Collectively the world’s population must have trillions of thoughts every day. Fortunately for all of us only a very small portion of those thoughts are ever spoken or written down.
When they are written, however, especially for publication, there are many checks and balances to ensure that what reaches the reading public is within the bounds of the laws of libel, the laws concerning the dissemination of hate literature, or within the gambit of societal good tastes.
For example when our premier suggests that Newfoundland and Labrador owns Labrador, she is reverting to colonial-style language that went out with the pod-auger and might be seen by many today as harking back to the days of slavery. But it was an unedited thought for which I’m sure she will ever be regretful.
In a similar vein, I’ve no idea where Shawn Mitchell’s thoughts transmuted into a letter to the Calgary Sun would fall in terms of hate laws and such. I do feel, however, that these thoughts should never have seen the light of day and that the Calgary Sun and the Calgary Sun alone is totally responsible for the publishing of the letter that has drawn so much fire all across Canada but especially here in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Sun had a choice and in my view it made the wrong choice and furthermore for Randy Simms (“Hey Newfie… Go Home,” The Telegram, Saturday Aug. 3) to suggest that the Sun should have given this individual a podium to spill his venom from is a rather twisted view of what society believes to be the case.
Randy’s thoughts are simplicity itself.
He wrote: “I’m for giving him the podium so people can put him in his place.”
Wow! Imagine what would happen to our letters pages, our open line shows, and all other sorts of media if we followed Simms’ advice. Randy seems profoundly misguided in this assertion and I can only assume that he was misquoted or misprinted.
It is a tenet of our society today that the less attention that is focused on the rants of bigots, racists and hate literature in general, the better it is for all concerned because as we all know the major incentive for writing such letters is to garner attention.
Mitchell was/is no different.
For the Sun to publish this letter seems to indicate serious editorial or management problems at that paper.
It is my view that the Calgary Sun should apologize to all Canadians for publishing such rubbish.
And for Sun editor Jose Rodriguez to suggest how much they really care about Newfoundlanders, etc., is so much condescending drivel that the Sun really should sit him down for a heart to heart.
I would ask him: are we Canadian East Coasters different in any way from West Coasters, or those who live in the heart of the country? The Calgary Sun does, indeed, have a problem and it goes way beyond one person’s bitter thoughts.
All of us have thoughts at one time or another that should never see the light of day and that includes the premier of the province, Randy Simms, Mitchell, and yours truly.
I sincerely hope that with respect to this letter it is not one of those times.