Some readers may know that, here in Canada, I am a free speech journalist. That is, I think public discussion of any issue is distorted by the currently rampant Offended lobby.
My own view is simple: If you are selected to attend a university or smart enough to find and read a magazine or blog, then get used to the fact that you will encounter ideas you strongly dispute. Otherwise, I recommend a good trade school where you can learn how to earn a decent living – and the subject matter will not likely offend your beliefs.
If you want to live in the world of ideas, you must get used to some ideas you don’t like or agree with. That’s just how life works, okay? What you are not legally allowed to deny, you can’t responsibly believe either.
(Who knows? Is it moral conviction or fear of a criminal conviction that motivates you? You wouldn’t know yourself, in that case.)
No one forces you to read this blog, but if you do … don’t phone the government when you are upset. Save that for when a criminal is bashing down your front door to steal stuff to sell for drugs. If you pay taxes, that is the protection you should pay for, not protection from challenges to your ideas.
Anyway, all this said, here is my most recent MercatorNet column on the Canuck free speech wars:
Unusually for Canadian human rights commission hearings, which are heavily biased in favour of the complainant, the Islamists lost all their cases.
Lessons learned? Well, here is one: government depends as much as any other institution on media, to publicise its activities. That is how most citizens learn about them. Because government wants and needs publicity, it is never truly neutral about media.
That is why freedom of the press is crucial to a free society. Without it, all media morph into public relations for government and key special interests, depriving the public of independent information. That lesson was not lost on Canadian journalists, whose professional association named Maclean’s editor Ken Whyte “Newsperson of the Year” for 2008.
Read the rest here.