Monday, July 31, 2006

Western No Standards.

If you've happened across the no-shame zone that is the Western Standard Shotgun blog in recent weeks, you may have seen this controversial post in which a real thinker named Right Girl referred to "the devil that they call Allah" and argued:
If everything from smoking to lead paint to pitbulls can be banned because they are dangerous and deadly, why can't Islam? At what point is a death cult afforded the status of legitimate religion, and why? What makes Mohammed any better than Jim Jones?

Islam must be labelled for what it truly represents: wholesale slaughter and a corrupt ideology of sex and death.
Lovely.

Anyway, Ezra Levant, the Western Standard's publisher, loves to argue that he's the last true defender of free speech, because he allows bigots to comment about "towelheads" on his magazine's blog. To wit:
I think it is a better approach to let the marketplace of ideas sort these things out. Artificially censoring what can and can't be written -- like Zerbisias does -- or not permitting feedback at all -- like Radwanski does -- are old media calling cards. In the new media, if you don't allow people to react and respond, they'll go elsewhere where they can. It's quite democratic, and like other aspects of democracy, it can be grubby.
You'd think following this logic that he'd be all for safe injection sites for drug users, but nevermind. I have a certain respect for his idealistic position, but the fact is he's a freakin' hypocrite. There are limits to Ezra's tolerance of free speech.

This post by Rondi Adamson, The Star's lovely resident kitty-loving neo-con, was deemed too racy for the Western Standard Shotgun.

I don't care that much that the Shotgun folks censored Rondi's post back in January, because it referred to the *shocking!* idea that Stephen Harper and his wife have sex. I just find it friggin' ridiculous that a totally innocuous reference to connubial bliss is verbotim on the Shotgun, but blatant hate speech isn't.

Today, my eminently reasonable colleague Adam Radwanski condemned the worst tendencies of the blogosphere, but also argued that the Western Standard "of course can't be held responsible for the messages that wing nuts post on its blog." Uh, I think it certainly can be, both legally and morally. Especially since its editors were happy to exercise their right to edit in the past when their puritan sensibilities were offended.

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