Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Come Clean Kirby

[Phoning It In] It's time someone said it.

Someone at
The Salt Lake Tribune needs to edit humor columnist Robert Kirby. Yes, even Kirby could benefit from an editor asking a few questions. He's beloved as the "oxymormon" columnist who writes Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

On Saturdays, in the paper's
Faith section, he typically takes on some quirk of Mormon faith/life and pokes it with a big, sharp stick. Acerbic, but still respectful. People love him for it.

But the fact is that on too many days lately, he seems bored and burned out. The toughest part of writing any column for more than a couple of years is the temptation to recycle topics again and again. Kirby is doing so routinely. He needs to clear his head.

Nor is he immune to the kinds of conflicts of interest that a "serious" columnist would be skewered for. Today Kirby does a Halloween topic, writing about an outing to the Haunted Village at This is the Place Heritage Park at the mouth of Emigration Canyon.

He did the hike with his "friends," Katie and Ellis Ivory. No mention that Ellis Ivory, founder of Ivory Homes, is chairman of the board at This is the Place Heritage Park. Careful readers will recall that Ivory pushed for all the news coverage he could in both dailies when This is the Place landed on hard financial times in the past year or so.

So what made this particular haunted house venue any better than the 47 others around the Salt Lake Valley? Could it be the Ivory connection? All Kirby needed to provide was a little disclosure statement, right?

Nothing a little closer editing couldn't take care of. (Holly Mullen)

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