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Debbie Dujanovic reporting A war of words is heating up between the National Enquirer and the Salt Lake Tribune over an article written about the Smart family. And two Utah reporters are right in the middle.
There are new developments this morning.
At the heart of this argument is an article published by the Enquirer last July that claimed members of the Smart family were involved in a gay sex ring.
Two Tribune reporters, Kevin Canterra and Michael Vigh, contibuted to that article and were paid for their work -- $10,000 each.
This weekend the publisher of the Tribune, Jay Shelledy, wrote that he had reprimanded the reporters for providing unsubstantiateed rumors to the tabloid and put them on one year probation.
He claimed they were not the primary sources for the article.
But now, according to this morning's Deseret News, the Enquirer has taken issue with Shelledy's statements and is demanding a retraction in the Tribune.
In a faxed statement the Enquirer says: "If a prominent and accurate correction and retraction is not immediately publlished -- we will be left with no alternative but to file legal proceedings without further notice."
The writer of the article, Alan Butterfield, says that Cantera and Vigh vouched for their information and he has the tapes to prove it.
The Tribune is also responding this morning to this latest development. Editor Shelledy says through the newspaper that he won't retract his statements about the Enquirer, unless the tabloid produces "...demonstratable proof that our reporters' version is not correct."
And if Vigh's and Cantera's version of the events surrounding this article turn out to be false, they will be fired.