ZGram - August 16, 2004 - "RKPS: The Requisite Kneefall
zgrams at zgrams.zundelsite.org
zgrams at zgrams.zundelsite.org
Mon Aug 16 09:27:38 EDT 2004
ZGram - Where Truth is Destiny: Now more than ever!
August 16, 2004
Good Morning from the Zundelsite:
For our own good, we should get used to looking for and identifying
an odd writer compulsion, somewhat like a writer's cramp not of the
fingers but the brain, affecting particularly mainstream writers of
what we still call "our Western World" - though "our" is, by now, a
euphemism connoting wishful thinking rather than reality.
Whenever this odd compulsion appears, we can readily diagnose it by
its manifested cluster symptoms. I call this cluster of symptoms the
RKPS - the Requisite Kneefall Paragraph Symptoms. One of the trigger
mechanisms that almost invariably brings on RKPS goes by the name of
Particularly Canadian mainstream writers evidence strong RKPS when
they complain against encroaching censorship. These symptoms signal
that the writer is afraid to call a spade a spade.
Such writers bitterly resent the loss of journalistic freedom, yet
they will wring their hands, bemoan the moon, bend knees, lick boots,
do virtual St. Vitus dances around the real root of a malaise that
stares them in the face - yet never point an accusing finger at B'nai
Brith or call the Bernie Farbers on the carpet whose source of income
parades as "human rights" yet depends on diminishing freedom in
others. Instead, they kick the very activist who fought harder than
anyone else, who fought for decades with his own money and his own
resources, to help preserve that vanishing freedom for them - and,
thus, for all of Canada.
The following was sent to me with this intro from a long-time
Zundelist who has diagnosed RKPS in a writer:
The article below is from the Canadian newspaper The Globe & Mail
contains a reference to Ernst Zundel. Although the journalist laments
what's being done to him, she expresses the requisite condemnation of
his views (I strongly suspect she doesn't really understand what they
Wouldn't it be nice if just once a mainstream journalist could
express opposition to what's being done to [Ernst Zundel] without
dumping on what he stands for?
I also find little consolation in having mainstream journalists who
have - if I can borrow a phrase from the Holocaust lexicon - "stood
idly by" over the past couple of decades while Mr. Zundel has been
demonized through the media more thoroughly than any other individual
in the history of Canada.
How can these people suddenly develop sympathy after the damage to
his reputation has already been done?
So suddenly these "brave" journalists are going ride against the
politically correct current and state that what's currently being
done to Mr. Zundel is excessive? Where were they during the first two
trials and/or during the more recent human rights hearing where the
fate of the Zundelsite was being decided?
The fact that it would take this latest and most severe travesty
(detaining him without charge and without access to the "evidence")
to suddenly say wake up and say "Hey, what's going on here?" speaks
Should it really have taken this much legal abuse and defamation of
character for these people to suddenly wake up and realize that
there's something wrong with this picture?
Summer of our discontent
By LYSIANE GAGNON
Monday, August 16, 2004 - Page A11
This hasn't been a good summer for our basic freedoms.
First, there was the CRTC. The federal broadcast regulator closed
down a Quebec City radio station because it aired "offensive
comments," and called for an extensive system of censorship if the
Arabic TV news channel Al-Jazeera were to be aired in Canada.
Then there was the case of Ernst Zundel, whose lengthy security
hearing has been going on behind closed doors. Mr. Zundel, a
Holocaust denier, is considered a threat to national security by the
same government that allows in self-avowed partisans of al-Qaeda and
former trainees in Afghan terrorist camps. Mr. Zundel is facing
deportation to his native Germany and a five-year prison term for the
crime of denying the Holocaust.
Mr. Zundel's writings are despicable, and Germany, for obvious
historical reasons, has a law against denying the Holocaust. But
there is no reason why Canada, which has no Nazi past to make amends
for, must follow the same path.
In a free country, even the most horrendous views should be tolerated
unless they contain direct appeals to violence against clearly
identified individuals or groups. Whether a society tolerates
unpopular, even ghastly, opinions is the only real test of its belief
in freedom of expression. Unfortunately, in practically every part of
Canada, the tradition of civil liberties has disappeared in favour of
a "human rights" approach that rests on a different philosophy.
Another pivotal event occurred in July. In a decision that sent shock
waves through Quebec's journalistic community, the Supreme Court of
Canada ordered Radio-Canada to pay more than $1-million to Gilles
Néron's public-relations firm -- an exceedingly high penalty that
would have left a small media outlet bankrupt.
In 1994, Radio-Canada's flagship current-affairs program Le Point
reported on delays by Quebec's association of notaries in dealing
with complaints from the public against lawyers. In a letter to
Radio-Canada, Mr. Néron, acting as spokesman for the association,
lambasted two of the journalists' sources. Le Point then asked Mr.
Néron to respond to what it said were errors in the letter but
broadcast its contents before he had a chance to do so. As a result,
the notaries association publicly dismissed Mr. Néron, a move he says
made him unable to land other contracts.
The two news stories broadcast by Le Point met the Common Law test:
They were based on fact and were a matter of public interest. But the
Supreme Court disapproved of the way Mr. Néron had been dealt with
and concluded that his "right to his reputation" was more important
than freedom of the press.
Mr. Justice Louis LeBel, who wrote the majority decision, used
Quebec's Civil Code to introduce the highly subjective concept of
"reasonable journalism." This means that Quebec journalists will be
subjected to more constraints than other Canadian journalists. The
chill will be especially felt by investigative reporters, who
sometimes use unorthodox methods to collect their facts.
It's worth recalling that Judge LeBel, whose appointment to the court
in 2000 came as a surprise (his career had been less than stellar),
has never exactly seemed to be a champion of basic freedoms. In 1993,
as a Quebec Court of Appeal judge, he ruled the ban on tobacco
advertising was a "reasonable" breach of freedom of expression.
In 1996, he ruled against a cultural magazine that had published an
innocuous picture of a young woman taken on a busy downtown Montreal
street, on the grounds that it violated her right to privacy. (This
decision obviously affected the work of news photographers.)
In a 1989 case involving another basic freedom, Judge LeBel voted
with a 3-2 majority of a Court of Appeal panel to grant Jean-Guy
Tremblay an injunction preventing his former girlfriend, Chantal
Daigle, from having an abortion. (The infamous judgment was later
overturned by the Supreme Court, but, fortunately, Ms. Daigle, who by
then was 21 weeks pregnant, didn't wait for another set of judges to
tell her what to do with her body and had an abortion in a U.S.
clinic. Mr. Tremblay was later convicted of assaulting two Calgary
lgagnon at lapresse.ca
More information about the Zgrams