A couple of days ago, I had an interesting chat with one of the key organizers of the opposition to the ACC gasification proposal. This person was spitting mad at Daily News Editor Mel Rothenburger because of what was perceived to be Mel's attempt to cloak rabid support for the proposal in high minded appeals for fairness and rational decision making. That's what I took from the chat, in any case.
This is so interesting to me.
I should state up front that I have a huge respect for Mel. I think he was a great Mayor and that he is still one of the top 3 most influential people in Kamloops. When Mel writes, people are so used to reading and, more importantly, absorbing what he has to say. A negative review in the "armchair Mayor", and I've been associated and even the subject of a couple, is something to fear.
(By the way, Mel's column this week is on the upcoming Chamber sponsored public meeting on the ACC proposal.)
Mel's columns on ACC have made me believe that he does strongly support the project. To me, that's fair ball; as a columnist, you are supposed to be opinionated. I also feel, however, that he hasn't really come out and stated his support outright. This is likely just a style issue - also completely fair ball. But, I can understand why people think Mel is trying to be a little clever. They know how much influence Mel has but may also feel that an indirect writing style might be employed to get past people's questioning and skepticism muscles. If someone just states something outright, people perhaps tend to question it and engage with it more fully.
But, ultimately, who is responsible for questioning and engaging?
I personally think that we all need to read whatever we read with a questioning and skeptical eye. Mel's columns always make me think and question and that is hugely helpful.