Have you heard of “Druthers?” It’s an extremist pamphlet that gets marketed as a newspaper. And someone has been sneaking them into Black Press Media newspapers to deliver their racist and anti-vax messaging to Port Alberni residents.
We know because a concerned citizen raised a complaint with Black Press Media last week. He reported that all the copies of Alberni Valley News in the rural box closest to his home had a copy of Druthers stuffed into the flyers section.
According to various articles and Reddit postings, Port Alberni is not the only area to have been targeted by Druthers. Sneaky deliveries like this are happening from New Brunswick to Alberta, with a heavy concentration in Ontario.
Luckily, the most common thread in the comments echoed one Reddit user who said, “I got one in my mailbox. I threw it out and washed my hands.” However, the messaging could be harmful to those who actually open it.
Some people who got the paper expressed feeling “targeted.” Shawn Wasserman is a Jewish person who lives in Kitchener, Ontario. His wife is Asian. He told reporters at The Record that the deliveries made him “anxious.” He got so many regular deliveries of the rag that he called the police to make sure they weren’t a direct attack.
The non-profit Canadian Anti Hate Network is an organization of Canada’s leading experts and researchers on hate groups and hate crimes. They say the publication has many “extremist ties.”
A few of these include the white nationalist blog Council of European Canadians, the anti-muslim group ACT!, many QAnon content creators and another alt-right publication, The Epoch Times.
CAHN says that Druthers “Illustrates the dangers that come when New Age or anti-vax proponents mix with racists and other far-right actors.”
Black Press Media has stated that they do not support the publication in any way, and that their lawyer has reached out to Druthers to ask them to stop.
Alberni Valley News Editor Susie Quinn stated that,
“It’s ironic that Druthers proclaims “mainstream media sucks” on its online homepage, yet its supporters find it OK to piggyback on the circulation methods and integrity of community newspapers in order to spread their misguided words.”
It can be hard to tell the difference between real news and propaganda.
To help readers defend themselves against Druthers-like hate posing as a newspaper, we’ve decided to provide some tips on how to tell whether your news is based on facts or opinion. Stay tuned for upcoming content, and helpful tips on how to keep hate out of your home and community!