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Author Topic: What Wente Wrote
TVParkdale
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posted 26 October 2008 03:54 PM      Profile for TVParkdale     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
See full article HERE:

What Wente Wrote Was Racist

quote:
Ms. Wente should not be allowed to keep her position at the Globe and Mail after publishing such virulent lies, while Mr. Pound should resign his Olympic Committee position and McGill Chancellorship.

The newspaper should distance itself from her remarks and work instead to build understanding of different cultures. I am urging people everywhere to write letters to the editors, to Wente and to her boss, letting them know you're not buying the paper.


Well done, Ben.

This needs to go further than Wente. She's just the working class journalist. You can be if a lefty magazine hired her for bigger dollars tomorrow she'd be having a radically swift change of heart.

Wente has been getting away with her Euro-centric racist swill at the Globe for years.

Why isn't her *editor* fired? Who allowed this to run? Why wasn't she sent scurrying back to her computer to actually come up with an intelligent article before the deadline instead of unoriginal, rehashed and disproven theories of eugenics?

Years ago I wrote an article called, "You PEOPLE!" that my editor passed by *two lawyers* before the paper agreed to run it. It was true anecdotes from Native/Metis people of Euro-Canadians starting statements with "You people...[ought to]" and our replies.

When I wrote about Mi'kmaq fishing rights, I had to wait for the article to pass a lawyer and a board meeting.

Yet this woman gets away with this? Some editor waved a pen over it and threw it on the pile?

She's a small fish. She's just another loud-mouthed bigot who realizes that controversy sells newspapers. Journalism students are taught "where's the conflict?" and some, if they can't find one, create one.

Whoever *allowed* that column to run needs to be sacked. They've somehow come to believe that creating conflict to sell newspapers is more important than covering the news.

And that, my dear Ben, is a sign of overwhelming incompetence.


From: DaHood | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 26 October 2008 08:19 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yeah, what she wrote was pretty awful and inexcusable. And you're right - what the heck were her editors thinking, letting that go to print?
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 26 October 2008 09:08 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Is Marcus Gee still the editor of the op-ed page?
From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Pride for Red Dolores
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posted 26 October 2008 09:38 PM      Profile for Pride for Red Dolores     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
How can any woman advocate for ethnocide ? How could her editor let her do that ? What about fact checking- don't articles and columns in newspapers have to be based in fact ? I fired off a good email to the editor. Have any of you ?
From: Montreal | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
TVParkdale
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posted 26 October 2008 10:01 PM      Profile for TVParkdale     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Pride for Red Dolores:
How can any woman advocate for ethnocide ? How could her editor let her do that ? What about fact checking- don't articles and columns in newspapers have to be based in fact ? I fired off a good email to the editor. Have any of you ?

Actually, op ed articles don't have to be based on fact, that's why they're "op ed".

I'm kinda torn on this one. I'm anti-censorship.

Where I am struggling is that the Globe editors are preferring controversy [believe me, no editor would have missed this furor] for the sake of controversy.

There's controversy for the sake of cracking a discussion wide open and I believe that's a valid art form. Usually it's some outrageous idea or play on an idea that gets people thinking. An editor can qualify that difference.

Sometimes, it's done for humour, or irony.

This wasn't. She wasn't arguing why the original fellow [sorry name escapes me] should not be censured which might have had some merit--she was yanking out the old tired eugenics argument to stir up a shitstorm. She knew exactly what she was doing.

I have to wonder if the editor requested her to write an article on that topic.

I'm not sure I want to give her attention for being divisive.

Besides folks if you want to do a smack down--boycott the Globe's advertisers. Write them and tell them you are doing it. Don't waste your time playing the "letters to the editor" game because that's *exactly* why she wrote it

Boycotting advertisers hits where it hurts.


From: DaHood | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
statica
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posted 27 October 2008 07:55 AM      Profile for statica   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I actually don't feel that the editor is culpable for what Wente wrote, in my own opinion. Only the journalist, in the end.

Sure, the editor here let the article go to print. But editors should not stand in the way of letting controversial stories go to print. But the writer has to take personal responsibility for that controversial content**.

The editor here is at fault for not properly looking over the article to see if it was factually correct and written in good faith. It should not be the public's (Bob Powless') job. The editor can be accused of sloppy journalism, only.

(**by responsibility, I mean in the fact that there is no such thing as objectivity, so Wente should take responsibility for her opinion).


From: t-oront-o | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
TVParkdale
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posted 27 October 2008 08:15 AM      Profile for TVParkdale     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by statica:
I actually don't feel that the editor is culpable for what Wente wrote, in my own opinion. Only the journalist, in the end.

Sure, the editor here let the article go to print. But editors should not stand in the way of letting controversial stories go to print. But the writer has to take personal responsibility for that controversial content**.

The editor here is at fault for not properly looking over the article to see if it was factually correct and written in good faith. It should not be the public's (Bob Powless') job. The editor can be accused of sloppy journalism, only.

(**by responsibility, I mean in the fact that there is no such thing as objectivity, so Wente should take responsibility for her opinion).


Ah thanks statica--well put and helpful. I also believe that *all* stories are inherently biased. The honest thing to do is *say it upfront*

I'm really concrete so...

What needs to happen here, in your opinion?


From: DaHood | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 27 October 2008 08:20 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by statica:
I actually don't feel that the editor is culpable for what Wente wrote, in my own opinion. Only the journalist, in the end.

Sure, the editor here let the article go to print. But editors should not stand in the way of letting controversial stories go to print. But the writer has to take personal responsibility for that controversial content**.


I don't know. I'm also torn on this one. I mean, I'm not torn about the content - it was reprehensible and racist.

I'm not sure if the editor should have stepped in or not, but I lean towards thinking that s/he should have. On the other hand, columnists are supposed to be free to be controversial. On the third hand , columnists can't say ANYTHING they want - every publication has at least SOME minimum journalistic standards for offensiveness and racism and such, and to me, it says something about the Globe that this didn't fall beneath theirs.

What I'm also torn about is the movement that's springing up to try to get her fired for it. I'd rather they publish a counterpoint than fire her. Why make a martyr out of her? I disagree with a lot of columnists but don't want to see them fired because of it. There are a lot of people who think like Wente does. Isn't it better for her (and those readers who agree with her) to be rebutted through the letters section and possibly by a progressive guest column? (Or, more radically, they could actually, you know, hire a regular columnist who takes a different viewpoint than Wente.)


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 27 October 2008 08:30 AM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
...every publication has at least SOME minimum journalistic standards for offensiveness and racism and such, and to me, it says something about the Globe that this didn't fall beneath theirs.

The Globe editorial board recently endorsed Stephen Harper. To do so they rationalized away two and a half years of attacks on independent government bodies, sabotage of parliamentary committees and blatant use of government resources for partisan purposes by saying that Harper was "growing into the job." So maybe they have the same attitude towards their op-ed page. It isn't that Wente's a racist, it's just that she's still growing into the job (and should be getting it right about the time the sun goes nova). That column wasn't a vile piece of hackery, it was a training accident.


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Pride for Red Dolores
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posted 27 October 2008 09:28 AM      Profile for Pride for Red Dolores     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What specifically is the editor's job then ?
From: Montreal | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Pride for Red Dolores
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posted 27 October 2008 09:30 AM      Profile for Pride for Red Dolores     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Also, while I am all for free speach and against censorship, there's a line where speech becomes hate speech or harmful- and I think this article does that because it reinforces racism.
From: Montreal | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
TVParkdale
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posted 27 October 2008 09:37 AM      Profile for TVParkdale     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:

I don't know. I'm also torn on this one. I mean, I'm not torn about the content - it was reprehensible and racist.

I'm not sure if the editor should have stepped in or not, but I lean towards thinking that s/he should have. On the other hand, columnists are supposed to be free to be controversial. On the third hand , columnists can't say ANYTHING they want - every publication has at least SOME minimum journalistic standards for offensiveness and racism and such, and to me, it says something about the Globe that this didn't fall beneath theirs.

What I'm also torn about is the movement that's springing up to try to get her fired for it. I'd rather they publish a counterpoint than fire her. Why make a martyr out of her? I disagree with a lot of columnists but don't want to see them fired because of it. There are a lot of people who think like Wente does. Isn't it better for her (and those readers who agree with her) to be rebutted through the letters section and possibly by a progressive guest column? (Or, more radically, they could actually, you know, hire a regular columnist who takes a different viewpoint than Wente.)


