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By Lou Stone 

Council censorship eliminates free speech and thought

Letter to the Editor

 


There are a lot of TV and print and talk shows about terrorism here and terrorism there. It is a serious matter, terrorism is. What makes it worrisome is that it is not well defined, and it seems some government officials want it that way.

Some of you may not recognize total censorship or censorship as terrorism. The Peoples got punished over the last few years for having an opinion about corruption in Colville tribal government from the top down. Letters to the editor were removed from our tribal newsprint in total.

The “Clowncil” and its staff are lying about the censorship imposed since 2013. And now the Clowncil, through its staff, are lying about the censorship again, as they lifted “total censorship” and replaced it with “censorship.”

Please re-read the December 2014 Tribal Tribune (TT) edition, page A6 “Letter To The Editor Policy.” “Policy” restricts tribal members’ freedom to have a letter also printed in outside newspapers while getting printed in the TT (paragraph 1) with a threat of total censorship; narrows the scope of topics a tribal members may write about (paragraph 3); requires a “respectful/professional tone” but does not define it, leaving censorship in whole (paragraph 4); Editor determines his or her own “facts” (paragraph 5); Editor determines what “hatred, contempt, suspicion or wrongdoing, scorn or ridicule” means and will censor according to the editor’s “belief” (paragraph 6). These standards are outside the bounds of journalistic “libel laws;” therefore, they narrow the scope of free speech and free thought, and, in actuality, eliminate both.

I was present during the March/April 2013 Management and Budget Committee meeting, where Committee Chair Billy Nicholson held court, and Mike Finley, Clowncil chair, sat next to, and huddled with, Billy. It was then they said (I paraphrase), “People don’t want to read these opinions,” in reference to the letters to the editor. Then the new censorship began.

This letter about TT censorship was, itself, censored by the TT wizards, based upon the Clowncil’s printed “Letters to the editor policy.”

Lou Stone

Inchelium

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