By: DOROTHY GIOBBE
REPRESENTATIVE JIM HANSEN (R-Utah) recently accused the Salt Lake Tribune of biased reporting and halted all communication with the newspaper.
Last month, Hansen instructed his staff to stop sending press releases to the Tribune and forbade his staff members from speaking to reporters from the newspaper.
Almost a month later, Tribune editor James Shelledy said the embargo has “kind of eased” and added that Hansen’s office still sends press releases to the newspaper’s office.
“It was sort of a tempest in a teapot,” Shelledy said. “He got in a snit and that’s his right.”
An administrative assistant in Hansen’s office told the Associated Press that Hansen is upset because: “They always take one line [from a press release] and blow it out of proportion.”
Hansen also is convinced the newspaper never calls him for his side of a story, she added.
Shelledy, admitting that personally he doesn’t think much of Hansen’s legislative skills, said Tribune reporters cover the representative in an objective manner.
“Our reporters treat Hansen the same way that we treat all members of Utah’s congressional delegation ? in a fair and accurate manner,” Shelledy told the AP.
“We will continue to do so in spite of the congressman taking his press releases and going home.”
In an interview with E&P, Shelledy added that “Doctors have to operate on people they don’t like, and lawyers have to defend people they don’t like. I’m a professional and we treat him fairly in our newspaper.”