A Few Things Ill Considered

Petition to protect Canadian media

Below is an urgent call for support regarding an important issue for Canadians interested in a responsible Canadian media environment. The arrival of "Fox News North" comes with proposed rule changes that severely weaken public protections against false news. Please see below the appeal from Avaaz.org and the accompanying information and if you are persuaded, sign the petition.


Sources:

CRTC plan to lift ban on false news prompts political investigation:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/crtc-plan-to-lift-ban-on-false-news-prompts-political-investigation/article1898147/

CRTC notice of consultation on fair and balanced rule:
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2011/2011-14.htm

CRTC receives thousands of comments on ‘false and misleading news’ amendment:
http://www.wirereport.ca/reports/content/11955-crtc_receives_thousands_of_comments_on_false_and_misleading_news_amendment

Avaaz submission to the CRTC – Feb. 9, 2011
http://www.scribd.com/doc/48882523/Avaaz-Re-BNC-2011-14


Plea:

Dear friends across Canada

In 48 hours, public protections against false news coverage could be destroyed. The CRTC may pass a huge loophole to the “fair and balanced” rule that currently prevents media from outright lying to the public.

Canada’s broadcast journalism standards are an impediment to the new "Fox News North" (Sun TV) network being set up by Prime Minister Harper’s cronies, which promises to mimic Fox News — the poisonous US propaganda network. The CRTC rule change, which allows false news to be blasted across Canadian airwaves, comes just as SunTV is about to launch.

We can stop this — last year, we prevented Harper cronies from pressing the CRTC to fund "Fox News North" with public money. Now, we have just two days to raise another national outcry to save the standards of Canadian journalism, and our democracy. Sign the petition below, and tell everyone: http://www.avaaz.org/en/canada_fair_and_balanced/?vl

The proposed changes to regulations protecting Canadian airwaves would require any complaint to include proof that the broadcaster knew that the news was false AND that the lies spread could endanger the lives, health or safety of the public — so a journalist could tell any lie they liked as long it didn’t kill or sicken anyone. Proponents within the CRTC are claiming that this change is in reaction to a Supreme Court decision, but that ruling was made fifteen years ago and has almost nothing to do with TV news standards.

Television news is regulated by the CRTC precisely because news that spreads lies degrades public discourse and destroys the ability of Canadians to cast an informed vote. These kinds of lies may not directly threaten our lives or personal security, but they do threaten our country and our democracy.

Avaaz, along with hundreds of other media advocates, has already submitted a detailed legal argument explaining why the “fair and balanced” rule is necessary to protect Canadian democracy. A national call to keep the news honest will focus CRTC attention on the legitimate objections to their dangerous plan. Sign the petition and forward this email to everyone: http://www.avaaz.org/en/canada_fair_and_balanced/?vl

Just a few months ago, Canadians prevented government subsidies for "Fox News North" and helped expose the unethical conduct of its director Kory Teneycke, Prime Minister Harper’s former Communications Director. Now Harper’s cronies are back, and hacking at an essential pillar of our democracy, the standards that help prevent media from outright lying to the public. In the next two days we join a long tradition of Canadians who have built and sustained our democracy in the face of all kinds of threats. Let’s do that tradition proud.

With hope,

Emma, Ricken, Laryn and the rest of the Avaaz team

Comments

  1. #1 Abdul Alhazred
    February 17, 2011

    Indeed.

    Because Fox news is such an irresistable Svengali that any exposure to it will inevitably turn Canadians into a bunch of Stateser style right wingers.

    They will see that stuff and be unable to resist.

    Gotta protect’m. :)

  2. #2 Richard Simons
    February 17, 2011

    It’s all of a piece with Harper not seeing why it is unethical for Bev Oda to tell the House that she did not insert the word ‘NOT’ into a document when in fact she instructed it to be put in.

  3. #3 MattK
    February 17, 2011

    As a Canadian I can assure you that I know a lot of Canadians and many of them are unsophisticated enough, or are already biased enough, to be persuaded easily by the sort of uncontrolled systematic lying that is perpetrated by Fox News and would likely be perpetrated by SunTV if there was no checks on their behaviour. I was us to be less like the Excited States of America, not more.

  4. #4 mandas
    February 17, 2011

    Mattk (and everyone else)

    “…. know a lot of Canadians and many of them are unsophisticated enough, or are already biased enough, to be persuaded easily by the sort of uncontrolled systematic lying that is perpetrated by Fox News…”

    See if you can name one……….LOL

  5. #5 crakar24
    February 17, 2011

    Are you being racist towards Canadians Mandas? I hope not.

  6. #6 Margaret Maier
    February 17, 2011

    We, the people I know, want the truth only, no lying, bending the truth, or withholding information. We can think and we can make decisions, but we need all the information. We do not want Fox News that colour ideas, events to advantage for some entity, or someone. We want the facts. They can give their interpretations, and so can we; but based on the all the facts.

  7. #7 Abdul Alhazred
    February 17, 2011

    Do any Canadians have satellite antennas?

    Better get a real big faraday cage. The Stateser boogeyman is coming for your soul.

  8. #8 Tom Curtis
    February 17, 2011

    I am not a Canadian, so I unfortunately cannot sign the petition.

    I do believe, however, that any publication as news of something a reporter does not have prima facie evidence to believe is true represents an attack on democracy. Democracy is based on the supposition that people should choose their own government, and by that their own laws. But substituting falsehoods for truths is a means of restricting the possibility of rational choice, and hence of democracy. It is an attempt to coerce public opinion because you know that you cannot persuade it.

    And for those who wish to defend the Candadian governments contempt for their citizens (ie, this attempt to coerce by deceipt) these laws do not prevent the dispersal of any opinion. The do not even prevent the publication of some persons opinion of what is fact even if the reporter believes it to be false, provided that the reporter clearly attributes it as opinion, and reports opposing opinions. Of course, if they have prima facie evidence that something is fact, they can simply report it without the “he said, she said” that mars so much modern journalism.

  9. #9 Snowman
    February 18, 2011

    Over many years I have been a frequent visitor to Canada and have the greatest admiration for the country and its people. However, there is one aspect of Canadian life that always makes me feel uneasy and which is getting worse: the suffocating political correctness that defines the media.

    Its influence is so pervasive that many Canadians no longer notice it. They are genuinely astonished when I suggest that free speech and freedom of the press are less secure in their country than in other western democracies. They are positively indignant when I imply that public debate is sometimes ill informed because of automatic self censorship among journalists. When I mention some of the more egregious decisions of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, they are usually unaware of them.

    This leads me to Coby’s support for a ‘false news’ law. Of course, there are many countries with such laws but they are overwhelmingly totalitarian, one-party states. I am frankly astonished that some Canadians seem to think it is a matter of pride that they should be included in such company. Before anyone accuses me of hyperbole, I am not suggesting that Canada is turning into North Korea. But the underlying assumption of such a law is that Canadians are too gullible, too stupid or too sensitive to be exposed to the sort of robust, knockabout journalism that prevails in – for example – the UK.

    Advocates of such a law invariably protest that they support free speech, by which they mean freedom to express views with which they agree. As one writer memorably put it, Canadians are allowed to say whatever they like, provided it is in the spirit of the Barney the Dinosaur song: I love you, you love me.

    When this subject comes up many of my Canadian friends point to the baleful example of Fox News and declare their detestation of the network and all its works. I don’t think much of Fox myself – not because of its views, which I don’t share but which it is perfectly free to express – but because its endless single-theme reporting gets a bit tiresome. Yet the very mention of Fox is enough to cause some Canadians to faint, as if they were confronted by Sauron the Dark Lord.

    As I do not live in Canada I am aware that it is slightly presumptuous of me to lecture Canadians on these matters. But I hope anyone who can be bothered to read my remarks will take them in the spirit they are intended. Canada is a mature, secular democracy. It has nothing to fear from freedom of expression, however distasteful it may sometimes be.

    Defining ‘falseness’ in news is no easy matter and will in many instances be a matter of opinion. For that reason, and that alone, a country with a false-news law on its statute books does not have a free press. That should be the beginning and end of the matter.

  10. #10 Wow
    February 18, 2011

    “This leads me to Coby’s support for a ‘false news’ law. Of course, there are many countries with such laws but they are overwhelmingly totalitarian, one-party states.”

    So what? Does this mean that a non-totalitarian democratic state will lose its democracy if it applies the same laws as they do to commercial news (False Advertising) as they do to noncomercial news (false news laws)?

    I’m afraid I don’t see the causation.

    Maybe you think that it is necessary to tell lies when reporting news stories as factual?

    “Defining ‘falseness’ in news is no easy matter and will in many instances be a matter of opinion.”

    Not really. When it’s reported that Phil Jones has said there’s been no warming since 1995, that’s false. No need to make it a matter of opinion.

    And, again, this is no different from the false advertising laws, produced to stop snake-oil salesmen from causing harm. “Oil salesmen” is rather appropriate here, isn’t it?

    “a country with a false-news law on its statute books does not have a free press.”

    A country that allows lies to be told as fact has no informed electorate and therefore does not have a democracy (nor a free market), since they require informed populace acting rationally in possession of the facts.

    Propaganda pretending to be news is a hallmark of a dictatorship. You don’t seem to mind dictatorships.

  11. #11 Snowman
    February 18, 2011

    I fear we inhabit parallel universes when it comes to press freedom, Wow, and I don’t suppose there is much opportunity for agreement. But let me address a couple of your points.

    You declare that ‘propaganda pretending to be news is the hallmark of a dictatorship’. If that were true, there is not a country on earth that would escape your categorization. After all, every government, no matter how worthy, attempts to put a favourable spin on its pronouncements. No, the hallmark of a dictatorship is a government that seeks to decide what may be said, and what may not – a government which, in other words, thinks it appropriate to pass laws forbidding the dissemination of ‘false’ news.

    You rather airily dismiss my point that Canada is in dubious company in having such legislation on its statute books. I cannot see why you are unconcerned by the fact that Canada shares this principle of law with Tunisia and Egypt, both of which used similar rules to justify their recent attempts to silence critics. Nor do I understand why you mention regulations forbidding fake claims in advertising – a relatively minor and reasonable restraint – in the same breath as laws that seek to define legitimacy in news coverage, an altogether more fundamental matter that strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a free nation.

  12. #12 Wow
    February 18, 2011

    “I fear we inhabit parallel universes when it comes to press freedom”

    If press freedom is the freedom to lie, you betcha.

    “You declare that ‘propaganda pretending to be news is the hallmark of a dictatorship’. If that were true, there is not a country on earth that would escape your categorization.”

    Really, so you admit that news is now propaganda AND ARE FINE WITH IT?

    PS, why would that make it incorrect.

    “After all, every government, no matter how worthy, attempts to put a favourable spin on its pronouncements”

    Uh, we’re talking about PRESS freedom, not GOVERNMENT freedom.

    I think you forgot.

    “You rather airily dismiss my point that Canada is in dubious company in having such legislation on its statute books.”

    Yup.

    Because it has no bearing on whether totalitarian regimes have rules on press lies.

    We have libel laws and they apply to the press too.

    “I cannot see why you are unconcerned by the fact that Canada shares this principle of law with Tunisia and Egypt”

    Tunisia and Egypt have market economies, just like Canada.

    “Nor do I understand why you mention regulations forbidding fake claims in advertising – a relatively minor and reasonable restraint”

    Freedom of speech is restricted, but this is relatively minor and reasonable, but if you restrict the press THE EXACT SAME WAY, this is a totalitarian regime???

    Forbidding fake claims is forbidding fake claims.

    You seem to be in a tither about who is allowed to lie.

    “in the same breath as laws that seek to define legitimacy in news coverage”

    Uh, yes. If you’re making up lies then you’re not reporting facts and this is not news, it’s propaganda.

