Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bill O'Reilly Nails It

It isn't often that Bill O'Reilly finds a surplus of praise at the Nexus, but viewing his interview with Now Magazine's Susan Cole, one can't help but avoid the conclusion that he managed to nail it.

If O'Reilly has one particular talent, it may be to use his reputation as a right-wing ideologue to flush out left-wing ideologues for precisely what they are.

In the case of Susan Cole, he accomplishes this with just one question: why can't Ann Coulter speak at a university campus?

The topic at hand, of course, was the recent cancellation of a Coulter speech scheduled for the University Ottawa under circumstances that seem to remain the matter of some dispute.

Cole insists that Coulter could speak at a right-wing think tank or at a lecture hall (although she doesn't elaborate on where one may find an off-campus lecture hall).

Cole's insistence that Coulter could speak anywhere but a university is very revelatory. It tells us precisely what Cole thinks the role of a university should be -- to disseminate views that she finds palatable, and lock any that she doesn't out.

For example, one would not that the University of Ottawa has no problem hosting a wide variety of anti-Israel speakers on its campus. One would even wonder if Francois Houle would send a letter like the one he sent to Ann Coulter to an individual like Syed Soharwardy, if he were to accept a speaking engagement at the University of Ottawa.

The public discourse on the topic of Coulter has always been a little peculiar. Rarely have the off-beat jokes and hyperbole of one individual been treated as such substantive fare for protest. In the case of Ann Coulter it can be difficult to tell what is offered sheerly in jest from what is truly objectionable -- there has certainly been some of both.

But when clear hyperbole is taken as cause for hate crime complaints it's become clear that Canada's human rights regimes have grown far beyond what should be considered tolerable by a free-thinking society.

It's time to start peeling back and reforming some of the "limits" on freedom of speech in Canada. That freedom shouldn't be one that can be practiced without consequence -- hate speech should still be prosecuted as a matter of criminal law -- but the use of human rights commissions as a method to freeze out speech that Francois Houle and Susan Cole don't like has to come to an end as quickly as possible.

When it does, many may look back on Bill O'Reilly's remarks on the difference between hyperbole and hate speech as the asteroid that led to the extinction of left-wing dinocaurs like Susan Cole.


  1. The funny thing is, Coulter must be laughing all the way to the bank. Wonder how high the sale on her books have gone now with all the free publicity. In the USA, she would have had to pay at least $200 K for the press she got in Canada and down south.
    The loony left are great when it comes to working for peanuts. The monkeys.

  2. I find that unfortunate, because I personally don't think Coulter should profit from her views.

    But she has the right to express them, and unfortunate the crazed fringes of the left wing are more than content to promote them.

  3. Patrick as an "entertainer" I don't care if Ann or Al Gore profit from their speeches.

    My concern is the intolerance from any camp restricting or providing an equal opportunity to offend or pedal their snake oil.

    I trust us to be informed to not care, not show up and discount the noise from the "entertainers".

  4. That's up to the individual consumer to decide.

    Personally, I think it's unfortunate that there's so much profit to be found in the kind of lowest-common-denominator politics that Ann Coulter personifies.

    Even with this being the case, what are we going to do, silence her? Apparently a lot of people at the University of Ottawa thought so. I personally don't countenance that.

    Ann Coulter has the right to express herself, even if I wish she wouldn't.

  5. Your right he nailed it, great post.

  6. You almost have to feel sorry for Susan Cole.

    She seems to think that what she's saying is unquestionably right, but it's pretty clear that she couldn't logically tell anyone why.


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