Harry Abrams weighs in on the Bill White Case:
Re: Death threats cannot be protected speech, December 14,
Whereas I appreciate the point that the commenter wishes to make, namely that speech calling for violence is abusive; this article abrogates the basic ethics of journalism by quoting a defendant's assertion given at a human rights hearingthat has never been settled.
Here is the phrase: "...the defence suggested Warman--a former CHRC employee--was among those who would post provocative messages to the site using fake identities, in the hope of entrapping other site users..."
Even though described as the "defendant's suggestion at hearing" this kind of quote causes the[...] newspaper to side in an as yet unsettled legal dispute. I certainly hope that the newspaper doesn't interfere with or make pronouncements on other legal proceedings in the same way.
I think Harry might have got the newspaper in question wrong, which is why the quick edit above. But otherwise he catches what is at the minimum some exceedingly shoddy reporting out of...you guessed it...CanWest.
Just for clarity, here's an expanded version of the quote he mentions:
During a CHRC tribunal considering the activities of Canadian website operator Marc Lemire, the defence suggested Warman--a former CHRC employee-- was among those who would post provocative messages to the site using fake identities, in the hope of entrapping other site users.