Salt Lake Tribune’s disingenuous excuse for fact-challenged ‘Glenn Beck’s Nazi exhibit’ op-ed

As Twitchy reported earlier, the Salt Lake Tribune ran an op-ed piece by Alexandra Karl with both title (“Glenn Beck’s Nazi exhibit”) and content that falsely suggested that Glenn Beck’s “Independence Through History” exhibition was a pro-Nazi display.

After being called on its journalistic malpractice, the newspaper’s deputy editor, Tim Fitzpatrick, then tried to clarify:

Fitzpatrick claims to work to separate news from opinion, which is a loud shout of “squirrel!” What we’re talking about here is the paper publishing  a vicious, baseless smear then washing its hands of responsibility because it’s “commentary.” Someone at the Salt Lake Tribune decided this particular “reader submission,” of the many the Salt Lake Tribune presumably receives, deserved publication. Now that they’re being called on it they’re hiding behind the “don’t look at us, it’s somebody else’s opinion” curtain. The short version is this: There’s no way that ridiculous commentary would have passed muster and been given that title if somebody at the Salt Lake Tribune didn’t loathe Glenn Beck and let it bleed through to his or her job.

Sure, the entire premise of the op-ed piece was absurd. But let’s look at the bright side:  Karl’s commentary contained only “a couple of small factual errors“:

Karl’s piece did have a couple of small factual errors that were corrected online and in a print correction. (It originally called the show “Man on the Moon” and said it was at Rio Tinto stadium, not USANA.) But otherwise questions about the piece are in the realm of opinion, although admittedly a provocative one.

Editorial writer George Pyle has been fielding calls and letters all week from angry Beck fans, and he said outside of the two corrections no one has pointed out factual errors in Karl’s piece.

Stu Burguiere, executive producer of the Glenn Beck program, helpfully identified a few other errors that have yet to be corrected:

Claudia Bogumil, who was at the exhibition, penned a letter to the editor defending Beck’s exhibit. The headline the Salt Lake Tribune ran above Bogumil’s letter: “Uninformed opinion.” Who, exactly, chose that headline?


We understand the need to edit for space, too, but the paper’s editors might want to figure out a way to keep their opinions out of other peoples’ opinions.

  • Grandma HeadInjury

    Maybe if the SLT “edits” out a few positions, they’ll find the space they are looking for…

    • NRPax

      Nice icon and user name. Thanks for the nightmare fuel. -:-)

  • Thomas, Snarkmaster General

    If I may offer an alternate title for the piece…

    “How to Screw Up Completely By Not Really Trying”

    Or if that’s too long…

    “We Suck”

  • GingerbreadMan1

    The Salt Lake Tribune is further left than the New York Times. I refer to it as the “Village Voice West”. Unfortunately, Utah newspaper readers are forced to choose between this rag and the LDS Church’s propaganda organ “The Deseret News”. I thank God for new media.

    • Eric Johnson

      SLT was very liberal 20 years ago and apparently hasn’t changed one bit. One has to really wonder how it survives at all in Utah which leans Right.

      • Maus

        Seriously… no joke… most people buy a fishwrap these days for the coupons, want-ads and sports section. Now, the Internet is taking away even those reasons!

      • chadgs13

        SLC is like any other Metro Area with several college campuses around. It’s pretty blue while the rest of the state is Red. That’s how Trib stays alive. SLC one of the few places where it’s still “hip and edgey” to be on the left.

        • Guest

          Exactly…I’m not even LDS, but the crap the LDS church has to go through because so many think that church is running the state. Well people, it’s not. And to say the Deseret News is somehow a “propaganda organ” for the LDS church is bias, uneducated, and hateful.

    • frgough

      Church propaganda organ? Oh. Wait. You mean the Deseret News doesn’t rip the LDS church in every news article it prints. Got it.

      • James Brandon Justice

        Exactly…I’m not even LDS, but the crap the LDS church has to go
        through because so many think that church is running the state. Well
        people, it’s not. And to say the Deseret News is somehow a “propaganda organ” for the LDS church is bias, uneducated, and hateful.
        Love ya all.

        • Teri Williams

          A man of REASON…Love it!

