November 18th, 2018

Series a one-sided account of complex issue

By Letter to the Editor on June 6, 2018.

The University of Lethbridge values the Lethbridge Herald’s important role in covering the significant news and events that happen in our community. Therefore, we were not surprised that our local newspaper has chosen to dedicate some of its resources to covering the story related to Dr. Anthony Hall.

What is disappointing, however, is that the Lethbridge Herald did not apply any journalistic standards in publishing the articles that appeared on June 4 and 5, which are apparently intended to be the first two instalments of a five-part series. These articles are nothing more than an open-ended question followed by an unchallenged response. It was irresponsible of the journalist who authored them to have enabled a one-sided and unfettered account of this complex matter as he did, in which he asks no follow-up questions, seeks no burden of proof, and cites no additional research. Encouraging such statements to be made without so much as a follow-up question does not meet the basic standards of respectable journalism, and encourages conflict and controversy rather than responsible and respectable discourse.

This concern is compounded by the fact that the very nature of the dispute between the University of Lethbridge and Dr. Hall is inherently confidential, and as such our ability to respond is extremely limited. The process that is currently underway is articulated in the Faculty Handbook, and was initiated as a result of an agreement between the University of Lethbridge Board of Governors, the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association, and Dr. Hall himself. The Faculty Handbook clearly articulates a respect for privacy and confidentiality in all its processes. As such, the university will not waiver from abiding by the terms (including confidentiality) outlined in the handbook and in the tri-partite agreement governing the present process.

While we fully support an independent media inquiring about and publicizing issues of civic importance, we question the blatant lack of critical analysis in this series of pieces. By simply posing open-ended questions and publishing the unchallenged responses, our community is left with nothing more than an opinion. Without research, fact-checking, and challenging follow-up questions, there can be no journalistic integrity, which significantly reduces the value of your reporting.

Kurt Schlachter

Chair, University of Lethbridge Board of Governors

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12 Responses to “Series a one-sided account of complex issue”

  1. biff says:

    it appears that the university has long had its say, also well covered in the herald, not least by j.w schnarr. i applaud the herald for now allowing dr. hall a forum to clarify his position. the writer appears to be one of those that prefers reactionary and biased approaches to free thought and deeper investigation into matters, and may feel silencing challenges to “official” narrative is acceptable. regardless, i have lost a lot of respect for the u of l over the past while. it has lowered itself to the level of a biased, self serving, corporate entity.

  2. chinook says:

    It’s so rare that we ever get to hear the other side of the story so applaud the Herald for this important interview that is long overdue.
    However, two things bother me – how is it that lawyer, Kurt Schlachter got his 2 cents in so fast? Letters to Editor usually take a week or more; this lawyer was out of the gate and got what comes across as reactive fear driven narrative in print awfully fast. I understand that a petition has been circling for some time to have Mr. Schlacter removed from his position as Chair of the Board, U of L.

    And who or what organization is behind the ordeal that Dr. Hall has been embroiled in for the last 2 years? Have we ever heard? Could it be the Jewish service organization, B’nai Brith? This powerful organization is known to sounds alarm bells at any ‘perceived’ threat. I thought a university was suppose to be an impartial place where free speech and inquiry were the order of the day; not caving in under religious pressure (if that’s the case). Some transparency would be in order.

  3. meisplayfull2 says:

    Tony is a fraud , was a fraud and always will be a fraud because he chose to whimp in the newspaper instead of taking it to court way back. He is collecting a full paycheque for nothing. If he wants to say anything he choses simply resign break all ties with the university take it to court and put the facts and fiction before the court . Yes, some transparency is in order but is Tony brave enough to put it all on the line??. Not before not now and I doubt not in the future Just a whiner with a big paycheque.

    • chinook says:

      You obviously have no understanding of how a system works so you spout off judgement and insults that serve no one. Dr. Hall in fact has a great deal of credibility and respect. Unfortunately, he’s been caught up in circumstances that paint him in a bad light by what could be a threatened religious organization that somehow convinced a top official of the U to initiate this illegal action. If you don’t see the importance of this, then quietly go away. Many of us are very interested and grateful to the Herald for publishing it.

  4. Kal Itea says:

    The Lethbridge Herald provides oxygen to a “most interesting gentleman” who has signed a confidential agreement. He continues to debase his name.

    • chinook says:

      Yes, lets muzzle everyone in case the truth comes out.

      • grinandbearit says:

        Yes it is outrageous that the zionist/jewish/911 anti russian anti iran conspiracy has forced the Herald to limit Hall’s statement to a mere 5 part unexamined, unchallenged rant. Shame.