Can you imagine some poor progressive working at the Globe? Only if they write from home and email it in on the deadline. Otherwise, they'll be in a rubber room by the end of the probation period

The problem [from an editorial viewpoint] with Wente's column isn't just the blatant racism for the cause of creating controversy. It's the trotting forth of the junk science of eugenics as fact.

It's the lack of research to validate her points and her inability to back up those viewpoints with critical thinking rather than the same tired, "the big bad liberals have it wrong and they're pushing us all around!"

Frankly, anyone who has ever debated two sides of a question in high school could have put forth a better argument. That's why I believe it to be an editorial problem.

She hasn't even the sense to rebut her own argument in closing then shoot down the rebuttal.

That counts it as a rant. Not an op ed.

It's time she took remedial English essay/op ed writing 101


From: DaHood | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
TVParkdale
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posted 27 October 2008 09:49 AM      Profile for TVParkdale     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by pogge:

The Globe editorial board recently endorsed Stephen Harper. To do so they rationalized away two and a half years of attacks on independent government bodies, sabotage of parliamentary committees and blatant use of government resources for partisan purposes by saying that Harper was "growing into the job." So maybe they have the same attitude towards their op-ed page. It isn't that Wente's a racist, it's just that she's still growing into the job (and should be getting it right about the time the sun goes nova). That column wasn't a vile piece of hackery, it was a training accident.


"Training accident" [thanks for the chuckle]?

According to a blogger that followed Wente for years, about 1/3 of her columns are anti-minority. From what I've seen, she's been trotting out the same swill for years.

That could mean a few things.

    A) The Globe hired her, knowing she was bigot and hoping for the inevitable shitstorm of controversy to jack up sales.
    B) They were hoping to appeal to people just slightly left of the KKK to increase readership.
    C) They were hoping that if a woman said it, it might be more acceptable than coming from the pen of a middle-class Euro-Canadian male.
    D) It fits their conservative agenda and benefits their position as the conservatives leap into the fray to "rescue" her from the Big Bad Politically Correct Lefties.
    E) It's the Globe's way of saying, "See, we don't discriminate against women!" [so long as they're more right-wing than Regan] while saving her from the lefty wolves--akin to the Thatcher effect.

Pick one, all, or none of the above

/facepalm


From: DaHood | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
Wayne MacPhail
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posted 27 October 2008 11:00 AM      Profile for Wayne MacPhail   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I can't support the idea of encouraging a publication to fire a columnist because of what s/he wrote. You are welcome to complain to the G&M and to engage Wente or anyone else in civil discussion about her POV. But, as folks who celebrate a diversity of voices, we should not be condoning the silencing of even one, as much as you might disagree with what was said.
From: Hamilton | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Caissa
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posted 27 October 2008 11:04 AM      Profile for Caissa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
When Heather Mallick quit the Globe wasn't it over an editor changing one of her columns without consultation?
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TVParkdale
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posted 27 October 2008 11:20 AM      Profile for TVParkdale     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Wayne MacPhail:
I can't support the idea of encouraging a publication to fire a columnist because of what s/he wrote. You are welcome to complain to the G&M and to engage Wente or anyone else in civil discussion about her POV. But, as folks who celebrate a diversity of voices, we should not be condoning the silencing of even one, as much as you might disagree with what was said.

To be honest, I'm not sure where I sit on this.

I don't approve of censorship.

However, I do find it troubling that a major media outlet is paying for content that is not only racist, but is promulgating junk science as having validity.

I also find it troubling that the media has been drifting and in some cases, speeding headlong, towards ignorant punditry with the purpose of create controversy rather than doing the research required to actually air such conflicts in an open forum.

There's also the disturbing trend of labeling anyone who disputes this kind of hogswollop as "whiney lefty liberal" and other such derogatory terms when such bigotry is pointed out.

There's no question that the Globe is guilty of institutionalized racism.

The question is, is this woman *entitled* to this particular platform [including a paycheque] from which to spew her venom? Is she entitled to be rewarded for her ignorance and bigotry?

Should the Globe be rewarded [advertising dollars, readership] for promoting discord as opposed to actually reporting the news?


From: DaHood | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 27 October 2008 12:31 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Wayne MacPhail:
I can't support the idea of encouraging a publication to fire a columnist because of what s/he wrote. You are welcome to complain to the G&M and to engage Wente or anyone else in civil discussion about her POV. But, as folks who celebrate a diversity of voices, we should not be condoning the silencing of even one, as much as you might disagree with what was said.

Margaret Wente should be fired because she is habitually a poor writer and plays fast and loose with things like 'facts' and 'research'. She should be fired because she is wilfully reactionary, divisive and hateful and has no place in a newspaper that fancies itself 'Canada's'. But if the Globe hasn't figured that out by now, they won't. Wayne is right that Margaret should not be fired because of one editorial. She should be fired because she is an incompetent journalist.

The people that should be censured for this awful piece are the editorial staff.

ETA: now out of date, but still a useful archive, Wente Watch

[ 27 October 2008: Message edited by: Catchfire ]


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Wayne MacPhail
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posted 27 October 2008 01:01 PM      Profile for Wayne MacPhail   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I can't agree Wente is "habitually a poor writer". In fact, I think she is a fine writer and a good stylist. She does not make a habit of writing badly at all.

To say that she is "wilfully reactionary ... " implies an understanding of intent that, really, only Ms Wente can have.

Let's be clear, Progressives who support the removal of Ms Wente are calling for a Canadian journalist to lose her job, to be out of work, in a down economy because of an opinion they don't agree with.

That I cannot support. I wouldn't support it if it was a right wing commentator calling for a Left columnist to be fired, and I don't support the reverse. If we want a diversity of voices we need to be open to all of them.

And don't come back with "Wente is rich and will be just fine etc. " You're calling for a worker to be fired. It doesn't matter who they are or what they make.

And don't suggest this isn't censorship because, man, if the shoe was on the other foot that's just what you'd be calling it.

[ 27 October 2008: Message edited by: Wayne MacPhail ]


From: Hamilton | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 27 October 2008 01:10 PM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
quote:

I don't know. I'm also torn on this one. I mean, I'm not torn about the content - it was reprehensible and racist.

I'm not sure if the editor should have stepped in or not, but I lean towards thinking that s/he should have. On the other hand, columnists are supposed to be free to be controversial. On the third hand , columnists can't say ANYTHING they want - every publication has at least SOME minimum journalistic standards for offensiveness and racism and such, and to me, it says something about the Globe that this didn't fall beneath theirs.

What I'm also torn about is the movement that's springing up to try to get her fired for it. I'd rather they publish a counterpoint than fire her. Why make a martyr out of her? I disagree with a lot of columnists but don't want to see them fired because of it. There are a lot of people who think like Wente does. Isn't it better for her (and those readers who agree with her) to be rebutted through the letters section and possibly by a progressive guest column? (Or, more radically, they could actually, you know, hire a regular columnist who takes a different viewpoint than Wente.)



Like Tevye's monologue from Fiddler, about moral choices, this suffers, with Wente's column, from it's proximity to the terribly complex choices in the real world.

I thought that monologue in Fiddler was a high point in the production. Your offering of conflicting positions, M, was in the best tradition of journalism.
And yes, it was a racist position of Margaret's - but she would not understand that.


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 27 October 2008 01:25 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hmmm... I'd like to see Wente have to apologise, do a mea culpa. Don't want to see her sacked, little as I like her, though it is not because I value her "voice" - I don't. But I'm wary of such censorship.

Quote: "It's time she took remedial English essay/op ed writing 101".

Err... there are quite a few syntax errors in your messages. In years past, in particular before the WTC attack, i remember Wente as a witty, often funny writer - certainly not leftwing but not nearly as hopless a reactionary as she became when she started saying leftists and feminists (for cripes' sake) were somehow in league with Bin Laden.

I don't see a lot of "eugenics" in her writing; more gross ethnocentrism and cultural prejudice. She doesn't contend that Aboriginal people are more stupid than Europeans or Chinese. Don't particularly think she is hateful either; she is too smug to even bother hating people she sees as a waste of space or in the wrong. She's the last sort we'd want as a martyr as all sorts of rightwing thinktanks would just love to shore her up to prove how intolerant the left is.

I know the people who wrote the original missive against Dick Pound. So glad this has had legs. Pound is a serial bigot, by the way.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
TVParkdale
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posted 27 October 2008 01:37 PM      Profile for TVParkdale     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:

Quote: "It's time she took remedial English essay/op ed writing 101".

Err... there are quite a few syntax errors in your messages.


My response to that?

I'm writing in a forum. These are not articles. There's no deadline and no one is paying me. In that case, I would also have the luxury of researching carefully, as well.

