Olympic-sized issue

Editor’s note: We received a lot of feedback on Matthew LaPlante’s “The Myth of Mitt” story about the role Mitt Romney played in the success of Salt Lake City’s 2002 Olympic Games, which ran in our May/June 2012 issue.

Mr. LaPlante’s piece of yellow journalism is a completely transparent political “hit piece.” In Mr. his alternate universe, the financial, organizational and world-image turnaround that Romney spearheaded—while at the same time addressing the newly realized threat of terrorist attacks circling the Games—doesn’t exist. Mr. LaPlante’s op-ed is wallowing in bias and notable omission and is absolutely agenda driven. I question whether this class of writing belongs in a magazine that claims to showcase all that is great and good in Salt Lake City. Show some respect for those of us Salt Lake magazine readers and supporters that recognize yellow journalism when we smell it.

—Mike Knight, South Salt Lake

It sure looks like Mr. Laplante has an agenda to promote: namely politics.  The 2002 Winter Olympics  was a huge success by the thousands of volunteers who represented the state. It was hailed as one of the best Winter Olympics ever.  Mitt Romney was just one of the volunteers.  I suggest that you keep your articles on what’s beautiful and good about Utah.

— Joanne Medeiros, Bountiful

When we subscribed we were quite pleased that there was a publication telling us about the happenings in the city. Your June 2012 issue changed our minds. While LaPlante’s slant was obvious, he was unable to defend his own bias and certainly not your own large font cover. LaPlante seems to think that a lead story can be built on one-sentence quotes by the adversaries of the subject of his story.

—Gail Berry, Highland

What a great article on Mitt “saving” the Salt Lake Olympics. It has bothered me for years that he claims he did more than he did. Our Games would have gone on and been just as awesome, even if he hadn’t been appointed the head. We can thank the organizing committee and volunteers for that success. Sure, he was a good figurehead and knew how to smile, but, to me, that is the extent. Thank you for pointing out that pretty much all the Games have had some kind of scandal and bribery involved and that the SLOC did what was needed to to get the Games. Now if only he would stop making a bigger deal about his role.

—Jenni Oman, Salt Lake City

I am not a Mitt fan, but rather a Ron Paul supporter. Nevertheless, I am disappointed in your choice to make your June 2012 issue political in this year’s presidential politics. I know enough that your choice was calculated, and again, I am disappointed in that. I have enjoyed many of the articles in your magazine, and they were non-political. Your magazine should be a magazine that builds not only Salt Lake, but all things in Utah. This issue is not building, but a cutting down one. Be better than that.

—Garry Piiparinen, Evanston, Wyo.

For a magazine designed to promote Utah, it’s disgusting you decide to attack the most important person that would turbo charge that effort... I don’t know what you wanted out of this cover, but I find it offensive. The media at large provides an overdose of offense, I don’t need Salt Lake magazine to fill a gap.  I would have marked the anniversary positively, with a story of American will, Utah pride and global unity. Mitt Romney wasn’t the scandal, and he’s not a myth. The performance that brought the house down on 2002 Olympics was Sarah Hughes winning the figure skating gold medal.  She should have been on the cover. The Mitt crap should have been a side note.

—Joseph G. Uzelac, San Anselmo, Calif.

Whoever wrote this article needs to go back to school to understand what good journalism is. Trying to tie Detroit’s Olympic bid and George Romney is incredibly far-fetched, weak and insubstantial at best. What is the point of bringing up the “scandal” and Romney’s involvement? There were ethical issues, whether legal or illegal—it doesn’t matter—that needed to be corrected. Mitt was the point person to stop those, and he did.

—Jon Lewis, via saltlakemagazine.com

We will not be renewing our subscription to Salt Lake magazine. While the June cover and article may have been eye-catching, we do not look for nor appreciate such blatant political spin and bias from this publication. The information in the article was indeed of interest, but the slant and egregious promotion of perspective was most unwelcome. 

