Flagrant Attackon Freedom of the Press

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freetobeme
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Flagrant Attackon Freedom of the Press

Post by freetobeme »

In a flagrant attack on freedom of the press, the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) has filed three human rights complaints against Maclean's magazine and its editor-in-chief, Kenneth Whyte, accusing them of spreading "hatred and contempt" for Muslims, by publishing an article by Mark Steyn on Oct. 23, 2006, entitled The Future Belongs to Islam.

For full article see:

http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/Column ... 2-sun.html

In my opinion, the Canadian Human Rights courts should be abolished. They operate in such a way as to deny justice by any criteria that any rational person could defend.

Any miscreant can file a complaint and place a defendant at huge personal risk and costs to defend himself or herself in a process that has scant resemblance to any normal process of justice and at the mercy of the personal whims of judges with agendas but minimal understand of or appreciation for the rules of law.
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Post by spot »

For reference, the article being discussed is at http://www.macleans.ca/culture/entertai ... 898_134898
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freetobeme
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Flagrant Attackon Freedom of the Press

Post by freetobeme »

Here you have it folks, for what it's worth:

Alan Borovoy, general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, wrote in the Calgary Herald:

"During the years when my colleagues and I were labouring to create (human rights) commissions, we never imagined that they might ultimately be used against freedom of speech."

Context: Canadian Islamic Council files three human rights complaints

against Maclean's magazine.
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Flagrant Attackon Freedom of the Press

Post by RedGlitter »

This boils down to more political correctness, does it not? PC and freedom of speech are not happy bedfellows.
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Flagrant Attackon Freedom of the Press

Post by freetobeme »

The following is the 2007 winning entry from an annual contest at Texas A&M University calling for the most appropriate definition of a contemporary term.

This year's term: "Political Correctness."

"Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."
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Flagrant Attackon Freedom of the Press

Post by koan »

spot;736305 wrote: For reference, the article being discussed is at http://www.macleans.ca/culture/entertai ... 898_134898


They put that under "Entertainment"?

Quite frankly, I found the article repulsive.

Whether or not it is hate speech seems a legitimate debate. The article, to me, is waging war against babies.
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Flagrant Attackon Freedom of the Press

Post by freetobeme »

I found it refreshing, it's about time somebody tells it like it is - sans political correctness.

War against babies - good grief... mind you the fewer people on earth the less pollution etc. We should be waging war on overpopulation.
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Flagrant Attackon Freedom of the Press

Post by koan »

freetobeme;736300 wrote: In a flagrant attack on freedom of the press, the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) has filed three human rights complaints against Maclean's magazine and its editor-in-chief, Kenneth Whyte, accusing them of spreading "hatred and contempt" for Muslims, by publishing an article by Mark Steyn on Oct. 23, 2006, entitled The Future Belongs to Islam.

For full article see:

http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/Column ... 2-sun.html

In my opinion, the Canadian Human Rights courts should be abolished. They operate in such a way as to deny justice by any criteria that any rational person could defend.

Any miscreant can file a complaint and place a defendant at huge personal risk and costs to defend himself or herself in a process that has scant resemblance to any normal process of justice and at the mercy of the personal whims of judges with agendas but minimal understand of or appreciation for the rules of law.


Having now read the article in question and then the report you linked to I have worked out two things:

1) It was under Entertainment because it was a book excerpt.

2) The case went to Human Rights Court because the editor refused equal space to the CIC for rebuttal.

From the link quoted in the OP:

As it is, Maclean's is standing by its right to freedom of the press. In a forthright statement on the issue, Whyte avowed that he would rather have the magazine go bankrupt than surrender to the CIC's demand for equal space to respond to Steyn's lengthy article.


Seeing as the magazine refused to give freedom of speech to the offended party I can not support the magazine in this case regarding freedom of the press. It is supposed to ensure access to information not meant to limit public awareness to one point of view.
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Flagrant Attackon Freedom of the Press

Post by koan »

I'll be watching this case keenly now.

