At the risk of sounding like I’m against free speech, the April 29 issue of the Sooke News Mirror’s opinion/letters section was really the last straw for me.
My understanding, correct me if I’m wrong, is that the Sooke News Mirror is for residents of Sooke and surrounding communities, from Mechosin to Port Renfrew.
But almost weekly, letters are published by someone from Saanich, letters which are incoherent at best, filled with the most egregious false information presented as facts, and whose author chooses a previous letter writer from our community to attack.
Keith Sketchley detracts, not adds, to the conversation. He does not live in our riding. I believe his purpose, from reading his letters for quite some time now, seems to be to attack anyone who does not defend some kind of bizarro-world right-wing agenda (myself included, this week Heather Phillips), and to defend the editorials of Tom Fletcher.
That these two are given an endless amount of space, week after week, indicates to me this is not a free speech issue, as they are IMO in essence hired mouthpieces by the owner of this newspaper, as their editorials and letters are published throughout the Black Press newspaper chain.
At the moment, the world community is faced with extremely dangerous and serious decisions dealing with: our rights (Bill C-51), sexual attacks within the Canadian military, poor treatment of Veterans, closing of Coast Guard stations, drought, the Site-C Dam, a “blob” of Fukushima radiation in the Pacific Ocean destroying the food chain from krill upwards, US Navy Growler jets flying in Canadian airspace, an alarming militarization across the border, the oil spills, Chernobyl’s radiated forests burning and emitting new dangerous radiation, the Nepal earthquake, racist actions against the black community by police in the U.S. and Canada, the continued inhumane treatment of First Nations and no recognition of treaties, poverty, homelessness, lack of family doctors, needless culling of deer and wolves, I could go on and on.
With so much which requires our attention and the very best information available, it’s no wonder people turn to alternative media on the web, when people like Fletcher and Sketchley with their not-so-hidden agendas are time wasters and misinformation shills for Clark and Harper.
I suggest the next time you publish either of them, you include a disclaimer, something like “The Following is a Paid Advertisement and Does Not Necessarily Reflect the Opinion of this Newspaper.”