—Craig and Katherine Carpenter, Murray

While I understand Mr. LaPlante’s perspective and grant that some of his points make sense, I think he failed to really understand what Mitt contributed to the 2002 Olympic Organizing Committee on Sept. 11, 2001, and beyond. 
Unless you have worked in a bona fide role as a part of an Olympic Organizing Committee, you simply cannot understand the dynamics at play five months out from opening ceremonies. Countless hours of preparation go into the complex and relatively short-term life of preparing for the Games. 
The morning the first tower was hit (followed by the second, the Pentagon, and the plane going down in a field in Pennsylvania) called into question, in a very real way, whether all the efforts of many dedicated people from around the globe would be for not. Countries, athletes, and sponsors spoke of pulling out and not coming to America. People within the Organizing Committee were also impacted personally by these events. Many waited to hear from loved ones to verify their safety. (We had a lot of talent from outside the State of Utah on our team.)
And, in the midst of all of this uncertainty, there was one guy who led us—athletes, sponsors, and countries through the turmoil—that’s right, you guessed it, Mitt. 
Had he not been there, with his ability to lead, his commitment and his compassion, I’m not sure Mr. LaPlante would have had anything at all to write about. In the end, a lot of nations, including our own, had a cause for celebration and a moment of uplift thanks to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
The fact is - Mitt’s Myth is no Myth. I look forward to seeing this published.

—Leslie A. Bates, former employee of the 2002 Winter Olympic Organizing Committee

What an incredibly well-researched article. I rely like the way the author brought us the list of former countries’ problems and scandals connected with staging the Olympics. 
Atlanta 1996 still stands out for me. To this day, the city of Atlanta has not made any attempt to point out that two innocent people lost their lives in the bombing—a citizen of Atlanta and a camera man from, I believe, Turkey. I would have created a bench to honor the gentleman from so far away and a beautiful water fountain to honor the citizen of Atlanta, a woman of color. It was the summer Olympics after all, and a water-fountain that all can use is the greatest symbol for the Atlanta of the New South. 
And I appreciate the bravery of Jimmy Carter in standing for world honor in not allowing our athletes to attend the 1980 Moscow Olympics. However, here we are sacrificing our human and financial capital in Afghanistan. Will the madness never end?
Fascianting that Bennett lost his office to the Tea Party when he was so willing to hide money for Salt Lake sewers in money appropriated for Kosovo in order to assist Mitt back in the beginning of this century.

—Pat Dasco, New York City

Food Love

We were thrilled to see Amour Spreads included [in the April issue]. Thanks so much for including us, for the acknowledgment and for your support.

—John and Casee Francis, Amour Spreads

A Study in Fashion

I was blown away by the April issue. It looks amazing, and I am so impressed with the fashion segment, “Fashionology.” It felt like I was looking at a real fashion mag. The images were beautifully shot and styled, and the production was incredible.

—Ashley Rothwell-Campagna,
owner of Apt. 202 Boutique

City Creek Clientele
Editor’s note: In our April story “Old SLC, New SLC,” one of the main focuses was the new City Creek Center. When we came across this email to mall owners Taubman Centers, we thought our readers would be interested.

I had been eagerly awaiting the opening [of City Creek, and though] I prefer smaller, more original shops, it is great to have a feeling one is living in a progressive, big city. Imagine my dismay [at the opening gala] to find us shuttled off to an unfinished space, dubbed City Creek Club, if we wanted a glass of wine or beer. I am sure you were not free to do what you might have elsewhere, but you need to understand a few things: More than 50 percent of Salt Lake is non-LDS. [Taubman] clearly did not expect so many imbibers—the lines were long, and the food, while delicious, was meager. And guests were not allowed to leave the building with a glass. We are all adults. No one was going to be contaminated by someone enjoying the beautiful surroundings with a glass of wine in hand. I seldom drink alcohol, but I do not want to me made to feel that I am “bad” if I choose to do so. This experience colored the entire evening for me. Do I want to spend my money in a place that is so judgmental? My friends and I have means. We are used to going to Las Vegas, New York and Europe to shop. We can enjoy walking around City Creek and then shop elsewhere and enjoy the good restaurants nearby. I had high hopes [for City Creek] and constantly told skeptical friends to “wait and see.” Now, let’s see if it can become more welcoming.

—Barbara Clark, Salt Lake City

Talk to Us

Send us your take on the stories you read in Salt Lake magazine, or on Utah in general.
email: editor@saltlakemagazine.com
post to: Editor
515 S. 700 East, Ste. 3i
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Include your name, address, email address and daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.