Let Them In
Protests. They're all around us, here and abroad. And oh, the civility! Ever since the peaceful yet raucous protest over the inland port, the Deseret News has been just righteously indignant. In an editorial, they want to remind us that, hey, the air is getting better and they really, really like the idea of the port. Doug Wilks thinks it's time to "protest the protesters." He doesn't like eggs and milkshakes, and yeah, he has a point that too much protest drives dialogue behind closed doors. But protest is a right, if not a duty, to make yourself heard when no one's listening. Critics say it doesn't work, but the evidence belies that #fakenews. China suspended its extradition bill after mass protests in Hong Kong. Russia released a detained journalist, and here at home, the Utah Department of Public Safety will investigate a Woods Cross police officer who pulled a gun on a 10-year-old boy. When the public is shut out, protests say let them in. Americans still remember the 1969 Stonewall protests and they will continue to fight for a voice.
This is not to say who's the best candidate for SLC mayor. But you have to wonder how much more press Jim Dabakis can get before we just anoint him? Of the eight candidates, Dabakis' mug has been seen on front pages and Take2, and his voice heard on KCPW's Both Sides of the Aisle. Frankly, he's better than Donald Trump at stirring up the press. While both daily papers ignored the Westside Issues Forum with all candidates, The Salt Lake Tribune put Dabakis' mug on the front page as he railed against the Alliance for a Better Utah's ill-fated decision to exclude some lesser candidates from their debate. And then there's the "presumed front-runner" status as the Trib continues to stir the pot. Of course he's the front-runner. Quick, name the other candidates. You can't buy this kind of coverage.
It was another ho-hum breaking news story on KUTV Channel 2. A gunman killed one and injured two at a California Costco. It apparently wasn't mass enough to make either The Salt Lake Tribune or the Deseret News the next day. Still, the D-News saw fit to run a front-page story on why teachers in Utah are considering having guns in their classrooms. Why? Because there are so damned many school shootings and so damned many guns in the hands of just about everyone, including kids. Nothing is being done, and the questions surrounding gun control are all wrong. "The objective of gun control is to reduce capacity to kill people who should not be killed," not that would it have stopped a single incident, said New York Times columnist Charles Blow. The Daily Herald, meanwhile, notes that Utah ranks highest in the nation for people with mental illness. And they've got guns.