After sucking up billions of federal dollars over the last several decades, Utah’s biggest newspaper anointed the state’s longtime Republican senator, Orrin G. Hatch, as its “Utahn of the year,” a distinction that came with a nearly full-page photo on the paper’s front page on Christmas Day.
The senator seemed to appreciate the recognition, tweeting an image of the front page and thanking the Salt Lake Tribune for “this great Christmas honor.”
But the Tribune’s distinction wasn’t exactly an honor, in the strictest sense of the word according to the gleefully spiteful Washington Post.
Along with a news article and the photo, the newspaper published a scathing editorial that took aim at the senator’s recent record, most notably his part in the Trump administration’s decision to shrink two national monuments in the state, and said that the designation was meant to anoint the Utahn who had had the most impact, “for good or for ill.”
Hatch, who is the Senate’s longest-serving member with 42 years of service, has long been one of the staunchest conservatives in the chamber. He was seen as one of the driving forces behind President Trump’s decision to shrink the two national monuments by about 2 million acres.