Sen. Orrin Hatch responded to being named the Salt Lake Tribune's 2017 Utahn of the Year—for, among other things, his "utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power"—by tweeting a sort of thanks. "Grateful for this great Christmas honor from the Salt Lake Tribune," he tweeted Monday. The New York Times reports his message generated "ridicule" online, with some floating the idea that Hatch tweeted after reading only the headline and not the blistering accompanying editorial. In a Tuesday tweet, Hatch rep Matt Whitlock wrote, "You'd have to be very new to Twitter Hatch to think this tweet was anything but tongue-in-cheek. This is at least the 4th editorial the Tribune has written in the last two years urging Hatch to retire. Might as well have a chuckle about it. On Christmas."
Editorial page editor George Pyle disputed that in comments to the Times, saying, "We've never called for him to resign. We have said more than once that he promised in 2012 that he would not run again and should keep that promise." The Tribune reports Whitlock also waved the editorial off as clickbait. His statement: "Everyone celebrates Christmas differently. We all sincerely hope the members of The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board find joy this holiday season in something beyond baselessly attacking the service and integrity of someone who [has] given 40 years for the people of Utah, and served as one of the most effective lawmakers of all time just to satisfy their unquenchable thirst for clicks." Hatch doesn't seem to be holding a grudge against the Tribune: USA Today reports he later tweeted a "great editorial" from the paper on the corporate tax rate cut. (Read more Orrin Hatch stories.)