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Crumble stumble

Re: Politics will crumble without better journalism (Nov. 20)

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Columnist Andrew MacDougall continues to do his Conservative duty.  He is supposedly explaining how Conservative MPs Marilyn Gladu and Dean Allison (who he indicates are not stupid people and are university-educated) can believe such stupid things. He says they have been brought under the sway of “the low-quality information they’re consuming.”

Sorry, that doesn’t wash.  Smart and university-educated people are supposed to be able to discern bad information from good information. It’s a bit of a requirement for university.

Next, he wonders why people on the political right tend to get drawn in by misinformation. He considers social media as the culprit, but, rightly, dismisses it, as social media should have the same effect on everyone no matter their political affiliation.

He then gets to his real point: the formerly working-class profession of journalism has been taken over by a “monoculture” of university-educated liberal elites who couldn’t possibly reflect the views and lives of the people they cover.

Again that doesn’t wash. It implies if you are university educated, you are a “liberal elite.”  Interestingly, the the people he names, Gladu, Allison and Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, all have degrees (engineering, economics and law, respectively), as does Mr. MacDougall himself (B.Sc.).  It appears they all escaped uninfected by the liberal bug.

Journalists are just regular people employed by their news organizations, most of which are privately owned, profit-making businesses generally not known for their liberal leanings (like the one this letter is published in).

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What I think Mr. MacDougall is not telling you is that most conservative elites who spout the misinformation know it is not true. They do it because it suits a broader conservative political purpose – to call into question the roles of science and government in an attempt to convince people that their lives are better run by business interests. That this often works has always astounded me, given how badly most businesses treat their employees and customers.

Michael Blythe
Scotland

Answers needed in police shooting

Re: ‘I want to know what happened’ (Nov. 20)

I think a lot of people would like to know what happened in the shooting death of a Norfolk County gunsmith by Toronto police.

How can a police force from another jurisdiction just come to anyone’s property without contacting local authorities in a reasonable amount of time? It makes one wonder if any of us are safe.

The shooting is being investigated by the Special Investigations Unit. But, considering how rarely police are charged, I will  predict that SIU report will clear the police officers of any wrongdoing and state that they felt threatened, which is basically the same statement every time people are shot by police. How many unarmed people have been shot and that excuse was used?

I appreciate that some situations facing police officers need split-second decisions but this is getting too common.

What kind of training do our police officers get? Or has Canada become like the U.S., where they shoot first?

Steve Whines
Brantford

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