Journalists should not push divisiveness

Oct. 9, 2017 at 3:36 p.m.
Updated Oct. 8, 2017 at 8 p.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

The editorial "Fake news, hate speech winning battle" published on Oct. 1. It was a response to a Facebook discussion with Kris Paronto, a lyceum speaker. The editorial stated that Paronto is a "soldier in the bombardment of journalists" and some of his 260,000 followers probably now believe an Advocate reporter supports terrorism. Had the Advocate not printed a story about Mr. Paronto's "divisive rhetoric" before he even spoke at the lyceum, the discussion probably would not have occurred at all.

The writer describes himself as a protector of the First Amendment - of free speech. The free speech that "journalists" support today is repulsive to many of us.

Kathy Griffin's distribution of grotesque pictures of Trump's head covered in blood is considered free speech.

People "protesting" by blocking roadways, destroying businesses, and burning cars - free speech.

Disrespecting police officers by "taking a knee" during the national anthem - free speech.

Protesting people who you think may say something that is offensive to you is free speech. On the other hand, if a Christian does not want to make a cake for a gay couple, it is bigotry and hate. Free speech for whom? Journalists are not protecting free speech; they are protecting political correctness gone amuck.

Why write a negative story in the first place? Can the media never express dismay at the lack of respect in our society today? Can the media not encourage respect? Divisiveness would not be as big a problem if these good, "legitimate" journalists were not pushing it.

I wish journalists would do something original, like perhaps waiting until an event is over before expressing the need to be offended. Don't stir the beans unless they need to be stirred. Put the spoon away, and you won't end up in the boiling water.

Susan Whitefield, Victoria


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