In fact, the magazine looks to be halfway in the clear, which means, oddly enough, that they lose--Coyne has admitted that he would rather see this thing appealed to the Supreme Court.
But what I am interested in at the moment is this brief passage from yesterday's morning session:
11:45 AM The hearing now turns to readings from various blogs I’ve never heard of: The Brussels Journal, some Catholic blog and… oh, the late Western Standard! Not obscure, just obsolete! (The mag, I mean — the website is still in business.) The Western Standard reference: a blog post by Ezra Levant, the defunct magazine’s former publisher, dated Dec. 2 2007. This is slightly surreal: he’s sitting in front of me as I write this, laptop in hand, writing about being spoken about with reference to something he’d written about … this case. This is getting so meta I’m losing track…"
Both Ezra and the Western Standard were thrilled to get a mention at the hearing. This is bizarre, and perhaps a little history lesson will explain why.
The blog post in question is entitled Elmasry vs. Steyn, and was composed by Ezra Levant on December 2, 2007. It was in fact the last blog post Ezra wrote for the Standard before he fled the flaming wreckage of its paper incarnation. By December 5 it had attracted a comment advocating Muslim genocide:
There is no such thing as innocent Muslims. They must all be killed. All of them.
This comment was left to fester for about two weeks, until Levant adversary Syed Soharwardy discovered it. He threatened a complaint to the AHRCC, and to organize a protest against the magazine outside of Calgary city-hall. He also called in the police. As a result, the Standard's new editor, Matthew Johnston, issued an apology, and has since been making an effort to weed out the crazies that occasionally still post to the WS Shotgun Blog. Mr. Soharwardy withdrew his threatened complaint, and the comment author was traced to Ontario, presumably with the assistance of the WS technical staff.
In any case, hardly the kind of thing to be proud of.