February 13, 2006

Stand up for Common Sense Vic!

The cartoon controversy has definitely gotten out of hand since I last posted on it. While I agree that the newspaper who published was entitled to do so, they knew the consequences and should have known better than to do something that would enflame the Muslim community.

The governments in question have taken the correct position in protecting the freedom of the press in their countries but in my honest opinion, should have scolded the papers publicly, but imposed no sanction.

What Ezra Levant is doing however is fanning the flames. The Western Standard is reprinting the controversial cartoons, knowing the consequences, and doing it anyway. Maybe Vic Toews should call his buddy Ezra and teach him a lesson or two about inciting violence in Canada, and how it would not be recommended. He must walk the same fine line, saying Ezra is entitled to his right to print but blasting him for having known better. This is sensationalism at its worst. Vic must take a stand.

14 Commentaires:

Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Good to know you're such a firm supporter of freedom of speech and the press, Antonio.

This is Canada, and I for one don't think we should refrain from reporting on news because we're afraid of offending the sensibilities of radical extremists.

The only people "inciting violence" in the "cartoon controversy" are those who are burning embassies and the Iranian and Syrian governments who are supplying extremist groups with Danish flags and propaganda.

2/13/2006 4:36 p.m.  
Anonymous élie a dit...

WOW, now that's a MAJOR flip-flop by Antonio. Possibly even worse than past flip-flops by notorious flip-floppers such as David Kilgour or John Kerry.

Having the justice minister tell the press what not to publish would amount to living in a police state. If we're going to let the government do that.. we might as well ask newspaers to "moderate" their editorials, or ask them not to report on certain "sensible" issues... That's nonsense Antonio -- and you know it, but your partisan desire to grasp this opportunity to associate Ezra Levant with the Tories may have been just slightly too strong, right?

And what's so bad with these cartoons anyway? People should be able to take a joke without burning embassies. There's much worse sh*t airing on Arab TV networks everyday: anti-semitic TV cartoons depicting Jewish rabbis eating Arab babies is only one example of such crap.

I don't know. It's kinda weird for a self-proclaimed liberal to want to regulate what the press has to say. Maybe you should defect to, I dunno, the Parti Québec Solidaire or the NDP. Such a move would make your desire to impose censorship on the press in the name of the common good more consistent with your political affiliation.

If the press hadn't been there to hold the Liberals accountable for their corruption, who would have done it? The YLC(Q)? I think not.

2/13/2006 7:39 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Oh My God! Antonio - have you lost your mind? You sound like a horrible spin doctor! No one buys that shit!

Censor the media?! Yeah, okay.

Good one!

2/13/2006 7:50 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

What ezra is doing amounts to yelling fire in a theatre.

I said their should be no reprimand, just a scolding. We value our rights because they mean something. Ezra should know better.

We know how much damage these cartoons will do now that Ezra has published them. I never said censor him or ban him.

The violence is wrong, but so is fanning the flames. Acting irresponsibly must be denounced by some authority. I think Vic has to draw the line.

2/13/2006 11:27 p.m.  
Blogger Grouse a dit...

You say of the editors at Jyllands-Posten, "They knew the consequences"? Not really. Please explain, in this era of nigh instantaneous communication, why it took 4 months for outrage to flare in the streets of the Middle East and other Muslim nations? It has become quite clear that to light these flames was damned hard work for folks who have made Denmark their home, notably iman Ahmed Abu Laben who travelled all around the Middle East in late 2005, like a Fuller brush salesman, but peddling hatred (apparently most Danish Moslems were initially quite ho-hum about the cartoons) C'mon give the Devil his due!

2/13/2006 11:55 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

The Danish papers were indeed blind-sided but the Western Standard had seen all the controversy and did it anyway. They should know better.

2/14/2006 12:20 a.m.  
Anonymous JM a dit...

You should know better, Antonio. The very fact that re-publishing these cartoons will cause violence is the real problem here, not the re-publishing of the cartoons.

Plus since no major media outlet in Canada has published the cartoons, it's perfectly reasonable to give Canadians an idea to what exactly everyone is talking about. I'm not sure how any major news outlet can write a story about cartoons causing violence but not show their readers and viewers the cartoons in question so we can make up our minds about the level of their offensiveness.

Take a stand for freedom of speech here, Antonio. Ezra isn't "fanning the flames", the extremists are as well as the Iranian and Syrian governments. Ezra is exercising his journalistic right as well as professional judgement. That you would deny him that speaks volumes about your commitment to the values of our country.

But since the idea of a right winger standing up for freedom and rights in the face of Muslim extremists acting irrationally doesn't fit with your neat little world view, I don't expect you will agree.

2/14/2006 12:32 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

i think the violence is wrong too, the difference we have is that I believe with rights comes responsibilities.

People know what the cartoons are all about. We should not sanction him or ban him, it violates our principles.

If Ezra published holocaust denials and anti-semitic cartoons, he would be expressing freedom of speech, but should know better for spreading such vicious content.

2/14/2006 1:01 a.m.  
Blogger Adam a dit...

This is all remarkably stupid. I wrote about it at length here:


As to the matter of the Western Standard - seeing these cartoons is essential to understanding the story. Namely, that these cartoons aren't even offensive (not that I would be bothered in the least if they were, a religion whose adherents behave en masse such as the followers of the "Prophet" do is hardly deserving of the same regard as Christianity or one of the world's other great faiths).

More than that, printing these is vital because the whole point of the exercise on the part of the Moslem world is to scare the weak and cowardly into refraining from comment on Islam by the threat of violence, and to tap into the natural appeasing instincts of others who prefer order to liberty.

2/14/2006 1:16 a.m.  
Blogger Adam a dit...

More to the point, Antonio, have you even seen the cartoons? What exactly, is offensive about them.

The suggestion that Islam promotes violence? I think that we can see the demonstrable truth of that is spades all across the world.

That Mohammed is physically depicted? I wasn't aware that non-Moslems are now obligated to obey Islamic law. By this notion (that they cause trouble because we disobey their laws), anti-abortion fanatics ought to blow up more abortion clinics, and you'll soon be pro-life.

2/14/2006 1:18 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Okay back-peddler, "don't censor him or ban him". So what are you asking Toews to do exactly?

OK, so allow him to write the article, but tell him he shouldn't do it. Essentially, you are saying these cartoons "OUGHT" to be censored. So whether or not they do get censored, you believe they should be - that's a joke to freedom of speech. Get a grip!

And seriously Antonio, holocaust denial and cartoons poking fun at a religion (which happens ALL the time)... yeah, that sounds like a fair comparison?

Where do you come up with these ideas?

2/14/2006 1:59 a.m.  
Anonymous Andrew Haig a dit...

No doubt. These cartoons are harmless. Only three of them actually make serious jokes about mohammed and violence, and even those have been borne out by the aftermath of their publication.

Suggesting that he should have print "responsibly", so as not to offend anyone prone to violence, you are actually implying that what is acceptable to print should be determined as a function of how bat-shit crazy someone decides to become.

I don't like the Western standard, but cheers to them for being willing to publish this, when no other (non-student) Canadian paper would.

2/14/2006 9:10 a.m.  
Blogger MPM a dit...

I don't like Ezra or his rag of a magazine but freedom of speech is the paramount issue here. Was it a tacky decision? Yes. Was it likely more about PR than journalism? Probably. But it is his right to publish them.

The Charter protects the freedom of speech and press, and we have to trust that protecting the Charter is, in the long run, much healthier for the Canada than coming down hard on Ezra in the short-term.

2/14/2006 11:44 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Huzzah! Harper agrees!


2/14/2006 9:34 p.m.  

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