“Cruickshank says ‘a public broadcaster endorses a form of speech hatred, by showing it’. Again, that’s like saying actors who play murderers on TV endorse murder, or reporters who report on earthquakes are pro-earthquake. Cruickshank obviously doesn’t believe that — I don’t think anybody could — but it’s a way of marginalizing those who want to see controversial news that doesn’t fit into the CBC’s Little Mosque on the Prairie view of Islam.
“But there was a moment in the interview, nearer to the end — just like the moment at the end of my debate with CanWest’s Scott Anderson, where we finally got through the well-rehearsed cliches, and finally got some frankness — that was a revelation.
“With Anderson, it was his admission that he didn’t think the cartoons were offensive, but that some others did, so he let their judgment trump his own. With Cruickshank, it was his comment that to publish the cartoons was simply being ‘macho’.
“Pressed to explain, he said that critics called cartoon self-censorhip a ‘lack of courage... you’re just afraid that your correspondents in the Islamic world are going to face the consequences of this. Well, yeah.’
“Well yeah? I appreciate the honesty: the CBC’s news boss acknowledged, for the first time, that they are afraid that if they cover Muslim news in the wrong way, there could be violence against their reporters in Muslim nations. So they don’t.
“That is an astounding admission to make…”