Sen. Mike Lee wages 'strange crusade' against Mormon-owned Utah media outlets for not being right-wing enough

Sen. Mike Lee wages 'strange crusade' against Mormon-owned Utah media outlets for not being right-wing enough
Photo via Gage Skidmore.

It's always amusing when far-right Republicans slam conservative media outlets for not being right-wing enough. One such Republican is Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who has been highly critical of two right-of-center media outlets in his state: the Deseret News and Salt Lake City's KSL Radio/KSL-TV — which is owned by Bonneville International, the broadcasting arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Lee believes that the Deseret News (also owned by Mormons) and KSL are insufficiently right-wing, and talk radio right-winger Glenn Beck is joining him.

Beck tweeted, "Utahans: why would you ever read this paper? @SenMikeLee is right. How can you trust a thing @DeseretNews writes if they can get this simple principle so wrong? History TEACHES Pure Democracy leads to slavery and suffering."

McKay Coppins, a staff writer for The Atlantic, has devoted a Twitter thread to Lee and Beck's ludicrous claims that Mormon-owned media outlets in deeply Republican Utah are too liberal.

Coppins explains, "So, Mike Lee has been waging a FB/Twitter crusade lately against the Utah media outlets owned by his church (KSL, Deseret News). The individual critiques are nitpicky, but basically he seems frustrated that the outlets aren't right-wing enough. Now Glenn Beck has joined the cause."

Coppins goes on to say, "This crusade is strange, in part, because neither outlet is remotely liberal. But it's classic Trumpian ref-working. As I reported earlier this year, Trump and his allies planned to take the fight to local media in 2020…. That seems to be happening in Utah."

Coppins also notes that President Donald Trump "continues to underperform with" Mormon voters in Utah. Nonetheless, Utah is a deep red state that Trump is almost certain to win in the 2020 presidential election. While polls are showing former Vice President Joe Biden to be competitive in some light red states — including Texas and Georgia — a Y2 Analytics poll released on October 5 found Trump ahead by 10% in Utah. And on September 17, an RMG Research poll showed Trump with an 18% lead in that state.

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