    This isn’t defining legitimacy in news coverage. It’s defining that you can’t mislead the people by calling it news.

    “an altogether more fundamental matter that strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a free nation.”

    No, it’s the allowance of “news” to be turned into propaganda and lies that strikes at the heart of what it means to be a free nation.

    In what meaningful way can you be free if you’re told that we’ve always been at war with Eurasia? That black REALLY IS white? And that protesting against your lot is terrorism?

  13. #13 Ian Forrester
    February 18, 2011

    Everyone should take note that it is always the deniers (AGW, smoking risk, evolution, asbestos etc.) who support lying by the media and politicians and anyone supporting their cause.

    The reason, of course, is obvious, they can only get support for their position by resorting to lies.

  14. #14 Snowman
    February 18, 2011

    I guess there is little more to be said, Wow and Ian. Either you believe in press freedom or you do not.

    I do. You do not.

    But I will try one more time by asking a question: who gets to decide whether news is false or not?

  15. #15 MartinM
    February 18, 2011

    I guess there is little more to be said, Wow and Ian. Either you believe in press freedom or you do not.

    I do. You do not.

    An intriguing rhetorical technique. Not only do I believe that the press should be allowed to lie, I believe that they should have the freedom to kill anyone who attempts to expose them. Disagree? Clearly you don’t believe in freedom of the press.

  16. #16 Snowman
    February 18, 2011

    Martin, your hyperbole and reductio ad absurdum are childish. This is a serious issue that deserves serious debate.

  17. #17 Ian Forrester
    February 18, 2011

    snowman asked:

    who gets to decide whether news is false or not?

    Well the answer is rather simple. Most intelligent and educated readers will spot lies a mile away. Deniers, being on the lower end of the intelligence and education scales will have problems. They seem to prefer lies to actual facts.

    If that fails there is always the Courts. A good example, which includes, lies, sex and politicians, is to be seen in the Tommy Sheridan affair. A Scottish politician, he sued the News of the World for libel when they reported on his sexual proclivities. He won but the News of the World appealed because they claimed Sheridan committed perjury. They won the Appeal and Sheridan is facing 5 years in one of her majesty’s motels for the criminally inclined.

    Search the Scotsman archives for details.

    This route should be used more often. It will be interesting to see what becomes of Andrew Weaver’s cases against the National Post and Canadafreepress. Will they continue to lie, knowing that lying under oath is a serious criminal offense?

    I will ask you a simple question snowman. Why should it be considered OK to lie in a newspaper but not in a Court of Law? A lie is a lie wherever it is told.

  18. #18 Snowman
    February 18, 2011

    Ian, I am not suggesting that it is acceptable to lie in a newspaper. That is why we have laws of libel.

    My point is that an attempt by authorities to define news as true or false is clearly dangerous. Surely you can see that it can (I do not say must) lead to a Ministry of Truth and the suppression of inconvenient views. Incidentally, if, as you say, intelligent and educated readers can spot a lie a mile off, then there is no need for legislation to protect them.

    Of course, it will be argued that Canada is not a totalitarian state, and that laws prohibiting false reporting will not be abused. I wish I could share that view. The recent example of Maclean’s Magazine and the proceedings brought by the Human Rights Commission surely serves as a warning that press freedom is not divisible.

  19. #19 Ian Forrester
    February 18, 2011

    snowman said:

    Ian, I am not suggesting that it is acceptable to lie in a newspaper. That is why we have laws of libel.

    Yes you are. You are saying that it is wrong to lie about an individual but OK to lie about science, AGW etc. A lie is a lie and the law should protect anyone and everything (e.g. the quality of our environment) from blatant dishonesty. Remember, the first casualty in a war is the truth. We are at war (rhetorically speaking) with AGW deniers.

  20. #20 Snowman
    February 18, 2011

    Ian, let’s see if we can make any progress by considering an example. Say I wanted to write an article about climate change for my local newspaper. In it I would argue that any warming was well within the range of normal variability, that there was no identifiably human signal in the pattern and that climate scientists had fallen victim to group think and the herd instinct. I would add that many politicians who claimed to be friends of the environment were actually motivated by a desire to introduce socialist legislation and impose new taxes.

    I am sure you would disagree vigorously with each of these propositions. In fact, you would probably characterize them as lies.

    Would you ban the publishing of such an article? Would you make it illegal to express such views in print?

  21. #21 skip
    February 18, 2011

    But none of this is what you would say, Snowman.

    What you would do in your article is what you always do: You would *lie*. You would claim that Al Gore has called Mann “an embarrassment”, you would say the CRU emails demonstrate the research team is “hiding a decline in temperature”. You would make up whatever you wished and declare victory. You would lie, because you are a liar with no shame for your dishonesty.

    That being said, I grudgingly share your distaste for state-sponsored censorship.

    On another note, why are you hiding out here? You’ve missed a gob. Mike Tyson over on the Beck thread just showed a level of statistical incompetence I suspect even you couldn’t match. He also cited *yet another* authority which specifically contradicts his position.

    You really know how to pick ‘em, don’t you?

  22. #22 Snowman
    February 18, 2011

    Delighted to see you, Skip. Not half an hour ago I was saying to Mrs Snowman ‘where is Skip when we need him?’ I wondered whether you, a citizen of the nation of the First Amendment, would be party to this disgraceful endorsement of state censorship.

    Incidentally, it doesn’t really matter, but I have never made the comments you attribute to me.

  23. #23 Ian Forrester
    February 18, 2011

    snowman, it is not censorship. It would be actionable if you were shown to be lying and causing potential harm to the earth and its inhabitants. Just like libel but covering a broader range of malfeasance.

  24. #24 Snowman
    February 18, 2011

    Yes, but actionable by whom, Ian, and on whose behalf? This is the nub of the matter. If I were to publish an article making baseless and defamatory allegations about Ian Forrester, you could quite properly seek redress in the courts. But how can such a remedy be available to you (or anyone else) merely because you disagree with the opinions of another individual on an important matter of public policy.

    It must be obvious that a false-reporting regime must include a mechanism to decide what is true, when a prosecution should be instituted and the penalties to be sought. It must, in other words, be supported by a Ministry of Truth, 1984 style. It is a dreadful idea. Even Skip, not always my fondest admirer, agrees with me on this issue, I believe.

  25. #25 Ian Forrester
    February 18, 2011

    snowman you are just spouting nonsense. Anyone who brings up “1984” should not be taken seriously.

    Anyone who is knowledgeable about science knows when they are being lied to. It is the the uneducated and ill-informed who need to be protected from the corporate funded professional AGW deniers.

  26. #26 coby
    February 18, 2011

    Snowman, relax. No need for a Ministry of Truth, just a court of law. The gov’t or a citizen can bring a complaint before a court and the court will decide. And we are talking about matters of fact here, not about allowable opinions.

    If you report on your news show that CRU scientists admited in the hacked emails that they used a trick to hide a decline in global temperatures, it is a simple matter of fact that this is untrue. Blogs may muddy the issue, but a court will look at the actual evidence, which is unequivocal.

    If I can then show where I previously explained this to you and presented you with the evidence, then that means you knew it was untrue and were therefore lying.

    Now the consequence of this is not to be torture in a gov’t dungeon under the Parliment buildings, it is fines and potentially the loss of your license to broadcast. This seems completely reasonable to me.

    It is very noble sounding for you to frame this as a simple matter of free press versus gov’t oppression, but the fact is no freedom of any kind comes without responsibility and it is a legitimate function of a society to decide when the abdication of one’s responsibilities results in the loss of one’s freedoms. Isn’t every single law a case of defining such a balance?

    I am very happy with the idea that a news outfit that lies to the public may lose its right to broadcast over the public’s airways.

    People like Glenn Beck should not be put in jail, but a cardboard box on a street corner is really the only appropriate platform for his toxic lunacy. Yet even his show, as it is not strictly a news show, might not be inhibited by the rules as they are now. Why should these rules be so cynically gutted?

    Again, we are not talking about expression of opinion, and we are not talking about imprisonment, so let’s not insult victims of real censorship and opression around the world and throughout history by trying to cast Rupert Murdoch as one of them.

    He’s just a cynical liar.

  27. #27 Ian Forrester
    February 18, 2011

    Coby said:

    and we are not talking about imprisonment

    Certainly not on the original transgression but if they continue to lie in Court then the legal system takes a very dim view of perjury.

  28. #28 Tom Curtis
    February 18, 2011

    Snowman: “Ian, let’s see if we can make any progress by considering an example. Say I wanted to write an article about climate change for my local newspaper. In it I would argue … [a whole lot of falsehoods].”

    So far as I can see there is nothing in this law to prevent you from doing just that. The law is a restriction on the publication of falsehoods as news, not the publication of falsehoods as opinion. (Coby’s comment at 4:00 pm tends to confirm this.)

    What the law will prevent you from doing is going on the news and claiming that scientists have shown that arctic sea ice is above average for the period of satellite observations. It will not even, SFAIK, prevent you from going on the news and claiming that “Lord Monckton claims that the current arctic sea ice extent excedes the average over the period of satellite observations”. Of course, you may want to be very clear that you have not fact checked the claim, or that real climate scientists disagree. You may even want to show a map comparing current sea ice with the average just to be safe.

    The law, then, does not prevent propoganda and spin. Rather it prevents governments and private interests claiming that propoganda and spin are actual fact on the news.

  29. #29 Snowman
    February 19, 2011

    Thank you for your comments, Coby, and I am relieved to learn that the Government of Canada is not contemplating the rack and the thumbscrews.

    You point out that this law distinguishes between fact and opinion. But wouldn’t you agree that the dividing line is not always clear? Let us say, for example, that I published an article declaring that a significant number of climate scientists do not believe that human activity is affecting global temperatures. In your regime, I might well be hauled into court to justify such a claim. In mitigation, I would point to a number of scientists who have indeed said that. Yes, fine, my traducers would say, but the small number you have named is not significant. So, the court would have to decide what is significant and what is not – an absurd situation that should never arise in a free country when the subject concerns important matters of public policy.

    Nor would it stop there. Let us say I declared, as a statement of fact, that the warming we have seen over the past century or so is well within normal variability. This is a lie, my accusers would insist, and bring proceedings again. Are you seriously saying that this is a matter on which a court of law should rule? Surely it is plain that any attempt to define truth in news opens up such a can of worms and introduces so many contradictions that no such legislation should be contemplated.

    Contrast this with the first amendment to the US Constitution, to which I alluded earlier. There, in simple language and black and white, is one of the noblest ideas in human governance. Congress shall enact no law abridging freedom of speech or freedom of the press. How different from the shabby equivocation that exists in Canada, and which so many here are eager to defend.

    There can be only one reason for supporting such legislation, and that is the suppression of voices that you do not believe should be heard. Nor, as I indicated, is this merely theoretical. There have been a number of cases in recent years in Canada that amount to serious assaults on press freedom. I mentioned the Maclean’s episode, something that I cannot imagine happening in any other democratic nation on earth. This trend is disquieting, to say the least.

  30. #30 Hypnos
    February 19, 2011

    Let’s get to the basics:

    1) This is not a new law. This law has always existed.

    2) Out of the past 9 years, for 8 years Canada’s press – despite this laws existence – was deemed substantially freer than the US’s.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Press_Freedom_Index

    3) The only reason you are against this law is because you want Fox News to be able to exercise the same kind of outrageous lying in Canada as it does in the US. This is not a safeguard of democracy – this is precisely what is destroying democracy in the US. How does it help democracy when half of the American public openly believes in falsehoods about its elected president – falsehoods that are spread and reinforced on a daily basis by the American media?

