Tuesday, March 23, 2010
National Review PC
Damsel in distress? She's got them where she wants them.
MR. STEYN. The National Review famously fired Ann Coulter for being impolitic about muslims in the wake of the 9/11 attack. Amusingly, they're now struggling with a story that should be red meat for them. Here's the newest slab of rare Coulter filet mignon:
Right-wing U.S. firebrand Ann Coulter
will file grievance with rights panel
London, Ont. — Inflammatory right-wing pundit Ann Coulter took aim at a University of Ottawa administrator Monday night, saying an e-mail from the school warning her to use “restraint, respect and consideration” when addressing Ontario students during a speaking tour this week made her a victim of a “hate crime.”
Speaking to students and academics at the University of Western Ontario Monday, Coulter said the e-mail sent to her Friday by Francois Houle, vice-president academic and provost of the University of Ottawa, targeted her as a member of an identifiable group and as such, she will be filing a complaint with the Human Rights Commission alleging hate speech.
“I’m sure the Human Rights Commission will get to the bottom of it,” Coulter said to loud cheers from the 800-strong audience. “I think I’m the victim of a hate crime here. Either what (Mr. Houle) did was a hate crime, or the whole commission is BS.”
In Houle’s e-mail, a copy of which was obtained by the National Post, the administrator urges Coulter to weigh her words with “respect and civility in mind” when she speaks at the University of Ottawa campus Tuesday.
“Our domestic laws, both provincial and federal, delineate freedom of expression (or ‘free speech’) in a manner that is somewhat different than the approach taken in the United States. I therefore encourage you to educate yourself, if need be, as to what is acceptable in Canada and to do so before your planned visit here.”
Houle goes on: “Promoting hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges.”
Ezra Levant, lawyer and former publisher of the Western Standard magazine, spoke before Coulter on Monday and called Houle’s letter a “veiled threat.” Seamus Wolfe, the president of the University of Ottawa’s student federation, has already said that Coulter is not welcome on campus and that he is trying to work with the administration to find a venue for her speech elsewhere.
The administration, however, has said it does not object to the fiery pundit’s appearance on campus.
Coulter’s targeting of the University of Ottawa administration and Canada’s Human Rights Commissions came at the end of a half-hour speech that attacked political correctness in the United States and the mainstream media, which she said was uncritical of the Obama administration and unfairly biased against conservatives.
“It’s almost like there is one standard for Conservatives and one completely different one for Liberals,” Coulter told the crowd, which alternated from cheering to booing depending on the topic of discussion, which ranged from gay marriage, illegal immigration to Barack Obama’s new health-care bill.
“A word is either offensive or it’s not. In a world of political correctness, all words are banned unless they’re used against conservatives.”
Cool. But so far, NRO hasn't even acknowledged this part of the story. Daniel Foster reported briefly on her speech:
Coulter in Canada
Ann Coulter has given another charged, contentious talk, this time at the University of Western Ontario.
UPDATE: I've heard from a number of readers suggesting that this post (what there is of it) is in some sense critical of Coulter. I guess she's gotten so contentious that calling her contentious is contentious! But please don't read too much into my skinny post. Though I've recently been doing a bit more editorializing, especially on the topic of a certain piece of legislation that, even as we speak, is on its way to the president's desk, my job around here is mostly to keep you Cornerites apprised of the news. So, often I'll just play it straight, and let you draw your own conclusions.
And Mark Steyn, who has waged a huge battle against Canadian hate speech charges leveled at one of his books, has had only this to say about the matter:
Re: Coulter in Canada
Oh, I wouldn't get so excited about one little Toronto Sun story, Daniel. What ought to be "contentious" about Ann Coulter's first Canadian tour is that François Houle, the provost of the University of Ottawa, threatened to lay criminal charges before she'd even uttered a word on Canadian soil.
The reflexive position of the Canadian establishment (of which M. Houle is a very typical example) is to insist on ever narrower bounds of public discourse regulated by an ever more coercive state. If it's a choice between that or the occasional bum joke by Ann Coulter, that shouldn't be a difficult call. [Italics mine]
You can search all seven years of Instapunk archives and never find one negative comment about Mark Steyn. Here's the first. Get the stick out of your ass, Mark. And National Review too. Coulter's funny and most of her jokes aren't "bum jokes;" they tend to be both smart and pertinent to the reality of our political environment.
I'm very fond of The Corner, especially Mark Steyn and Jonah Goldberg, but I have to say I've grown weary of NRO's reluctance to cast Kathleen Parker into the outer darkness she deserves for month upon month of Obama apologias and Palin bashing. And I could grow even wearier within hours if NRO continues to treat Coulter like some sort of Orwellian nonperson.
Her counterattack against the Canadian Human Rights Commissions is inspired, and it should be right up NRO's alley. But no. The ghost of WFB would sniff his disapproval. Or would he?
Don't disappoint us, Mr. Steyn. You know she's a national treasure. Man up.