    • Teri Williams

      Why is Deseret News a “rag”….because of Mormons? What have they done to you? Mormons do more good in 1hr., than most religions do in a decade! You need to find a “more Worthy Cause” to name bash! You might actually sound credible…:0)

      • IBXNJ

        I am not
        LDS either but I will say this about the church ..When the LDS church says they are changing something, they change it

    • Rulz

      Utahans don’t HAVE to read it.

      Maybe that’s why some loser was telling us that “Matheson works for Utah” in a justification to defend not voting for Mia Love.

      If you want to know what’s killing this country, it’s selfish “conservatives” like that in the heartland.

      They were the difference in 2006, 2008 and 2012 and many still have not learned their lesson.

      Personally, I’m tempted to hope the democrats bleed them dry financially.

  • Junie3

    Has Twitchy and The Blaze teamed up for news? The Blaze now runs stories from Twitchy and Twitchy is running Blaze stories. So which one should I go to to get the same story?

    • NRPax

      Well, you have a better chance of getting a comment read and noticed here. At The Blaze, it will quickly be buried under 100 other posts.

      • Texan357

        I’d say “buried under 100 rants” but that would be [ahem] editorial. :) Seriously, though, there are some conspiracy hypothesist nutjobs there who really pollute the threads with random crap. There is DEFINITELY a higher quality of commentary at Twitchy, trolls notwithstanding.

        • NRPax

          And sometimes, the trolls here are genuinely entertaining.

        • thetreyman

          yes but sometimes they make their way over here as well. i used to comment over at the blaze but you are right. now there is too many conspiracy kooks there. i rarely even read the comments over there anymore.

    • Joe W.

      “At this point, what difference does it make”?? Take your pick, it is a free country…at least for now it is….

      • autofixer

        “What difference does it make!?” Ha! The immortal words of “that woman, Ms. Clinton.”

    • TomJB

      And we thank you for adding the same pseudo-intellectual pablum that is found on the discussion boards at politico, du, and huffington, so we no longer have to go there to see just how stupid liberals can be

      • Texan357

        The Beck smear article demonstrates to me that we can go almost anywhere for our daily dose of pabulum. :) The “New Media” is largely reactionary (for better or for worse), so you simply can’t avoid the pap.

      • Junie3

        TY, I am not a liberal, just really wondering why the two are borrowing stories from each other.

    • AaronHarrisinAlaska


    • Junie3

      Oh come on, I go to both places, just noticed they were both doing this. Geezus people.

      • thetreyman

        it’s not just these two sites. i’ve seen the same things on breitbart, the daily caller, news busters, etc. you see some of the same things on every news site. though the blaze does cover some things you wont find other places.

      • Teri Williams

        Does that make it right? Stand for SOMETHING! Try to make it moral…:)

    • Carolyn Kellenberger Shank

      I like both sites, Twitchy is a great site for being heard and The Blaze goes into more details on the story, works for me.

    • happyscrapper

      Good grief, so what?? Is that something new? No, it isn’t. The news is the news and more than one source reports it. What is your problem? You are really digging deep to find something to criticize.

    • Rulz

      …….It’s called networking, and even Y! covers the Blaze.

  • ErskinFlibberJabber

    Oh…they have always taken liberty with titles on public opinion pieces…mine they printed some years ago was re-titled as well. But it was not like this obvious lefty slam.
    I have enjoyed reading the Trib online because I have seen it to be counter to the local dominant faith’s pathetic rag…the Deseret News. I gave up the print version years and years ago. I just have to tolerate the left leanings and consider the “source” before believing anything I read in their “newspaper.”

    I knew when I read the “Glenn Beck is a Nazi” thing the other day, that not much of this opinion was actually true. I did kind of consider it a bit harsh, but thought…oh well…that’s the Trib for ya.

    • Teri Williams

      Why do you consider the Deseret News “a rag”…because of Mormons? What have they done to you? Mormons do more good in 1hr. than most religions do in a decade. Why do you continue to “rag” on us?

  • Right Wired

    And newspapers wonder why they are dying.

    • Rulz

      They’ll tell you they get readers on-line.

      But that doesn’t explain why the Times needed a big loan from a Mexican.

      The advertising should be as good if not better on-line.

