Ken Whyte on being named Newsperson of the Year (after Kate, Mark Steyn and I told our readers to vote for him — heh):
Q. Your nomination for this award cited your revitalization of Maclean’s, your new book on Hearst, and your battle with Human Rights Commissions–it must be gratifying to win?
A. It’s gratifying that some of my colleagues have recognized that Maclean’s is doing well and I want to congratulate everyone at the magazine on a great year but, really, we won this thing because of the Human Rights Commissions. We spent a good part of 2009 [sic] defending ourselves against a campaign by a handful of Muslim activists to have our journalism branded hateful and racist. We stood up to their complaints and defended ourselves—and, in particular, an excerpt from Mark Steyn’s bestselling book America Alone—and in doing so we attracted the support of a lot of smart and energetic bloggers. These bloggers, long before the mainstream media, recognized the complaints as a politically-motivated threat to free expression and open journalistic inquiry. They threw their weight behind me in this poll and put me over the top and I want to return the favor by dedicating this honor to them.
Q. To the blogosphere?
A. To that particular part of the blogosphere that got engaged in these human rights complaints. I can’t name them all but individuals like Ezra Levant, Jay Currie, Kathy Shaidle, among others, discovered and disseminated a lot of alarming information about the operations of human rights commissions and the decisions of their tribunals. The debate got pretty messy on both sides as it went along, but these people prodded the newspapers and the public to question the advisability of allowing unaccountable, politicized, and rather slipshod commissions to interfere with one of our most precious liberties. Along with Mark Steyn, who wrote a lot about the case, they did a great service to Canadian journalism in 2009. I’m deeply grateful for their support—it was shaping up as a lonely fight until the bloggers got involved. They’re the ones who really deserve this award so I consider myself to be accepting it on their behalf.
I stand by my read-into-the-trial-transcript assertion: having grown up in the pathetic, embarrassing awfulness that is Trudeapia, I had to wait over 40 years to feel proud to be a Canadian for the very first time:
When Ken Whyte told those Muslim magazine hijackers to shove it.
(Ooops — guess I’d better renew my subscription after all!)