/ Letters / Response to ‘Leader of the Mob’ article

Response to ‘Leader of the Mob’ article

June 26, 2020

To the Editor:

The editorial “Leader of the Mob” in The Lakeland Times and River News (June 19 edition) is just the latest example of the newspapers using their institutional power to smear a local resident. There are so many things to respond to, but I will mention just three.

I called Gregg Walker a “crook,” and he asserts in the editorial that the word means “criminal.” But he knows full well that the definition of the term — found in multiple dictionaries — includes “dishonest” or “bad” person. I made clear that was what I meant and it is certainly justifiable to hold that opinion of him. To keep insisting that I called Walker a criminal is, well, “crooked.”

What gave rise to my condemnation was one of the papers’ many hit pieces, this one against Linda Conlon who had the audacity to do her job as county director of health by following science in order to protect the health of the people of the Northwoods. Walker ironically accuses me of smearing, when I was simply calling out his paper for this and the many other examples of him using his papers as a malicious bully pulpit in an attempt to harm or destroy the reputations of citizens.

And Walker brings of up climate models, implying that he takes a reasoned, balanced approach to climate science. But Walker more than once has claimed the models are “all wrong” in the sense of universally exaggerating the dangers of the climate crisis. But he knows that the last five years are the hottest on record and multiple studies show that the models have, if anything, underestimated the rise of global heating and the damages that come with it. One is tempted to say, as he said of me, evidence is irrelevant and so is the truth. To my mind, he is being dishonest about his dishonesty.

Kirk Bangstad




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