Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Coulter cooler

The Calgary Sun reports Ann Coulter's scheduled speech in Ottawa last night was cancelled because of security concerns.

Kudos to the University of Ottawa for pulling the plug. Why is she being booked into Canadian universities, period? She is not pro-Canada, as documented more than once during interviews.

Her University of Western Ontario gig in London on Monday was offensive to some students. More of the same for her Calgary audience tomorrow, if her gig there is not cancelled?

TSF has been wondering why Canadians would want to hear from the likes of the Coulters, Bushes, Palins, Limbaughs, O'Reillys, Savages, Becks, Fox et al and other known divisive, right-wing Americans.

Keep them south of the border, where they managed to orchestrate gullible Americans to the point of spitting and spewing racist comments for the world to witness in disbelief.

Eight years of George W. and the shameful, far-right rants by all of the above have diminished the image of Republicans as a responsible, bipartisan political party.

We're all for free speech, but enough is enough.


  1. Welcome to Canada, land of stifled debate. Only left wing bigots allowed, thank you.

  2. Your comments are sad and dangerous. No matter how negative topics can be, I believe in free speech and discussion.

  3. Linda Williamson24 March 2010 at 09:09

    When I was a student at Carleton, students (in journalism!) protested because Peter Worthington - editor of that "scary, right-wing, sexist tabloid" Toronto Sun - had been invited to speak. I didn't go, and I certainly had no idea that I would end up working at the Sun (much less be Peter's editor), but even then, I thought it bizarre that would-be journalists would want to silence anyone, particularly someone who could give them a job one day.
    Today's student protests against Coulter are similarly silly. Fault the organizers of this speech series for not realizing what a powderkeg she is - and the official who sent her a warning letter that turned her appearance into front-page news across the country.
    Like many, I find Coulter's act repulsive, but I would defend her right to speak when invited, and I would hope most journalists would do the same. If she and Palin and their ilk are so offensive to Canadians, let that be demonstrated by the audiences they draw (or don't). Let their views be aired and exposed, warts and all.

  4. The Republicans certainly have solidified the perception that they are a bunch of redneck, fear-mongering racists over the past decade, and especially in the past year, during the health care debate.

  5. I am shocked at this blog's stance on the cancellation of Ann Coulter's speech at the University of Ottawa, especially given the fact the blogger is from a generation when people died for the right to free speech. I find Coulter's opinions despicable and repulsive, but free speech is either free or it isn't, and in this case free speech was denied, and in a particularly cowardly manner. We have laws against hate speech — if she breaks those laws, charge her, but otherwise let her speak. Let her face her opponents and hang herself with her own words. To believe that there aren't thousands of Canadians who support the Coulters and Becks of the world is just naive. Denying Coulter her platform just empowers them. I think the University of Ottawa owes Coulter an apology.

    Wayne Janes

  6. "We're all for free speech, but enough is enough"?
    Exactly how much free speech is enough?
    Shame on the university for cancelling the speech, and shame on TSF for supporting such a cowardly move.
    I would have thought that in this current journalistic climate, in which many daily papers in this chain are having their own individual voices silenced in favour of canned, pre-packaged copy, the fight for free expression would be championed here - even if we disagree with that expression.
    Imagine - someone standing up to deliver contrary opinions ... sounds a lot like this blog.
    Lets hope some doesn't say "enough is enough" to us.

  7. Whoa, whoa, whoa, TSF. Weren’t you lamenting the other day that tabloids need to start acting like tabloids again?

    And, as memory serves, don’t the Sun papers in Canada take joy in the fact that they’re the cheeky, right-leaning foil to the stuffy lefty broadsheets?

    I was glad to get the heck out of Quebecor/Sun Media salt mines when I did, but one thing that I’ve always admired about the company is its ongoing commitment to right-wing cheekiness.

    Listen – I consider myself a bit of a conservative but Coulter’s brand is probably a bit gamey for me. Heck, it’s even a bit gamey for conservative publications like the National Review in the U.S.

    But that doesn’t mean that a university in Canada shouldn’t be booking her to come up and speak to students and the general public.

    Whether or not those in the audience agree or disagree with her particular worldview is irrelevant. What matters is that she represents the far-right in the U.S. and learning about people like her is … what’s the word I’m looking for here? … oh, yeah … “educational.” Isn’t that why universities book guest speakers, for that “educational” part?

    I’m sorry, TSF, but I think universities need to be booking more right-wing loonies, not less. At the very least, our universities should be booking one right-wing-loony for every Israel-hating, left-wing-nut that’s brought in to speak.

    The biggest benefit of free speech is it allows us to determine who the idiots are and shun them to the fringes accordingly.

    It’s a little frightening to hear a former Sun Media employee actually call for a curtailment of free speech at universities based simply on the political tastes of the speakers.

    In fact, it’s more frightening than anything Ann Coulter had to say this week.

  8. It's disconcerting enough to see a website dedicated to journalism cheering when the plug gets pulled on a speech. It's even worse when you suggest that speakers at Canadian universities should be pro-Canada (whatever that means). I disagree with almost everything Ann Coulter has ever said, but shutting someone down because some people find her views "offensive" is reprehensible (and baffling for, again, its appearance on a journalism website).
    And not for nothing, but I don't think you have to delve too deep into Sun archives (especially the Calgary and Edmonton ones I'm most familiar with) to find some beautiful examples of "shameful, far-right rants" you decry.

  9. So who is set up as the arbiter of what is "enough" and what criteria are used? And who decides the criteria? These loons should be given the stage, challenged and judged by people who are quite capable of making their own decisions without paternalistic prior restraint. Freedom of speech and expression should apply to those you least agree with. As Voltaire said, "I disagree with what you say but defend to the death your right to say it." As journalists, we should never support further restrictions on expression or that dog could come and bite us one day. This should apply equally to Ann Coulter, George Galloway or David Irving.

  10. The thing about being "all for free speech" is that you commit yourself to the position that if you don't like what someone is saying, you either counter it with criticism of your own, or, as Ezra Levant says (and I don't say that very often!) "change the channel."

    If you say "enough is enough", you aren't really all for free speech. You're against it.

  11. Enough is enough when it comes to unrelenting negativity. It is not productive.

  12. "Unrelenting negativity"? Just because you disagree with something doesn't make it negative. Truly scary from a so-called journalist, but I guess that's typical of the people in that field.

    Speaking of unrelenting negativity, doesn't that also sum up so much of the offerings from the left?

  13. TSF said: "Enough is enough when it comes to unrelenting negativity. It is not productive."

    So now the test for whether speech is permitted is how "productive" it is? Does that mean every columnist who criticizes a government policy will be required to come up with an alternative policy as a condition of being allowed to engage in criticism? And who gets to decide what is "productive" and what isn't? I'm sure Coulter's fans would not consider your criticism of her to be especially productive. Should your comments be banned too?

    The tough part of being for free speech is that it means you have to put up with speech that you don't like. And believe me, I can't stand Coulter.

  14. You know, yesterday I would agree with most of the posts up here. But after a restless sleep last night, I feel it is pretty grey and I wonder where you draw the line. What if someone was even more extreme than Coulter? What if a Hitler type was talking here? Would everyone feel the same way?

  15. Got go with the flow here.....I may not agree with what you say but I defend until the death your right to say it......

    If you don't like what they have to say, don't go. Personally I would rather go and listen and reject and move on.

    Nothing deflates pomposity faster than ridicule - but we have to let those pundits hoist themselves on their own petard before we kick the stool out, so to speak.