24 March, 2010

Them Crazy Canucks & Free Speech

Exchange on Fox News this morning, between Susan Cole of Toronto Now, and host Megyn Kelly, on the cancellation last night of a speech by Ann Coulter at the University of Ottawa:
G: "Ann Coulter got exactly what she deserved."
MK: "Why do you believe that."
SG: "I don't think she's an appropriate choice to be speaking on campus' in Canada...We're trying to create an environment which is a safe place to think and learn and I don't think that Ann Coulter contributes to that."
MK: "Here in the United States...we believe the answer to speech you don't like isn't less speech, it's more speech, and that's the bedrock of our 1st Amendment, of which we're very proud."
SG: "We don't have that same political culture here in (Canada)....We don't have a 1st Amendment, we don't have a religion of free speech...."
MK: "Ann Coulter was invited to speak at the University, an invitation she accepted."
SG: "That's true, and it was inappropriate for those who invited her to invite her, because she wasn't going to contribute to an actual conversation, she was mostly going to provoke..."

SG: "Students sign off on all kinds of agreements as to how they'll behave on campus, in order to respect diversity, equity, all of the values that Canadians really care about. Those are the things that drive our political culture. Not freedoms, not rugged individualism, not free speech. It's different, and for us, it works."
MK:"It is different, not freedoms, and not free speech. Here in American, we had Ahmadinijad come onto the campus of Columbia University and speak, but that's us."
(underline mine)
Hat Tip: Sharpe Stick Blog

In other words, "the only kind of speech we want in Canada is the kind that fits our narrow definitions, and anyone else who wishes to express different opinions should be forcibly shut up."

And they call libertarians and conservatives "Intolerant".

Just to be clear, I do think Ann Coulter is a bit of a fanatical nutjob who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the governing board of a flower arranging society, much less actual power in government. But that doesn't mean I think she should be shut up and denied the right to speak. There is something fundamentally wrong with an attitude that says someone should be denied the right to speak merely because they have different opinions.

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.
-- Voltaire

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