The local press has been quite excited lately with the latest Utah Valley controversy: Dick Cheney’s planned commencement speech at the upcoming BYU graduation.
Hoping to garner some attention of her own, SLTrib columnist Rebecca Walsh decided to jump on the controversy bandwagon and fling mud.
Her article titled “Church shows true color – red” makes a plethora of unfounded accusations and unsubstantiated explanations. In a nutshell, Walsh claims that Cheney’s invite to speak at BYU flies in the face of previous statements of political neutrality.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got my own reservations about the Cheney visit. The fact of the matter is, however, that there is far too much speculation in this matter about who knows what. The First Presidency of the Church is on the board of trustees for BYU, yet we do not know the extent of their involvement in this specific invitation, or any of the background detail that would be necessary to lay blame on their doorstep as Walsh has chosen to do.
Walsh notes that the Church-owned university must surely be championing the GOP by extending this visit. However, one wonders where else Walsh might choose to fling her mud given the fact that the Church owns several other entities as well. Does Deseret Book offering one of Sean Hannity’s books on its shelves equate to a political endorsement by the Church? Does reporting favorably about Mitt Romney in the Deseret News indicate a revocation of previously asserted political neutrality?
Walsh has fallen far below the expected standards of journalism with this article. Her piece comes off as nothing more than another anti-Mormon hit piece that the Salt Lake Tribune has made itself famous for over the years.