Weekly Wire
Salt Lake City Weekly Just a Little Pregnant

By City Weekly staff

OCTOBER 6, 1997:  In Wendover, a young man was sentenced last year to 10 days in jail for stealing and destroying copies of the local newspaper, the High Desert Advocate. In Salt Lake City, Neal Gunnarson will not be charged criminally for stealing and destroying copies of this newspaper. What gives?

The Advocate carries a 25-cent price tag and Gunnarson is protected in his position as Salt Lake County's top cop.

Harry Coplan, publisher of the Advocate, can tell you that his paper is worth far more than two-bits per copy. And if Salt Lake Tribune Publisher, Dominic Welch, has you believing that his papers are only worth 50 cents each, then you're a stooge.

Neal Gunnarson wept to the Deseret News that he was just putting garbage where garbage belongs. That seems at the least to be criminal mischief, but three Utah stooges bought his ruse.

Those three un-wise men, Ogden prosecutors Mike Junk and Paul Olds, along with Provo prosecutor Dick Romney, voted last week not to prosecute the admitted thief, Gunnarson. Principal among their illogical rational for dismissal was the fact that this newspaper is free. Their message is clear: Anyone may violate our property and our First Amendment rights because it is "free".

Tell that to the guy who, two years ago, was prosecuted by Salt Lake City for stealing "free" cologne samples from ZCMI. The cologne was clearly marked as free and not for sale. Any idiot knows that any single sheet of a newspaper has more value than a squirt of Old Spice.

Well, at least three idiots don't — Messrs. Junk, Olds and Romney. Three doozies of prosecutors, they are. Junk, Olds and Romney have made it known that justice is not blind and that a little crime is okay under their watch. Maybe we should paint a little graffiti on their offices, drop a little litter in their towns — on impulse, of course. Maybe commit a little theft, maybe hurt some people just a little — but not in large numbers. If the line between right and wrong will not be drawn by so-called prosecutors, especially when the admitted miscreant is one of their own, then what business do any of those three have prosecuting anyone for any crime? None whatsoever.

And no one, no one, has any business stealing or destroying this or any other "free" newspaper. This business of newspaper theft must stop. A Salt Lake City employee has been witnessed three times now tossing our newspaper from our racks and into the trash. His case is being investigated by the Salt Lake City prosecutor. We're not staying up late.

After all, Junk, Olds and Romney have given a green light to commit little crimes.

Those three are clearly a little pregnant with stupidity.




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