Thursday, September 01, 2005

Opinions are bad. [longuish]

Well, you might all know that I am a supporter of freedom of speach. You might also know that I supported the french station CHOI from Quebec. Today, the federal court of canada ruled that the CRTC decision was correct, that the opinion of one man (who is no longer on the air or employed by the station) that resulted in 92 complains (over 2 years) were justification enough to close the station. 92 complains, most of which anonimous or from competing stations when the CRTC received over 4000 letters of support from the publics. Letters of support that where signed and came from people who identified themself and gave contact information. 92 complains which his according to one Toronto's radio jock (who's name escape me at the moment but he did an interview with Jeff Fillion at the begining of this crisis) far less then what the average Toronto station received in a year.

Countless thing that I personnaly consider a violation of due process in an earing to close the station. From one of the official SLEEPING during supporter presentation, to removing the right to built a defense to the station owner. They even IN THEIR JUGEMENT (french version, change FRN to ENG to get the english version) where according the CRTC document they have to consider all information in their entierty and context they use the following: ... at the begining and end of a part of text. How can they claim that it is complet when they are cutting part of it?

Sure, some people do not agree thinking that the words said on CHOI more then justify the treatement, some of those people might even have the right to say this as they have listened to the station and heard for themself. We are supposed to be a tolerant country, acception of all views and all people of earth... yet it feels like this tolerance only extant to those it is fashionable to be tolerant about. A classical case of open minded meaning: who has the same opinion as I do.

There is something I wonder tho, the people that wants to close CHOI because it "was" promoting hate, diffaming people on the air and being misogynic they can understand that the comment where that way, why do they think the rest of the population could not do the same? What is in this man opinion that they fear most people would misunderstand as fact and form mobs to kill/hurt other people? Why do they think those listening to CHOI are stupids moron incapable of discerning right and wrong or opinion from fact? Why are the listener classed as (by Radio-Canada) "uneducated, young 20 something angry white man"? And if they are, how is that a crime, or a justification to say that they are less then? less then who actually educated, 6o something happy black woman?

CHOI will appeal before the suppreme court of Canada, but considering the political climate, the hate I see, hear and read in the news again CHOI, I belive that the struggle is in vain. The suppreme court will either refuse the appeal or upheld the CRTC censorship and my favorite radio station will die. It will die because opinion that where not liked where heard on the air, it will die because it did not have friend in the governement, and it will die because someone got scared it could get 50 000 peoples in the street in support.

So, this is a sad day for freedom of speechs, the first radio station closed because of opinions in an industrialised, democratic country. If we later become a dictatorship or some other non democratic form of governement, maybe this will be seen as the first step. I may be exagerating but then again I might not be...

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