Saturday, November 26, 2005

Michael Coren gets the hook

I posted the following on The Shotgun blog today:

Michael Coren, no stranger to Western Standard readers, has resigned from Toronto's CFRB 1010 rather than be fired for politically incorrect comments about fat, err obese, people, LifeSitenews reports.

General Manager Pat Holiday expressed concern about Coren's choice of targets. Coren: "picked on a group of people" (fat people) and "said things you just don't say on the radio," LifeSite quotes Holiday as saying.

LifeSite sees this as another attempt to push social conservative commentators to the margins, citing another politically incorrect WS columnist, David Warren, who called similar voices 'dissident journalists' and lamented the state of conservative commentary outside of Alberta. It isn't just socially conservative voices that get steamrolled in Canada. Indeed, the most famous case is the loss of CHOI-FM's licence due to (really) politically incorrect comments by shock-jock Jeff Fillion during his hugely popular morning show. We covered this story here, interviewed Fillion (you can listen to the recorded conversation here in WAV format), and Pierre Lemieux ripped into the idea of censoring for "Canadian values' " sake here.

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.

LifeSite suggests we send polite notes of concern to Holiday at his email address: WS supporters probably should send a note or two, keeping in mind that Coren says he would love to be back at CFRB, and messages should be geared to helping his plight.

Coren, as an aside, debated Karen Selick on the issue of censoring radio here. Take a look, it's germane.


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