‘Mayberry’ column’s irony obvious

In regard to this syndicated column, in which John Hood, a Charlotte/Raleigh board member for the John Locke Foundation, a Raleigh-based political influence group. (“Mayberry seeks solid ground,” Sept. 28.)

The irony here is astounding. A person who came to the area for a weekend getaway, who is not originally from this area and is in fact using this column as a platform to promote his own book, is masquerading as a local voice and assuming he speaks on behalf of locals.

Just like his column, which criticized the recent feature of Mount Airy on TV’s “Sunday Morning,” wears the mask of speaking on behalf of local people, this column itself wears the mask of a culture war editorial while in fact, is a book promotion that ultimately serves to fill Mr. Hood’s own bank account.

Mr. Hood would know how important it is to appear as one thing while actually serving something else; it is a well-researched and well-funded tactic of political influence groups. The culture war he chastises in the column is the war he himself serves, and by presenting these syndicated columns in local papers as appearing to speak from a local perspective, he is hoping that the wealth-backed strategy of the John Locke Foundation’s small town newspaper proselytizing will ultimately influence local politics. The hypocrisy should be shocking, but unfortunately we’re not surprised.

Two birds with one stone, isn’t it? Appear to speak as a local to reshape the local dialogue, and appear as a column but actually serve as an advertisement.

I hope the readers will take a critical look at columns like those authored by Mr. Hood. As it turns out, he might have underestimated us. We can tell when someone is speaking over us instead of speaking for us. We can tell when someone is mirroring what they claim to be outraged about.

The irony is not lost on us. This kind of hypocrisy is worth pointing out. Who is he serving? It isn’t us.

K. WILLIAMS,

North Wilkesboro, N.C.

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