Tag Archive hit piece

Medicine Hat News (MHN) is on a deplorable witch-hunt and it is inexcusable.

On June 1st, I wrote a post drawing attention to a character assassination piece written by Collin Gallant of MHN. That unethical piece was a response to a still unpublished “letter to the editor” and sanctioned by the MHN’s own editors. At least one of the three editors, Bruce Penton, Kerri Sandford, or Scott Shmidt would have had to approve it. While publishing an article attacking a private citizen of Medicine Hat seemed pretty bad, and highly damaging to the credibility of the MHN, I never expected that they would attempt to dig ‘up’ out of the situation. I specifically stated that I was being hyperbolic when I said that MHN was putting on their inquisition credentials. It appears they missed that line, and took it as an outline of how they should proceed.

Today, June 12th, MHN published a “reply” “letter to the editor,” from a Karen D. LaHay. An employee of the Medicine Hat Public Libary (MHPL), who wanted to make sure you knew LaHay is a man who identifies as a woman. I will get into LaHay’s sanctimonious attack on a private citizen through a media platform that refuses to give the same courtesy to the man being attacked, in a moment. Right now I’m focusing on MHN’s complete lack of any integrity, ethics, or moral decency.

Through the obstinate refusal to publish Mr. Johnston’s letter, MHN displayed there complete lack of integrity, but it was the bias and discriminatory action of publishing a letter in response to the caricature of Mr. Johnston that Gallant shamelessly fabricated, that exposed their complete lack of ethics or ethical standards. Not, only that, but they published a letter that clearly besmirched, if not defamed, the identity of Mr. Johnston, and any of his “like minded followers.” That alone shows the moral depravity of the media organization. It also shows flagrant bigotry to opposing ideas and/or religious beliefs.  MHN has clearly shown themselves to be intolerant hypocritical bullies, and like all bullies, they are also cowards. For only a coward would attack a man, let others attack that man, and refuse to allow that man to defend himself, and only a spiteful bully would encourage a mob to go after defenseless person for having the wrong opinion.

It is for those reasons that I feel I am compelled to call upon all the free thinking, religious, liberal, and falsely maligned people of Medicine Hat to boycott MHN news. I do not say this lightly, but it seems evidently clear that they can’t be trusted to be impartial in their reporting, and they appear to take a fair amount of glee in belittling the people of Medicine Hat, if they dare to disagree with the fascistic tactics of the LGBT™. Tolerant only of those who agree with them.

Only a sincere, front page apology by every individual involved in the Gallant piece would sooth my outrage at the crass actions of the MHN.

So, if you have a subscription, cancel it. If you advertise in the MHN, stop. Write letters to city council demanding that they no longer advertise with them either. Inform them of what MHN is doing. The only way the bullying will stop is if you stand up to them, and you do that, by refusing to give them your (lunch) money. I provided the e-mail addresses of the editors with their names at the top of the post. Write and demand an apology. Stand up, take courage, and defrock the inquisition.

Only a sincere, front page apology by every individual involved in the Gallant piece would sooth my outrage at the crass actions of the MHN. In the meantime, I doubt anyone boycotting them would actually miss them. Now, LaHay and the MHPL, that is a different situation altogether. How to handle that, is little different.

LaHay’s letter in response to the unseen letter by Mr. Johnston immediately jumps into mocking Mr. Johnston’s “two minutes of fame,” despite having had no moment of ‘fame’. LaHay then immediately gets the facts wrong, and says Mr. Johnston was given a platform to spread his alleged hatred. I see no platform that was given to Mr. Johnston, and I dare LaHay to actually state what exactly Mr. Johnston is alleged to have said that was so full of hate. It looks like LaHay has insider knowledge of this alleged letter, and if that is the case and the letter was given by anyone other than Mr. Johnston, that only makes LaHay out to be the unethical one. LaHay then claims that Mr. Johnston was engaging in a personal attack, but provides zero evidence of such.  LaHay concludes by using revolutionary language stating the intolerant self-righteous arrogant crowd are here to stay. Then invites you all to come down to your tax funded public library to hear more condescending indignation about how special and worthy of praise they are and oppressive you are.

Now, I can’t speak for everyone else, but I for one don’t care to darken the doors of the MHPL ever again. Not to mention I don’t even need to know the details of the whole “social media policy” of the MHPL. It is plainly obvious that they have a set of values that they have chosen, and if you have other values, you are not welcome. Why anyone would want to be part of that toxic environment is beyond me. To employ a person who slanders a man in a public paper, and to double down by inviting the public to come and hear that employees life story as something empowering and to strive for is just shameful. If that is the kind of ethics they stand for, I would never wish for my children to learn anything from them. I want my kids to grow up valuing every person equally, not spitting vitriol and disdain at people who disagree with them. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

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Medicine Hat News disparages local man’s views on library policy.

(Image is a fair use satire of the MHN logo imposed upon an image of the main character of the popular video game “Hitman”)

Today, Medicine Hat News (MHN) published an article by Collin Gallant laced with typos, about local man Sheldon Johnston’s letter to the editor of MHN. As of the time of publishing this, two independent residents have not been able to locate a posted full text copy of Mr. Johnston’s letter, anywhere on the MHN website.

Gallant purports that Mr. Johnston was not pleased with a social media post by the Medicine Hat Public Library, (the Library) which, according to Gallant, Johnston said was favoring one view over another. Without the full text of Mr. Johnston’s letter, we are left to accept Gallant’s word alone on the matter.

