It is obvious Scott Hoaby has been drinking from the Trumpista Kool-Aid, with his recent letter about the 2020 election. I won’t here address the idiocy of his computer/internet claims, as Shane Hesse has already done a bang-up job in that regard. But here are three other points to consider.
First, he misspells the name of retired Col. Phil Walgrin—the name is in fact Waldron—then neglects to mention that all of Waldron’s claims have been debunked by just about everyone with half a brain, in particular legislators from Georgia and Arizona, as well as other experts in various fields.
Next he mentions a Mary Fanning. But when one tries to research this individual, one can find next to nothing about her existence; aside from being a supposed co-author (without a picture) of a right-wing conspiracy book, she claims to hide herself from public view because of all her “deep state” contacts, who would be in trouble if she were to reveal herself. In essence, then, she appears to be an imaginary person—which would fit in well with the imaginary scenarios all Trumpista’s believe in.
Then he mentions retired Lt. General Thomas McInerney, another military man who acted as a military analyst for [the supposed] Fox News who had a short-lived career as a military adviser to Trumplethinskin; and whose extraordinary inaccurate claims about COVID, the Jan. 6th Capitol insurrection, and the 2020 election, have also been debunked by just about everyone in the know. In addition to all the above idiocy, McInerney also claimed that “U.S. special operations forces died in an attack on a CIA computer facility in Germany that was hiding information about a massive, covert effort to flip votes from President Donald Trump to his opponent, Joe Biden” (Military Times, 12-01-20). A once-respected military official, McInerney somehow went off the rails so far, that even Fox fired him in 2018.
In other words, Hoaby’s attempt to use “experts” to bolster his claim, falls way short, of both truth and reality. If Hoaby and his ilk want to attempt to convince members of the public about how the 2020 election was stolen, they would do well to reference experts who are not kooky conspiracy nut jobs. The problem with that approach, of course, is all of those folks are in agreement that Biden won in November, fair and square.
But the actual publication of misinformation such as Hoaby’s is the more important issue here. Perhaps The Forum rationalizes its decision to publish such untruths as fair treatment for both sides of an issue, the old we-need-to-provide-balance argument.
But given the fact that recent history has proven most, if not all, claims about any problems with the 2020 election that resulted in damage to Trump’s election as false, The Forum’s publication of such drivel so far past the election date, only contributes to the perpetuation of the lie. Had the editorial individuals in charge of certifying which publicly-submitted opinion pieces to include, engaged in even a cursory five or ten minute internet search, they would have been quick to determine that Hoaby was indeed living deep within Trumpland’s dream state of non-reality, and chosen not to publish it.
Of course, in such a scenario the crazies in this area would cry foul, and invoke the sanctity of the First Amendment. But not printing such drivel, or printing it, is the purview of The Forum; I doubt every letter to the editor or op/ed piece that is submitted, is printed. Thus, when The Forum chooses not to print such a, or any, submitted piece, it is not saying a person does not have the right, to write such a piece; or even for the writer to disseminate the piece themselves. Only that they have the right to refuse to publish said piece.
In essence then, this issue is not one wherein The Forum would engage in censorship, but one wherein The Forum would engage in public safety and public decency; and, pursue the public responsibility of disseminating the information so necessary for the survival of a free and democratic state.
Stash Hempeck lives in Hendrum, Minn.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.