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AFGHANISTAN AND THE WAYWARD PRESS

Doug Collins

Feb. 28, 2001

In a career that has seen a lot of surprises, it takes a lot to surprise me, but I could only gape when I read an editorial in The Vancouver Sun recently on the subject of freedom. It seems that they don't have it in places like Pakistan, Gabon, the Congo, and thePhilippines. But we do have it here.

The editorial was headed "A right worth fighting for". Yes, get your shields and fasten your bucklers, men, and "fight for that right" we were told. "Express yourselves" and be glad of the glories of our Canadian freedoms while bearing in mind that lesser breeds do not enjoy such delights.

We were even told how to do it. "Write a letter, then send it to the newspaper editor, the mayor, the premier, the prime minister. Take your pick...[and] for that blessing, count yourself lucky that our country respects freedom of expression," said the Sun, using a form of expression more suited to innocent infants than to adults.

Count ourselves lucky? Pardon me, Sun. Haven't you heard about the demonized Ernst Zundel, who has spent about fifteen years before courts and human rights tribunals for expressing himself, but who has never been convicted of a crime as such? How about Malcolm Ross - an impeccably respectable teacher who wrote books the Jews didn't like? With an assist from human rights tribunals and the Supreme Court of Canada he found himself out of a job; Paul Fromm is another teacher who fell foul of his critics for making politically incorrect statements out of school. Those guys expressed themselves, all right, but Big Brother didn't like what they were expressing. So they bit the dust.

And then I thought of me. Regular readers of my expressive efforts will know that with me in mind a law called the Amendment to the Human Rights Act was passed by our morally corrupt socialist government because some people didn't like my columns in the North Shore News. I've been on the barricades ever since. I am now trying to have that lousy law declared unconstitutional. With no support at all, I might add, from the freedom-loving Vancouver Sun.

Here is a newspaper that doesn't seem to know that on the "human rights" circuit in B.C, truth is no defence and that you can't write anything that some member of a powerful pressure group like B'Nai Brith claims will bring him into "hatred or contempt", even if he hasn't been mentioned. So I am challenging that. But before being allowed to fight those NDP bastards in the real courts I must go back to the tribunal that found against me for expressing the wrong views and ask it whether what it did was constitutional!

When I had recovered from my surprise at learning we were all free to express ourselves I wrote a letter to the Editor-in Chief of the Sun, advising him that in fifty years in the news business I had not seen a more sharply honed piece of hypocrisy. I also gave him the facts about our laws and asked him why it was that B.C. didn't figure on his list.

The letter was by way of being a private advisory since, in spite of the editorialist's invitation to express myself, my letters to that newspaper are never printed. Communists, nutters, transit riders and termagants can get letters published, but menaces like me (racists, bigots, and holocaust deniers, you know!) might as well be monks who have taken the vow of silence. This even though I was once a leading columnist on that paper.

Pointing out that fines are inflicted on sinners who may cause professional whiners to have "hurt feelings", I asked also how such an ignorant exegesis as that editorial could be written. It was always possible, I said, that its author was blind, deaf or dumb, particularly dumb. It was also possible that he or she had an eye on who was upstairs (meaning Hollinger/Southam, whose Jewish element has let it be known that I am not its choice for the Order of Canada). Whatever the reason, the Sun has never even reported the B.C. Press Council's block-busting analysis of the rights racket as it affects the media, nor its statement that you could be hauled before a tribunal for telling a Newfie joke..

Funny old world. But how, you may ask, does Afghanistan come into this?

Well, when a newspaper railed against the evils afflicting other places but ignored local ones, it used to be called Afghanistanism. Haven't heard that for a long time. But it's worth reviving. Especially when reading Sun editorials.

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