If I wanted to put out one message a week I could spend that time. Realistically, the web moves quickly and this tempest in a teapot is at the end of its shelf-life already.


From: DaHood | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
TVParkdale
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posted 27 October 2008 01:40 PM      Profile for TVParkdale     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
Hmmm... I'd like to see Wente have to apologise, do a mea culpa. In years past, in particular before the WTC attack, i remember Wente as a witty, often funny writer - certainly not leftwing but not nearly as hopless a reactionary as she became when she started saying leftists and feminists (for cripes' sake) were somehow in league with Bin Laden.

The spurious venom of the attacks is what makes me wonder if the editor[s] are requesting, or at least encouraging, controversial and essentially purposeless ranting.


From: DaHood | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 27 October 2008 03:21 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Margaret Wente has been peddling her brand of incendiary editorial for years and her writing has become more so as the reactions she has gleaned have become more pointed. This trajectory clearly indicates a reactionary honing her craft, and anyone who believes that such an evolution is accidental and not intentional does Wente's craft a discredit. And good writing, incidentally, as any decent journalist will tell you, is more than a clever quip or crass arousal.

Of course, the idea that Wente is 'just a worker', is absurd. This is the sort of logic Brecht's Mother Courage employs when she sees a kinship between her peddler wagon and the machinery of the state. Or, if you like, the dépanneur owner who feels for the CEO of WalMart. See to how Wente went to bat for Heather Mallick, her ex-co-worker, recently, to see how much of a 'worker' Wente is. That said, she should not be fired for what she has said once. She should be fired for her general shock journalmalism that serves not to educate, inform and stimulate, but to incite and to divide.

[ 27 October 2008: Message edited by: Catchfire ]


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
TVParkdale
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posted 27 October 2008 05:20 PM      Profile for TVParkdale     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:

Of course, the idea that Wente is 'just a worker', is absurd. This is the sort of logic Brecht's Mother Courage employs when she sees a kinship between her peddler wagon and the machinery of the state. Or, if you like, the dépanneur owner who feels for the CEO of WalMart. See to how Wente went to bat for Heather Mallick, her ex-co-worker, recently, to see how much of a 'worker' Wente is. That said, she should not be fired for what she has said once. She should be fired for her general shock journalism that serves not to educate, inform and stimulate, but to incite and to divide.

[ 27 October 2008: Message edited by: Catchfire ]


Catchfire, can you explain to me a bit about the Heather Mallick controversy?

So, in your opinion, she should be terminated, not for the single article but for her long term history of using her position to promote bigotry?

Can I request your input on whether or not you believe that her editor bears some responsibility for encouraging controversial ranting at the expense of journalistic integrity?


From: DaHood | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 27 October 2008 05:43 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I can't support the idea of encouraging a publication to fire a columnist because of what s/he wrote. You are welcome to complain to the G&M and to engage Wente or anyone else in civil discussion about her POV. But, as folks who celebrate a diversity of voices, we should not be condoning the silencing of even one, as much as you might disagree with what was said.

Diversity of voice? Where exactly do we find a diversity of voice? It certainly doesn't exist in the corporate media, private or public. We exist in a social system that systematically marginalizes the majority of voices and this is both reflected and enforced through the media. I find it exceedingly unlikely Wente would lose her job if she did I don't think the loss of one privileged person promoting the dominant ideology would constitute a decrease in "diversity."

I don't believe Wente is a talented writer although she is an effective propagandist and for that reason her job is safe.


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
TVParkdale
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posted 27 October 2008 06:24 PM      Profile for TVParkdale     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by N.R.KISSED:

Diversity of voice? Where exactly do we find a diversity of voice? It certainly doesn't exist in the corporate media, private or public. We exist in a social system that systematically marginalizes the majority of voices and this is both reflected and enforced through the media. I find it exceedingly unlikely Wente would lose her job if she did I don't think the loss of one privileged person promoting the dominant ideology would constitute a decrease in "diversity."

I don't believe Wente is a talented writer although she is an effective propagandist and for that reason her job is safe.


[Ooooo. You're a hoodie too ]

Good points about the limited "diversity" through mass media.

One classic example is that for 30 days Caledon was erupting and not ONE WORD in the major media.

I've seen nothing about the many sex trade worker strangulation and robbery attacks by two brothers here in Parkdale--and no arrests either.

That's only two examples.

So much for "diversity".

This is discussion is getting interesting.


From: DaHood | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
Wayne MacPhail
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posted 28 October 2008 02:46 AM      Profile for Wayne MacPhail   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Whether or not newspapers like the Globe and Mail offer diverse voices or not is entirely beside th e point. The principle of encouraging a diversity of voices is one the left upholds regardless of actual practise in the mainstream press.

Yes, mass media should offer a variety of voices, faces and opinions. Yes, it could do a better job. But suggesting that one of those voices be eliminated, because you disapprove does nothing for the cause of diversity in the media. It just makes it easier for others to silence the voices you like and agree with. And that's just bad chess.


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Catchfire
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posted 28 October 2008 02:55 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Maragaret Wente's column about 'a semi-obscure columnist named Heather Mallick' via this babble thread.
quote:
Meantime, I'm not feeling too sorry for Ms. Mallick. She is a sour, narrow-minded writer - the kind of who makes Michael Moore look like a world-class wit. Her reflexive anti-Americanism is heavy-handed and stale, to say nothing of casually racist. There are many, many ways of dissing Sarah Palin. But Ms. Mallick's naughty, coarse puerility is not among them.

Now, to be clear, I am not arguing that because she showed no sympathy for Mallick we should show no sympathy to her in some kind of eye-for-an-eye logic. But this article does undermine the idea that Wente is simply a 'worker', and that she operates with any 'journalistic integrity'. In fact, the idea that the Globe is aware of such a notion is absurd. From pogge above:

quote:
The Globe editorial board recently endorsed Stephen Harper. To do so they rationalized away two and a half years of attacks on independent government bodies, sabotage of parliamentary committees and blatant use of government resources for partisan purposes by saying that Harper was "growing into the job."

Not to mention that this administration has demonstrated the most hostility to journalists in Canadian history.

And N.R.K., naturally, is quote right that appealing to 'diversity of opinion' is laughable, especially with regards to the Globe. Is racism an opinion? What's the 'opposing' opinion to racism?


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 28 October 2008 03:32 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Anti-racism. And I think it would be a more productive campaign to lobby the Globe to include diverse voices in their opinion pages, to have more columnists of colour, more Aboriginal columnists, more anti-racist columnists.

As I said before, a lot of people agree with Wente on this and other issues. What do you think would be more effective in changing public opinion - for people to watch a columnist they like get fired for writing something they agree with, or for them to read Wente's column, agree with it, and then read an opposing viewpoint that demolishes her arguments in the same pages and challenges their beliefs?

I think it would be much better to demand of the Globe that they add more diverse voices than to fire one of their popular columnists. If you want diversity in the media, demand it. Doesn't mean you'll get it, but the demand itself will sound much more reasonable to the media and to the public than demanding someone's firing.

[ 28 October 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 28 October 2008 03:50 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wayne suggested that the opposite opinion to Wente's would receive similar censorship demands. My point was precisely that the opposite opinion of racism is anti-racism: an opinion apparently Wayne thinks would receive calls for censorship.

I agree that you cannot call for Wente's firing based on this article. It's the same shit she's built a career out of. She should be fired because she is a sensationalist, divisive and poor journalist; but as pogge pointed out, why would we expect the Globe to do such a thing?

Many of us demand more diversity in MSM all the time. What do you suggest we do when a paper publishes a particularly offensive piece, such as Wente's most recent bigotry? Just ask for diversity louder or declare that such writing is unacceptable in a publication that presumes to be 'Canada's newspaper'?

[ 28 October 2008: Message edited by: Catchfire ]


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 28 October 2008 04:01 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:
Many of us demand more diversity in MSM all the time. What do you suggest we do when a paper publishes a particularly offensive piece, such as Wente's most recent bigotry? Just ask for diversity louder or declare that such writing is unacceptable in a publication that presumes to be 'Canada's newspaper'?

Well, if your demands for diversity aren't being met, then what makes you think that demands for her firing will be met?

My argument is that demanding her firing (which you say you don't support, which is fine, but others ARE calling for it) is less effective than demanding diversity.

Maybe neither will be effective. But the former just makes progressives sound censorious and unreasonable, whereas the latter does not.

I've been asked to cancel my (non-existent) subscription and tell the Globe that I won't renew until they fire Wente. Why not put that energy towards cancelling subscriptions and writing to the Globe that the reason why is because they run columns like Wente's unopposed by Aboriginal and progressive columnists?


