Objectivity questioned

Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2002

After reading Don Smith's editorial regarding a report on the role that metal mining plays in the Alaskan economy, I am again forced to doubt the objectivity of a newspaper seemingly compromised by its publisher's rabid anti-environmentalist agenda.

I realize the editorial page is a place for expressing a point of view. But Mr. Smith's statements are so spiteful and unbalanced they bring into question his integrity as a newspaper professional. I cannot separate one from the other.

Mr. Smith's claims regarding SEACC and its work are strangely irrational. He states that, "Prof. Power's report is laced with the sort of selective economics that SEACC routinely employs in its campaign to turn Southeast Alaska into an economic wasteland." And goes on to call SEACC's environmental advocacy "predatory" in nature.

Having had conversations with several members of SEACC, I can tell you their intentions are not so sinister. Like most of their neighbors, they are hard working and concerned members of the Southeast Alaska community. Their concern for the health of the region's ecosystem is equally matched by a belief that their neighbors will be best served by a balanced approach to economic development and environmental planning that takes into consideration all inhabitants of our forests and waterways.

Mr. Smith's own editorial makes reference to the "advances that have been made in mining and logging practices largely brought about through effective environmental activism."

SEACC's efforts are case in point. I for one am appreciative. Keep up the good work guys!

Simply put, I view Mr. Smith's angry editorializing as childish in nature and inappropriate for someone in his position. He may disagree with SEACC's vision for Alaska. That is his right no matter what his title. But to paint their views as somehow diabolical is slightly odd and, is at best, in poor taste.

I hope that in the future Mr. Smith will limit his editorials to civil discourse on valid points of contention instead of continuing to embarrass himself and the Empire with such bombast.

Drew McDougal


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