It's one thing to see an organization with an agenda produce a slanted and worthless article. It's an entirely different thing to see a major newspaper do the same thing. As trusted gatekeepers of information, we expect journalists to aspire to higher standards to report the whole story from an objective viewpoint. Sadly, it appears that the Tribune's Steven Oberbeck isn't into that kind of thing.
The holes in the story are numerous. There's no mention of the Qwest lawsuit or their illegal practices to block access to telephone poles. There's no mention of the delays with disbursing money from the RUS loan. There's no mention that Paul Morris left UTOPIA to go into semi-retirement and Roger Black probably has his hands full as the lawyer for the Utah League of Cities and Towns. Even more disturbing is the insinuation that UTOPIA has put tax dollars at risk when not one red cent of money has been taken from pledging cities to cover operations or the debt service. It's one of the sloppiest pieces of supposed journalism I've ever seen.
Thankfully, the Trib's readers are way too smart for it. Many of them have been filling in the gaps that Mr. Oberbeck left out, doing the job he should have done in the first place. Unfortunately, many have already fallen for the position piece disguised as news. Shame on the Tribune for running such a poorly researched article and shame on Steven Oberbeck for writing it.
UPDATE: The Trib now has something up on it in the Opinion section where, as one reader noted, it belonged from the get-go.