This Ain’t Lake Woebegone | News | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
Support the Free Press.
Facts matter. Truth matters. Journalism matters.
Salt Lake City Weekly has been Utah's source of independent news and in-depth journalism since 1984.
Donate today to ensure the legacy continues.


This Ain’t Lake Woebegone



Any day now, we’ll know who will be the next president of the United States: either Al Gore or George W. Bush—two of the most dynamic people to come down the political pike since Gerald Ford. In fact, Bush could be the first non-elected person since Ford to serve as president. But at this point, many people don’t really care who wins anymore. Miriam, where’s Wheel of Fortune?

The winner could turn out to be the loser in the long run. He will have stolen the presidency, according to half the country, and will go down in history as a toad. The Bush people are already practicing their name-calling, just in case they lose: “Gore, you toad!”

A poll of Utah college-student voters shows they gathered most of their information about the presidential race from national TV news. Is it any wonder people didn’t know where the candidates stood on the issues?

The survey conducted by nine Utah colleges and universities revealed that a large percentage—about 70 percent—of voters believe the LDS church-owned Deseret News and KSL TV are biased in favor of the church. And they say college students aren’t as smart as they used to be.

The survey also found that almost a third of Utahns think the Salt Lake Tribune is biased against the LDS church. Nah, seriously?

In the continuing saga, wacky Utah County Commissioner David J. Gardner has pleaded not guilty to three class B misdemeanors, including driving under the influence of alcohol, open alcohol container and theft. Gardner was already on probation for an earlier DUI, the time when he told police a hitchhiker tricked him into drinking. Gardner was found with his shoes and pants burned near a grass fire. He told investigators he stopped to put out the fire.

It isn’t clear weather Gardner’s defense in the new allegations will include anyone tricking him into drinking or whether he was trying to put out a fire.

A miracle did come true for the BYU Cougars, however, as they whipped New Mexico in the last home game for retiring Coach LaVell Edwards. Before the game, the football team was visited by LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley. The prophet told the Cougars to go out and win one for LaVell. “Don’t muff it,” he told them.

Maybe the Cougs should take the LDS president on the road.

Storyteller Garrison Keillor has found Lake Woebegone. No kidding. Keillor had invented the town as part of his ongoing Public Radio Show, A Prairie Home Companion. Years later, Keillor decided to see if it really existed. Well, he found it—Holdingford in central Minnesota (population 638). “Holdingford is the town that looks most Woebegonic to me,” Keillor says in the December National Geographic.

Makes you wonder if he’s seen Manti, Utah. Of course they didn’t have polygamists in Lake Woebegone, but that’s another story.