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Caissa
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posted 28 October 2008 04:27 AM      Profile for Caissa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Wente column got skewered in the Letters to the Editor in yesterday's Globe.
From: Saint John | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 28 October 2008 04:32 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And here they are.
From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 28 October 2008 06:30 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:
Wayne suggested that the opposite opinion to Wente's would receive similar censorship demands. My point was precisely that the opposite opinion of racism is anti-racism: an opinion apparently Wayne thinks would receive calls for censorship.

He didn't say that at all. This is what he said:

quote:
But suggesting that one of those voices be eliminated, because you disapprove does nothing for the cause of diversity in the media. It just makes it easier for others to silence the voices you like and agree with.

He said that if you campaign to fire people whose viewpoints you disagree with, then it's only a matter of time before others campaign to fire people YOU agree with.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wayne MacPhail
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posted 28 October 2008 06:53 AM      Profile for Wayne MacPhail   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That is precisely what I said and believe, thanks Michelle.
From: Hamilton | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 28 October 2008 07:00 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, I agree with Wayne about that; morover, I think it would be far worse for Wente to have to grovel a bit and admit that what she wrote was stupid and error-ridden than to become a martyr. (She'd get plenty of monetary and other support from rightwing thinktanks, trust me).

But I don't agree with valueing our enemies' voices - that is a very different matter from opposing censorship, or thinking hate-speech legislation should be reserved for extreme situations of advocating violence against a given group.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 28 October 2008 07:09 AM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Whether or not newspapers like the Globe and Mail offer diverse voices or not is entirely beside th e point. The principle of encouraging a diversity of voices is one the left upholds regardless of actual practise in the mainstream press.

The reality is we live in a society that intentionally and systematically marginalizes most voices to pretend otherwise is to support the dominant discourse around "freedom of speech." The corporate media mimics "diversity of voices" by hiring people of colour who are willing to repeat the dominant discourse.We do not have free speech in this country unless unheard cries of anguish snd despair from marginalized communities or screams of pain from prison cells and psych. wards count as free speech.

quote:
Yes, mass media should offer a variety of voices, faces and opinions. Yes, it could do a better job. But suggesting that one of those voices be eliminated, because you disapprove does nothing for the cause of diversity in the media. It just makes it easier for others to silence the voices you like and agree with. And that's just bad chess

and if we magically did have such diversity it would necessitate any number of privileged rightwing white writers who would find themselves unemployed. That is precisely why even the most progressive white people amongst us are unwilling to give up their privilege, it might mean we wouldn't get first pick at the jobs or the education or the housing and access to power.


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 28 October 2008 07:17 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
N.R. Kissed, a socialist or even progressive society means at the least full employment and adequate housing for all. It does not mean redistributing exclusion and poverty.

And what you say about progressive people who are viewed as "white" is far too broad a generalisation. Many white people have fought racism; some have died (like the Freedom Riders in the US South and many white anti-apartheid militants in South Africa).


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 28 October 2008 07:23 AM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
I've found that the Globe will print letters critical of Wente - but long polemics should be avoided.

She's vulnerable to humour pointing to her obvious elitist'- not to say snotty - position (like when she tired of messing around with the great unwashed in attempting to use public transit and couple of years back).


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Catchfire
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posted 28 October 2008 07:26 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
He said that if you campaign to fire people whose viewpoints you disagree with, then it's only a matter of time before others campaign to fire people YOU agree with.

Right. I disagree with Wente's position. In fact, I hold the opposite. An 'anti-racist' position. By asking that Wente's position not be published by the Globe, am I validating calls for censorship of anti-racist positions? Ridiculous. 'Diversity' does not mean that every position is given equal footing--i.e. that we should suffer racists as the price of suffering those who combat racism--it means plurality and democracy. Racism as a discourse, as a concept, is anti-pluralist and anti-democratic. A distinction that gets lost when we appeal to hegemonic 'free speech' myths.

From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 28 October 2008 07:32 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:
Right. I disagree with Wente's position. In fact, I hold the opposite. An 'anti-racist' position. By asking that Wente's position not be published by the Globe, am I validating calls for censorship of anti-racist positions? Ridiculous.

I'll say. That progression didn't even make sense.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 28 October 2008 07:37 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The other problem with Wente's screed is that it was poorly-researched and contains many factual errors.

Yeah, the public transport and SUV stuff was very funny indeed and took some of the stuffing out of her - a person who lives in Toronto and works right in the middle of the city core, when she is not working from her home office. Hardly a contractor or outfitter who needs a truck.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 28 October 2008 07:39 AM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
N.R. Kissed, a socialist or even progressive society means at the least full employment and adequate housing for all. It does not mean redistributing exclusion and poverty.

Where have I suggested otherwise. The point I am making is that if the media were to become magically diverse right now that would necessitate some people losing their positions in order for them to be replaced by "diverse voices." I am fully aware that is not a realistic scenario but in order for their to be equality others will have to give up power, privilege and wealth. I am hardly suggesting a "redistribution of poverty" because I suggest some people would have to give up monster homes and cottages, 3,4,5 cars etc. or that such people would not automatically be entitled to prestigious and powerful jobs.

I am also fully aware that socialism does not mean maintaining the power structures or social relationships as they operate now. I am also aware that having your voice heard or included would not merely be access to the media as it exists in capitalist society. Such diversity would be best served by public and community prodcasting as well as participatory democratic methods.

I also still maintain that the majority of white people are reluctant to acknowledge their privilege let alone give it up. If I were to be completely honest I would include myself in that statement.


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 28 October 2008 07:59 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
I'll say. That progression didn't even make sense.

Look. You (and Wayne) are advocating that if I don't think my position should be censored or criticized, I shouldn't ask that Wente's position is censored. That's ridiculous because it values both a racist position and an anti-racist position equally. In a democracy, racism (and sexism and homophobia) does not deserve equal voice. So the idea that we shouldn't ask that someone who holds racist opinions should be fired because it means that someone could censor anti-racists is absurd, and appeals to the liberal, capitalist myth of 'free speech', which, as N.R.K. has pointed out, does not exist.

From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 28 October 2008 08:01 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Look at you, putting words in our mouths again.

Where did Wayne or I ever say that we don't think Wente's position should be criticized, or that your positions shouldn't be criticized?

Of course they should be.

I totally agree with you that racism and anti-racism do not hold the same value. In an ideal world, everyone would be anti-racist.

But the fact is, Wente's article will likely find a large audience that agrees with it. That sucks, because that means there are a lot of people out there who have unexamined racist attitudes towards Aboriginal people.

How best to make them examine those attitudes? By advocating the firing of someone they agree with? Or by advocating equal time and space for people to counter her viewpoint?

That's all we've been saying. We haven't been saying that Wente's racism is just as valid as anti-racism. At least, I haven't been, and I doubt Wayne has been either. If he thought that, I doubt he'd put so much time and effort into alternative media and trying to get progressive viewpoints out there to counteract the sometimes unthinking and sometimes blatant racism of the mainstream.

[ 28 October 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 28 October 2008 08:18 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm not trying to put words in your mouth. I'm a pretty good reader. You did suggest that we should stop demanding her firing and start demanding diversity. That is a shift away from criticism of Wente toward something else. This is what I am hearing from you. Why shouldn't the Globe censor racism? Because they could re-use the same logic and censor anti-racism? That is Wayne's argument that you defended before saying that asking that such arguments are are impractical. You say that you agree with me but then make a flawed appeal to pragmatics: as if it is practical to keep Wente on as a central journalist while we find some other way to combat her ideas. How can we 'practically' do this when she continues to enjoy tacit approval from a dominant cultural voice like the Globe?

This is not practical. This is the stuff of dreams.

[ 28 October 2008: Message edited by: Catchfire ]


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Wayne MacPhail
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posted 28 October 2008 08:53 AM      Profile for Wayne MacPhail   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Catchfire, I'm not going to even rise to the racism bait on this. You can attack Wente on whatever grounds you want. If you think she's racist or whatever, fine. Point is, folks with other points of view could find some subjective reason to attack voices you support and will call for their firings too. And where does that get us? With more voices in the Canadian media or less? Governments, companies and individuals will always find some reason to try to silence opinions they don't like. Calling someone racist is as good as any I guess, calling art pornography also works, or calling some a terrorist, that's good too. None of them gets us anywhere useful.
From: Hamilton | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Merowe
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posted 28 October 2008 09:03 AM      Profile for Merowe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Eh; the Wente column is undeniably racist, not to mention deeply ignorant. This might be acceptable on the letters to the editor page of the Orillia Packet and Times but doesn't belong in the pages of the national paper of record.