    4) Canadian newspapers spout AGW denier propaganda on a daily basis. They aren’t taken to court. Don’t worry, that “right” is well protected (I still find it hilarious that perhaps the single topic in which lies are most clearly identified is science, and yet that is your main area of worry).

  31. #31 Tom Curtis
    February 19, 2011

    Snowman:

    “You point out that this law distinguishes between fact and opinion. But wouldn’t you agree that the dividing line is not always clear? Let us say, for example, that I published an article declaring that a significant number of climate scientists do not believe that human activity is affecting global temperatures. In your regime, I might well be hauled into court to justify such a claim. In mitigation, I would point to a number of scientists who have indeed said that. Yes, fine, my traducers would say, but the small number you have named is not significant. So, the court would have to decide what is significant and what is not – an absurd situation that should never arise in a free country when the subject concerns important matters of public policy.”

    I am sure the court would not be greatly troubled, nor take very long to decide that less than 3% is not a significant number. Nor in fact would you in normal circumstances claim that less than 3% is a significant number. It is only that you wish to give a false authority to otherwise indefensible views that leads you to make such obviously misleading statements.

    Of course, there is nothing to stop you from saying that 20 (or whatever the number is) climate scientists do not believe that human activity is affecting the climate; although for balance you may also want to add that it is 20 out of several thousand climate scientists world wide.

    And here is the crucial point. If you just state the numbers involved without any value laden, and vague statements then the Canadian public can make up their own mind about whether that number is significant or not. It is only because you want to prejudge that issue for the Canadian public in an effort to mislead that you risk running foul of the law. That of course, just means that the law is working.

    The law in fact does not prevent you conveying any significant fact to the public. It just prevents you from concealing significant facts behind vague statements which seek to prepackage thinking to the public.

    The same applies to your case about “natural variability”. If you just present the facts, then you have no problems with the law. Your problem is that the facts do speak for themselves so if you just presented the facts, you would lose people from your cause, not gain them. Therefore you want to shield people from the facts by presenting predetermined interpretations rather than the actual facts of the case.

    For you to have any sort of case here, you need to present a reason as to why it is better for the Canadian public to be told “a significant number” rather than “a out of b” climate scientists believe as you do. Failing that, you have not shown that they will be deprived by this law from information relevant to public debate, only that news reports will not be able to prepackage thought bubbles rather than actually broadcasting the news.

  32. #32 Ian Forrester
    February 19, 2011

    snowman shows his true colours, he is a “truth denier”.

    Pathetic, didn’t your mother scold you for lying when you were little?

  33. #33 Snowman
    February 19, 2011

    Thank you all for your comments, which I have read with interest. I find it genuinely remarkable that I, defending free speech and a free press, should be attacked for my views. It is even more extraordinary that my opinions are somehow seen as controversial, even dangerous. It is, I fear, a measure of how far Canada has gone in the abandonment of ideals possessed by every other democratic nation. Only in Canada, could this slightly surreal conversation be taking place.

    Incidentally, although I have offered examples dealing with climate topics, I have done so only because that is the main point of this blog. There are many other areas of public life where Canada’s Ministry of Truth laws can be even more damaging to public discourse, and which should not be tolerated for an instant by a free people.

    But there we are. I have made my case and it seems I have persuaded no one. Thank you for reading my observations.

  34. #34 skip
    February 19, 2011

    Ultimately its on us who don’t delude ourselves with bullshit to simply try our best to reach the undecided through aggressive public discourse.

    The one concession I have always made to the Snowmans of the world is that their visceral appeal to shortsightedness, indifference, and ignorance will always be effective with a loud and illiterate demographic that constitutes a disturbingly high fraction of the American populace (and at least some of the Canadian one, as Richard Wakefield demonstrates). Snowman in his more transparent moments has revealed that this is exactly the strategy he both reveres and banks on.

    The only real antidote, if there is one, is to fight it head on and hope that truth will eventually resonate with a majority–one which has enough wisdom to not let its agenda be set by Anthony Watts and can recognize that a fool who doesn’t even understand what a difference-of-means test is is not an intellectual Mike Tyson.

  35. #35 Richard Wakefield
    February 19, 2011

    What are you people afraid of? Is this what happens in a democratic free society? You attempt to stop others from making their own free speech? How would you all like it to be living in a country where YOU would not be allowed to have a media outlet? Don’t you agree with what is happening in the Middle East as protesters strive for more political freedom? Yet you jump all over Fox North?

    Anyone who signs that petition is guilty of policical racism and bigotry. And you all claim to be “liberals”, right.

  36. #36 Richard Wakefield
    February 19, 2011

    As a Canadian I can assure you that I know a lot of Canadians and many of them are unsophisticated enough, or are already biased enough, to be persuaded easily by the sort of uncontrolled systematic lying that is perpetrated by Fox News and would likely be perpetrated by SunTV if there was no checks on their behaviour.

    Typical socialist nonsense. People are so stupid only YOU can save them. Get off your high horse and get real. STAY OUT OF MY LIFE!!

  37. #37 Richard Wakefield
    February 19, 2011

    The only reason you are against this law is because you want Fox News to be able to exercise the same kind of outrageous lying in Canada as it does in the US. This is not a safeguard of democracy – this is precisely what is destroying democracy in the US. How does it help democracy when half of the American public openly believes in falsehoods about its elected president – falsehoods that are spread and reinforced on a daily basis by the American media?

    I’m sure Hitler said the same things in 1930’s Germany.

    It is NOT up to you what people want to believe, how they want to think, or what they want to say. If you are against people lying in public, make such a crime, then we would have to jail ALL politicians, Laywers, sales people, cars dealers, etc, etc.

  38. #38 Richard Wakefield
    February 19, 2011

    People like Glenn Beck should not be put in jail, but a cardboard box on a street corner is really the only appropriate platform for his toxic lunacy. Yet even his show, as it is not strictly a news show, might not be inhibited by the rules as they are now. Why should these rules be so cynically gutted?

    In a free democracy people have the right to spew any lunacy they want over the airways. Unless you wish to shut down every single religious broadcast? Would you go so far? What is one person’s “toxic lunacy” is another’s clear message. No one has the right to dictate what “toxic lunacy” is. You would not want your site shut down by a court because someone managed to convince a judge you are spewing “toxic lunacy”.

  39. #39 skip
    February 19, 2011

    In a free democracy people have the right to spew any lunacy they want over the airways.

    Or in your case, Richard, the internet.

    How’d the exchange with Judith go? Has she asked you to do an end run around the fascist Canadian government and censor yourself?

  40. #40 Ian Forrester
    February 19, 2011

    Well Wakefield shows his true colours, a lying denier. Why do you lie so much? Didn’t your mother tell you that it was wrong? Do you think that people should be told all sorts of lies in their daily lives? What would you say if the grocery store doubled the listed price when you checked it out at the check out? Would you say “I am willing to let you charge twice what the ticketed price is because I believe in free speech” or would you immediately call for the manager?

    You are a despicable and pathetic person who gets off on the words of the likes of Glenn Back and Rush Limbaugh and all the other right wing liars.

    I bet you are so confused by all the lies you believe that you haven’t a clue what is real and what is not real. You live in a fantasy world but I will do everything in my power to prevent your fantasy world from becoming a reality.

  41. #41 Richard Wakefield
    February 19, 2011

    fascist Canadian government

    Skip, nicely exposing yourself of how ignorant you are of our system of government, and a total lie. This is the the “truth” you want to have on the airways?

    We do not have a fascist government. We have a MINORITY conservative government who cannot pass anything in the House of Commons without the support of one of the other 3 parties (all socialists).

    Right now in Canada more people support the conservatives than any other party, 10 points ahead of the Lieberals. Harper is regarded by the public as better than any of the other leaders.

  42. #42 Richard Wakefield
    February 19, 2011

    Ian, unlike you, I would prefer to live in a free democracy where people can lie all they want if they want to, and people are free to change the channels away from anything they do not want to listen to than to be subjected to your attempt to control everyone, your censorship and your restriction of free speech. You are just another socialist bigot. You are the kind of person the people of Egypt just rejected.

  43. #43 Ian Forrester
    February 19, 2011

    Wakefield is confused and wrong again:

    Ian, unlike you, I would prefer to live in a free democracy where people can lie all they want if they want to

    That wouldn’t be “democracy” it would be anarchy. But you deniers want that anyway, don’t you? Then you can really loot and pillage the honest people.

    And answer my question about grocery prices.

  44. #44 Snowman
    February 19, 2011

    Though it pains me, Richard, to come to Skip’s defence, I am fairly confident he was being ironic when he referred to the fascist Canadian government.

  45. #45 Richard Wakefield
    February 19, 2011

    Ian, it is because of people like you, who wish to force on people what is truth and what isn’t, that we MUST have a Fox North, if for nothing more than to piss you off.

  46. #46 Ian Forrester
    February 19, 2011

    Wakefield, why do you not answer questions? Are you afraid that your answers will make you look even more stupid than you already have shown yourself to be?

    You are a pathetic and despicable person who is completely lacking in any positive character attributes. Why do you hate honesty? Are you so stupid that you cannot tell the difference between honest comment and your pathetic lies? Do you hate honest people because you are lacking in educational ability to be able to differentiate between truth and lies?

  47. #47 Tom Curtis
    February 19, 2011

    Snowman, he was not just being ironic, he was making a deliberate reference to Wakefield’s comparison of the laws of the current Canadian government to Hitler.

    I would respond to Wakefield directly except that he is yet to put forward an actual argument for his position. All he seems capable of is bigoted insults.

    I do note, however, you yourself cannot explain why it is such a large imposition, and so inimical to public discourse to be required to present the actual facts of the matter rather than a prefiltered interpretation of the facts.

  48. #48 Daniel J. Andrews
    February 19, 2011

    Various polls have found that people who watch Fox News are most likely to be misinformed on important issues, often by a very large margin when compared to other news agencies. Fox News doesn’t just offer a slant on the news (all news does that to some extent or other), but it utters blatant falsehoods. And when shown it is wrong, it doesn’t retract its statements like a real reputable news organization would, but sometimes even repeats them again.

    I voted against having a Fox News north here. We don’t need something that passes itself off as a serious news agency yet is just an infotaintment propaganda machine and mouthpiece for industries. It is not a news organization–I can’t imagine any Canadian news agency (aside from the Sun) who would misplace Egypt (twice).

    If it wants to brand itself as something other than “News” I’d have no problem with it being up here. Calling it “News” though does a disservice to real news agencies, and it will mislead people just as it has in the states.

  49. #49 coby
    February 19, 2011

    Lest Richard run away with yet another thread I would ask people to only respond if he manages to make a semi-coherent point. So far it is just hysterics that have no bearing on reality. I’m not trying to stifle anyone’s free speech here, just asking all to be sure there is a point to responding. I mean, if he can’t even distinguish between outright lying passed off as news versus a religious broadcast, is it really worth trying to reason with him?

    Oh yeah, and he said “Hitler”.

  50. #50 Richard Wakefield
    February 19, 2011

    Why do you hate honesty?

    What I hate are people who think everyone who disagrees with them is a liar. I hate people who think their opinions are fact. I hate intolerant bigots who cannot stand people who have differing views, and use insults. That’s all you. If I was referring to black people the same way you refer to me, you would call me an intolerant racist bigot. But when you do the same thing to people like me, that you makes you a hypocrite on top of an intolerant bigot.

    And yet, I support your right to be such. I would never advocate muzzling you.

  51. #51 Richrard Wakefield
    February 19, 2011

    Various polls have found that people who watch CBC are most likely to be misinformed on important issues, often by a very large margin when compared to other news agencies. CBC doesn’t just offer a slant on the news (all news does that to some extent or other), but it utters blatant falsehoods. And when shown it is wrong, it doesn’t retract its statements like a real reputable news organization would, but sometimes even repeats them again.

