Sen. Orrin Hatch’s Christmas tweet is a great reminder to always read beyond the headline before sharing an article.
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Quite similar to the yearly confusion surrounding the choosing process behind TIME magazine’s Person of the Year, the Salt Lake City Tribune attempted to explain that being designated Utahn of the Year is not inherently positive. And had Hatch, or someone on his team, made it beyond the headline giving him the title, they may have thought twice about sharing the story.
“These things are often misunderstood. So, lest our readers, or the honoree himself, get the wrong impression, let us repeat the idea behind The Salt Lake Tribune’s Utahn of the Year designation,” the Tribune noted at the start of its address. “The criteria are not set in stone. But this year, as many times in the past, The Tribune has assigned the label to the Utahn who, over the past 12 months, has done the most. Has made the most news. Has had the biggest impact. For good or for ill.”
The article then criticized Hatch for being a senator “longer than three-fifths of the state’s population has been alive” and mentioned his “utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power.”
Toward the end, the paper called on Hatch to step aside as he prepared to run for an eighth term, despite telling voters in 2012 that he would give up his seat.
“Grateful for this great Christmas honor from the Salt Lake Tribune,” read a tweet from Hatch’s official account.
CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted at Hatch, asking if he read the article.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) December 26, 2017
Others accused him of “reading” the article as closely as he read the Republican-backed tax bill before voting on it.
This is very, very funny. Read the article Hatch thinks is an "honor." Oh, boy. Guess he read this article as closely as GOP senators read the tax bill before voting for it.https://t.co/ke56eUuAUy https://t.co/QvpmtXy9xu
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) December 26, 2017
Did you not read it? Just like your tax bill!?!? 🙄
— Beth Bryson (@maddezmom) December 25, 2017
One Twitter user blamed the blunder on Hatch’s ego.
Hatch and his ego couldn’t help but retweet the story without reading it.
— Trever Waage (@trever_waage) December 26, 2017
The paper even attempted to clarify, tweeting key bullet points from the article criticizing Hatch.
It has everything to do with recognizing:
• Hatch’s part in dismantling two national monuments.
• His role in passing a major overhaul of the nation’s tax code.
• His utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power.https://t.co/jpWaUx6EXM
— The Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) December 26, 2017