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By Lou Stone 

Council censorship justified by two lies

Letter to the Editor

 


Yes, at the March 6, 2013 Colville Tribal Council Management and Budget Committee Meeting, where Committee Chair Billy Nicholson held court and Mike Finley, Council Chair, sat next to, and huddled with, Billy, censorship was far beyond them saying (paraphrase) “People don’t want to read these opinions.”

It’s important to review this because of the Council’s stated motives for censorship.

The first cause for censorship of Letters To The Editor (in the Tribal Tribune) that came out of the Clowncil’s collective mouth was, “It’s too expensive, we can’t afford it.”

It’s The Peoples’ newspaper, not the Council’s paper. The Peoples pay for the newspaper from The Peoples’ funds.

Censorship came at the time when the Tribal Tribune was publishing down to four pages. As soon as censorship of Tribal Members’ “Voices,” the paper’s page count jumped to a staggering 25-page publication (plus or minus 5). So this was the first lie as for the cause to cut costs. Then the second lie about “opinions” came.

All this censorship came when The Peoples were mad about the lies around the Cobell “Settlement Funds” and how to distribute them. On top of that, however, we learned the Council negotiated in bad faith against The Peoples regarding “trust funds tax exemption” in order to trick The Peoples to accept a lesser distribution of funds per capita.

With all the lying to The Peoples from The Peoples’ point of view, the Council was under intense scrutiny with disrespect, contempt, suspicion for wrongdoing, scorn and ridicule; all the things this new Colville Tribal “Letter to the Editor Policy” openly states it will censor.

Another tribal member wrote to me, “Let the reader draw their own conclusion. That is the spirit of journalistic endeavor. Amazing, the creativity employed [by the tribal editor] to keep everything on ‘rah-rah’ for Council tone.”

Lou Stone

Inchelium

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