    Various polls have found that people who watch SitComs are most likely to be misinformed on important issues, often by a very large margin when compared to other shows.

    Voting does not give you the right to take away other people’s right to watch what ever they want.

    If you don’t want to watch it, don’t turn to that channel. But you have no right to prevent others who do.

  52. #52 Richard Wakefield
    February 19, 2011

    Coby, if Fox News lies, take them to court and PROVE it to judge. That’s the furthest you can go in a free society.

    I guess you think the National Post lies, and the Toronto Star never does.

    In a free society petitioning to have something stopped just because you disagree with it is intolerant bigotry. What would you say if I started a petition to prevent a women’s channel, or a black’s channel, or an aboriginal’s channel. You would yell racism. Yet that is EXACTLY what you are doing with this thread promoting this petition.

  53. #53 Steve L
    February 19, 2011

    This is nuts. AGW-deniers want news broadcasts to be allowed to lie. Could you provide a better example of intellectual dishonesty? I don’t know if I could.

  54. #54 Ian Forrester
    February 19, 2011

    Coby, as long as Wakefield insults me and other honest posters I will keep this thread going. If you want it stopped put his posts in a sink hole.

    I will never allow anyone to slander me and other honest scientists in the way that Wakefield does. He is dishonest not because he disagrees with me but because he has continually posted lies on this and other blogs. These lies are easily identified as such and are not based on “my opinions”.

  55. #55 mandas
    February 19, 2011

    Its an obvious trait of humans that they tend to congregate into ‘like’ groups, and defend their own kind and their own way of life from others.

    Interesting to see who among us is defending Faux news and the right to spread lies and propaganda on the airways. Can anyone work out why that might be?

  56. #56 Snowman
    February 20, 2011

    Tom, you suggest that I have been unable to show why Canada’s false-reporting laws are such an imposition, or such an impediment to public discourse. I am a little surprised to hear you put it that way: surely, I do not have to make such a case.

    In a free society there must be a prima facie preference for unrestricted reporting, constrained only by the normal rules of libel, fraud and incitement to criminality. Isn’t it obvious that a country that permits such a law on its statute books risks political censorship, if not by this government then by a future one (quite apart from the obvious difficulties of definition of truth and the further encroachment of the courts on matters that should be the sole preserve of Parliament)?

    I hesitate to use the term null hypothesis, given the indignation that the words seemed to engender when used on other threads, but I think you will know what I getting at.

  57. #57 skip
    February 20, 2011

    Various polls have found that people who watch CBC are most likely to be misinformed on important issues . . . –Richard

    No citation of course, although I would ask this: What do polls suggest about the level of scientific comprehension of individuals who watch the Weather Channel for their climate education (“its really interesting”).

    And what a sad state it is, Snowman, when you’re forced to apologize for Mike Tyson’s complete incomprehension of the simplest point.

    Like I said, you really know how to pick a winner. (“Get out there, Champ . . . give ‘em the old one-two!”

  58. #58 skip
    February 20, 2011

    Lest Richard run away with yet another thread I would ask people to only respond if he manages to make a semi-coherent point.

    In which case I might have to take up knitting.

    Jesus, Coby. What would Wow and I do with ourselves? Is this a backhanded way to censor me like the tyrannical Canadian government?????

  59. #59 Tom Curtis
    February 20, 2011

    Snowman, there is not a prima facie preference for unrestricted reporting in a free society. Rather, there is a prima facie case against any restriction on the ability of citizens for form rational opinions about public events. And passing of lies as news is such a restriction. I must reiterate (yet again) that the Canadian laws place no restriction on the expression of opinion stated as such. They do place a restriction on passing of mere opinion as factual reporting.

    This is not a freedom of speach issue. It is an issue about how you brand speach, either as reportings of fact, or as opinion, or as deliberate propoganda. It does not prevent you from pursuing the later as is your want. It merely prevents you from doing so and calling it “news”.

    Your problem, by the way, clearly comes down to this – you want to label as fact things which you do not believe you could defend as fact in a court of law, and fear that your opponents can show easily to be falsehoods in the same venue. That is something everyone should know about you no matter what topic you discuss.

  60. #60 Snowman
    February 20, 2011

    My ‘problem’ (as you put it Tom) is not that I want to label falsehoods as fact. It is that I do not believe it is the job the state to manage news, and to decide what is true and what is not. But so be it: we have both had our say and it doesn’t look as if we are going to agree.

  61. #61 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    Ian, since you want a pure honest society, where people like you get to control what people like me, who are always dishonest, of low intelligence, get to see/hear/read, for the good of all society. Would you also prevent people like me from breeding to protect society? Be honest now since that is your main goal, pure honesty.

  62. #62 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    This is nuts. AGW-deniers want news broadcasts to be allowed to lie. Could you provide a better example of intellectual dishonesty? I don’t know if I could.

    It is EXACTLY because of people like you, who think they are the guardians of Truth, that we must have a Fox North. If you want to live in a society where the Truth is dictated by ideology, go live a year in North Korea, then come back and tell us how great it was.

  63. #63 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    Interesting to see who among us is defending Faux news and the right to spread lies and propaganda on the airways. Can anyone work out why that might be?

    If you don’t know then you have a serious problem.

    FREE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY!!!

    I guess you would rather live in a pure socialist/communist society where the government tells you what is the Truth.

  64. #64 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    I must reiterate (yet again) that the Canadian laws place no restriction on the expression of opinion stated as such. They do place a restriction on passing of mere opinion as factual reporting.

    And in our country if you have issue with what is being broadcastedyou can go to the CRTC and compain. You do NOT have the right to prevent anyone from wanting to start their own news service just because YOU THINK they will lie.

    Once up and running I hope you watch like a hawk and write lots of complaints to the CRTC.

  65. #65 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    Skip, why didn’t you demand Andrews give a citation? Because you WANT his opinion to be fact. You are another excellent example of why we need a Fox North.

  66. #66 skip
    February 20, 2011

    Wrong, Richard.

    I already knew it to be true.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/908391–watching-fox-news-leaves-viewers-less-informed-study-finds

    A friend of mine has actually written a book on this subject so I was familiar with the issue long before you became simply the latest manifestation of it in my life.

  67. #67 Vernon
    February 20, 2011

    I have read the comments and would just like to point out that based on this law, news reporting Alfred Wegener’s plate tectonics theories in the 40’s would be breaking the law. Ath that time, the whole scientific consensus knew that his theory was wrong and treated him little more than a crackpot. Again in the 1980’s news station reporting Barry Marshall’s theory on the source of ulcers would have been against the law, since a consensus of doctors and scientist that this theory was wrong. Both individuals were proved to be right despite the overwhelming consensus at the time that knew they were just crackpots and liars.

    I found a nice quote that sums up my position —

    “When opposing views, theories, and facts are suppressed – and that is just what is happening in Britain, Holland, and Canada – then democracy becomes a curse and not a blessing. The idea of democracy as a guardian of freedom rests on this: if we all fear government rule, then we all have a more or less equal interest in keeping government modest, tame, and neutral.

    When large percentages of the people view government as the goal and not the means, then these people have no interest at all in keeping government modest, tame, and neutral. Instead, government becomes the Cossack of their lusts. The sabers and whips are, rightly (they think) used to punish and to intimidate all voices and all groups which oppose them. The end-game is predictably atrocious: ask the Jews of Germany, the Sudras of India, or the blacks of the Reconstruction South. Democracy was the enemy of each of these tortured souls of humanity.”

  68. #68 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    Here is an example of Ian’s perfectly honest world. Image him as a human resources “gate keeper” for a corporation. He’s in charge of who gets to work there. I come in for a job posting. In the interview the first question out of Ian’s mouth is: “are you a conservative.” I reply “yes”. He then throws the resume back at me and says “that’s all lies, it’s not possible for a conservative to have that much experience and abilities. You all lie and are of low intelligence.”

    Now, imagine that it was not me but a black person applying for the same job and Ian says the same thing to him.

    That’s the kind of society you want to live in? I suggest you all watch the film Stalin. That’s the kind of society you are advocating.

  69. #69 skip
    February 20, 2011

    Vernon!

    Long time no see.

    You left us so suddenly and unceremoniously regarding Wegman’s testimony before Congress regarding the “hockey stick”.

    Might we resume the matter on an appropriate thread?

  70. #70 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    Skip cites the Toronto Star, a lyng liberal rag that is only good to line my bird cage. Yet I would never avocate shutting it down. Free democracy.

    By your standards Skip, you should also demand shutting down all religeous programming on TV and radio, eh?

  71. #71 Vernon
    February 20, 2011

    Skip,

    If you read the whole report, you left off the most important finding:

    “Looking at the frequency of misinformation among the consumers of various news sources, one striking feature is that substantial levels of misinformation were present in the daily consumers of all news sources. Even the daily consumers of news sources with the lowest levels of misinformation still included substantial numbers with misinformation.”

  72. #72 skip
    February 20, 2011

    Vernon, if I have done this correctly we left off here:

    http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2010/10/gmuniversity_investigating_weg.php#comment-2853415

    Great to have you back.

  73. #73 skip
    February 20, 2011

    Most important is subjective, Vernon.

    Most of us don’t know jack shit about most things; Fox News viewers simply know the least of all.

    One thing I do know is what North said before Congress. Do you?

  74. #74 skip
    February 20, 2011

    The “lying liberal rag” was citing a *study*, Richard.

    Your ineptitude is beyond comprehension.

  75. #75 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    Most of us don’t know jack shit about most things; Fox News viewers simply know the least of all.

    Change that quote to read:

    Most of us don’t know jack shit about most things; Black/Hispanic viewers simply know the least of all.

    What would that have made you Skip?

    The study was shit. It found what it was looking for to begin with. Just another liberal/socialist rant trying to justify its own self proclaimed superiority.

    More reasons why we need a Fox North here.

  76. #76 Tom Curtis
    February 20, 2011

    Vernon, February 20, 6:17am,

    First and most importantly, your claims about what could and could not be reported under this law are simply wrong. Under this law, it would have been perfectly possible to report on plate tectonics, so long as you phrased it, “Alfred Wegener believes that …”. You could even go on and report that, “Alfred Wegener considers it to be important evidence that …” and so on. It is telling that the opponents of this law feel compelled to argue against a straw man version of the law.

    Second, you have an obnoxious theory of democracy. Obnoxious because it appeals to the wrong justification, wherein it is merely a constraint on the size of government. The fundamental reason democracies are good is that by requiring the institutional consent of the governed, they accord the governed proper respect. It that institutional respect is not obtained, then any government without it is based on some form of coercion, and in fact of treating people merely as “means to and end” rather than as “ends in themselves”. This is true regardless of the size of the government involved.

    It is obnoxious because the pursuit of small government has always and primarily been a mask for the development of large private institutions that are far more able to coerce citizens than most governments dream of or attempt.

    Finally, it is obnoxious because it cannot recognize the distinction between democracy and tyranny. This is make plain by your quoted invocation of Hitler. It is absolutely made plain to me in that you are prepared to quote approvingly a fool (there is no better term) who describes the Apartheid regime in South Africa as a “democracy”.

    I speak to this matter from close experience, for my family was involved in the struggle against apartheid. My uncle was banned, because he would not accept the law requiring the political party for which he was a candidate to cease being multiracial. My cousin was imprisoned and crippled by the SA police for opposing apartheid as president of the South African Union of Students. His sister and her children were killed by a letter bomb for opposing apartheid along with her husband.

    And let me assure you of one thing – they all knew what democracy was, and what it was not. Knowing that, not one of them would have called apartheid South Africa a democracy. And not one of them would have opposed the Canadian law. Having experienced a genuine lack of freedom, they would not throw freedom away for the false grail of libertarianism.