The Kiplingesque paradigm she espouses has been effectively neutralized at least in the relevant scientific communities since the late 1980s. (see '1491'). She might as well be pushing intelligent design, for all the credibility of the ugly cultural relativism she propagates here.

The native populations at the time of first contact were generally healthier, sharper and more socialized than the pox-ridden, half-starved European opportunists who traded and raided along the New England coast, before settling on the remains of Indian villages decimated by European diseases. Her suggestion that they were neolithic is a stupid misread of the true state of affairs at the time, in which the cultural centers lay far to the south of modern Canada, occupying cities at least as advanced and often larger than the European population centers of the day. I should hate 'my' culture to be judged solely by a study of Petawawa or Fort Nelson. No offence to the good citizens of either town.

Its an incompetent piece of writing easily eviscerated by a few minutes of mild research. More sinister is the perspective that lies behind it. I disagree that it represents a legimate point in a range of perspectives vital to healthy discourse. I don't have much time for the Protocols of the Elders of Zion either.

No need to fire the sleazy hack, just hold her 'ideas' up to the light; but most certainly do NOT honour them with a place at the table of rational discussion, since they fall so miserably short of the necessary competence. Shame on the Globe for giving a platform to such neanderthal mythologizing.


From: Dresden, Germany | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 28 October 2008 09:03 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Are you trying to argue that Wente's column was not racist? or that calling FN cultures 'neolithic' is 'subjectively' racist? That's not bait, that is a sincere, flabbergasted question.

ETA: I'm addressing Wayne, not Merowe. Hi Merowe!

[ 28 October 2008: Message edited by: Catchfire ]


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
QatzelOk
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posted 28 October 2008 09:10 AM      Profile for QatzelOk        Edit/Delete Post
Margaret Wente's columns are one of the reasons I don't read the Globe any more. Thing is, I strongly support her right to continue writing for them.

As Wayne MacPhail says, her writing is a challenge to the idea of a diversity of opinions. Sometimes her "opinions" (or strawmen) are so offensive that I used to read them with my teeth clenched.

That being said, one of the things that her text does that is SO IMPORTANT is that they deconstruct the much more implicit racism and prejudices of the owners and editors of the Globe and Mail, as well as much of the elite.

By expressing eurocentric and rich-o-centric opinions so explicitly, she does a great job of revealing some of the archaic ideologies that still reign behind the mask of political correct vocabulary and hollowly progressive rhetoric. Upper middle class business people are usually so careful to hide the kinds of opinions that Ms. Wente enthusiastically provides.


From: Montréal | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
Wayne MacPhail
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posted 28 October 2008 09:17 AM      Profile for Wayne MacPhail   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Catchfire calling someone a racist is a serious charge. It implies her work is hate speech which is a criminal offense. So, no, I'm not about to call Ms Wente a racist. If you feel she is, you are welcome to contact the RCMP with your concerns and evidence. That would stop her voice, if that's the outcome you wish.

You might also keep in mind calling someone a racist in a public forum in Canada is also potentially libelous. So, again, no, it's not a label I would choose to apply to Ms Wente as that would be imprudent.


From: Hamilton | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 28 October 2008 09:23 AM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
quote:

By expressing eurocentric and rich-o-centric opinions so explicitly, she does a great job of revealing some of the archaic ideologies that still reign behind the mask of political correct vocabulary and hollowly progressive rhetoric. Upper middle class business people are usually so careful to hide the kinds of opinions that Ms. Wente enthusiastically provides.


And who get such a vicarious thrill in reading her work, almost daily


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 28 October 2008 09:28 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wayne, thank you for your concern. If you are concerned about my libel tainting the rabble brand, you are welcome to remove me and my posts from this board. I'm sorry that you are incapable of differentiating between hate speech and racism. I suppose I can only take comfort that you won't be speaking in any human rights courts any time soon. I am far more sorry, however, and in fact incredulous, that you cannot see, based on the evidence given in this very thread if not with your own capacity for critical thought, that Wente's 'anthropolopulism' is explicitly racist, colonialist and dangerous.

But if you would prefer to defend a right-wing, reactionary, divisive hack than stand up for progressive standards of social justice, then I fear for your rabble brand far, far more.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Pride for Red Dolores
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posted 28 October 2008 09:42 AM      Profile for Pride for Red Dolores     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wayne, how could you not call her racist ? She's saying Natives are inferior with a culture that is unhealty for them and thereby worth eradicating for their own good !
From: Montreal | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 28 October 2008 09:52 AM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I also find it incredible to suggest what Wente wrote was not racist or that defining racism is just a matter of opinion. The question as always is whose opinion matters.
From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 28 October 2008 09:52 AM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
The only way that you could get through to her serenness's sensibilities (such as they are) would be to call her ignorant of the situation that existed at the time of Columbus, the Puritans, and for some years later before European diseases inexorably extirpated cultures to the west.

Hers is the vision of an immediate post-ice-age (Peter Stork's Journey to the Ice Age)period, not Ronald Wright's just published, What is America.


Call her ignorant and really get through to her and her clutch of sycophant followers. They can't stand that sort of thing.


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 28 October 2008 10:07 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:
Wayne, thank you for your concern. If you are concerned about my libel tainting the rabble brand, you are welcome to remove me and my posts from this board.

Now, now. No one wants to remove you or your posts from babble. Let's all climb down a bit here. It's just a discussion among friends here - it doesn't have to be so high-stakes. Besides, the title of the rabble article itself says that what Wente wrote was racist.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 28 October 2008 10:23 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I was just going to mention that - obviously rabble's editors approved the title (or provided it).

I don't think accusing an editorialist of being a racist, a sexist, or whatever, is actionable. It is simply an opinion. The commentary in question was arguably racist, ignorant or both. (Though I do NOT think references to the fact that all societies evolve and go through stages of technological development is necessarily racist).


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Wayne MacPhail
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posted 28 October 2008 11:58 AM      Profile for Wayne MacPhail   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I am simply pointing out that you subjectively calling Ms Wente a racist is no different and no better than Conservatives wishing to ban (or not fund) movies they subjectively label pornography. It is no different and no better than Republicans labelling Iraqis or Americans terrorists and removing their rights or liberties. It is just the mirror image of the same shameful behaviour that couches censorship and repression in inflammatory language and difficult to defend accusations.

You may not feel your charge of racism is subjective, but many Canadians, me included, would beg to differ.

I would hate to think that if the Left were in power, columnists like Margaret Wente would be silenced for openly discussing an issue of public interest. But, that seems to be the behaviour that is being modelled. That is deeply unfortunate and saddening.

Freedom of speech doesn't stop where your sensibilities begin. If we want to provide a true alternative to mainstream power and mainstream media we might want to begin by not aping them.


From: Hamilton | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 28 October 2008 12:22 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I never advocated for silencing her. I'm no Stalinist.

But saying the left and right, or the working class and the ruling class are the same because we hate each other and are conscious of our enmity is just silly.

Long time ago, the IWW sang "Which side are you on".

You are making silly analogies. Wente herself insinuated that leftists and feminists were providing backhanded support to "the terrorists", even though most of us would see Bin Laden in the same light as Bush, as a spoilt, murderous, misogynous rich boy.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
torontoprofessor
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posted 28 October 2008 12:23 PM      Profile for torontoprofessor     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Regarding censorship.... Let's distinguish between two kinds of censorship.

(1) Government censorship. This is when the government disallows (by making illegal or even criminal) certain kinds of speech/writing/expression. A very limited amount of government censorship seems, to me, acceptable: the government may acceptably disallow direct threats, for example.

(2) Private censorship. This is when a private entity disallows -- or simply refuses to publish -- certain kinds of speech/writing/expression in that entity's name, or on that entity's bulletin boards, etc. This is entirely different from Government censorship. If the NDP disallowed anti-union remarks on its bulletin boards, then the NDP would be acting in an acceptable way. I would be very concerned if the government disallowed anti-union remarks: I should be able to publish such remarks on my own blog, or on pamphlets produced with my own resources, etc.

Babble engages in private censorship. This is perfectly acceptable: it is up to babble what I can or cannot publish on babble. Editors engage in private censorship all the time: they certainly do not print every letter to the editor, for example. Nor do or must they allow every columnist to have free reign to publish whatever the columnist wants.

I am strongly against government censorship, except in extreme cases.

