Merle Terlesky is a former employee of Ezra Levant's. Last year, he.... Well, let the fellow from Dust My Broom tell the story:
In late October 2007 I was in Calgary to see a concert and just prior to it I had dinner at some food court in some mall. As you went to sit down there was a bunch of those free lefty rags in stands so I grabbed one and browsed through it as I ate. This was not too long after the former publisher of Alberta's Western Standard Ezra Levant announced that they would no longer be printing the magazine and so the lefty rag was full of the expected Ezra this and Ezra that.
One of the articles of interest in Fast Forward Weekly was titled Lowering the Standard - Ezra Levant’s controversial right-wing mag is gone. Will anyone miss it? (October 25th, 2007). Read it then come back.
A week later a letter was written to Fast Forward Weekly by a former employee:
[Update 23:18 Contents of letter removed because I can now apparently be sued]
Apparently Ezra contacted the rag to get an apology and retraction for the article and the published letter, didn't get it and is now suing Fast Forward Weekly for the Lowering the standard article and letter writer Terlesky for a combined total of $100,000 for libel.
I'm not going to reproduce the contents of the letter here, but if you Google "Merle Terlesky" and "Dust My Broom"", you can read the cached version. Let us just say that it casts doubt on Ezra's stated reasons for publishing the now infamous Dutch cartoons.
Now, one might say argue Ezra is pursuing his case through legitimate means (the court system) and this makes all the difference. But read the fairly tame contents of the letter, note that the magazine itself had no problem publishing it, and decide for yourself whether or not it constitutes unacceptable/libelous speech. If it doesn't, ask yourself: why would someone launch a lawsuit they can't possibly win?
And if you come to the obvious answer--to use the legal system to silence speech they don't like--then ask yourself: is it the silencing of dissenting speech you're worried about, or are you okay with that goal if you approve of the technique being used (even where it is being abused)?
h/t to CC and Bartholomew, who has a brief statement purportedly from "Merle" in his comments section.
PS. Yo Mark Steyn! Come over and defend Merle against your Speech Buddy!