Charges have been dropped against Ezra Levant, publisher of Canadian conservative magazine The Western Standard, for publishing the controversial Danish cartoons a few years back. While this is good news, writing in the National Post today Levant is still indignant over the whole affair and the particularly offended by the rationale given by the Human Rights Tribunal for acquitting him:
In his report, Gundara presents as “fact” his personal opinion of the Muhammad cartoons. He says they’re “stereotypical, negative and offensive.” That’s one viewpoint. Others have a different view. Why should anyone care about Gundara’s personal opinion? Do I need permission from him — or anyone other than my conscience — before I publish things in the future? Is this column okay by him?
Gundara forgave me and the Western Standard our sins because, according to him, the offensiveness of the cartoons was “muted by the context of the accompanying article” and we ran letters both for and against the cartoons in our subsequent issue. He also acquitted us because “the cartoons were not simply stuck in the middle of the magazine with no purpose or related story.”
Let me translate: You’d better be “reasonable” in how you use your freedoms, or you won’t be allowed to keep them. You’d better not run political cartoons “simply stuck in the middle” of a magazine. You’d better have a “purpose” for being “negative” that is approved by bureaucrat, when he finally gets around to it three years later.
Of course, he’s got a darn good reason to still be upset — the episode cost him $100,000 in legal fees of which he’s still $10,000 in the hole. (If you’re so inclined, you can go to Levant’s website and make a contribution to help retire his legal bills.) And every Canadian should be outraged that the government spent half a million in taxpayer dollars to stage a trial to undermine the freedoms of all Canadians.
(Hat Tip: Hot Air)