Set to appear in court this summer.
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Flagrant Attackon Freedom of the Press

Post by grh »

koan;737307 wrote: Having now read the article in question and then the report you linked to I have worked out two things:

1) It was under Entertainment because it was a book excerpt.

2) The case went to Human Rights Court because the editor refused equal space to the CIC for rebuttal.

From the link quoted in the OP:



Seeing as the magazine refused to give freedom of speech to the offended party I can not support the magazine in this case regarding freedom of the press. It is supposed to ensure access to information not meant to limit public awareness to one point of view.


Freedom of the Press means that they aren't supposed to do things simply because they are being pressured to do it.
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Post by koan »

They also should be accountable for what they print.

If a magazine prints something libelous about an individual they are held accountable. If they print it about an entire group of people they should be held accountable.
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Post by spot »

grh;737345 wrote: Freedom of the Press means that they aren't supposed to do things simply because they are being pressured to do it.


Does the expression "right of reply" not exist outside the UK?
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Flagrant Attackon Freedom of the Press

Post by grh »

spot;737430 wrote: Does the expression "right of reply" not exist outside the UK?


An excerpt from 'America Alone'

You can say or write anything you want to say or write. I don't have to spend my money, time or resources, in order for you to have that right, just because you want to use me. That is apparently going to be up to a court to decide.

Unless this publication does not have a habit of printing excerpts from books that may be of interest to its readers, what exactly have they done wrong here? If they have any journalistic sense, I'm sure they are interested in covering the reaction. That doesn't mean anyone is entitled to having them turn their presses over.

Haven't there been books and articles on the fiction of the Holocaust(sp?)? Why god is a myth? Republicans leading America down the right path? Democrats being Americas final hope?

Have I ever heard of this book? Nope. Am I likely to rush out and buy it tomorrow? Nope.

Edit: This was not placed in either the hard news or opinion section, but rather in the entertainment section and clearly labeled an excerpt from a book.
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Post by spot »

Floppy, is that post all from the quoted excerpt or did you write some of it?
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Flagrant Attackon Freedom of the Press

Post by spot »

This is how the BBC handles the issue of fairness toward people or institutions criticized in their media. I have no objection to the approach they use.When we make allegations of wrong doing, iniquity or incompetence or lay out a strong and damaging critique of an individual or institution the presumption is that those criticised should be given a "right of reply", that is, given a fair opportunity to respond to the allegations before transmission.

Our request for a response must be properly logged with the name of the person approached and the key elements of the exchange. We should always describe the allegations in sufficient detail to enable an informed response. The response should be reflected fairly and accurately and should normally be broadcast in the same programme, or published at the same time, as the allegation. There may be occasions when this is inappropriate (usually for legal or overriding ethical reasons) in which case a senior editorial figure or commissioning editor for Independents should be consulted. It may then be appropriate to consider whether an alternative opportunity should be offered for reply at a subsequent date.
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Flagrant Attackon Freedom of the Press

Post by grh »

spot;737476 wrote: Floppy, is that post all from the quoted excerpt or did you write some of it?


Sorry dear, the red text was a cut and paste from the top of the article in question.

the rest was all me:wah::wah:
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Flagrant Attackon Freedom of the Press

Post by grh »

spot;737477 wrote: This is how the BBC handles the issue of fairness toward people or institutions criticized in their media. I have no objection to the approach they use.When we make allegations of wrong doing, iniquity or incompetence or lay out a strong and damaging critique of an individual or institution the presumption is that those criticised should be given a "right of reply", that is, given a fair opportunity to respond to the allegations before transmission.

Our request for a response must be properly logged with the name of the person approached and the key elements of the exchange. We should always describe the allegations in sufficient detail to enable an informed response. The response should be reflected fairly and accurately and should normally be broadcast in the same programme, or published at the same time, as the allegation. There may be occasions when this is inappropriate (usually for legal or overriding ethical reasons) in which case a senior editorial figure or commissioning editor for Independents should be consulted. It may then be appropriate to consider whether an alternative opportunity should be offered for reply at a subsequent date.


