Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Word To Muslims: Go Ahead And Treat Journalists Like Crap

Jonathon Kay tells a room full of moderate Muslims:

Journalists control the commanding heights of Canadian culture. Why would you want to alienate them? What's notable about the reaction to the Steyn case is that even writers who abhor his right-wing politics have rallied to his cause. This includes not only the editorial board of The Globe And Mail, but also the Toronto Star, an avowedly left-wing newspaper that, in every other context, is a sounding board for political correctness and trumped-up racism accusations. And no wonder: Journalists put food on the table by putting words on the page. The surest way to enrage them is to slip a gag over their mouths, which is exactly what the CIC has tried to do -- purportedly in the name of all Canadian Muslims, no less. In the long run, is that going to improve the way that Muslim issues are covered by this same pissed off media?

Unfortunately, he doesn't appear to be joking, so here's a little corrective.

Dear moderate Muslims,

In Canada journalists have a social standing that lies somewhere between grave robbers and insurance sales-men. Your typical Canadian's experience of the journalistic profession, in so far as they come in contact with them at all, is being misquoted. And the CIC's HRC complaint against Maclean's magazine shows their utter inability to move Canadian opinion or the Canadian political establishment. Yes, almost every hack with a pen has opined against the case, and the only result thus far is a meaningless private member's motion (not bill) that will change nothing if it ever came to a vote, and that will never be allowed to come to a vote. The government's point man on the issue, Jason Kenney, is reduced to meeting supporters at underground comedy events, and then sneaking off before he is noticed by normal folk. His speeches bashing HRCs never appear on his website. And the government as a whole wisely keeps silent, knowing that if the issue ever gets beyond the opinion pages and into the wider public realm, they will be seen as reclaiming a Reform Party past that they have been so eager to shed over the course of the past several years.

So, in short, if you can use the Canadian Human Rights apparatus to knee-cap a few uppity columnists, go ahead. Nobody cares.

5 comments:

sillydion said...

When the HRCs go after some Christophobic bloggers then I'll get interested.

Ben Hicks said...

I care. And so should every freedom loving Canadian. The fact that our elected leaders aren't fighting against this China-esque state censorship campaign is a travesty.

But hey, you've got a great philosophy there BCL. Something along the lines of: "I disagree with what you say, so I'd very much like the state to remove your right to say it." Very classy.

rabbit said...

And the government as a whole wisely keeps silent, knowing that if the issue ever gets beyond the opinion pages and into the wider public realm, they will be seen as reclaiming a Reform Party past that they have been so eager to shed over the course of the past several years.

Interesting question. What would happen if the tories introduced a bill to halt the federal HRC from punishing speech?

I figure most of the media would support the bill, and the NDP would certainly reject it.

But how about the Liberals? Which way would Dion swing? If he opposed the bill, how many Liberals would object, and how strongly?

I think the squeeze would be on the Liberals, not the Conservatives. It would be fun to see how it all played out.

bigcitylib said...

Rabbit, that is an excellant question and one I may write about someday.

There are very few (maybe a dozen)MPs that have said they would support M-446, which is an empty gesture. I think 4 of those are Libs. In addition, you have a couple more Tories and one Bloc MP that have expressed "concern" at the CHRC.

With the Libs in particular, since things don't look quite as hopeless as they did six months ago, I think Dion could whip hard enough to to prevent anymore defections on even M-446, let alone on anything more substantive than that.

Anything more substantive would require a Harper majority...and who knows how hard he would push even then

Ben Hicks said...

If there's one thing Quebec cherishes, it's the right to be offensive. I can't see the Bloc not giving their support to M-446 if Harper ever decides to grow a spine and stand up for Canadian's rights.