From a printed piece, one can expect to have to look up referenced material one’s self, but with a web article, linking to relevant material is exceptionally easy, as I have already shown. Gallant mentions the Library’s social media piece which allegedly sparked Mr. Johnston’s letter, but does not give the text of it, and no photo reference is given anywhere in the piece. We are told of the Library’s program called “Human Library Catalogue,” but are not even given detailed info on that.

As a matter of full disclosure, Mr. Johnston and I have in the past worked along side each other in CPoSD76 matters, but more than a year ago myself, the CPoSD76, and Mr. Johnston parted ways because of irreconcilable difference in approach to certain matters. Yet, despite our disagreements, I can not abide hit pieces by media groups against private individuals in the community. Make no mistake, this was a hit piece.

The article is a hit piece for two reasons:

1. Gallant and the MHN do not give you the full context of what Mr. Johnston wrote, nor the full context of the social media conversation that Mr. Johnston allegedly referenced. I am no lawyer, but it looks to me like Mr. Johnston has ample room to pursue libel against MHN. The only reason I know that, is because of research I was forced to do on libel when CHAT News did a hit piece against myself. A news agency with it’s own sordid history of poor reporting and attacking those they don’t agree with.

Without the full text of Mr. Johnston’s letter, we, the public, are unable to verify the veracity of Gallant’s claims as to the content of Mr. Johnston’s letter. We have no context to the statements Mr. Johnston allegedly made. Was Mr. Johnston being sarcastic in any of his statements? Did he give multiple examples of the bias he allegedly believed the Library was displaying? Did he give suggestions on how to thwart the alleged bias? Was he just ranting, as is common in letters to the editor? We will never know, because MHN didn’t deign to tell us. In so doing they have potentially defamed the character of a private resident of Medicine Hat, who holds no public office or position of authority.

2.  Gallant opened the piece by describing Mr. Johnston as “A Medicine Hat man with a history of commenting on gay and transgender issues”. Shortly there after also stating that Mr. Johnston, “… has been a vocal opponent of gay-straight alliances in schools as proposed by the Alberta government.” Immediately and willfully painting Mr. Johnston in an anti LGBTQ light, before even getting into the alleged details of the as yet, unproven letter to the editor. Neither statement being necessary to the topic at hand. If we can not know what it is that Mr. Johnson is supposed to have written, what is the point of Gallant’s piece, other than to belittle a man for having an opinion? Are we to presume that there was sufficient evidence in Mr. Johnston’s claims to warrant a follow up by MHN, without even showing the public what led them to dig deeper and seek out the Library’s response? A response, I might add, to something no one has seen.

As I referenced in my post about the Solidify prong of the C.P.O.S. plan, MHN news has it’s own pro LGBTbias. No more clearly evidenced than the statement by it’s official social media account that “it’s a pretty straight line from strict social conservative to those who back conversion therapy groups.” It is common knowledge that the public understands “conversion therapy groups” as those who employ such tactics as beating, electro shock therapy, and self-abasement as legitimate tactics to ‘force’ the conversion of a homosexual individual. Gallant even mentions one commenter on the Library’s alleged social media post, that allegedly makes that connection to forced conversion therapy. It is clearly evident that MHN knows well the public connotations that go with “conversion therapy groups” and they are all to happy to promote that false narrative.

Laying aside the fact that this was a hit piece, one has to consider a few other facts. In order for this piece to have been written, the editor of MHN would have to have received Mr. Johnson’s alleged “letter to the editor,” the editor would then have to assign the piece to a writer, the writer would have to submit their piece for approval, and a copy editor would have to correct any mistakes. Given the number of malformed sentences and punctuation errors in the piece that I have archived, it would appear that this piece did not get properly screened. We can not lay the blame solely on Gallant, as a number of senior staff members would have had to be in the know on this piece before it was ever published.

If you take into consideration the social media statement on social conservatives by the official MHN account, the fact that a letter to the editor sparked Gallant’s piece, the multiple miss-characterizations of the Concerned Parents in the past, and the ridiculous understanding of the United Conservative Party’s founding AGM policy proposal that MHN encouraged, I can only conclude that the MHN has systemic anti conservative bias. In my opinion, they have lost all credibility to report impartially, and as such, if I can not take them at their word on social issues, I can not trust them on any topic.

As to the other point of Gallant’s article, whether or not the Library was showing bias against religious groups in favour of the LGBT dogma, I can not go into great detail. I am lacking sufficient facts to form an opinion. All I can say is, while concerned parents and business owners were being harassed and threatened during the petition period, for refusing to kiss the ring of any and every self-proclaimed pontiff of the LGBT, MHN news and other local media were nowhere to be found. Some media were even participating in the disparaging attacks. But the minute a private citizen dares to resist the LGBT doctrine, MHN is there to slap on their inquisitor credentials and burn them at the stake. I’m being hyperbolic of course.

So, on the Library situation, ask yourself this. Would a publicly funded library be OK with a Christian employee proclaiming their Christianity at work, and would the Library suggest that patrons go and ask that employee what a Christian’s believes are and life is like, as they did for the trans employee? If you can’t see the answer to that being yes, than the Library is absolutely anti-religious and bias in it’s policies. And hey it’s been widely publicized that I’m intersex, so I can expect my invitation to participate in the “Human Library Catalogue” to arrive any day now. … Any day now.

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