  • AaronHarrisinAlaska

    While hardly any one I’ve seen so far questions that it was an opinion piece and not written by the SLT them selves, the SLT published it and is there for responsible for its dissemination. This makes them partially responsible for what was written. The SLT has the right of freedom of press, to publish what they choose. But such freedoms do not free you of responsibility, regardless if the words printed were your own.

    • Vikki Prince Rosich

      This is the main problem in America these days… no one takes responsibility for themselves at all.

  • Mr. Right

    I live in Utah and although I don’t subscribe to a newspaper, I am considering subscribing to the Deseret News right now.

    • Rulz

      Most major newspaper aren’t worth reading. They are rags of propaganda for the Democratic Party, and a few of the johnny-come-lately endorsements of Mitt Romney does not change that fundamentally.

      I don’t know the Desert News well enough to get that specific.

  • lazypadawan

    It’s a smear job hiding behind “opinion” and the knowledge that it’s hard for a public figure to win a libel lawsuit.

  • To_Live_Free

    *** hangs his Head *** I live in utah…..

    • Rulz

      Which is still a good place to be.

  • Hannibal

    The inside line on the outside is saying that Alexandra Karl is applying for the position of OP ED editor at the Chattanooga Free Press which had the job unexpectedly become open.

  • americanlatina11

    the slt (since its founding as an anti-mormon rag) has always been a propaganda piece (whatever your beliefs on mormons, this paper was-at its inception–propaganda)

  • Bryan Lyman

    I get both the Deseret News and the Tribune (and yes, my wife does it for the coupons). It is funny to see the disparity between the two, it is a good example of how far left our media has become. The Tribune doesn’t even TRY to have a balanced op-ed column, it is like the thing was written in North Korea and translated into English. True, the tribune has always been liberal, but lately the tribune is so fictional it should be classified a tabloid (up there with the enquirer). I am a supporter of the constitutional right of free press, so I am not going to get on here and say they should be shut down; I will just say I am thinking about cancelling my subscription just because I don’t believe in supporting such a rag.

    • Daniel Morgan III

      “Written in North Korea.” LOL. Maybe that’s where Obozo’s speaches are written as well – and his policies.

  • PepperLayne

    The Salt Lake Tribune fancies itself as a “lone voice in the wilderness” for all the highbrow leftist elites that got lost on their way to San Francisco and ended up staying here so they could piss and moan about all the icky religious people. Beyond that, no one in Utah really takes the Trib seriously – it’s a freaking joke. They publish this kind of crap all the time and no one can really hold them accountable. But this time they took on someone who can actually call them out their shenanigans. Personally, I’m enjoying the takedown from Glenn Beck and company – it’s nice to see the Trib on put on the defensive for once.

  • ulyssesmsu

    Why don’t you stop using the weasel-word “disingenuous” and say what you mean, which is “dishonest.” “Disingenuous” is a politician’s word. The SLT was dishonest, so say it.

  • Tom Lohmann

    People should point out Nazis were left wingers. The only reason some historians refer to them as the right is in the context of comparing them to Stalin and the communists. Nazis were slightly to the right of communists but that did not make them right wingers. That is like saying if Bill Clinton is to the right of Obama he is a right winger. Nazis and Fascism were born from communism, not in opposition to it. Hitler hated communism because Marx was Jewish and he thought it a Jewish plot. Goebbels was a member of the communist party before joining National Socialism and even organized a strike with communists. Fascism and National Socialism was just communism light.

    • Whokilledkenny

      Thinking if Zane Grey were alive. The paper would shudder and shiver.
      The Holocaustic history of Utah? Hmmmmmmm.. They have the nerve.

    • Deke Larrew


  • Nick Mathews

    The headline of the letter to the editor is not the editor’s thoughts on the letter. The headline’s job is to sum up the writer’s feelings. The headline is calling Karl’s piece “uniformed opinion.” How are none of you understanding this? The newspaper can run the headline that fits best. It never runs headlines that letter writers submit (if they do submit one.) this is industry practice. Don’t know why there’s so much confusion on this.

  • Rulz

    I would think that Beck’s love of America would put him at odds with Nazis and most other supremacist groups who historically have had key ties to the democrat party.

    It seems to me that someone from a newspaper like this one are much more likely to support or even join the nazis, if nothing else for out of fear of their power or being called a racist islamophobe.


    Can you say MALiCE??