I hope you know me as a passionate supporter of free speech, which means speech by any means under anyone’s control. “Freedom of the press belongs to him who owns one,” is, I believe, how it was said in connection with a court case this newspaper won many years ago.
However, I am sure you will agree that with freedom comes responsibility, responsibility in this case to the truth, and to our own humble awareness of the limits of our knowledge. That humility is a foundational principle underlying the law of freedom of speech: We must know that our merely human knowledge is limited, we must both acknowledge that fact and support expressions with which we may disagree, in order that the ultimate truth may be sought by everyone.
I hope you are aware that our Governor Jim Justice has no qualifications in medicine, epidemiology, public health or vaccines. Given that fact, I find it irresponsible, condescending and arrogant, that you print his unqualified and factually suspect pronouncement that “the only way to stop this pandemic is to get vaccinated,” at the top of your front page, in enormous, bold type.
It would be highly appropriate for you to print his statement as news, which it is, together with a variety of other perhaps better-grounded opinions from such abundantly qualified physicians as Dr. Peter McCullough, Dr. of Vaccinology Geert vanden Bossche, and the developer of mRNA treatments, Dr. Robert Malone.
You also print, without attribution, an article which falsely implies that monoclonal antibody treatment is the only option for treating COVID, when a number of equally or more effective and orders-of-magnitude cheaper and safer therapies exist. If the article was meant as an advertisement, that should have been made clear.
I respect every individual’s personal convictions, their personal searches for truth, and their personal decisions, whatever they may be as long as they do not trespass on the rights of others.
And I find the disrespect you show with your heavy-handed and one-sided presentation of what does not really qualify as “information” alarming and unworthy of you, especially in our community where The Pocahontas Times is the sole newspaper.
John M. Leyzorek
Dr. Julie D. Hare