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Belly of the beast

The Western Standard is defunct as a print magazine, but publisher Ezra Levant is still busy defending the company from a human rights tribunal complaint arising from his courageous decision to reproduce the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons in a news item on the international controversy. On Friday he was interviewed by an investigator, having obtained prior permission to videotape the process. He's now posting YouTube clips of his interrogation seriatim on his new website, allowing Canadians and the international friends of press freedom an unprecedented insight into the functioning of our system of soft thought control.


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Comments (15)


It's disappointing that Ezra's courageous battle is being all but ignored by the mainstream media, while other frivolous HRC complaints (like our "heroic" female who are fighting for their "right" to collect Olympic medals, despite the fact the nature of competition necessitates that there is somebody to compete against) continue to receive considerable press.

This man is fighting this battle on all our behalves, but the vast majority of Canadians could care less. And that to me is a sad reflection on our country and its citizens. I think we’d all stand to benefit by reading Ezra’s opening statement, as they lucidly expose the absurdities of the HRC and outline the dangers that follow from allowing our government to pass judgment on our thoughts.

It's disappointing that Ezra's courageous battle is being all but ignored by the mainstream media

Maybe you could just read the National Post, which has given the story quite extensive coverage?


Mclea: What would you have the MSM say? 'Man posts videos on youtube; website gets heavy traffic.'

or - 'man yells at government bureaucrat in youtube video'.

It's not hitting the MSM because Ezra launching a--beautiful, deserved, and fun to watch--tirade against the HRC is not something a newspaper can really cover.

Now, if the HRC goes after him for posting stuff on youtube against their wishes or they decide or don't to pursue the case further, that's when there is an actual story to cover and you can pull out your 'where is the MSM' schtick.


man yells at government bureaucrat in youtube video

That's pretty much the impression I got as well, and the reason one wouldn't want it on the nightly news. Even though he has the advantage of being right, a fairly tall, big man raising his voice and lecturing a quiet bureaucrat doesn't win any optics awards.


Oh, but Ty, I'm convinced it's the "quiet bureaucrats" who pose the greatest danger to our civil liberties. It is sickening that Levant had to show up for that crap in the first place - the fact that the HRC didn't send armed police to raid Levant's office doesn't make the whole thing any less scary. That quiet bureaucrat is the face of the thought police. I hope she felt really very damned uncomfortable, and I hope she knows that more than 200,000 people have watched the video. I want them to know that they are being watched just as closely as they are watching the citizens of a supposedly free country.

No, I'm not Canadian. Yes, I know I sound like a crank. But sweet mercy, this is ridiculous.


Well, she's just doing her job...she was hired by the commission to look over housing and other matters. It's those who have abused the system that should be looked upon with scorn.

Oh, wait, I forgot, we're a Trudeaupian decayed dominion that sucks and is out to get Mark Steyn. :-P


For what it's worth, describing Ezra as a fairly tall, big man would be significantly overstating things.


So what's Ezra Levant's publication of the Danish cartoons got to do with housing and "other matters", and if all she does is "look over" stuff, why was he legally obligated to show up and explain his entirely legal publication of those cartoons? Or do you buy the "hey, the HRC is just an informal little committee that tries to ensure people aren't discriminated against when trying to buy a house" line? Because that is exactly what it is not. And those poor little paper pushers are acting with the full force of the government behind them, and they can force Levant to pay fines and they can force out of business any other publishers who publish anything that offends somebody (and by somebody, I don't mean anybody, because the HRC seems to be rather selective in its choice of prosecution). And you know what? Just because you don't like Steyn doesn't mean he's wrong. And yes, at the moment it does appear that some in Canada are out to get him.


So what's Ezra Levant's publication of the Danish cartoons got to do with housing and "other matters",
My point is that the system is being abused through a loophole that must be closed by the government. The bureaucrat at hand is only doing the job she signed up for, which is part of the farce of the situation. We have the wrong people being subjected to the wrong arguments, and making snap decisions they aren't supposed to make. The government must remedy this wrong: Any society has momentary problems with things like this, and they must be corrected. I have confidence, especially in Alberta, that things will be resolved, especially if rulings are made against Levant and Steyn.

Because that is exactly what it is not.
That is what it is in the Atlantic provinces, and most other jurisdictions. They differ by who run them, and how much leeway the government gives them.

And yes, at the moment it does appear that some in Canada are out to get him.
Yes, there are: People who he has upset by publishing his book are their ethnicity as a loophole to hurt him and Maclean's. My problem with Steyn is how quickly he transfers this to "Canada" as a whole, as he does with far too many items.

It would be like me facing a $10,000,000 lawsuit for staining a man's pants with coffee in the USA: I would be indignant, and the system would anger me, but I would save most of my wrath for those prosecuting me. I would not, like Steyn has done on a few occasions, attempt to put my hypothetical situation on the United States and rally people against that country.

P.S., like the name...I'm one of the purists who think that's the only way beer should be delivered.

Rod Blaine:

If this ever makes the British tabloids (eg, Daily Mirror), it'll be "LEVANT VS LETHIATHAN RE LEVANTINES". That has a sort of euphony...


The other thing that is cute about the "MSM won't play this story" schtick is how desperately these guys want their favorite stories to be validated by their hated MSM.


"That is what it is in the Atlantic provinces"

Brad Woodside, mayor of Fredericton, might disagree (see link in my name).


Ty: that makes a lot of sense. I doubt that the majority of Canadians approves of this sort of crap.

Leo, I don't think they want the MSM to "validate" the stories - just to report them. Because the MSM is still the way most Americans and Canadians get their news, and some people believe that the media deliberately undercovers, or does not cover at all, stories that do not support or that contradict personal and institutional biases held by MSM figures. And I happen to believe that's true. Most old line media people are in favor of HRC type tribunals, just like they are in favor of "hate crimes" legislation, and when something occurs that points up the idiocy and danger of a tribunal of this nature, the media do not really give it much airplay. The media chooses what to cover and what not to cover.

I'm not saying it's a conscious conspiracy. As Matt Welch likes to say, the fish doesn't notice that water is wet, and a lot of old line media don't realize that they have a bias. And most old line media would not find Levant or Steyn to be sympathetic figures, to put it mildly, so they are doubly disinclined to cover this subject.

I just put up a piece about Levant at the top of www.darrellepp.com I hope you can check it out, cheers.

Rod Blaine:

Call me pessimistic, but my guess is that, once this is all over, Ezra will get "I MUST NOT TELL LIES" carved into the back of his hand with a quill...


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