Given all the whining over the OHRC's remarks re Steyn and Macleans Magazine and journalistic freedoms and yadayadayada this week, a little historical perspective is in order:
...the official scribes of Maya kings, who were considered important to the kings' power, were especially targeted by enemies in warfare. If captured, they were executed—after their fingers were broken and their fingernails ripped out, according to a researcher who has taken a much closer look at Maya murals.
Not recommending anything similar, obviously.
In any case, the status of the scribe has changed over the centuries with the spread of reading and writing skills. If you want an insight into why almost every columnist in the nation has been trashing HRC's to absolutely no political effect, check out this list of reviled professions.
Steyn and Ezra and co. should look in the mirror and ask themselves why people hold used cars salesmen in higher regard. (hint: used car salesmen have a higher regard for the truth)