  77. #77 Ian Forrester
    February 20, 2011

    Coby, why do you allow Wakefield to pollute this site with his dishonest rubbish? He is turning everything anyone honest on this site says into lies, distortions and insults.

    Surely you realize that he is turning your site into a cesspit where only the deniers will be visitors?

    It is time you put together a comments policy to keep dishonest posters honest. Other science blogs have a lot less of that kind of nonsense because of their strict comments policy.

    Vernon, Wegener’s theory was based on facts and honesty and was eventually accepted by the scientific community because he was able to produce evidence to support his findings. Compare that to the AGW deniers who lie, distort, obfuscate, misinterpret and misinform. You have no idea of how science works when you compare Wegener to AGW deniers.

  78. #78 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    Ian, hit a nerve did I? GOOD!!!

    That’s so typical of you and your ilk. Soon as someone exposes your hypocrisy and intolerance, demand censorship.

    The more you expose yourself in the manner you do, the more I will expose you for what you are. A lying intolerant bigoted hypocrite.

  79. #79 skip
    February 20, 2011

    Richard, the study never looked at racial distinctions, but if it did, not doubt it would find many. That isn’t bigoted, Richard, that’s just empirical evidence.

    Bigoted is when you declare a study you have not read, do not understand, and never even realized was a study and not an opinion piece to be flawed because it is, “just another liberal/socialist rant trying to justify its own self proclaimed superiority.”

    These are small, pathetic thoughts, Richard. Small, pathetic thoughts from a small-minded and pathetic man.

    Again, your continued implosion might do some good so I am more than willing to facilitate it. Or, you could go back to being what you are: a retired fireman with a chance at a decent and fulfilling life. Up to you, man.

  80. #80 Ian Forrester
    February 20, 2011

    Wakefield has problems understanding some of the words he uses. I hope he tells me just exactly what I have been saying that is “hypocrisy”. That seems to be his main reason for being so muddled and ignorant of science, he has trouble understanding simple English language.

    Go back to school and please tell your teacher (get a real one, don’t look in a mirror) that you want to be completely re-educated since your previous teacher (you) did such a poor job of it.

  81. #81 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    Skip, bigotry is whenever you target a specific group of people as being inferior. Such as the old “Newfie” jokes.

    There used to be “studies” that “proved” blacks were inferior because of brain size. This “study” of yours is the same pseudoscience.

    What you are all proclaiming, what this petition is about, is to restrict a certain group of people from having their right to watch what ever they want because YOU claim such people are incapable of seeing past the “lies” you think will be presented. And only YOU can protect such people.

    That’s intolerant socialism at it’s best (actually worse). What’s sad is you don’t even see you are attempting to trump people’s rights. That’s dangersous.

  82. #82 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    Ian, do you agree with freedom and rights of speech? Do you agree that people should be free to express their opinions, beliefs, even if in your view they are not true?

  83. #83 skip
    February 20, 2011

    There used to be “studies” that “proved” blacks were inferior because of brain size.

    And if you’d ever read *The Mismeasure of Man*, by SJ Gould–which I know you didn’t, because you do not read–you would know how these studies came to be debunked: by the scientific process of which you know nothing.

    This “study” of yours is the same pseudoscience.

    Wrong, Richard. It was conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland in the context of a commitment to academic integrity and empirical investigation–in other words in a world of which you know nothing and in which you have never participated.

  84. #84 Ian Forrester
    February 20, 2011

    Wakefield whine once again:

    Do you agree that people should be free to express their opinions, beliefs, even if in your view they are not true?

    Wakefield can lie all he wants about what he does behind his wife’s back or how fast he can run.

    However, I will not allow anyone to lie about some thing which will affect me, my future generations and how their lies will affect life on this planet. Your lies and those of other AGW and science deniers are so egregious that they must not be allowed to pollute the minds of like minded people such as your self who are ignorant of science and its effects on us all.

    Why do you think we have an education system? If all lies and distortions of the truth were to be accepted we could just listen to like minded people and everyone could have their own opinions as to what is right and what is wrong.

    Wakefield, that way is anarchy. Is that what you want? That will not be the world I want for myself and my family and friends.

  85. #85 skip
    February 20, 2011

    And by the way, Richard, unlike many of the posters here I do *not* agree with a content filter being given the force of the laws of Canada or any other nation–even though this puts me in the awkward position of agreeing with the likes of yourself and Snowman.

    I agree that Fox News is Radio Berlin for illiterati such as yourself, but that the only possible antidote is the truth.

  86. #86 coby
    February 20, 2011

    Snowman in #60: “It is that I do not believe it is the job the state to manage news, and to decide what is true and what is not.”

    This is of course a strawman argument, I have seen no one take a position contrary to this. And for the record, I unequivocally agree that the state should not decide what is true. This is not what the law is about.

    What this law is about is whether or not it is okay for a news broadcaster to knowingly state factually incorrect things. If a complaint is brought, it is up to the courts, not the gov’t, to determine, not decide, what the reality is, what the facts really are. This does not apply to opinions, or biased language or choice of topic, only to factual statements presented as news over public airways.

    RW in #64: “And in our country if you have issue with what is being broadcastedyou can go to the CRTC and compain. You do NOT have the right to prevent anyone from wanting to start their own news service just because YOU THINK they will lie.”

    Richard, you are tilting at windmills again. Please calm down and try to understand what is being discussed.

    Vernon in #67: “news reporting Alfred Wegener’s plate tectonics theories in the 40’s would be breaking the law.”

    False. News reporting that that is the scientific consensus would have been. Or news simply reporting that as an unqualified truth would have been. As Tony pointed out, reporting it as one man’s theory would not have been, no matter how approvingly or dismissively.

    Can’t anyone argue against the actual substance of this? What legitimate reason can there possibly be to initiate a change in an existing law that specifically makes it alright to knowingly present factually false statements as news when such statements are already allowed in a multitude of other types of broadcasts? Lie all you want, just don’t present it on the public airways as legitimate news.

  87. #87 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    Can’t anyone argue against the actual substance of this? What legitimate reason can there possibly be to initiate a change in an existing law that specifically makes it alright to knowingly present factually false statements as news when such statements are already allowed in a multitude of other types of broadcasts?

    That’s what the CRTC is for. If you think a newscast knowing lied about something, YOU have to launch a complaint. If you don’t like their ruling, then take the broadcaster to court.

    You have no right to restrict people’s rights to watch what they want. You have no right to stop a broadcaster from starting. This is Canada, not North Korea. Your posting of this petition is a gross attempt at violating people’s rights. This is how dictators start.

    What is nice is you have allowed people like Ian to expose his bigotry towards others who disagree with his world view.

    Nice going.

  88. #88 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    Ian, can’t answer that basic quesion, eh? I guess that means you agree that people like yourself should force people like me to abide with what YOU want. You agree with stripping people of their basic human rights and freedoms who do not share your world view.

    As I though… Stalin would be proud of you. You would have risen in his ranks. Until he didn’t need you any more, and eliminated you. Such is socialism.

  89. #89 Ian Forrester
    February 20, 2011

    I would have thought that Wakefield being a fireman (is he telling the truth for once?) would know that it is not safe to have so much straw in his house. The number of straw men Wakefield is building is well and truly a fire hazard and a hazard to thinking people everywhere.

    As for his insulting question, if he could only understood simple English and actually read what people post he would have had his answer.

  90. #90 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    The fact you are not answering the accusation I made directly, instead trying to sluff it off, must mean I’m correct about you.

  91. #91 Ian Forrester
    February 20, 2011

    Once again Wakefield is using his dishonest method of putting words in people’s mouths not responding to what they actually say.

    Your behaviour on this blog (and elsewhere) is despicable. Have you no self esteem left that you must continue to act in a dishonest manner? I answered your question, but you consistently fail to answer questions posed to you.

    I will repeat my answer again. No one should have a right to tell lies when those lies will harm future generations and influence people’s understanding of difficult problems. They must be informed and the only way you can be informed is by being told the truth as it has been determined by intelligent and educated people. You fit neither category.

  92. #92 luminous beauty
    February 20, 2011

    Richard, In the US courts, Fox News has won the right to lie precisely because there is no legislative measure like this to prevent them from doing so, even though FCC (the US equivalent of the CRTC) rules did.

    http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/11-the-media-can-legally-lie/

    Is this what you want for Canada?

  93. #93 Ian Forrester
    February 20, 2011

    This tells us why Wakefield is lying:

    http://tinyurl.com/4bsjcsu

  94. #94 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    I will repeat my answer again. No one should have a right to tell lies when those lies will harm future generations and influence people’s understanding of difficult problems.

    And you will be the arbitrator of what a “lie” is.

    Religions lie every day on TV, why don’t you launch a complaint with the CRTC to have them shut down?

  95. #95 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    Is this what you want for Canada?

    Yes. The free right to broadcast to the audience you target. You do not have the right to stop that. That’s the thin edge of the wedge to totalitarianism.

    The limiting factor for any broadcast should be the viewers. With ratings dropping, because no one wants to listen, then they go off the air. That’s how it should work.

    No one is forcing you to watch Fox New North. Just ignore it, for the same reason I ignore CityTV.

  96. #96 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    Ian, my cockatoo is more honest than you, but that’s easy to do.

    Now we know who you REALLY are. A socialist hell bent on controlling the masses, and sending anyone who disagrees with you gulag.

    I guess you agree with the Libian government shooting demostrators. Maybe you should make yourself useful and go there to help Kadafi squash the public’s desire for freedom.

  97. #97 Ian Forrester
    February 20, 2011

    Coby, why do you allow racial and other insults from deniers such as Wakefield?

    Here is a quote from a speech given recently by Government Chief Scientific Adviser John Beddington:

    We are grossly intolerant, and properly so, of racism. We are grossly intolerant, and properly so, of people who [are] anti-homosexuality…We are not—and I genuinely think we should think about how we do this—grossly intolerant of pseudo-science, the building up of what purports to be science by the cherry-picking of the facts and the failure to use scientific evidence and the failure to use scientific method

    http://www.researchresearch.com/index.php?option=com_news&template=rr_2col&view=article&articleId=1032320

  98. #98 mandas
    February 20, 2011

    This thread seems to have degenerated into the usual shouting match between two ideological sides, and the original question appears to have been lost. Perhaps we could refocus.

    “…..The proposed changes to regulations protecting Canadian airwaves would require any complaint to include proof that the broadcaster knew that the news was false AND that the lies spread could endanger the lives, health or safety of the public — so a journalist could tell any lie they liked as long it didn’t kill or sicken anyone…..”

    To be quite frank, people lie on TV all the time, and probably always will. But there is a huge difference between a politician spouting the usual political ‘promises’, that no-one takes seriously, or a envagelist milking gullible idiots of their money; and someone purporting to be a journalist who is supposedly reporting facts. And it must be differentiated between journalists reporting news and facts, and someone making commentary on that news. All broadcasters should be required to clearly delineate the difference between the two and not blur the line between news and commentary.

    Journalists should be held to a much higher standard of accountability, and if they deliberately lie, they should be able to be properly censured. Note I say – PROPERLY censured. This does not mean simply viewers switching stations. It means having a media ‘watchdog’ who is able to take appropriate action if it can be demonstrated that the journalist breached a code of ethics.

    From what I have read, the proposed changes to the regulations undermine this by allowing censure only in the cases where the lie endangered lives etc. That is NOT a proper standard of ethics for journalists. ANY lie should be subject to censure, and it should not be a requirement that the complainant needs to prove that the lie jeopardised public safety. It should be enough that the lie is shown to be untrue. The level of censure could then be based on whether it is deliberately untrue, or just a misunderstanding by the journalist.

