Once again, among Utah’s finest

Little did I know when The Daily Herald fired me in August 2003 that I would continue to be one of their readers’ favorite writers and that I would keep winning their reader surveys every year, beating out people who actually write for them. It’s sort of like how Elvis Presley continues to be one of the top-selling recording artists every year even though he hasn’t released anything new. It’s embarrassing, really. Stop, people of Provo! Stop telling me I’m better than the people who actually live and work there!

In case you forgot, last year I was voted Best Local Print Journalist by readers of The Daily Herald. This year, the results of the Herald’s 2005 Reader’s Choice Awards are in, and we have these results:

Best Local Print Journalist
1. Becky Beaton
2. Chance Cook
3. Eric Snider

Most Controversial Print Journalist
1. Eric Snider
2. Gordon Monson
3. Robert Kirby

Gordon Monson is a sports columnist and Robert Kirby is a humor columnist, both for the Salt Lake Tribune. I had never heard of Becky Beaton or Chance Cook, so I did some googling. Cook is mostly known as a TV news reporter, though apparently he has written some outdoor/sports articles for various Utah publications. He doesn’t seem to be a staff writer at the Herald, the Tribune or the Deseret Morning News, as far as I can tell.

I couldn’t find Becky Beaton anywhere at first, and then I stumbled across her name on the Daily Herald’s Web site. She’s a sports reporter for them — but her name is actually spelled BEKY, not Becky. That’s right, folks: The Herald misspelled their own reporter’s name when they honored her in the “Best of Utah County” special section. (They did the same thing to me when I worked there. The special sections are mostly overseen by the advertising department, who are hired based on skills other than spelling and fact-checking. And, to be fair, Beky kinda threw them off by misspelling her own name in the first place.)

Anyway, I’m a little disappointed to have only placed third in the Best Local Print Journalist category, coming in behind two people who actually ARE local print journalists, and one of them only sort of. I mean, what’s up with that?

But first place in Most Controversial Print Journalist! That’s like a Pulitzer. So what if I haven’t written for a Utah County publication in 2 1/2 years, haven’t lived in Utah County for 1 1/2 years, and haven’t lived in Utah at all for almost a year? The fact that the voters remember me — or that the voters haven’t actually picked up a Daily Herald since 2003, whichever — makes me tingly inside.