Musings —03.30.2010 10:05 PM—
Globe and Mail, May 2, 1998:
“…Frank, according to Mr. Duffy, made it acceptable for other media to mention or joke about his weight. For example, the Royal Canadian Air Farce depicts him as Tiny Mike. As well as costing him the Order of Canada, he said the attacks lowered his standing at CTV.
He was advised by his lawyer, David Sherriff-Scott, not to talk to The Globe and Mail about the case. However, in the examination for discovery, Mr. Duffy makes a very convincing case for how much being “Franked” can hurt.
“I don’t know anyone who wants to be held up to ridicule,” Mr. Duffy says on the transcript. “I’ve never met a human being who wants people to make . . . personal comments about them…I’m not sure if your clients appreciate when they put down the Prime Minister for his accent and so on that hurts him personally. Now, one could argue that he asked for that because he ran for office, but the fact is we’re all human beings, and what your magazine, or your client’s magazine, consistently demonstrates is a complete absence of any shred of humanity in relation to other human beings.
“And there is no reason for you to think for one second that Mike Duffy doesn’t have a heart, that I can be hit and not be bruised and not feel it. Of course. And everybody else who is in there feels it too, when they’re attacked. So the idea that you can get some kind of free pass that Mike Duffy is the only human being on Earth who doesn’t feel pain when people make cracks about him, personal cracks, is totally wrong.”
Speech, Sen. Mike Duffy, March 30, 2010:
“I rise to join my colleague, Senator Finley, in support of an inquiry into the state of freedom of speech in Canada…I share Senator Finley’s love of freedom and his concern about the growing phenomena of censorship. I approach the subject from the perspective of someone who, as a journalist for more than forty years, has used freedom of speech every day of my life, and has seen its essential role in keeping our democracy healthy…Some people say that if we ban offensive or rude opinions in Canada, society will be more harmonious. But experience around the world shows that’s just not how it works; and if we stop people from expressing themselves verbally, even in ways we find distasteful, they might be tempted to express themselves violently…As a journalist, I know the value of free speech. And as a Senator, I have a duty to protect it. Thank you.”
UPDATE: A response by Mike Duffy is found in comments, below.