    If a simple misunderstanding, then it should be enough that a retraction admitting the error be broadcast (in the same timeslot as the error – not at 3AM). However, if the lie is deliberate, then much stronger censure action would be appropriate. And if a supposed news broadcaster continually allows lies to be broadcast, or if it can be shown that it was policy to deliberately and knowingly broadcast misinformation, then it may be appropriate to withdraw the licence to broadcast.

    But that is just my opinion. I will allow you all to get back to your ideological shouting match.

  99. #99 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    Mandas, the tone of this thread was set right off:

    “Now Harper’s cronies are back, and hacking at an essential pillar of our democracy,”

    This is blantant political ideology against conservatives. If the petition was genuine about cubing deliberate lies (everywhere), it would have state just that without the political bent. Hence this petition is nothing more than an attempt from the leftists to stop Fox North from even happening. They have been on that warpath from the beginning.

    This isn’t about keeping honesty, it’s about preventing a view the left dislikes from airing. That is clear when the a priori claim is that Fox North will be lying.

    And because of that there is even MORE need for stations like Fox North.

    The current liberal media in this country (The Star, The Globe and Mail, CTV, CBC, CITYTV) never have a balanced report on political issues.

  100. #100 skip
    February 20, 2011

    Ian, my cockatoo is more honest than you, but that’s easy to do.

    Can your cockatoo conduct a t-test with greater proficiency than you? If so, next time maybe leave the data analysis to him. (His name is Murdock, right?)

  101. #101 mandas
    February 20, 2011

    I don’t give a rat’s arse about the petition, or any political intent underpinning it.

    But I clicked on the links that coby supplied, and apart from the petition, the others make absolutely no reference to Fox news or to any other organisation.

    If you have a look at the current regulation about false or misleading news, it says this:

    A licensee shall not broadcast
    (a) anything in contravention of the law;
    (b) any abusive comment that, when taken in context, tends or is likely to expose an individual or a group or class of individuals to hatred or contempt on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age or mental or physical disability;
    (c) any obscene or profane language;
    (d) any false or misleading news; or
    e) any telephone interview or conversation, or any part thereof, with any person unless
    (i) the person’s oral or written consent to the interview or conversation being broadcast was obtained prior to the broadcast, or
    (ii) the person telephoned the station for the purpose of participating in a broadcast.

    Note it says quite clearly and specifically that a licensee shall not broadcast any false or misleading news (sub-pargraph (d)). I don’t know how anyone concerned with journalistic integrity or the truth could possibly have a problem with that – right OR left wing notwithstanding.

    They are proposing to change sub-paragraph (d) to:
    “….any news that the licensee knows is false or misleading and that endangers or is likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public; or….”

    So there will no longer be any prohibition on a licensee broadcasting false or misleading news unless the licensee both KNOWS it is false and misleading (which is probably a reasonable change) AND that the false and misleading news endangers public health and safety (which is not).

    Why would ANYONE support such a change, unless it was in their vested interest to be able to broadcast false and misleading news?

    I don’t care if it is Fox, MSNBC, CBC, CNN or the local radio station. NO-ONE should be able to broadcast false and misleading news, and there should be regulatory penalties for doing so. And those penalties should be flexible enough to impose censure in keeping with the intent and scope of the crime.

    Anyone disagree? Why?

  102. #102 Richard Wakefield
    February 20, 2011

    I don’t care if it is Fox, MSNBC, CBC, CNN or the local radio station. NO-ONE should be able to broadcast false and misleading news, and there should be regulatory penalties for doing so. And those penalties should be flexible enough to impose censure in keeping with the intent and scope of the crime.

    I have no problem with guidelines, as long as they are evenly applied. As for “lies”, as we can see from people like Ian, who think that everything coming from a news station they don’t like is all lies. The ulterior motive here is to stop Fox North. We’ve had lots of outspoken leftists in Canada make noise about giving it a licence. There has been a campaign to stop it. This is just another attempt to do so. Canada is supposed to be a country of inclusiveness. But not for leftists, the want everyone who does not toe the party line muzzled.

  103. #103 mandas
    February 20, 2011

    “…. The ulterior motive here is to stop Fox North. We’ve had lots of outspoken leftists in Canada make noise about giving it a licence. There has been a campaign to stop it. This is just another attempt to do so…..”

    Then argue against the campaign, not against the campaign to prevent changes to the regulations, which you appear to support. Or if you don’t support the resistance to the regulatory changes, we would all love to know why not.

    But then, in a democracy, what is wrong with citizens mounting a campaign to stop something or change something they don’t like?

    Surely you agree they have that right? You are an supporter of Fox news, which is simply a media arm for the US Republican Party, and which has an active campaign to discredit the Democrats and to get the Republicans into office. It is not – nor has it ever been – “Fair and Balanced”. But who cares, right? Very few media organisations ever are. The left has MSNBC and other outlets, the right has Rupert Murdoch (and others). And Fox News – the commentary arm not the ‘news’ arm – has the right to lie and spin all they like. Right?

    But to be consistent, you must also argue for the right of citizens to mount a campaign to prevent Fox News from broadcasting in Canada. If the campaign is successful, then you should also laud it as an example of democracy and advocacy in action – even if you don’t agree with the outcome.

    Or do you only think it is appropriate for people and issues that you agree with to be the subject of similar campaigns?

  104. #104 Chris S.
    February 20, 2011

    Anyone remember Jane Akre & Steve Wilson?

  105. #105 Tom Curtis
    February 21, 2011

    Richard Wakefield:

    “I have no problem with guidelines, as long as they are evenly applied. As for “lies”, as we can see from people like Ian, who think that everything coming from a news station they don’t like is all lies. The ulterior motive here is to stop Fox North. We’ve had lots of outspoken leftists in Canada make noise about giving it a licence. There has been a campaign to stop it. This is just another attempt to do so. Canada is supposed to be a country of inclusiveness. But not for leftists, the want everyone who does not toe the party line muzzled.”

    Finally, an almost cogent claim that is almost without insult.

    Of course, the crucial point is that if Fox North had no intent to publish deliberate untruths, the petition as a campaign against Fox North would be completely ineffective. If they did not intend to lie, they could broadcast under the current regulations with complete impunity.

    So I think you have it around the wrong way. The liberals in Canada do not want a bar of Fox North, not because of its political leanings; but because evidently neither its management, nor its friends believe it can operate in a regulatory environment in which broadcasting deliberate falsehoods as news is prohibited.

  106. #106 Tom Curtis
    February 21, 2011

    Mandas:

    “The left has MSNBC and other outlets …”

    The left do not have MSNBC. The centrists have MSNBC. There is no major newspaper of network in the English speaking world that is associated with a genuine left wing outlook. Certainly not any in the US, and not even the ABC or SBS in Australia.

    It is one of the tactics of the right wing to associate the center of politics with the extreme left wing. You only need look a Wakefield’s rants to see it in action, where he describes small “l”liberals repeatedly as socialists or marxists. By pretending that Obama, for example, hold an extremist left wing politics, they can pretend that their position is not so extreme and shift debate to the right.

    An anecdote for this cultivated delusion can be found at the political compass If you look at the international analysis, you will find that no leader of a western nation falls on the left side of the political spectrum (and indeed, none of them are anti-authoritarian). The entire political spectrum that includes such luminaries as Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandella, Desmond Tutu, and the Dalai Lama is essentially unrepresented in modern politics, and in mainstream media.

    Comparison of the positions of political parties and candidates in the 2008 elections in Canada and the USA shows a similar picture.

    The reason the likes of Wakefield want to get rid of constraints on right wing media is that they know there is no genuine left wing media to counter it. The power of oligopoly sees to that.

  107. #107 Richard Wakefield
    February 21, 2011

    You are an supporter of Fox news, which is simply a media arm for the US Republican Party, and which has an active campaign to discredit the Democrats and to get the Republicans into office

    Actually, I probably won’t watch it much. I’ll see what it is like. If it’s too partisan I won’t continue to watch it. What I support is its right to broadcast.

    Dems and Rep have been trying to discredit each other for more than 100 years. It’s called politics. We have it just as much up here with our political parties.

  108. #108 Richard Wakefield
    February 21, 2011

    Then argue against the campaign, not against the campaign to prevent changes to the regulations, which you appear to support. Or if you don’t support the resistance to the regulatory changes, we would all love to know why not

    I’m not in favour of more government intrusion and regulation. I would prefer the market place (the audience) have the last word. If you don’t like what is broadcasted, don’t watch it. If the station continues to abuse the guidelines their ratings will drop and so will their revenue and they will go off the air.

  109. #109 Richard Wakefield
    February 21, 2011

    The liberals in Canada do not want a bar of Fox North, not because of its political leanings; but because evidently neither its management, nor its friends believe it can operate in a regulatory environment in which broadcasting deliberate falsehoods as news is prohibited.

    Nonsense. This all started because the a priori position was that Fox North would be lying from day one.

    It’s also nonsense that the Left didn’t want to stop Fox North. Of course they did, they had commentry after commentary about preventing them from getting a licence. Margaret Atwood was one of the biggest vocals shrills against them getting a licence.

    It’s not the “lies” the left is worried about. That’s just the excuse. The real reason is what Ian eluded to. They don’t want people to get anything other than a leftist perspective on things. They are worried that people will like what they hear at Fox North and turn away from socialism.

    That alone is reason enough that it should broadcast. We obviously do not have a balanced view of the news (which is why I never watch CBC).

    BTW, there was the example of the Florida situation. Well, do you think a commentator for major news outlet should be fired for speaking his mind, for saying something the editors don’t like?

  110. #110 Richard Wakefield
    February 21, 2011

    [deleted. Stay on topic please]

  111. #111 skip
    February 21, 2011

    Richard cites Wattsup, a lying right-wing rag. And Richard, The study was shit. It found what it was looking for to begin with. Just another fascist/corporate-shill rant trying to justify its own self proclaimed superiority.

  112. #112 blueshift
    February 21, 2011

    The troll has had two posts dedicated specifically to his nonsense, plus he took over another thread. Can we please not feed him in a new one?

  113. #113 Richard Wakefield
    February 21, 2011

    Skip. i guess if you had the ability you would shut WUWT down wouldn’t
    you.

    Poor Ian, looks like he won’t be able to go to Libya after all to help
    Gadhafi. He’s fled, even his own army has defected. Such is the power
    of democracy and freedom.

  114. #114 skip
    February 21, 2011

    Why would you say that, Richard?

  115. #115 Tom Curtis
    February 21, 2011

    Richard Wakefield:

    “Nonsense. This all started because the a priori position was that Fox North would be lying from day one.”

    Given the behaviour of Fox News, that is not a a priori, but an a posteriori position.

    Furthermore, you make no attempt to respond to the obvious point that if Fox North did not intend to lie, then a petition against allowing lying on the news would be completely ineffective as a strategy against Fox North.

  116. #116 PaulinMI
    February 22, 2011

    If you haven’t seen the need to observe many sources of news and opinion over the last few weeks, you’ll never get it.

  117. #117 skip
    February 22, 2011

    On a side note . . .

    Paul:

    I keep forgetting to tell you that a while ago I finished *Freedomnomics*, by Lott–the apologetic for Market Based Solutions to Everything.

    Before I say any more, I have to ask you: Is this the kind of guy in which you invest credibility?

  118. #118 Richard Wakefield
    February 22, 2011

    Skip, I asked because my experince with leftists is what ever they dislike they attempt to eliminate. Other’s rights are irrelevant, while at the same time they claim they stand up for human rights. Just their version of rights.

  119. #119 Richard Wakefield
    February 22, 2011

    Given the behaviour of Fox News, that is not a a priori, but an a posteriori position.

    Nice example of opinion pretending to be fact. You would have to first PROVE they are deliberately lying, as opposed to saying things you just disagree with.

    Maybe you can show an example of a new cast where they deliberately lied.

