All the news that’s unfit to print

Better than Ezra
The problem with a free market place of ideas is that when a shameless self-promoter peddles controversy, too often he succeeds in passing it as legitimate content.

“I’m doing something completely normal. I’m publishing the centre of a controversy. That’s what news magazines do.”- Ezra Levant

~ Manatee

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9 Comments

  1. Gnomes said,

    Tuesday, 14 February 2006 at 4:35 pm

    As someone whose curiosity led him to seek out the cartoons in question, I can’t really condemn Levant’s decision to publish them.

    Though he remains, for reasons too numerous and varied to go into here, an utter tool.

  2. O'Smiley said,

    Tuesday, 14 February 2006 at 4:59 pm

    It is a tough one here.

    It is obvious, particularly due to the “Hey everyone, I’m about to do something over here” advertisment, that the printing of the cartoons was merely for increased sales of his magazine.

    However, there is a fundamental debate here. Should the printing of news be limited because it offends?

  3. Manatee said,

    Tuesday, 14 February 2006 at 5:05 pm

    I think there should be a harm/offense principle (or something like that, lets not get all JSM) in play here. Levant could have seeked out the cartoons and not published them, knowing that to publish would be to insult practicing Muslims, and add nothing to the public discourse on either extremeism within Islam or the role of press in a healthy democracy.

    I could have photoshoped a picture of Ezra Levant holding a bomb and called him a terrorist, but I thought real terrorists might get offended. Instead I posted a picture of him… putting up his dukes… I guess. See, it’s my own personal offence principle. Plus, I don’t even really know what photoshop is.

  4. Manatee said,

    Tuesday, 14 February 2006 at 5:07 pm

    “Should the printing of news be limited because it offends?”

    You can cover the story without printing the cartoons.

  5. O'Smiley said,

    Tuesday, 14 February 2006 at 6:53 pm

    Should freedom of expression be limited to what society deems acceptable? Is freedom of expression a right limited to all but the Press? Should the press not include as many facts as possible when providing news to the public?

    I’m not denying that some of the cartoons were ment to be offensive in nature, I am just asking whether you can draw a line in the right to free expression. Once the line is draw it can easily begin to float.

    Furthermore, although some of the cartoons are truely offensive in nature (depicting Mohammed as a terrorist), others are deemed offensive merely because they depict the image of Mohammed. I understand this to be an offence in Islam, but should it apply to the world? If the US were to deem images of the President as offensive, should the world comply?

  6. Manatee said,

    Tuesday, 14 February 2006 at 10:05 pm

    1)No, but freedom of expression should not be absolute
    2)No, but the media does and should self-censor. Of course, I never suggested I support those who will now seek legal action against Levant and test the balance between Canada’s hate laws and one’s freedom to express oneself. And, I am glad I am not in a position to have to draw the line that establishes our laws. I merely suggest that Levant’s motives were far from journalistic, and of no benifit and possibly some detriment to our society.
    3)Ha! It’s funny to think of the media as ever giving too much information, but, in this particular case descriptions of the drawings have been plentiful and should be sufficient.

    Can you draw a line regarding what speech should be protected and what should be prevented? Yes. That line will always be determined by the political, rather than a philisophical absolute stating any expression as legitimate, thank goodness. Even most 21st century liberals wouldn’t disagree with Mill’s harm principle, stating “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.” This from the man who suggested that “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind”!!!

    “If the US were to deem images of the President as offensive, should the world comply?”

    I would certainly take into account the reaction of Americans when deciding to keep my George W. poster on my wall or remove it. Ezra seems to suggest that he would not, and would be doing the world a disservice if he did.

  7. O'Smiley said,

    Wednesday, 15 February 2006 at 8:34 am

    Like I said, It’s a tough one. There is a real debate as to where a line, if any, can be drawn.

    I found an article on wikipedia that explains Oakes Test, a test used to describe if and when a law may draw a line through a charter right.

  8. O'Smiley said,

    Wednesday, 15 February 2006 at 8:39 am

    BTW… You really need to hit this post with some ‘Manatizzle n Killa’. (All tha news that’s unfit ta priznint)

    It’s easily the funniest translation I’ve seen yet.

  9. Gnomes said,

    Wednesday, 15 February 2006 at 6:56 pm

    Ezra is having a good week.


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