Sunday, February 3, 2008

Their Arguments: "Free Speech Is Hateful And Unbalanced"

Looks like all those opposed to the Keith Martin's motion can't find any other arguments. So they keep claiming that allowing freedom of speech (without persecuting people for publishing something that is likely to expose members of special interest groups to hatred and contempt) will only benefit the white supremacists. Even the CBC couldn't find anything better than trying to link anyone opposing the HRCs to white supremacists.
This morning CBC radio (1 & 2) repeatedly EMPHASISED in its coverage of Keith Martin, Liberal MP, and his private member`s Bill 446 that:


(It was not even suggested that there were any other opponents of the HRCs).
A US blogger Pundita has compiled a list of citizen's rights violated under administration of Section 13 cases - you don't have to be a white supremacist to be affected one way or another. But try telling that to PC thugs.

One of them however decided to try something new. He suggested that the HRC censorship is done not to curtail free speech but... to strengthen it.
The complaint against Maclean's is FOR free speech and not against it! Maclean's, Canada's only national magazine, recently published 19 defamatory articles against the Muslim community. Representatives from the Muslim community approached Maclean's and requested that a single counterview article by a mutually agreed upon author be published. Rather than politely refuse, Maclean's indicated, "we would rather go bankrupt". All the complainants wanted was a chance to respond to the 19 articles with a single article and reach Maclean's estimated one million subscribers who have had an obviously biased account of the Muslim community. The complainants could have chosen to pursue their complaint through the traditional court system (Canada's hate speech laws), but the potential punitive outcomes would do little to achieve their rights to free speech and open-debate. As a result, the HRC is the only avenue that the complainants could pursue, the only body which could enforce a variety of outcomes including "the chance to respond".
So this unnamed "Pro Tolerance" blogger believes that if the HRC forces Maclean’s to publish something they didn't want to publish in the first place, that would actually be an exercise in free speech. In other words - censorship is freedom, forcing one to say or to publish something he disagrees with is tolerance. Sounds quite Orwellian to me.

Mclean's magazine is not a public discussion board where anyone has a right to publish what he wants. Neither it's a publicly owned national media outlet like the CBC. Therefore there's no reason why Mclean's should be forced to provide anyone with "a chance to respond". There were plenty of other media outlets where the Muslim community could publish their response. After all - they were given an opportunity to outline their justifications to the complaint in the National Post. So why couldn't they publish their "counterview" article there, instead of trying to force Mclean's to publish it?

An open debate can never be open if someone is forced to publish what he doesn't agree with. A free marketplace of ideas means having different media outlets, publishing what they want, not what someone else forces them to publish.

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