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Sen. Orrin Hatch released an ACA proposal. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File

Utah's most prominent newspaper, The Salt Lake Tribune, denounced Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch in a blistering editorial published on Christmas Day, urging him not to seek re-election and accusing him of having an "utter lack of integrity."

The backdrop: Many Republicans assumed Hatch would retire at the end of this term, his 7th in the Senate, but President Trump has encouraged him to run again in 2018. It has been long rumored that Mitt Romney will run if Hatch decides to retire.

Key points: The paper, which named Hatch "Utahn of the Year," took issue with his role in advancing the GOP's sweeping tax bill, and aiding in Trump's "dramatic dismantling" of the state's Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

  • The paper's editorial board wrote that reducing the monuments' size "by some 90 percent has no constitutional, legal or environmental logic," later adding that this "anti-environmental, anti-Native American and, yes, anti-business decommissioning of national monuments was basically a political favor the White House did for Hatch."
  • The editorial board said if Hatch runs for re-election, after he previously promised to step down, it would amount to "a theft from the Utah electorate."
  • They wrote that the senator "stared down a generation or two of highly qualified political leaders who were fully qualified to take his place."

The senator did not acknowledge the paper's criticism of him on Twitter. Instead, he thanked the paper for the "honor." That response left some on Twitter asking if he had actually read the scathing editorial. In a tweet hours later, he posted a recent editorial in support of the tax bill.

Go deeper

The week the Trump show ended

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Donald Trump was eclipsed in media attention last week by President Biden for the first time since Trump took office, according to viewership data on the internet, on social media and on cable news.

Why it matters: After Trump crowded out nearly every other news figure and topic for five years, momentum of the new administration took hold last week and the former president retreated, partly by choice and partly by being forced off the big platforms.

Pay TV's bleak post-pandemic outlook

Data: eMarketer; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on the Pay-TV industry, and with the near-term future of live sports in question, there are no signs of it getting better in 2021.

Why it matters: The fraught Pay-TV landscape is forcing some smaller, niche cable channels out of business altogether.

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Biden sets his sights on China

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images  

The new administration's first few moves and statements on China suggest that President Biden may continue some of the Trump era's most assertive policies.

Why it matters: China's severe domestic repression, its dramatic rise as a technological superpower, and its increasingly aggressive actions around the globe mean that the world expects the American president to take action.