Friday, December 09, 2005

More Politically Correct Censorship in Canada

From the Western Standard, via our Canadian e-mail correspondent.

. . . the story about how Michael Coren, a socially conservative radio personality, was taken off the air for making jokes about fat people.

From the socially liberal Toronto Globe and Mail:
During a segment that station general manager Pat Holiday said lasted about five minutes or so, Coren — a veteran talk-radio host, TV personality and newspaper columnist known to court controversy — interviewed a man from New Jersey who was said to have lost 100 pounds after previously weighing more than 500.

Coren mocked him on the air for not losing more and even joked about whether he could find his wife in bed, Holiday said. He later pretended to quote the Bible by saying that the gates of heaven weren’t wide enough for obese people.

Holiday wasn’t listening at the time, but received a slew of angry e-mails from listeners that night. Reviewing a recorded portion of the interview the next morning, he was astonished by Coren’s offensive remarks.

[...]

Holiday noted that the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council simply draws the line at overly offensive remarks, even if it’s a case “where someone says it’s just a joke, we were just fooling around — which Michael thought he was doing, or at least he said he thought he was doing.”
It seems that in Canada, licenses get pulled for saying politically incorrect things. According to the Western Standard:
What don’t you say on the radio? Ever since the CHOI-FM decision, quite a lot. When the Supreme Court sided with the CRTC in yanking their licence, radio programmers’ ears must have perked up. The Radio Regulations of 1986 get a broad reading. Those regulations include this gem: “a licensee shall not broadcast . . . any abusive comment that, when taken in context, tends to or is likely to expose an individual or a group or class of individuals to hatred or contempt on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age or mental or physical disability.” Since eating a mountain of pork and hohos for breakfast is now considered a ‘disability,’ you can’t fault Holiday for worrying about the sensitivity squad coming down hard on CFRB. In Canada’s radio universe, after all, you either say nice things, or you say nothing at all.
Make no mistake, a lot of liberals would like this kind of censorship in the U.S.

In fact, this reminds one of the attempt here in Milwaukee to get Mark Belling fired for using the term “wetback” on his radio show. Belling’s attackers were clearly motivated by his conservative politics. A liberal would have quickly been forgiven for such language.

As in Canada, this censorship is ostensibly to protect minorities, but in reality only protects politically correct minorities (Muslims but not conservative Christians, homosexuals but not the Boy Scouts).

But most importantly, it is used to shut up ideas that liberals find inconvenient.

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