As for private censorship, that is up to the private organization. If Babble decided to ban all uses of the word "harumph", that would be Babble's prerogative. I might write a letter to the people in charge at babble, urging them to retract their anti-harumph decision; but babble would not be abrogating anyone's human rights. If the government, on the other hand, decided to ban all uses of the word "harumph", then the government would be abrogating our human rights.

As for Wente...

What she wrote was offensive, but not the kind of thing that the government should disallow. She should be legally allowed to print pamphlets with such remarks, write them on her blog, etc. It would be a serious abrogation of Wente's human rights, I believe, to declare her remarks illegal. Government censorship should be very limited.

But the G&M had every right to refuse to publish her remarks; just as Babble has every right to refuse to publish Wente's remarks. It would be no abrogation of human rights for the G&M or for Babble to do so. Indeed, one would hope that Canada's newspaper of record would engage in some appropriate private censorship and refuse to publish such remarks. They have no moral duty to publish just anything one of their columnists writes.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 28 October 2008 12:34 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, it would be heinous indeed for a government to ban Wente's column. I am not of the same mind as the extreme-free-speechers one finds in the US, in particular the ACLU, utterly opposed to all hate-speech legislation. I do think such legislation is warranted in the case of direct threats or calls to harm people in a particular group: if Wente were to say "Kill the Mohawks", for example. Although I couldn't imagine Wente doing such a thing, I have heard the MP André Arthur come very, very close to such a line, as a shock-jock.

Idem for a lynch-mob inflicting physical harm or gross humilation on her, or threatening her with such. I don't mean peaceful protest.

ALL editorial boards "censor", if only by assigning priorities.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
derrick_okeefe
Editor
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posted 28 October 2008 12:56 PM      Profile for derrick_okeefe        Edit/Delete Post
I think rabble is doing its job by running Ben Powless's piece in holding a mainstream media voice accountable for expressing ignorant, racist and prejudicial writing about the most marginalized people in the country.

I would agree with calling for the Globe to
have more diversity of columnists, to allow space for rebuttal by Aboriginal leaders etc. And I can certainly understand how an Aboriginal person in particular would want to call for Wente's firing after reading such drivel - though I also appreciate that there are other approaches for responding to this.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 28 October 2008 01:02 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Wayne MacPhail:
I am simply pointing out that you subjectively calling Ms Wente a racist is no different and no better than Conservatives wishing to ban (or not fund) movies they subjectively label pornography. It is no different and no better than Republicans labelling Iraqis or Americans terrorists and removing their rights or liberties. It is just the mirror image of the same shameful behaviour that couches censorship and repression in inflammatory language and difficult to defend accusations.

You may not feel your charge of racism is subjective, but many Canadians, me included, would beg to differ.

I would hate to think that if the Left were in power, columnists like Margaret Wente would be silenced for openly discussing an issue of public interest. But, that seems to be the behaviour that is being modelled. That is deeply unfortunate and saddening.

Freedom of speech doesn't stop where your sensibilities begin. If we want to provide a true alternative to mainstream power and mainstream media we might want to begin by not aping them.


You forget this is babble, where casual accusations of racism are commonplace.

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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Babbler # 1258

posted 28 October 2008 01:34 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
You forget this is babble, where casual accusations of racism are commonplace

Probably not as common as casual denials of the same.


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 28 October 2008 01:36 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Saying that Wente is a racist based upon a sociological analysis of where her views stand in the discourse of colonial relations is not more tendentious than the things that Wente said about Pre-Canadian North American culture using her antiquated, and in my view racist, anthropological theory.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 28 October 2008 01:49 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry, I just read through Wente's column once more, and I think it was erroneous to call he belief's 'racist'. They are actually white supremacist.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Caissa
rabble-rouser
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posted 29 October 2008 04:31 AM      Profile for Caissa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Facebook group targetting Wente and Pound.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=45016000567


From: Saint John | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 29 October 2008 05:14 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There was an interview today with two McGill students who are aghast at Pound's comments, think his apology is rather weaselly, and demanding a serious apology at the least. Neither is Aboriginal, though of course there are Aboriginal student groups at all four Montréal universities. A cousin of mine belongs to the Université du Québec First Nations Circle. (I'm not of Aborignal origin, except perhaps like everyone on the Québécois-francophone side of the family; cousin's mum is Aboriginal). Both called Pound's statements racist.

Cueball, what is the distinction between racism and white suprematism? Isn't white suprematism a subset of racism?

Racism is a much more common term, and used much more loosely among the general public. Working in a tenants' association, alas we've often had to deal with tenants with racist attitudes (against their landlord, neighbours, fellow tenants)...

But I think of white suprematists either as organised groups, or ideologues.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6061

posted 29 October 2008 06:00 AM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I am simply pointing out that you subjectively calling Ms Wente a racist is no different and no better than Conservatives wishing to ban (or not fund) movies they subjectively label pornography.

Yeah, you are right of course. I mean, native peoples are so powerful in society. In fact, on the same level as rich republicans.

"Subjectively calling Ms Wents a racist?"

She IS a racist. That is not subjective. Well, it is subjective for some white men who seem to have no real problem with her racism (and fail to see that it is indeed, racism).

But what do I know? I'm the only FN person posting in this thread.

Subjective my ass.


From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4019

posted 29 October 2008 06:03 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What makes Wente so appealing is her knack for channelling latent prejudices that most of the time lie hidden in the dark materials of our psyche. One of her favourite topics is the Muslim hordes invading Europe, painted as atavistic fundamentalists that weak-kneed liberals are too terrified to decry. Her latest column simply rehashes this theme. It's a cocktail of racism, Eurocentricism, and colonialism masquerading as common sense. I tend to think that white supremacism is a good term for this perfect storm of bigotry.

This preternatural skill of Wente's to rouse up atavistic, reactionary white phobias is anathema to democracy. Most people at babble have spent most of their time fighting people like Wente: she is kin to Bill O'Reilly and Anne Coulter, only far more Canadian, which is to say craven, well disguised and treacherous. To say that suddenly we are advocating censorship because we believe that propagandists like Wente should not be given employment by newspapers of record is absurd. rabble is certainly doing its job by publishing the article in the OP, but shouldn't we also be advocating that the Globe remove Wente and replace her with a serious columnist?

Appeals to freedom of speech are dangerous, especially the kind made casually here, as if 'free speech' is an unassailable shibboleth of democracy. It is not. Certainly we should uphold the idea of free speech. However, usually the way the term is employed in Western liberal states is not the way we are encouraged to conceive of the term. True free speech demands a free press, which we do not have. Appeals to the Western illusion of free speech pretends that the Globe is merely providing space for a diversity of viewpoints and therefore Wente's vile propaganda is as good as any other. But have they provided space for a respected journalist to refute Wente's ignorance? No, only the marginalized response of letters.

If the Globe ever presented an opinion that differed from its centre-right, Western supremacist, conservative ethos, perhaps we could believe they were defenders of free speech. But through their columnists, their branded op-eds and their election endorsements they have in fact undermined free speech and democracy by repeatedly forwarding an agenda that favours the war in Afghanistan, neo-liberal economics and an administration that has taken as its chief goal to dismantle as much pluralistic and democratic architecture and oversight as possible. This is the 'free speech' you defend when you advocate the Globe's right to publish the divisive, incendiary and dangerous Wente.

Isn't this latest column a potent example of the kind of poison out of which Wente has made a career brewing? Why can we not use it as an example to demand a better press? Certainly we should be demanding more diversity and plurality of voices in our press, but we should also seek to remove those who seek out our deepest fears--fears of immigrants, the poor, the marginalized--and stoke the flames of intolerance and hatred.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6061

posted 29 October 2008 06:15 AM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Catchfire, you rock. Great post. Thanks.
From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
statica
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Babbler # 1420

posted 29 October 2008 06:40 AM      Profile for statica   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't think the editor should be fired because I don' think any editor should be punished for supporting their columnists from writing about controversial topics.

(I remember working on something for the Toronto Star years ago about teenagers and depression and (the reality of self-medication if parent’s don’t take the symptoms of depression seriously and that that’s a form of parental and social neglect) drug abuse. I’d feel pretty pissed off if BOOM had said, “oh, you can talk about the first two issues, but not the third – too hot” because admitting to drug abuse in such a context would be controversial to parents.)

But I do believe in democratic justice in the media, in so much as that means that if the readership revolts against an article, then the editor's have to listen to the voice of the readership (just as a political figure if responsible to its constituents).

