JILL RICHARDSON, Dana Point
The recent “Letter to the Editor” from Phil Hoskins was full of false claims and ended with an outright anti-Semitic attack against a public official.
You, as the editor of the Dana Point Times, printed his letter in its entirety, without apparent redaction, making you complicit in propagating these false claims and hate speech.
I was very surprised to see that you, Lillian Boyd, are now asking me, a reader, to do the fact-checking for you. Nonetheless, I have done that, using reputable national news sources.
Claim from Hoskins: Rep. Mike Levin misrepresented himself as a “moderate Democrat.“
Fact: Levin ran as a progressive candidate and won the 49th Congressional District.
Claim from Hoskins: Levin was “smiling away, as if to say, ‘Thanks, suckers’ . . .” when he showed support for the Green New Deal proposal.
Fact: Levin, a former environmental attorney, has made climate change his signature issue. His support of the Green New Deal is in line with this well-known policy stance of his.
Claim from Hoskins: That there might be “Soros money in [Rep. Levin’s] background . . .”
Fact: According to KPBS, “Democrat and environmental attorney Mike Levin has raised $1.7 million and spent $1.5 million. Levin’s money is mostly coming from small donors around the country through a company called ActBlue, which fundraises for Democratic candidates.”
However, this last claim of Mr. Hoskins is the most heinous one, an outright dog whistle, born of an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that background money is coming from Soros and the Jewish wealthy, in some nefarious attempt to overthrow the world order. This is such a well-known fact that I should not even have to provide a source for it, but the Anti-Defamation League has addressed it, at length. This statement of Mr. Hoskins should never had been published at all; I hold you, Ms. Boyd, personally liable for perpetuating this egregious attack on Levin and subjecting us readers to hate speech in our local free newspaper
I am hereby challenging you and the staff the Dana Point Times to do better. You may not be “responsible for the claims made by the writers” in the Letters to the Editor column, but you are responsible to prevent anti-Semitic hate speech and false claims from becoming an accepted part of the dialogue there.
Editor’s note: Dana Point Times does not publish “Letter to the Editor” submissions containing personal attacks. Per the newspaper’s policy, the opinions of all readers are respected and factual assertions within letters are vetted. Phil Hoskins’ letter did not contain verbiage to be defined as hate speech. However, he did pose the possibility that Rep. Mike Levin had financial ties to George Soros, an investor associated with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.