        • biff says:

          whatever one’s feelings as to zionism, and what might appear like a massive over representation of jewish ethnicity – in per capita terms – in tv/hollywood/media/finance/elected gov’t/appointed gov’t/legislation/law/judiciary/”news”/gov’t committees and commissions…it was all one sided against hall prior to the series in the herald. hall was vilified by many that knew little. so, now his position, in all fairness, has been given a forum to be made clear. moreover, the university has been asked for their side, and is choosing silence in return. curious, as they were quick to have jumped all over hall in what might be seen as a lynching. perhaps, one might guess that the university is waiting for b’nai b’rith to construct a response on its behalf. shame.

          • grinandbearit says:

            I don’t know Biff. Anyone who has been paying attention for the last few years knows that Hall has been making his position absolutely clear on the web and on youtube about conspiracy theories which he seems to have shied away from in his 5 part series. No one has been shutting him down. He puts it all out there. He has said that the investigations show that 9/11 was not an islamist terrorist attack but a US-Zionist plot. Isis is also a Zionist-US plot, not islamist, we need to reevaluate the holocaust, and he has a bunch of other conspiracy theories, equally bizarre, related to conspiracies about groups trying to ruin our health. Why is he suddenly averse to presenting those ideas that got him in hot water in the first place? Instead he is saying it is all about someone else’s post on his facebook page?

            • biff says:

              grin – excellent queries, as is usual from you in this forum. perhaps hall can share more. there have been some compelling cases made as to who/what was behind 9/11, quite contrary to the official narrative.
              i cannot speak for hall, but i have been around long enough, and witnessed enough, to have learned that power is not to be trusted; and, power loves secrecy and silence and privacy, realms where us lesser public is not permitted (we are conditioned to accept that our safety and security depends on not being able to have oversight of our gov’ts and their agencies’ secret affairs). my feeling is that elected gov’t is not where the real power exists, nor even the real knowledge. regardless of my bent, is it not in the best interests of truth to question the bejesus out of anything, even if it seems absurd? if, after a barrage of queries, a thing still seems absurd, then it may well have been entirely proven absurd.
              as for hall being granted an opportunity to clarify his concerns through the herald, i am in favour. i am as keen to hear what is the case against him – what are the specific illegal acts he has committed. those with the accusations, those that suspended him without pay, have not illustrated their case.

  5. Andrew Blair says:

    So the Chair of the Board of Governors of U. of L., Kurt Schlachter, accuses the Lethbridge Herald of journalistic irresponsibility by giving Professor Hall an opportunity to tell his side of the story of his suspension. At the same time university officials refuse to provide any comment. That’s not very helpful to a journalist looking for questions or challenges to Dr. Hall’s version of the story.

    The reason given by Mr. Schlachter for not providing comment is respect for privacy and confidentiality, as articulated in the Faculty Handbook. He says this covers “all” processes. But this cannot be right.

    There are many principles enunciated in the Handbook, and sometimes there are conflicts among them. The Handbook explicitly recognizes the possibility of such conflicts in Section 9.05.3, where, in the context of letters of reference, it gives fairness precedence over the need for confidentiality. Giving fairness precedence needs to be applied in other contexts too. The university administration cannot in fairness let it be known that it was submitting a complaint to the Alberta Human Rights Commission regarding Dr. Hall, and then not let it be known that the complaint was rejected.

    The need for confidentiality can also come into conflict with another principle set out in the Handbook: academic freedom. Without academic freedom university professors cannot engage in the full exchange of ideas necessary for the production of genuine knowledge. It is the responsibility of the board to uphold this principle, and it needs to be seen to be doing so. It cannot use the legitimate need for confidentiality in certain processes to override the need for transparency in others.

    The public needs to know that the University of Lethbridge is not using character assassination to enforce politically acceptable dogma in the contentious areas dealt with by Professor Hall. Otherwise we have reason to fear that in our name terrible things are being done to those who have little power to fight back.

  6. biff says:

    lgl – whilst wearing my tin foil cap and studying all that matters great and small, and never wasting time on sleep, i came upon a brainfart related to your curious use of “hail to our lizard masters.” there is a belief vis a vis new world order theory that those underwriting the sad state of affairs on this planet are a race known as reptilians, a “people” from a land far, far away. they are not to be confused with actual reptiles, as the latter are useful and necessary to this planet, unlike reptilians, whom are sick and evil and wholly unnecessary.

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