about offering just another stage for conservatives to cover their societal derelictions with their predictable doggerel poetry of monotonous rhythm, easy rhymes, and cheap or demeaning nomenclature.
Of course, this uneducated, unsophisticated old man could be wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been wrong about something. But one thing’s for sure, as in all things, time will surely tell.
Ross McCollin is semi-retired and lives in South Salt Lake.