Well duh! If we run a story about an individuals activity, we would naturally ask them for their side of the story... however -

If we print submitted recipes in our lifestyle section, featuring the 'meat of the month', we are under no obligation to offer up space or our presses for equal time to the vegans. If one of those recipes tastes like horsedoo to someone, tough nuts.

This was from a book. Reprinted(in part) in the entertainment section. If anything it is responsible journalism because it gives the reader a very good indication of the crap they will digest should they bother to buy the book itself.

Remember the outrage when the first Harry Potter came out?? Imagine if we had caved to the fanatics!
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Post by spot »

Two aspects of that are lacking - you mention individuals without institutions, and in this case an institution was attacked; you mention fiction without mentioning fact and this piece claimed to be factual.
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Post by spot »

grh;737501 wrote: Sorry dear, the red text was a cut and paste from the top of the article in question.

the rest was all me:wah::wah:


It's reasonable to assume that some people and some screens can't distinguish colours or font size, I fall into that category. There's bold and italic and underline which always gets to the reader. The days when most internet devices resembled each other is long gone, there are people reading and replying to this on their cellphone.
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Post by grh »

spot;737509 wrote: It's reasonable to assume that some people and some screens can't distinguish colours or font size, I fall into that category. There's bold and italic and underline which always gets to the reader. The days when most internet devices resembled each other is long gone, there are people reading and replying to this on their cellphone.


Then you also didn't see the laughing critters. They were laughing at me. I normally source anything I copy and paste and I simply forgot.
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Post by Galbally »

Sorry Grh, are you involved in the magazine that published the article? I am not clear on that from some of your posts. I think its an interesting article and thought provoking in some ways I suppose, though its not exactly that new an idea or story. Its also kinda hysterical in its apocalyptic tone (OK maybe thats the truth) but on balance I wouldn't think so. Im also not sure whether its primary purpose is as a pinko Euro-bashing thing, or a polemic against the liberal interpretation of what Islamicists are all about in Europe and elsewhere. I have heard similar apocalytic cant from right wing North Americans about the imminent demise of Europe, but given its survived the last 2,500 years, it will probably survive this particular issue as well.

Anyway, thats beside the point, I certainly don't see substantively on what grounds the article could be suppressed, it may be offensive to some or maybe even a lot of Muslims, but what of that?, it doesn't take a lot to offend a lot of muslims nowadays, and I certainly agree with the sentiment that we shouldn't allow well-intentioned regard for the beliefs of others to turn into a conspiracy of silence as that would be folly. What use is freedom of speech if it ends at the point where someone gets offended?

I think one of the interesting things about debates like these is that it shows how religion is treated in a different manner to any other sphere of human debate. For instance its very hard to imagine people being able to claim to be offended on philosophical grounds as existentialists, or because they are vegitarians, or communists, or whatever about articles that argue against any of these ideas, but if you are a devout someone or other (pick any religion they are all the same) then you seem automatically have a right to complain when you are offended, and what's even more interesting actually be taken completely seriously. This is not the same as people being picked on for their race, ethnicity, gender, or perhaps some physical aspect of themselves, (because these are innate physical aspects of a human being) but because religion is an idea, and in a society such as ours all ideas should be open to debate, though of course there are rules in all debate, but those rules shouldn't encourage silence on issues such as these.
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Post by grh »

Galbally;737677 wrote: Sorry Grh, are you involved in the magazine that published the article? I am not clear on that from some of your posts........


Nope, no connection to it at all. Didn't even know it existed prior to spots post earlier in this thread.

I just work for a small midwestern media group and the notion of turning over the input of the editorial content we print to anyone (or any group for that matter) who happens to have been upset at something we published boggles the mind.

And this is a book excerpt in the entertainment section of this particular publication. It's not being presented as hard news or an investigative piece. It would be considered by most to be filler.

