09.20.2012 08:03 AM

The new media duality

Publish anti-Muslim material: it’s free speech.

Publish anti-Kate Middleton material: it gets your newsroom raided.

And some wonder why large swaths of the world mostly detest us.

Wonder no more, etc.


  1. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    And speaking of raids — hopefully most Conservative MPs have decent locks on their doors. You never know when someone might swoop down in search of a particular runaway pension!

  2. Bob says:

    What makes it even better is that the pictures were taken from a public road. Apparently walls are just too complicated for our future head of state.

    • David says:

      The Governor General is the head of state for Canada.I thought everyone knew that.

      • Michael says:

        Apparently David you did not get the memo. 😉

        Governor General Michaëlle Jean got herself into what some regard as a bit of trouble in a speech before the United Nations cultural agency in Paris. In this speech she referred to herself, twice, as Canada’s “head of state.” This has irked the diminishing forces of monarchism in the country, who like to stress that formally, or technically, Queen Elizabeth II is still Canada’s head of state.

        Even though the Governor General nowadays does virtually all the work of a Canadian head of state. Yet, according to the still unamended old colonial document now known as the Constitution Act, 1867, the holder of this office is merely the offshore monarch’s representative in Canada.

      • wsam says:

        Then why is the Queen’s picture hanging in the foyers of Canada’s embassies?

        I would hope that when William ascends to the throne the Conservatives will simply hang a framed reproduction of the recent French tabloid photo spread in embassy foyers. That is what everybody will be thinking of whenever they look at his portrait anyway.

        That would be better than a Vic Toews sex tape.

  3. James Gordon says:

    Hey, America: I’ll trade you Warren Kinsella for Glenn Greenwald.

    “It is exceedingly easy to invoke free speech values in defense of political views you like. It is exceedingly difficult to invoke them in defense of views you loathe. But the true test for determining the authenticity of one’s belief in free speech is whether one does the latter, not the former.”


    Personally, I like my leftists without the strange itch to censor people they disagree with.

  4. James Gordon says:

    In sum, free speech is not intended to protect benign, uncontroversial, or inoffensive ideas. Those ideas do not need protection. It is intended to protect – to foster – exactly those political ideas that are most offensive, most provocative, most designed to inspire others to act in the name of its viewpoints. One could say that every significant political idea, on the right and the left, has that provocative potential. If speech can be constrained on the ground that it can inspire or provoke violence by others, then a wide range of political ideas, arguably the only ones that really matter, are easily subject to state suppression.

    Read it well, asshole.

  5. Merrill Smith says:

    As an old fart, I was brought up to believe that free speech did not extend to shouting fire in a crowded theatre. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it strikes me that if you produce and disseminate material you know will provoke violence, you should not be surprised when violence erupts. Sure, it would be nice if Muslim extremists would learn to turn the other cheek, but it’s not going to happen overnight, so maybe non-Muslims should act accordingly. Is their exercise of free speech designed to serve any purpose other than provocation?

  6. Jon Powers says:

    I guess the topless pics of Kate Middleton explains all the Brits rioting all over the world, attacking the French embassy, killing ambassadors, etc. Oh wait, didn’t happen. Ah, the bigotry of lowered expectations.

    • wsam says:

      They don’t have to riot. The law and other countries deference to the British Monarchy and its wishes will protect the precious little princesses’ boobies from being widly published. Hate speech aimed at Muslims, however, is fair game.

      I am surprised Ezra Levant isn’t proposing the Innocence of Muslims be required viewing in Ontario public schools, as a civic duty of course. If you don’t continue to insult Muslims (excercising your Muslim-insulting muscle, as it were) you might find yourself stripped of the ability to insult Muslims and then will be unable to insult Muslims when it is a matter of CIVILIZATIONAL survival.

      • Jon Powers says:

        So, is it only Muslims we’re not allowed to insult? Holding Muslims to a lower standard then the rest of society is either a form of craven cowardice or racism. I suspect it’s a bit of both.

      • Stephanie Powers says:

        The two stories are not equatable.

        One is essentially a discussion about the right to free speech, including the right to insult millions if that is the aim, the other is an unquestionable invasion of privacy.

        You are confusing support for free speech, with cheering the insults to Muslims. I don’t approve of this movie, however I will defend the rights of the idiot who made it.

        The yelling fire in a theatre argument is a valid debating point about responsibility in the exercise of free speech, but how about this converse argument – how about all the people who defend the Slut Walk and say that how a woman dresses shouldn’t subject her to risk for rape. You can’t have it both ways – the movie was insulting, but in the end it didn’t kill anyone, an Imam-fomented radically disproportionate response to the insult is what has killed people.

        • wsam says:

          But those tabloids invade people’s privacy and publish the results all the time. Largely without sanction. They are only being condemned because it is the Princess’ breasts we are able to oggle. Because she is a part of the British monarchy. Kate Middleton is a symbol and a representative of that institution, an institution which, as out-moded and medeveal as it might be, lies at the heart of the British State.

        • wsam says:

          I see the connection. Slut Walk is about raising awareness about violence against women and the social stuctures and norms which allow this violence to continue and, even, thrive. The Innocence of Muslims was a deliberate piece of propaganda designed to inflame Muslims and therefore giving the anti-Muslim movement more examples of ‘Muslim’ backwardness.

  7. GPAlta says:

    Free speech can kill people, and the supreme court agrees that some people should be tried for that kind of speech:
    The lesson that the anti-Muslim movement has learned is that they can advance their hateful cause further by inciting fringe violence on the part of Muslims with their anti-Muslim hate speech than by attempting to incite violence in other anti-Muslims to attack Muslims directly.

    I believe that if you know your action will cause deaths (which we know very well in the case of insults to the Prophet), you should take responsibility for those deaths and be prepared to defend why a film or a cartoon is worth more than the lives that your action caused to be lost.

    Some speech is certainly worth more than lives and should be defended even if it costs them, but frivolous, malicious hate speech designed with the sole purpose of inciting violence to advance your own bigoted cause is not worth more than the lives it will cost.

  8. GPAlta says:

    The historian Norman Cohn suggested that Hitler used the Protocols as his primary justification for initiating the Holocaust—his “warrant for genocide”.[1]

    Is someone going to start defending the “fundamental right” or “personal freedom” to inspire genocide? Because that is what the anti-Muslim film makers are attempting to do. They are trying to trick the world into attacking Muslims just as the anti-Semites tricked much of the world to attack Jews, by using speech.

    Plus, could someone please let James know that [Muslim’s] is possessive, while [Muslims] is plural. He’s made that fairly basic mistake in every single instance on this page.

  9. Kelly says:

    It’s probably safe to say Muslim extremists would not be acting in the extreme if the regions where the violence is occurring didn’t have a history of invasion and colonization by Europeans and Americans. Those regions have been looted and abused directly by the west or by local Thugs (such as formerly Mubarak) for a very long time. If the sand didn’t have any oil under it , or wasnt on a strategic transit route nobody would care. At the end of the day the West deserves to get its ass kicked. The USA has now lost 2 major wars since 2003. Tragically our country’s been a party to it.

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