Letters to the editor

The Kamloops Daily News has had a new editor for a few months.

His name is Robert Koopmans and I really enjoyed his work as a columnist writing about justice and his work covering court.

When he started as editor in September (me thinks?) he implemented a rule about increased civility on the KDN website. I thought it was a good idea because the comments had been getting out of hand.

I’ll admit that I would often insult the intelligence of others. As I usually try to talk about things I’ve taken the time to read and learn about..if I was presented with opinions that were unlettered and full of “feelings” rather than verified facts, I would trounce the anonymous troll with belittling statements.

I stopped doing that a couple of years ago because I realized that it wasn’t really helpful.

There are a few members of the KDN forums that tend to use really unnecessary language while talking about others and making strange assertions about people that they disagree with.

Like if you disagree with something the BC Libs or federal Conservative Party of Canada does, you’re a rabid left winger.

I personally think it’s intellectual laziness to simply peg someone as a leftist for disagreeing with a government policy. I digress.

Just today an article appeared by Koopmans stating that anonymous comments will no longer be allowed on letters written to the editor. The reasoning behind the decision is consistent with the letters policy of the KDN. If you want your opinion to be heard on a subject, let’s have your real name and a way to contact you.

Much of the commentary below the article is by anonymous people with “clever” handles. They are crying foul about not being able to exercise their free speech and are calling the KDN hypocrites etc etc.

Cry me a river.

One comment caught my eye about the quality of letters being printed. That they are so poorly researched that they should not be printed.

Sure a lot of letters to the editor are poorly researched and are full of malarkey but that’s what makes it fun to respond to them.

Here’s one of my favourite letters and my response to it:

Bernice Williams wrote a letter talking about her time working in an Indian/Eskimo hospital (I don’t think she means the football team.) She talked about how the Indians would line up on treaty day to collect their money and that they probably didn’t spend it wisely. Read it here.

I knew that there are very few treaties covering B.C. and that the treaties that covered the rest of Canada were not signed with any thoughts to the future and the rise in the cost of living.

So I found out how much money Indians from the area she spoke about in her letter received and responded. You can read it here.

I’ll admit that I usually respond to letters about Indians, queers, teachers, immigrants and other people in Kamloops who may not have a strong voice. If you choose to write about these topics, do your homework.

If you want to have your opinions heard by the masses and remain anonymous, get a blog.

Before I go..

I have had a few exchanges via the letters page with former teacher Chris Kempling about homosexuality and a woman’s right to choose. He didn’t believe that my name was actually Joey Jack. I don’t know if he still does, but he used to drive a bus here in Kamloops and one day I was pleased to show him my ID to prove my name is actually my name.

One day I decided to stop signing my name Joey Jack..I used my proper name Joseph Jack and very quickly received an email from my grandma telling me the story of Joey Smallwood, the first premier of NFLD. It was a great email and she finished it by saying “if it’s good enough for him, it should be good enough for you.” I’ve been Joey Jack ever since.

I did want to tell my grandma to never refer to me as Joey “smallwood” ever again though.




One thought on “Letters to the editor

  1. Ah the comments in the Kamloops News. I read some of their outraged howling about not being allowed to comment on letters with their online ID’s. I don’t think the majority of them would be capable of writing an actual letter to the Editor. There are some characters on there who would never be willing to put their name beside the trash talk they spew with great regularity. Glad Mr. Koopmans has put a bit of a lid on it.

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