    Besides that, even if that was the case. That they will deliberately lie on air. That still does not give you or anyone the right to demand it not get a licence. Religious programs, including their “news” casts lie and misrepresent all the time. But they have the right to broadcast. Such a petition would have to apply to them too.

    Still no one as answered. Is it right for a broadcaster to fire a commentator for making an oped that management doesn’t like?

  120. #120 skip
    February 22, 2011

    my experince with leftists is what ever they dislike they attempt to eliminate.

    Who’s a leftist?

  121. #121 PaulinMI
    February 22, 2011

    Skip,
    give me a ferinstance

  122. #122 skip
    February 22, 2011

    Have you read it?

  123. #123 PaulinMI
    February 22, 2011

    read it no, familiar with its angle, to some degree

  124. #124 skip
    February 22, 2011

    Well, anyway.

    Its amateurish. I mean, as with anything, he makes enough points that are plausible enough and not disputable (the market dysfunctions brought about by accreditation systems, the perverse disincentives created by public educator unions), and even a few interesting points (the potentially interesting puzzles of the incentive systems facing gas stations and restaurants).

    But the idiotic straw men (e.g. people who question the functions and value of the market want government ‘Nirvana’) and utter incompetence in a field of which he clearly knows nothing (crime and justice) make it just another pulp screed by a guy with an ideological bone to pick and an inflated estimation of his own capacities.

    He might as well be trying to refute AGW with a spreadsheet analysis of southern Canadian temp station data.

  125. #125 PaulinMI
    February 22, 2011

    no, tell me what you really think.

  126. #126 skip
    February 22, 2011

    Ok fine.

    I secretly lust for him in my heart.

  127. #127 mandas
    February 22, 2011

    I know this is off topic, but given that PaulinMI is posting here it might get his attention as something that he is interested in.

    Its a very interesting paper on the true cost of fossil fuels. Given that PaulinMI is such an advocate of the free market and believes the costs of climate change mitigation will cause devastation to the economy, surely he would agree that anyone using fossil fuels such as coal be liable for the actual market costs associated with such use. Or does he believe that governments and the public should continue to be liable for such major distortions in the free market system?

    Anyway, here is the link:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05890.x/abstract

  128. #128 jerryg
    February 22, 2011

    Hi mandas, Have you seen the videos at http://manpollo.org/ ?

  129. #129 Tom Curtis
    February 22, 2011

    Richard Wakefield Feb 22, 11:03 am.

    First, easily done:

    “During their appeal, FOX asserted that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media. They argued that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves. Fox attorneys did not dispute Akre’s claim that they pressured her to broadcast a false story, they simply maintained that it was their right to do so.”
    (Thank you to Luminous Beauty at 92.)

    Second, as a defender of the free market, you are on the wrong side of this argument. The free market depends on vendor’s not making false claims about their product. Fox news wants to make false claims about its product, claiming it to be news when it is in fact falsehood. There is no first amendment permission to commit fraud, and that is all that this law prevents. It does not stop Fox from lying, it just stops them from lying, then calling the lies “news”.

  130. #130 Snowman
    February 23, 2011

    Tom, I am a little puzzled by your point above. Fox won the case by arguing that a policy (in this case that of the FCC) was not a “law, rule, or regulation”. This position was clearly the correct one for their lawyers to take. To do otherwise would be to ignore the legal remedy available to their clients. Why would they become embroiled in a debate about what was true or not true in the disputed report, when the law provides another avenue?

    But in any case, the discussion we are having here is not about Fox, is it? It is about the appropriateness or otherwise of the state becoming the ultimate arbiter of truth in news reporting. Of course, I quite see that in a mature democracy such as Canada we need not worry unduly about the government seizing arbitrary powers of censorship. But I suggest to you that this is not the point. It is whether a free people are entitled to say, write and broadcast what they like. Of course, as I have acknowledged, this right cannot be absolute: there must be reasonable restraints when it comes to fraud, libel or incitement to criminality.

    But – and this is the nub of my point, Tom – such restraints must be specific and few. They must not include any general authority to decide upon truth. Wouldn’t you agree with me that such powers would be open to abuse, even if not by the current Government of Canada then by a future administration?

  131. #131 Wow
    February 23, 2011

    “I quite see that in a mature democracy such as Canada we need not worry unduly about the government seizing arbitrary powers of censorship. But I suggest to you that this is not the point.”

    No, that’s not the point.

    The point is that if you’re allowed to knowingly lie in the news, you’re using propaganda.

    And that kills democracy.

    “They must not include any general authority to decide upon truth”

    Uh, who says that it needs deciding on what is truth? You’re making up a scary bogeyman.

    The courts decide what is truth when they produce a verdict of guilty. Until that point, there is no guilt.

    And it would be the same here.

  132. #132 Wow
    February 23, 2011

    “It is one of the tactics of the right wing to associate the center of politics with the extreme left wing.”

    Also known as the Overton Window:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window

    Ronnie Reagan would be considered left of Obama by his party today.

  133. #133 Wow
    February 23, 2011

    “My ‘problem’ (as you put it Tom) is not that I want to label falsehoods as fact.”

    However, snowman, Fox news DO want to label falsehoods as facts.

    Do you think it right that Fox (or Al Jazeera, or…) should be able to label falsehoods as facts?

    Isn’t this labelling of falsehoods as facts how Germany decided that Gypsies and Jews were lesser humans? Isn’t it how Stalin ensured his reign? Or Pinochet, or indeed all the dictators through time?

    They lied to the populace.

    And you seem to think it wrong to make it wrong to do that.

  134. #134 Snowman
    February 23, 2011

    Wow, like many people here I enjoy debate and discussion. But it really would help if you made your comments a little more cogent. Simply saying ‘no that’s not the point’ or ‘you’re using propaganda’ doesn’t really get us very far. Your argument that ‘the courts decide’ is self-evident, and does nothing to help us understand if it is appropriate to initiate such matters in the courts at all. That is what we are trying to grapple with here.

  135. #135 Snowman
    February 23, 2011

    Wow, it is interesting that in defence of your stance you refer to egregious examples of STATE propaganda – not, note, falsehoods invented by the media. It is precisely because some of us wish to limit state power that we are concerned about the Canadian laws.

  136. #136 Wow
    February 23, 2011

    “Wow, it is interesting that in defence of your stance you refer to egregious examples of STATE propaganda ”

    And? It’s still a lie set out as fact. It seems you allow anyone to lie, why is it on your planet, the only lies that can be counted as lies are government lies?

    There are lies that Fox made up about climate science. There are lies they made up about Saddam being involved in 11/9. Both were lies for the Republican party. When the republicans were in power, they were state lies and when the republicans were not in power, they were not state lies.

    Why do YOU think they are so very different?

  137. #137 Wow
    February 23, 2011

    “Simply saying ‘no that’s not the point’ or ‘you’re using propaganda’ doesn’t really get us very far.”

    And simply saying that totalitarian states repress the freedom of the press doesn’t go very far either.

    Democratic states do it too.

    See Eric Idle’s song which he bets you can’t play on the radio:

    http://www.themadmusicarchive.com/song_details.aspx?SongID=1061

    Just repeating that totalitarian states suppress the press means nothing. Totalitarian states have schools too. Is the public education system of the west a totalitarian plot to indoctrinate?

    No.

  138. #138 Snowman
    February 23, 2011

    Wow, surely you would agree with me that there is a substantial difference between the propaganda of the Third Reich and the way a western news outlet treats a particular story.

    Your comment implies some sort of moral equivalence between state-sponsored mass murder and Fox News’s view of the climate change debate. Quite apart from issues of scale and consequences, propaganda broadcast by the state is a very different matter from a single network’s take on things. After all, competing broadcasters that do not agree with Fox are free to denounce it in the most aggressive terms, and indeed they do. No such latitude is afforded to dissent in a media-controlling state.

    When all is said and done, you are arguing for the right of the state to silence voices of which it disapproves. I do not see how any other interpretation can be placed on your views.

    We all read things every day that infuriate us, and which we might characterize as lies (in your way of looking at things). The difference between us is that I don’t want to shut them up.

  139. #139 Snowman
    February 23, 2011

    Oh, and by the way, Wow, I find it difficult to follow your point @137. You declare that arguing that totalitarian states repress the freedom of the press means nothing because (you add triumphantly) DEMOCRATIC STATES DO IT TOO. If this is so, surely it supports my argument, not yours. After all, I am the one arguing for limitations on the ability of governments to manipulate the news.

    I’m afraid you’ve lost me, Wow.

  140. #140 Wow
    February 23, 2011

    Nope, it shows that you are arguing from opinion, not fact.

    Yes, I have lost you because you’re wedded to the idea that lying is fine.

    “Wow, surely you would agree with me that there is a substantial difference between the propaganda of the Third Reich and the way a western news outlet treats a particular story.”

    No.

    Why do you think there’s a difference?

    Because you don’t like Nazis but you DO like Fox?

    “Your comment implies some sort of moral equivalence between state-sponsored mass murder and Fox News’s view of the climate change debate”

    No, my comment states explicitly that both are lies made to make political moves.

  141. #141 Richard Wakefield
    February 23, 2011

    The point is that if you’re allowed to knowingly lie in the news, you’re using propaganda.

    And that kills democracy.

    No what kills deocracy is government intrusion where it doen’t belong. That includes imposing rules when it doesn’t need to. Inspite of what you think, the public isn’t stupid. They know what want to watch.

  142. #142 Richard Wakefield
    February 23, 2011

    Ronnie Reagan would be considered left of Obama by his party today.

    That’s a lie.

    Listen to Patriot 144/XM 166 , Mark Lavin and Andrew Wilkow. Their message, every day, is the US needs to get BACK to more Reagan style government. The Tea Party is all about returning to Reagan.

  143. #143 Snowman
    February 23, 2011

    No doubt, Wow, there are some here who admire your insistence that the institutions of the state provide a suitably disinterested means of establishing Truth (with a capital T). Those of us who have less confidence in governments prefer a marketplace of competing voices.

    Either you believe in censorship or freedom. You believe in state censorship, and no amount of sophistry removes the fact that you are arguing in favour of the maintenance of an apparatus of state that will determine what may be reported and what may not. However many safeguards you build in, whatever the high ideals of the tribunal that would hand down the decisions, this is what you want to see. Even Skip, who would gleefully see me cast into the fiery pit on most issues, agrees with me on this. What more is there to say?

    And incidentally, why are you so obsessed with Fox News? Why do you keep insisting that I support it? I haven’t the slightest interest in Fox News. I do, however, have an interest in freedom.

  144. #144 Wow
    February 23, 2011

    Oh dear, strawman spotted.

    I couldn’t give two rats asses what you think I insist.

    Telling lies is wrong.

    You don’t think so.

    Why?

    Why do you think that it is fine for a news corporation to tell knowing lies but if, say, the Canadian Government, were to insist that they tell the truth and, like all societal insistences, enforce it, it would turn it into a totalitarian dictatorship?

    Why do you think that news corporations telling lies won’t lead to the death of democracy?

    Because your belief system insists that companies are better than governments?

  145. #145 Richard Wakefield
    February 23, 2011

    There are lies that Fox made up about climate science. There are lies they made up about Saddam being involved in 11/9. Both were lies for the Republican party. When the republicans were in power, they were state lies and when the republicans were not in power, they were not state lies.

    Do you think that the Liberal media, and Democratic governments ever lied about anything?

    Lying is a normal government pasttime.

  146. #146 Wow
    February 23, 2011

    “”And that kills democracy.”

    No what kills deocracy is government intrusion where it doen’t belong”

    But this isn’t somewhere government intrusion doesn’t belong.

    “”Ronnie Reagan would be considered left of Obama by his party today.”

    That’s a lie.”