Also, this is a perfect opportunity to lobby the G&M to include more diversified reporting on First Nations issues, including inviting a guest columnist in to write a counter-point opinion piece. (and that writer should go thru Wente's article and correct the factual errors and simply rip her to shreds)

Ironically, I have a t-shirt that says: “The worst part about censorship is F%@!SH!T”


From: t-oront-o | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
statica
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1420

posted 29 October 2008 06:44 AM      Profile for statica   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Sent ctober 27, 2008 9:08:36 AM
To: letters@globeandmail.com; egreenspon@globeandmail.com; sstead@globeandmail.com; nacampbell@globeandmail.com; pmartin@globeandmail.com; nhassan@globeandmail.com
Cc: mwente@globeandmail.com


As a journalist myself, I believe in a democratic justice for the media. As for the case of Wente’s article (“What Dick Pound said was really dumb – and also true” – Oct 24,08), when a journalist chooses to write a confrontation article (and an editor chooses to back the piece), the base minimum requirement would be to have the piece fact-checked for accuracy before anyone begins to run their electronic-mouth by publishing said piece.

This lack of facts (relating, in one example I’ll choose here, her assertion that First Nation’s medicines have no link to modern society, when aspirin is derived from white willow bark: a traditional medicine), creates a breeding ground for stereotypes and misconceptions.

This kind of journalism is not only sloppy, but is unacceptable. When I referred to democratic justice in the media, I sincerely hope that my letter – and the many others – will be taken for the weight of their collective opinion that Wente should be fired by her supervisory staff/editor.

Just as with politics, when your constituencies call for action on an issue, the political representative involved has to take action, the same stands true here for journalism.

When your readers protest an article because of its factual inaccuracies (paraded as opinion), the editorial board must take these concerns into account and act in good faith towards a resolution (in this case, the readership is more important than the writer since, again, this is a case of factual inaccuracies which should have been sorted out by the writer herself or the reference dept. at the Globe and Mail).

Margaret Wente should be fired.


[ 29 October 2008: Message edited by: statica ]


From: t-oront-o | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 29 October 2008 06:51 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Not only aspirin. This is a hot issue these days, the question of "intellectual ownership", with corporations attempting to seek patents on traditional medicines developed by indigenous communities the world over, and even the foodstuffs their husbandry has improved over hundreds if not thousands of years.

And please, let's not forget good old Dick Pound in our outrage!


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 214

posted 29 October 2008 07:23 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's Wente's job to write columns that people read and talk about. And, once again she seems to have accomplished this.

I don't think editors care about the content of "letters to the editor" as long as they get them, and have a nice selection to choose from.

Wente must be a top producer in this respect.

Letters to the editor are important to clear up factual errors. Basing the use of a pejorative word like "savages" to describe (rather selectively) whether or not they have discovered metalurgy is preposterous, and kudos to those who took the time to point it out.

However.

What we should be doing is organizing a boycott of the company and products that are, lets say, the first full page add in the Globe, and telling them why. If the first full page add isn't so vulnerable to a boycott, then pick the next one.

Editors will not like that. They will insist they will not cave to such tactics, in the millisecond before they cave to such tactics.

So, who's got a Globe today, and who's advertising in it?

Anyone?

[ 29 October 2008: Message edited by: Tommy_Paine ]


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
TemporalHominid
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6535

posted 29 October 2008 07:24 AM      Profile for TemporalHominid   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
great letter statica

Margaret Wente's opinion piece perpetuates the dehumanizing stereotypes, inaccuracies, and myths while engaging in historical revisionism to support her views.


From: Under a bridge, in Foot Muck | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 29 October 2008 07:33 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Globe publishes a response/rebuttal by Hayden King.

[ 29 October 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 214

posted 29 October 2008 07:37 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You know, if you argue "facts" with someone like Wente, she'll just move the goal posts. Natives in Mexico were on the path to metalurgy, obviously. And displayed broader laws (whatever that means-- and I'm sure the meaning would shift to suit) Astronomical observations and engineering in Mexico also point to an understanding of mathematics-- but of course, not the kind of mathematics Wente will shift to in the process of arguement.

She deals with facts the way Phillipe Rushton dealt with facts.

All she wants is for people to get all bent out of shape and argue, write letters, and, of course, buy newspapers and expose yourself to the advertising in it.

Don't give her what she and her bosses want. Give them something they don't want.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
TemporalHominid
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6535

posted 29 October 2008 07:43 AM      Profile for TemporalHominid   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
is there a Canadian regulatory agency that looks into complaints, or that citizens can submit complaints to, like when people make complaints to the CRTC over concerns of a radio or T.V broadcast?

by the way Sylvia Stead wrote me back and provided this link

I can't get that link to work for me. Maybe I need to subscribe?


From: Under a bridge, in Foot Muck | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 214

posted 29 October 2008 07:53 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Okay, let me play Wente's advocate here.

Hayden (and myself, above) mention the accomplishments of Mayan and Aztec culture, in both astronomy and engineering.

Wente will insist that Mexico is not part of North America. Remember, she was deffending Dick Pound, who made the remark about natives in Canada.

A few corn fields hardly compares to the advanced crop rotation techniques in existance in England well before contact.

And, while royal families were from time to time too closely interbred, maintaining the pure blood lines of the upper class lead to people like Isaac Newton and all the giants of the Enlightenment. Including Jefferson and Franklin.

As for Jefferson using examples from native governance for the U.S. Constitution-- no he didn't. Don't believe me, dig him up and ask him.

And of course, the old stand by to everything-- "Neener Neener Neener!"

How long would it take, and how dirty would you get, wrestling a pig in a pig sty before it dawned on you that the pig was having a jolly good time, and you weren't?

Boycott.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
pogge
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2440

posted 29 October 2008 07:57 AM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by TemporalHominid:
I can't get that link to work for me.

It looks like that's supposed to be the link Michelle posted a couple of comments up.


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 29 October 2008 08:04 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh sorry, I posted the link to the comments to the response article instead of to the article itself. I fixed it now.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
TVParkdale
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 15681

posted 29 October 2008 09:32 AM      Profile for TVParkdale     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:

How long would it take, and how dirty would you get, wrestling a pig in a pig sty before it dawned on you that the pig was having a jolly good time, and you weren't?

Boycott.


I'm not going to spend all morning disputing Wente's assertions although they *are* disputable.

I said this before. For anyone who wants to put *real* pressure on ANY media about ANY problem, stop wasting time feeding their agenda.

Don't boycott or write the media itself. They SELL more newspapers off your "letters to the editor" and all the uproar. You are feeding the beast.

Write and boycott their ADVERSTISERS.

That is exactly how YouTubers shut down Viacom's nasty little court case. It's also one of the effective tactics of how Anonymous skewered Scientology.


From: DaHood | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 29 October 2008 09:37 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Good points.

Do Not Feed the Animals!

quote:
Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:
As for Jefferson using examples from native governance for the U.S. Constitution-- no he didn't. Don't believe me, dig him up and ask him.

In point of fact King's article does not say that Jefferson used examples from native governance for the US constitution, it says John Rutledge read out a description of Haudenosaunee Confederacy to the drafting committee.

[ 29 October 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3807

posted 30 October 2008 12:24 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Today, however, it is simply not permissible to say that aboriginal culture was less evolved than European culture or Chinese culture – even though it's true. Ms. Widdowson argues that the most important explanation for aboriginal problems today is not Western colonialism but the vast gulf between a relatively simple neolithic kinship-based culture and a vastly complex late-industrial capitalist culture. “It doesn't mean that they are stupid or inferior,” says Ms. Widdowson. “We all passed through the stage of neolithic culture.”


"I think it would be a good idea."

Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 14683

posted 30 October 2008 02:03 AM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
Catchfire:

quote:

If the Globe ever presented an opinion that differed from its centre-right, Western supremacist, conservative ethos, perhaps we could believe they were defenders of free speech. But through their columnists, their branded op-eds and their election endorsements they have in fact undermined free speech and democracy by repeatedly forwarding an agenda that favours the war in Afghanistan, neo-liberal economics and an administration that has taken as its chief goal to dismantle as much pluralistic and democratic architecture and oversight as possible. This is the 'free speech' you defend when you advocate the Globe's right to publish the divisive, incendiary and dangerous Wente.



You obviously do not read the Globe and Mail on a regular basis. And while you began with an explanation of why Wente should not be believed - a sound beginning - you go on to present opinions and then the recommendation that the Globe itself should be banished.

This is hardly thoughtful opinion on your part.

The Globe's man in Afghanistan, Graeme Smith, has been given Amnesty Intrnational's award for blowing the whistle on the torture of Afghans taken into custody by Canadian troops and handed over to Afghan "authorities".

