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COMMENTARY: Danielle Smith announces departure from Corus radio

Longtime Alberta radio host Danielle Smith has announced her departure from Corus radio. 770 CHQR

I took a walk in the snow and I decided it’s time to go. I’ll be leaving the radio stations and Corus next month. This is my decision. I know many of you will be disappointed so I’ll try my best to explain why.

The nearly six years I’ve spent in radio have been some of the most gratifying in my career. Together we’ve explored nearly every topic imaginable from hard news, to emerging technologies that will transform how we use energy, to unusual occupations and interests — who knew there was such a thing as an apple detective? — to providing a platform and voice for those who are otherwise powerless.

READ MORE: Danielle Smith’s commentaries on 770 CHQR

I’ve always taken my guidance on topics from you and you’ve never let me down.

But something’s changed for me.

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It will be no surprise to you that I am gravely troubled by how easily most in our society have chosen to give up on freedom. Free enterprise, freedom of religion and conscience, free assembly, freedom of movement, freedom of the press. Freedom of speech, in particular, is in a dire state. My entire adult life and career has been spent questioning authority and institutions and conventional wisdom. I’ve been all too aware that in many nations of the world it is against the law to speak truth to power. It can be dangerous. Sadly, in the last year I’ve noticed there are times where it has become perilous here too.

I am grateful I have been given so much editorial latitude and the ability to touch on a great many topics by the radio stations and by extension Corus. In that regard I have sought to be balanced and to provide the best information available from as many perspectives as possible.

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Unfortunately over the last few years far too many topics have become unchallengeable and the mob of political correctness thinks nothing of destroying a person’s career and reputation over some perceived slight, real or imagined. I’ve found that as a result there are many topics I simply choose not to cover anymore.

You rely on me to seek the truth and to give you my honest opinion. In this hyper-sensitive social media environment I don’t believe I can do that anymore. So it’s time for me to go.

I do believe there is going to be a great reckoning in the next several years as we come to terms with what we’ve allowed social media to do to our relationships, our society, and our public discourse.

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Psychologist and philosopher Jonathan Haidt in his book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Religion and Politics writes, “I yearn for a world in which competing ideologies are kept in balance, systems of accountability keep us all from getting away with too much, and fewer people believe that righteous ends justify violent means.” I assure you, so do I.

It is going to take a great effort to get back to that balance. I intend to do my part to help realize this ideal and restore our liberty. I just won’t be doing it from the radio every day after February 19th. You can follow me at daniellesmith.ca if you are interested in knowing where I end up. There are many more conversations to be had on many more topics, but for now I’ve said my piece.

It’s been an honour sharing this time with you.