Eight Stories Getting More News Coverage Than Justin Miller

You’d think that the story of a sitting member of the Utah House of Representatives embezzling a good $34K from one of the state’s brightest political stars would end up creating an endless stream of front page news.

Utah House Member Justin Miller (Democrat, Millcreek)
Utah House Member Justin Miller (Democrat, Millcreek)

Instead, the Utah media got in their initial stories and have been almost entirely silent. Even folks like Paul Rolly and Pat Bagley who delight in poking powerful people in the eye have been keeping their mouths shut (because I suppose it’s only interesting if a Republican does it). But, apparently, other news stories are WAY more important to keep in the minds of voters these days. Here’s a few examples.

  1. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes taking a legal donation from 1-800-Contacts. Never mind that they’ve managed to contribute money to darn near never elected official in the state, we should be getting incensed that the AG is defending a state law that may benefit a donor. And, you know, a bunch of other businesses, consumers, and the free market in general. But who cares about those guys?
  2. Moudi Sbeity and Derek Kitchen getting married 18 months after same-sex marriage was recognized in Utah. Seriously, every TV station is making it their lead story, papers are snapping up pictures like mad, and the Social Media Outrage Brigade is WAY too busy gushing to continue to ask why Justin Miller hasn’t resigned yet. You’d think they were some kind of English royalty or something.
  3. Who may or may not challenge Mike Lee. The media seems to be absolutely desperate for some kind of big senate race showdown when Mike Lee’s term is up in 2016. (It sure did sell a lot of papers in 2010 and 2012.) As would-be challengers continue to drop like flies, they scramble to find the next possible challenger they can pull out of a hat. Look, I get that a competitive race against an incumbent is really interesting. Do we really need to have weekly columns speculating on who will or won’t step up to the plate?
  4. That the Huntsmans and Romneys really hate each other. This would have been interesting to talk about in 2011/2012 when, you know, they were running against each other. But three years later? Now is when we start tossing around the political gossip on a couple of guys who have basically retreated from public political life? I guess we should expect the blistering inside story of what Justin Miller has been doing sometime in 2019. Only $19.95 at your favorite bookseller or the exclusive Alta Club!
  5. Whatever thing some person said about CMV and/or SB54. The legal challenge from the Utah GOP doesn’t look so good and they’ll most likely end up complying some way or another with the existing law. So… what are we still talking about? There’s no organized effort to change or overturn the law. We’re getting kind of numb to James Evans saying dumb things about it. The horse is a fine red mist now, gentlemen.
  6. New charges filed against John Swallow. He’s already facing about a bazillion charges with little hope of not being convicted of at least a few of them. But hey, at least we can pay attention to the Republican doing bad things instead of the Democrat!
  7. If and where the state prison will be located in the future. It’s a contentious issue, but also one that’s kind of been beaten to death. I’m not sure how you can say more about the potential prison move without repeating yourself. And how it would end up being considered a top story of the week.
  8. Medical marijuana. Because maybe you need to be high to think the Justin Miller story should be getting top billing until the judge hands down a sentence.

I’m starting to get the feeling that people are hoping that by not talking about Justin Miller, it will just go away. Good luck with that one.

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