09.13.2012 11:59 AM

Kay, defined

Well-written, carefully reasoned and – as with all of his treatises on this subject – completely full of shit.

When I wrote for the National Post, and Kay was my editor, I was not permitted – in any way, shape or form – to publish anything remotely positive about the paper’s imagined demons: The Toronto Star, the CBC, whatever. They would refuse to publish it. Full stop. I still have the emails.

Kay can write about “red lines” all that he likes. But nothing can obscure the fact that there’s a great big one at the National Post, and it starts at Jonathan Kay’s computer.

Oh, and at the Sun? In my two years of writing for them, I have never been prevented from writing about anything.



  1. Mike says:

    I thought it was well written and reasoned. I don’t know Kay….besides the hypocrisy you attribute to him – and I’ll take you at your word – how is the article full of shit? Just because the person writing it is full of shit doesn’t mean what he wrote is…

    • Warren says:

      I’ll keep that in mind the next time you comment about something.

    • Np says:

      I think I understand Warren’s anger here and I think he has a point. In this piece, Kay discusses how, in order for Islam as a religion and Muslims as a culture to evolve and move forward, they need to overcome their red-lines – topics (like the prophet) so sacrosanct as to be beyond the reach of scrutiny or (heaven forbid) mockery. Which is true. However, the words in this article have been written by a person who (according to Warren, and I think we should all believe him given his experience with Kay) has enforced some red-lines of his own by placing both the failings of the Post and the praise of its competitors completely outside the realm of discussion. That’s the bullshit he’s talking about. Truth uttered by a person who has demonstrably behaved in a way that is contrary to said truth does not make the truth any less true; but it does make the speaker of those words a hypocrite. That would piss me off too. It would be like Axle Rose giving a lecture on moral restraint and magnanimity.

      Also, Warren: can you post a few snippets of those emails? I think that would be entertaining to see.

      • Mike says:

        Thanks…that is the type of response I was expecting from my honest question. Was curious if there were actual elements WK disagreed with or if his complaints centred around the hypocrisy of Kay – and I do take him at his word,

  2. Mike says:

    I was really just looking for where you thought the article was bullshit….

  3. Fred says:

    Mr. Kay should travel, as I have, around Georgia, Louisiana and Alabama. He will then soon discover that ‘the notion’ of religious fundamentalism has not been discarded in the West.

    • Np says:

      I would argue that the majority of ‘the west’ has discarded the political/moral/religious notions of Georgia, Louisiana and Alabama as too ass-backwards. They’re the exception, not the rule.

  4. Neil N says:

    Any casual reader of the Toronto papers can see the National Post has a political agenda that is more constrictive than its competitors, with a tightly defined set of sacred cows and taboos. The same notes are hit over and over again — civil servants are out to rob us, global warming is a crock, the Israeli government is always right — and are rarely challenged, not even in the letters section.

    I say this even though I’m a pretty conservative guy, but reading the Post is a one-dimensional experience.

    • Cynical says:

      Some of them can write well, though, even if what they say is nonsense. It is funny how a move to the NatPo seems to bring out the beliefs of a writer I had always thought decent. Andrew Coyne is a good example. He seemed to crank up the drivel quotient when he went over.

      Some of the rest I don’t bother with, because they are a)predictable and b)unoriginal.

  5. Marshall says:


    I am no fan of Mr.Kay or the Post Media Group and even less so of the Sun Media Group.
    Could you please direct us to your well written and reasoned article refuting Mr. Kays’


    • Neil N says:

      You’re missing the point of the post. It’s not that Warren disagrees with the content of Kay’s article, it’s just that he finds it pretty rich coming from a guy who chokes dissenting points of view in his editorial pages.

  6. Kev says:

    Just because the Sun hasn’t prevented you from writing about anything in the past doesn’t mean that they don’t reserve the right to do so in the future.

  7. Cam says:

    I’m just wondering what he means by “in the log run” in the final paragraph. Are you SURE he’s an actual editor? Of, like, words, and stuff?

    • Cynical says:

      Proofreading and copy editing are over-rated skills, valued only by leftists.

      BTW a lot of their headlines are not much better. Yes, I am a grammar nazi.

  8. Anne Peterson says:

    It boggles the mind to see that people are attributing the violence to this film. The film is just the flash point which brings out all the frustration with the US and Britain meddling in the Middle East for years and years. The invasion of Iraq and of Afghanistan and all the other intrusions. It is the straw that broke the camels back so to speak. The rallying point. But it makes for better propaganda to say the film did it. Saves having to recall for readers all the reasons the west is resented.

    • dave says:

      You said what I was…
      Blaming the film allows us to go on about our freedom and their intransigence…maybe Kay’s next editorial will be on how ‘They hate us because of our freedom.’
      As more info comes out about these deaths in Libya, and about the origins of the film, the more it looks as if a lot of people are being used by some very dark, cunning people. The details that I have seen about the deaths of the ambassador and his employees sound like a planned ‘hit’ by people using the demontration as a cover.
      The release, in the past couple of hours, of the name of a person responsible for the film’s final form, the decalrations by participants in making the film of their innocence about the aim and content of the final film, the weird claims about Sam Bacile and Israeli citizenship, the rumours about Coptic Christian connection, all make an amazing script on their own.

      I take WK’s point, about Kay having censored this or that, yet nattering on about freedom. I was a school teacher doing the after school extra currics school newspaper. I backed my student (16/17/18 year olds) in most their stories. But,when they came to me with info on a very unpopular administrator suggesting he was an unethical and unprofessional operator, I told them why I would not allow them to publish the story. They all disagreed with my view, and quit…no paper. I thought about it from time to time; I would do the same again, but I have a lot of doubts – including to what extent I am a hypocrite.

    • smelter rat says:

      I’ve been wondering who started that whole meme. I mean, how the hell would the western press know why these people are rioting? Sounds too CIA-ish to me

  9. Patrick says:

    I think I speak for all your fans and most of the haters when I write: publicize the emails!

    I believe you, incidentally, about Kay. Not sure I agree that Sun is such an enlightened influence on our politics, but whatever.

    Nothing beats primary source materials!

  10. Dan says:

    I’m interested to know what the National Posts’s red lines are. Is it the obvious right-wing slant? Or something more specific?

  11. Philippe says:

    Good grief enough with praising the Sun. 1 Progressive among a sea of Conservatives to maintain the illusion of real debate.

  12. Bloody Bounder says:

    Hey Warren,

    Sorry to post something off topic, but I was doing a bit of research into that
    guy who sent you the hate filled tirade the other day, concerning gun control.

    His email is rudy@persona.ca

    I was able to locate his Facebook page too.

    As you may recall he sent you this message, which you posted for us all to see:


    Anyway, I just wanted to let you and everyone else on here know about my research.

  13. GPAlta says:

    The big problem with the article is its sweeping generalization about Muslims and the Muslim world. One in every five humans is Muslim, and generalizations like these are untrue and unhelpful at the very best, but more plausibly ignorant and bigoted. I understand that Kay is asking for tolerance, but his appeal is worse than useless since it reinforces false stereotypes.

  14. GPAlta says:

    Kay generalizes about all Muslims and equates all Muslims with the attackers in Libya. In this way he is lying about 1,000,000 of our fellow Canadians, 2,500,000 Americans, and 3,000,000 British Subjects, and saying that they along with more than one in every five humans (including one in every five women) alive today seem “savage and lunatic.” He is wrong.

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