Perhaps they(whoever they may be in a given situation) should consider taking out an ad to say whatever it is they feel the need to say. Or perhaps publish it to their own newsletter. Boycott the publication and its advertisers. I'm not saying they aren't entitled to object to anything someone may say or write. I just can't understand why anyone would think that this publication should be required to foot the bill for it.
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Post by koan »

The author of the book, as it turns out, is a frequent contributor to Macleans magazine. It appears he was using an excerpt from his book to create his article. Oddly enough, Macleans has printed an article about the case with the CIC and put it under "Science".

It doesn't seem that the case has as much to do with the magazine printing the original article as it does to do with the editors response to their request to reply.

I'm now reserving my opinion for lack of hard facts about the case. Macleans says the individuals who met with the editor demanded five pages with no editorial changes and design of the coverpage. That's quite unreasonable. That is also just Macleans side of the story.

Since the CIC case was accepted by the tribunal it makes me think there is much more to the case than we know about. For example, perhaps when the Muslims spoke with the editor he made remarks about not publishing anything a Muslim group had to say. Unlikely, but possible. We just don't know. If the CIC and tribunal are proceeding with a frivolous case it is a foolish decision that will likely cause more problems than it would solve.
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Post by Galbally »

grh;737748 wrote: Nope, no connection to it at all. Didn't even know it existed prior to spots post earlier in this thread.

I just work for a small midwestern media group and the notion of turning over the input of the editorial content we print to anyone (or any group for that matter) who happens to have been upset at something we published boggles the mind.

And this is a book excerpt in the entertainment section of this particular publication. It's not being presented as hard news or an investigative piece. It would be considered by most to be filler.

Perhaps they(whoever they may be in a given situation) should consider taking out an ad to say whatever it is they feel the need to say. Or perhaps publish it to their own newsletter. Boycott the publication and its advertisers. I'm not saying they aren't entitled to object to anything someone may say or write. I just can't understand why anyone would think that this publication should be required to foot the bill for it.


I guess we would consider it an Editorial piece or an opinion/feature article over here. I used to work in publishing myself actually, though it was scientific publishing which is fairly dull compared to this stuff. I guess you always have to watch our for potential libel or stuff that is entirely racist or something like that. But like you said, if you had to decline articles that might offend someone somewhere you probably wouldn't publish a lot. Unfortunatly this is certainly happening a lot now because of all this general diassfection in the Islamic world at the west, and a good example was the Danish Cartoons where I guess an editor has to weigh up just how much trouble an article might cause, particularly ones that seek to provoke a reaction in that quarter, nobody wants to see people winding up dead because of something they have published, but in general the good old adage "Publish and be damned" is one we would all like to see remain in place.
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Post by koan »

Whatever emotional reaction I get from an article, and I've been aggravated a few times into writing a letter to the editor, I do support freedom of the press as an important social value. I do think that they need to be accountable for what they write, though. Given the problem of continuing hate crime against the Muslims and that the article implies that we need to see their population growth as a threat, I see some serious debate required on the subject, but, whatever the resolution is, we shouldn't take action that discourages publishers from printing bold ideas.

They generate revenue from printing the article so, if it is deemed that there was racial motivation, I'd think that either providing equal space for a rebuttal or donating to an awareness fund to fight hate crime would be a reasonable compensation.
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Post by grh »

koan;738066 wrote: Whatever emotional reaction I get from an article, and I've been aggravated a few times into writing a letter to the editor, I do support freedom of the press as an important social value. I do think that they need to be accountable for what they write, though. Given the problem of continuing hate crime against the Muslims and that the article implies that we need to see their population growth as a threat, I see some serious debate required on the subject, but, whatever the resolution is, we shouldn't take action that discourages publishers from printing bold ideas.

They generate revenue from printing the article so, if it is deemed that there was racial motivation, I'd think that either providing equal space for a rebuttal or donating to an awareness fund to fight hate crime would be a reasonable compensation.