He was recently given the online news top award for videotaped interviews with more than three dozen Taliban foot soldiers as to why they were fighting. Turns out, a majority were there because relatives had been killed by bombinb, or because the destruction of their poppy fields had left them destitute. All reasons for us to leave off the arguments for war and to get the hell out of there.

You would not have read that in the National Post - or even the now perpetually pathetic Star.

Doug Saunders has been reporting from Europe - saying the "Muslim hordes" line is crap, and that Harper's continuing interest in privatization of Canadian utilies, which he developed ideas for by visiting the U.K. some years back, is now yesterday's news, seen as Maggie's error by people in the U.K.

Read Ronald Wright's What is America. It's just out. It gives the lie to Wente, and clears up just what Jefferson thought and did before a goddam backwoods president following him went murderous.


Read the Hayden King piece that Michelle posted, a piece written from an aboriginal academic's perspective. Read the Massey Lectures by Thomas King. See what balanced opinion based on reading and thought can produce.

Don't give this place a name for unread, hysterical and intolerant opinion that anywhere else would be called fanatical.

[ 30 October 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 30 October 2008 04:26 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's true that the Globe sometimes includes some progressive stuff.

But take a look at their columnists.

What do you notice?


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 14683

posted 30 October 2008 05:03 AM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
quote:

It's true that the Globe sometimes includes some progressive stuff.
But take a look at their columnists.

What do you notice?




I notice you have chosen the pictures of some of the most reactionary and purely business oriented out of the 31 general columnists, 11 arts and 8 sports people.


If you'd care, we could go in detail into the people who appear almost daily on the op-ed - besides dear Margaret. And doing so, and comparing them with the pathetic figures that make up the NYTimes opo-ed, one would have to ask how you see the Globe as inferior to that one? What is your base of comparison. Monbiot's Guardian? He stands almost alone.

Does any of this mean we cannot point to the irrational rants appearing here as irrational rants. They are certainly not supported by thinking people in the aboriginal community.


Is this a political/cultural correctness which we must eat, even though our own readings give it the lie.

C'mon Michelle.


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6061

posted 30 October 2008 05:08 AM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What, exactly, do you know about "thinking people in the aboriginal community?".

The Globe and Mail is called the Grope and Flail for a reason.


From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 14683

posted 30 October 2008 05:18 AM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
quote:

What, exactly, do you know about "thinking people in the aboriginal community?".
The Globe and Mail is called the Grope and Flail for a reason.




Reading both Hayden King and Thomas King I do not detect the kind of pithy reaction I'mcoming to expect around here.

And I don't imagine either of them refer to it as the "Grope and Flail", but read it for an in-depth understanding of the world they live in. They would not expect to agree with all of the comment, but they would expect to be able to respond to news or opinion that claims to be factual but that is in fact untrue or even outright lies.


-------------------------------------------


quote:

The only way that you could get through to her serenness's sensibilities (such as they are) would be to call her ignorant of the situation that existed at the time of Columbus, the Puritans, and for some years later before European diseases inexorably extirpated cultures to the west.
Hers is the vision of an immediate post-ice-age (Peter Stork's Journey to the Ice Age)period, not Ronald Wright's just published, What is America.


Call her ignorant and really get through to her and her clutch of sycophant followers. They can't stand that sort of thing.




You'll notice (looking back in this thread), that my quote (above) was posted by me on Oct.28, one day before Harden King's. They present the situation in similar terms.

Will you now advocate standing us both against the wall?

[ 30 October 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4019

posted 30 October 2008 05:39 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh I see, you were calling my posts rants. I wasn't sure. Anyway, I've met Hayden King and I've read everything Thomas King has ever written. I've also read many of U Saskatchewan FN History scholar J.S. Miller's books, who also had a poignant reply to Wente's column. Is that how we measure human rights? I'm sure they'd both be pleased as punch the way you're standing up for the Globe. I can't wait to read Hayden King's next column when it comes out next week...oh wait.

As for the pop-history of Ronald Wright, it's a nice tonic to the usual stereotypes we see written about FN (although I've only read Stolen Continents) but he still tends to appeal to the Edenic stereotype of the noble savage, rather than a fully critical social history we might prefer.

George, you're obviously an avid reader, and quite proud of that. But reading isn't a hit chart where we can count ourselves knowledgeable if we've ticked off all the right boxes. I tell my students that it's a critical, social process where we have to ask questions about why the writer chose to write what she did the way she did. The Globe frequently runs arguably progressive columnists like Naomi Wolf and Rick Salutin (like I said, 'arguably'), but who remains their chief stable? The likes of Marcus Gee, Margaret Wente and Christie 'up with the police' Blatchford. Their editorial panel endorsed Stephen Harper, the most anti-journalistic PM in history. I never, ever advocated 'banishing' the Globe and Mail (although that's an interesting word choice), but I did advocate reclaiming it in the name of democracy.

And frankly, I think as social democrats we can set our standards far higher than the New York Times and even the Guardian. If you want to settle, you can continue pushing pins in your 'what have I read' world map.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
rabble-rouser
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posted 30 October 2008 05:45 AM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
quote:

And frankly, I think as social democrats we can set our standards far higher than the New York Times and even the Guardian. If you want to settle, you can continue pushing pins in your 'what have I read' world map.




I was going to reply along the line of "welcome back to earth" until your last para.

I can't imagine what your "social democratic" newspaper would look like. And frankly, neither can I imagine what (and who) you teach!


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 30 October 2008 05:53 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
'Welcome back to earth'? Is that what you have to tell the FN scholars and writers who are advocating for an equal place in society and an end to racism? That all they can expect is perpetual Wente with the odd Indian heckle from the sidelines? Or should the New York Times, who gave the US a free ride into Iraq while leftist writers everywhere were auguring its imminent failure, be commended for apologizing five years later rather than doing their job the first time? It's a learning process for these newspapers, isn't it. I wonder here, who is the realist.

And if you're asking, I teach literature to university students. I'll give you the address where you can mail-in your disbelief.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
rabble-rouser
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posted 30 October 2008 06:32 AM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
quote:

'Welcome back to earth'? Is that what you have to tell the FN scholars and writers who are advocating for an equal place in society and an end to racism? That all they can expect is perpetual Wente with the odd Indian heckle from the sidelines? Or should the New York Times, who gave the US a free ride into Iraq while leftist writers everywhere were auguring its imminent failure, be commended for apologizing five years later rather than doing their job the first time? It's a learning process for these newspapers, isn't it. I wonder here, who is the realist.
And if you're asking, I teach literature to university students. I'll give you the address where you can mail-in your disbelief.


The Globe is superior to the NYTimes in the manner I have stated.


And it's YOU that I am addressing through this pitifully inadequate medium, catch. I am not critical of those others that you take refuge behind.

You go beyond simple polemics, but if you had left your rant to the subject of Wente, I would have left you to your chandelier-swinging style. I will not sit silent while you distort the meaning of our fundamental freedoms.

-----------------------

p.s. In the period 1969 - 1975, I learned a comprehensive approach to critical analysis, in undergraduate and graduate schools, incorporating sociology, psychology, politics, history and economics that was not restricted to your "content analysis" of literature.

[ 30 October 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 30 October 2008 06:43 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by George Victor:
I notice you have chosen the pictures of some of the most reactionary and purely business oriented out of the 31 general columnists, 11 arts and 8 sports people.

I didn't "choose" anything. I just clicked on a link to "Globe columnists" on their web site and that's what popped up. From what I can tell, this is a list of all the columnists who were in today's paper.

In today's snapshop, there are two (right-wing) women out of a sea of men, and everyone white. What does that tell you?

[ 30 October 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 30 October 2008 06:48 AM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
quote:

But two women out of a sea of men, and everyone white. What does that tell you?


Not a salutary group in that - obviously important - way. Much to be done, clearly.

But if you are telling me that that negates my entire argument...I capitulate and retreat from the field, because I will not reduce to the ad hominem, much as it is prized here.


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 30 October 2008 07:18 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So, avid Globe readers ( I don't want to buy one ) what was the first full page add in today's Globe and Mail?
From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 14683

posted 30 October 2008 07:33 AM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
quote:

So, avid Globe readers ( I don't want to buy one ) what was the first full page add in today's Globe and Mail?



You and the late Lord Thomson of Fleet are as one, then TP?: "News copy is something you separate the ads with."

I can certainly understand not wanting to pick up a copy of the former lord's former fleet. They are looking asperish or otherwise like conservative captives.

But the Globe, the one island of objective news in the daily print world left in this country(set aside the columns of opinion for a mo')?

Oh dear!


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
bigcitygal
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posted 30 October 2008 07:34 AM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Closing for length.
From: It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent - Q | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged

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