The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has ruled Wednesday that rock promoter and commentator Bruce Allen didn’t violate ethical codes during a commentary aired last September on Vancouver radio station CKNW in which Allen said minorities should stop seeking special treatment in Canada.
Allen briefly outlined several controversies mostly related to the treatment of Sikhs in Canada and concluded that immigrants should “shut up and fit in” or go home.
The council said the commentary, which prompted dozens of complaints, was inept and had a bullying tone. But they found it wasn’t discriminatory and it concerned an important issue of public debate.
The panel noted factual inaccuracies in Allen’s piece — which described Sikh headgear as a “handkerchief” and confused the Sikh surname Kaur with the Muslim name Khan — but did not find that he failed to present a full, fair and proper opinion.
But why should anybody be obliged by some faceless agency to “present a full, fair and proper opinion” in the first place?
To hell with that.
Phew. What a relief. Canadian security is ensured for another day.
UPDATE: an industry insider emails me:
So after seeing both Bruce Allen and Michael Coren cleared, you perhaps understand why the Steyn/Levant/Boisson/Earle cases don’t generate as much heat as they should on talk radio in this country.
I’d argue that talk radio was fairly loud on the issue but no one went to the wall.
The reason, even if all the human rights commissions disappeared, broadcasters would be open to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.
The organization can eat up a lot of time and resources for station managers, meaning it costs them money. The organization is voluntary but pretty much everyone in the industry belongs to it.
The council should be there to remind radio and TV stations that playing George Carlin’s full Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television skit is inappropriate during a family friendly morning show when people are driving junior to school. Unfortunately it can be used, just like the HRCs, to harass people with unfiltered opinions.