I'd be willing to bet that the uproar over the piece generates more interest in it then ignoring it ever could have. I know I certainly wouldn't have wasted my time looking for it.:D

Anyone know if their competitors are playing this up? Offering up their editorial pages? Ya, know... because of the basic 'rightness' of this group to have the time and space at someone elses expense?:thinking:
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Post by freetobeme »

I was going to start a new thread but decided to add this here:

This section has been and is being abused as seen by this current attack, and here we have a Liberal bringing forward a motion which I hope passes quickly. Any bets the NDP will be dead against it.

http://forlifeandfamily.blogspot.com/20 ... peech.html

Motion To Bring Back The Freedom Of Speech

Keith Martin, Liberal MP for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca has introduced a motion (M-446) calling on the Parliament to delete subsection 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

That's the very same subsection which makes it a discriminatory practice for individuals or groups to communicate messages that are "likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt", as long as those persons "are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination". It therefore provides legal grounds for "human rights complaints" against those who say or publish anything the special interest groups may not agree with. The most recent victims to such complaints are: a journalist - Mark Steyn, a publisher - Ezra Levant and a political party leader - Ron Gray.

cont...
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Post by grh »

What are the odds on getting this passed? Is this guya leader or some fruitloop no one will listen to?:thinking:
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Post by freetobeme »

Keith Martin is a Liberal MP, formerly a conservative MP who crossed the floor, ho fruit loop.

The odds of it passing are not great, Dion has allready asked him to withdraw it and naturally the NDP don't support freedom of speech. What is a shame is that a real hate group is applauding this because, as you know we can't just protect free speech for only those we agree with. But why should our free speech rights be defined by the implication that white supremacists are the primary beneficiaries of Martin's motion?

Why should this motion be debated through the distorted eyes of neo-nazis, it should be be debated on its merits.

More information about Section 13 of the CHRA can be found here:

http://www.chrc-ccdp.ca/discrimination/ ... ate-en.asp



Kudos to the http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinions/ for an excellent piece on how the HRC and 'hate speech' is abused. I am sure that it is the decidedly over zealous pursuit of people exercising their freedom of speech which drives this private member's bill.

http://206.75.155.198/pwgsc/showfile.as ... 02042X.htm

There are those who disagree vehemently with Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant. Both men are staunch conservatives whose success is built largely upon the ability to provoke. Mr. Steyn is a brilliant writer who sometimes pushes the boundaries of mainstream opinion; Mr. Levant is an unabashed self-promoter. Yet even those Canadians who take issue with the opinions or methods of Messrs. Steyn and Levant should be more offended by the gross overreaching of this country's human-rights commissions in investigating the two men's work.

Mr. Levant's case is the more straightforward of the two. He has been taken to the Alberta Human Rights Commission by a group called the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada because his now-defunct magazine, the Western Standard, republished controversial Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed in an unflattering light.

In Mr. Steyn's case, it is not the writer but his publisher, Maclean's magazine, that is being targeted. Offended by an excerpt from Mr.

Steyn's book (America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It ) in which he claimed that Muslims "hot for jihad" could exploit their religion's high birth rate to conquer the West, the Canadian Islamic Congress demanded equal space in Maclean's - along with full editorial control and promotion on the magazine's cover - to respond. When they were denied it, they took their complaint to the Canadian, Ontario and British Columbia human-rights commissions.

-snip-

Levant's case, commissions are far too zealous in providing. (Liberal MP Keith Martin has talked of introducing a private member's bill to make a similar change to the Canadian Human Rights Act.) Established in the 1960s and 70s, human-rights commissions were intended to curb such problems as workplace discrimination. While that need has considerably diminished, it may be argued that the odd case still merits the commissions' continued existence. They may still play a valuable role, too, through public education and participation in the shaping of public policy. But they were never intended to serve as thought police, charged with stamping out all unpleasant arguments and ideas. cont.
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