Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Letters to the Editor

December 11, 2013

Shott’s columns need more research

— — In a recent column, Smokey Shott lambasted Professor Noel Ignatiev of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. According to Shott, Ignatiev told his students, “If you are a white male, you don’t deserve to live. You are a cancer, you’re a disease, white males have never contributed anything positive to the world! They only murder, exploit and oppress non-whites! At least a white woman can have sex with a black man and make a brown baby but what can a white male do? He’s good for nothing. Slavery, genocides against aboriginal peoples and massive land confiscation, the inquisition, the holocaust, white males are all to blame! You maintain your white male privilege only by oppressing, discriminating against and enslaving others.”

The remarks Shott attributed to Ignatiev are actually from a joke news site called the Diversity Chronicle. The disclosure on the site reads, “The original content on this blog is largely satirical. My name is Erik Thorson. I created this blog for my own personal amusement.”

So, what we got recently in Shott’s column were a few truths mixed with a large amount of rubbish not borne out by actual research. It’s not the first time, either — Smokey once claimed the EPA was going to regulate spilled milk, another “fact”  of his based on urban legend.

Granted, his is an opinion column, but when he publishes outright fabrication, he does the readers of this newspaper a disservice and lowers the journalism standards to which he’s supposed to adhere.

A friend of mine who has many years in newspaper reporting told me, “You can have your opinion on the editorial page but it better be yours and not some quote or statement from another source. High school journalism classes teach this principle.”

Smokey, go back to school.

Don Zeigler

Bluefield

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