By Tim Stewart
(WINDSOR, ON) – The day after the municipal election the Windsor Star published an editorial assigning yet another label to those who did not support the Dilkens mayoral campaign or the Francis administration. Malcontents was added to a long list of derogatory terms used to identify nearly forty five per cent of the citizens of this community.
Before our new mayor dons the chain of office for the first time, the media makes it clear how the opposition should be handled.
The opposition cannot be simply that, the opposition, they must be demonized lest someone actually stops to listen to the reasons for the opposition.
One day later, we were treated to a vitriolic Chris Vander Doelen column based on hearsay and errors in fact. That column, since removed from the website, corrected and apologized for, was an example of the worst kind of journalism.
Opinion columnists are granted a great deal of leeway that should not be exploited at the expense of good people.
The erroneous information contained in the article was undoubtedly taken for and repeated as the truth by more than one person in Facebook comments and otherwise, notwithstanding the apology.
Ironically, the October 28 editorial closes with the suggestion that it will be Drew Dilkens’, “job to build consensus” and that a, “positive attitude” will be required.
The Windsor Star might consider following its own suggestions.
A good start would be to eliminate the juvenile practice of name calling and labelling people. That goes for everyone of course.
If Mr Dilkens wants to build consensus, he will lead the discussion about restoring the Auditor General’s office and conducting a genuine value for money audit of EnWin.
The divisive tone of the conversation surrounding the future of this city needs to change. The leadership, to make that happen, can begin with responsible and respectful journalism as well as open transparent government.