By Chuck Woodbury
We ran an article last week about Ryan Andersen, the owner of Andersen Hitches of Idaho Falls, Idaho. He was photographed vandalizing an iconic red rock arch on federal lands near Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. He apologized for the act after the photo was widely circulated on social media.
The Utah Attorney General in Salt Lake City will likely press charges, according to U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson Melodie Rydalch. The maximum penalty for such a violation is a $100,000 fine and one year in prison.
What disturbs me almost as much as what Andersen did is that now, a week after this news was reported by Utah and Idaho news media, not a single one of the major RV industry news websites mentioned the incident — not RVbusiness.com, RVdailyReport.com, RVnews.com or RV-pro.com.
Regardless of Mr. Andersen’s intentions in defacing the iconic arch, or his apology, wouldn’t you think that as the owner of a well-known company in the RV industry that his act of vandalism would have been important and highly relevant news to industry publications?
But no. Silence. My guess is the RV news websites did not want to offend an advertiser or potential advertiser (Andersen’s company) by reporting the incident. If you want evidence of how money influences how news is reported (or not reported, in this case), this is, I believe, a good example.