You have to almost feel a little sorry for Ezra Levant given that his new gig as Sun TV’s resident annoying prime-time squawkbox forces him to stir up “controversy” on a nightly basis… even when little to none may actually exist!
For the past several nights on his program he’s been desperately trying to relive his glory days as publisher of a failed Calgary news magazine whose name escapes me by fanning the flames of Islamophobia and/or provoke some sort of furious backlash of free speech outrage in connection with a speaking tour by Dutch MP Geert Wilders that was sponsored by the International Free Press Society and the Canada Christian College.
Alas, nobody really seemed to care that much… Last night, for example, Mr. Wilders addressed a select group of 150 invitees at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa – an event hosted by Ezra Levant as it happens. The protest-free engagement would probably have gone completely unnoticed had it not been for a silly article in the Globe & Mail by Gloria Galloway posing the rather dumb question: “Why is National Arts Centre hosting Dutch MP accused of being anti-Islam?”
Of course, that was all the tinder Ezra needed to launch into a fiery attack on the NAC, the prejudice of the liberal media (especially the clubby culture of the press gallery), dreaded “Ottawa bureaucrats” and whatever else he could extemporaneously think of to indignantly lash out at:
Just as an aside, the funniest thing about the article, and perhaps what caught Galloway’s attention in the first place was the hilarious premise under which Wilders’ speaking engagement had been booked. If NAC spokeswoman Rosemary Thompson is to be believed, it was “that the International Free Press Society called the catering department about a month ago and said that they had a Dutch MP coming to Canada for a speaking tour and that it was part of the Tulip Festival.” If true, that was a delightful bit of subterfuge.
Back though to the nub of the “problem” that got Ezra exercised in this instance which was the comment made by Thompson that, “Obviously the NAC does not agree with Mr. Wilders’s views.” This was the launch pad for Levant’s petty tirade about the remark being indicative of a presumptuous, arrogant liberal conceit, etc.
But wait… There’s another equally valid interpretation of Thompson’s defensive remark that seems to have been entirely missed by our Sun TV host (and hundreds of angry commenters on the site of the original article), which is that is the NAC does not necessarily agree – and as a federally funded institution, nor should it – with the views of ANY of the speakers or performers that rent the facility for their events.
I suspect this is the sort of trivial, inflammatory nonsense we can expect from Sun TV… making much ado about nothing and cynically whipping up angry, divisive culture wars on a nightly basis.