    Nope, it’s the truth. When given a poll about government policy to Republican voters and asking who they think proposed it, Rep or Dem, they insisted overwhelmingly Dem.

    The policies given to them were ones implemented by Reagan.

    The Democratic White Wash are busy reinventing Ronnie to be a Pure Being and hiding all his progressive policies.

  147. #147 Wow
    February 23, 2011

    “Do you think that the Liberal media, and Democratic governments ever lied about anything?”

    You should have some examples?

    Note: a large majority of Fox viewers STILL think Obama is a Muslim, isn’t American born and that Saddam was the instigator of the Sept 11 attacks.

    THAT is how propaganda works. You fool the people into believing something that’s wrong.

  148. #148 Richard Wakefield
    February 23, 2011

    There are lies that Fox made up about climate science.

    No, they are reporting on alternative views about the “science”. You call them lie because you don’t want those alternative views explained to the piublic.

  149. #149 Richard Wakefield
    February 23, 2011

    Nope, it’s the truth. When given a poll about government policy to Republican voters and asking who they think proposed it, Rep or Dem, they insisted overwhelmingly Dem

    So all those people on Patriot are lying. Right. According to you everyone on the Right lies all the time. And you know everything.

  150. #150 Richard Wakefield
    February 23, 2011

    a large majority of Fox viewers STILL think Obama is a Muslim

    As far as Muslims are concerned, once you become one you can never leave. Once a Muslim always a Muslim, in their eyes.

    The fact he is a socialist (and that is fact) is enough for me that he will take the US in the wrong direction. He will be a one term pres.

  151. #151 Wow
    February 23, 2011

    “So all those people on Patriot are lying.”

    Oh dear, yet more wheatfields killed to make you feel better.

    “Nope, it’s the truth. When given a poll about government policy to Republican voters and asking who they think proposed it, Rep or Dem, they insisted overwhelmingly Dem”

    Is what I said.

    Ronnie would be left of Obama if he were transplanted to today.

    “”There are lies that Fox made up about climate science.”

    No, they are reporting on alternative views about the “science”.

    No, they’re lies. As in “not the truth”. As in “fabrications”.

    When Mojab Latif said that over a 10-year period you could easily get a figure that gives a cooling trend in climate even if there is a genuine upward trend because the internal variations in the system are higher than the trend accumulation over that short a time.

    This became “Mojab Latif, IPCC lead, says that we’re due for a 10 year cooling period. Maybe more. Actually 30 years. Mimimum”.

    Lie.

    Which is the alternative view on Truth.

  152. #152 Wow
    February 23, 2011

    “”a large majority of Fox viewers STILL think Obama is a Muslim”

    As far as Muslims are concerned, once you become one you can never leave.”

    What’s that got to do with Obama? He was never Muslim.

    But then again, you like lies which is why you want them protected.

    “The fact he is a socialist (and that is fact)”

    Nope, he’s not a socialist. Look at the policies he’s implemented.

    The fact is, he’s a politician (and that is a fact) whose policies are to the right of many of Ronnie Reagan’s.

  153. #153 Richard Wakefield
    February 23, 2011

    Telling lies is wrong.

    You don’t think so.

    Why?

    What is one person’s “lie” is another’s truth. Just because you claim they are lying doesn’t make it so. You have to prove it.

    Why do you think that it is fine for a news corporation to tell knowing lies but if, say, the Canadian Government, were to insist that they tell the truth and, like all societal insistences, enforce it, it would turn it into a totalitarian dictatorship?

    If it is proven in court that a newcast stated a knowing they should be given the option of correcting such, or loose their licence if enough of such occur.

    Why do you think that news corporations telling lies won’t lead to the death of democracy?

    How will it?

    Because your belief system insists that companies are better than governments?

    Companies are always better than governments. Companies exist on their patrons. Government’s exist on vote getting. Liberal governments in particular would sell their mothers to get votes and keep power.

  154. #154 Wow
    February 23, 2011

    “What is one person’s “lie” is another’s truth.”

    No, if it’s a lie, it’s a lie.

    Believing it to be a truth doesn’t convert it.

    All that phrase you’ve misapplied means is that it’s often not a truth or a lie but an opinion being stated.

    If you believe in God, then that is “the truth”. Doesn’t make it true that God exists.

    “If it is proven in court that a newcast stated a knowing they should be given the option of correcting such, or loose their licence if enough of such occur.”

    did you bother reading the proposition? That’s EXACTLY what this petition is about.

    “”Why do you think that news corporations telling lies won’t lead to the death of democracy?”

    How will it?”

    If you’re told that democracy is being subverted by, say, Muslim Commie Socialists wanting to bring on Death Camps, that they want to take your guns from you, then you go round shooting Democrats, this will kill democracy.

    Not been watching the news?

    “Companies are always better than governments.”

    Stated as if a True Believer in Ayn Rand (this also explains your hate-on for AGW, since companies won’t voluntarily cut back on their profligacy, government action is required).

    “Companies exist on their patrons. Government’s exist on vote getting.”

    You mean, companies exist on their big investors, whilst governments exist on the vote of their constituents?

    And why is it, when we’re talking about democracy and totalitarianism, you think it smart to use non-elected patrons as the good side to go for (totalitarian: when was the last time you heard of the workers voting for their CEO?) and vote getting (sine qua non of democracy)?

    Truly weird.

  155. #155 Richard Wakefield
    February 23, 2011

    No, they’re lies. As in “not the truth”. As in “fabrications”.

    When Mojab Latif said that over a 10-year period you could easily get a figure that gives a cooling trend in climate even if there is a genuine upward trend because the internal variations in the system are higher than the trend accumulation over that short a time.

    This became “Mojab Latif, IPCC lead, says that we’re due for a 10 year cooling period. Maybe more. Actually 30 years. Mimimum”.

    Lie.

    No, an alternative view of the data. Alternative interpretation.

    What’s that got to do with Obama? He was never Muslim.

    http://www.prlog.org/11313100-president-obama-muslim-roots.html

    Nope, he’s not a socialist. Look at the policies he’s implemented.

    Socialist policies. Which still have to get past Congress.

  156. #156 Wow
    February 23, 2011

    “No, an alternative view of the data. Alternative interpretation.”

    Yes, an alternative interpretation to the truth is a lie. It isn’t the only one, but it IS the one that Fox and yourself (amongst many others) use because you hope like heck that the truth is still working out if it’s got a button fly or zipper.

    “Socialist policies. Which still have to get past Congress.”

    Really? Which ones? Tax regime that was proposed by Republicans when they were in power?

    Then I will post the Reagan policies that are further left and more socialist than Obamas and you’ll go “Lalala”.

  157. #157 Wow
    February 23, 2011

    Richard, you’ve said that you believe in global warming, have proven it is happening and accept that man’s role in it is the largest single factor, outstripping all the other factors combined manyfold.

  158. #158 Snowman
    February 23, 2011

    Wow, let me ask you this: do you ever actually read the posts that I and others contribute, or do you simply go on autopilot? You know the sort of thing – you’re all Fox-loving, Ayn Rand-reading liars.

    I suppose there is something almost admirable about such single mindedness, but it does mean the conversation becomes a little tedious.

  159. #159 coby
    February 23, 2011

    In #153 Richard responds to this:

    “Why do you think that it is fine for a news corporation to tell knowing lies but if, say, the Canadian Government, were to insist that they tell the truth and, like all societal insistences, enforce it, it would turn it into a totalitarian dictatorship??

    With this” “If it is proven in court that a newcast stated a knowing [lie] they should be given the option of correcting such, or loose their licence if enough of such occur.”

    Which is exactly what the CRTC policy is right now and exactly what the petition at the top of the post is trying to preserve. Richard, you are so dogmatic and reactionary that you can not even see the words in front of your face if they come from a “left wing” source, they are by definition Wrong(tm). Truly remarkable.

    It seems we are in agreement after all, and had you read what you were responding to before reacting to it, there would have been no argument.

  160. #160 coby
    February 23, 2011

    Snowman, nowhere in existing laws or proposed changes does it state that the gov’t is the arbiter of truth. All of your arguments are against that strawman. Please drop this unproductive and disingenuous line of argument. As the laws stand, the gov’t is not even immune from complaints under these regulations. It is up to the courts to evaluate the evidence, not the gov’t. If some day the courts are no longer independent of the gov’t, then we will have many other problems to worry about as well, problems solved by getting back that independence, not by allowing news organizations to lie.

    I would also note that the slipery slope arguments you put forward all rest on a false assumption, namely that there are no other widely accepted restrictions to truly free speech and this is a first step on that slide to oppression. However, already hate speech is not allowed, lying in advertising is not allowed, lying to courts or police is not allowed.

    You need to either come clean and say you are against all of those laws/regulations as well or present us with some reason that this particular regulation represents a tipping point, a no-going-back-now moment or at least a credible increase in the danger of such a moment. And please keep in mind that this regulation is already in existence and has been for many years, so there can be no argument about momentum or a dangerous direction of change.

    I said it before, this “are you for or against freedom?” argument is a shallow soundbite and a false dichotomy. All freedoms are balanced against the responsibilities they come with.

  161. #161 skip
    February 23, 2011

    Snowman . . . Please drop this unproductive and disingenuous line of argument.

    Has this ever worked before?

  162. #162 mandas
    February 23, 2011

    Way to get off topic people. This thread has – once again – degenerated into an ideological shouting match between the ‘right’ and the ‘left’ with idiotic statements about things such as the US president’s religion. And of course, none of these things have anything to do with the topic – and simply highights the twisted worldview of people who perpetrate them. President Obama is not and never has been a ‘muslim’ or a ‘socialist’, but you know what? Who gives a flying rat’s arse? I thought the US was supposed to have freedom of religion, so if the president wants to worship satan or the flying spaghetti monster, why does it matter?

    But back on topic, which is the propopsed changes to Canada’s broadcasting regulations. The proposal is to change this:

    A licensee shall not broadcast:
    (d) any false or misleading news;

    to this:
    A licensee shall not broadcast:
    (d) any news that the licensee knows is false or misleading and that endangers or is likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public;

    Can anyone, anywhere, tell me why they think this is a good idea? Can anyone, anywhere, tell me why this is not a retrograde step that can only cause harm to the credibility of journalism?

  163. #163 Snowman
    February 23, 2011

    You misrepresent my arguments, Coby. I have acknowledged from the outset that the right to free speech is not absolute, and is legitimately constrained by laws concerning libel, fraud or incitement to criminality (which would include, in most jurisdictions, hate speech). However, the limits to free speech should be few and specific, whereas the right to it should be general and assumed. The existing Canadian law, which you defend, fails on this test.

    Nor should we take comfort from the fact that Canada has an independent judiciary. You appear to be arguing that bad law can be justified by good judges. Either the law is appropriate or it is not.

    You are unpersuaded by my slippery slope argument, pointing out that the law has been in place for a number of years. Indeed it has, and during this time there have been worrying attempts to limit the freedom of Canadians to speak their minds, attempts which I do not believe would be tolerated in any other democratic nation. I mentioned previously the disgraceful Maclean’s Magazine affair, during which a national news journal was hauled before the Canadian Human Rights Commission, then a Provincial HRC. Its offence was to publish a thoughtful article on a matter of fundamental importance, and for this it was threatened with fines and restrictions on future publishing activities. And before you point out that the CHRC operates under a separate body of law, I submit that this makes no difference. Here we have an institution created by Act of Parliament attempting to prevent the people of Canada from engaging in public discussion. Maclean’s won on this occasion by the skin of its teeth, but the fact that this episode even took place was shocking.

    The right to free speech must be jealously guarded. We must be alert to any attempts to restrict it. Such attempts are invariably presented as modest and reasonable measures. This is how we lose our freedom – slowly and imperceptibly, with the best of intentions.

  164. #164 Richard Wakefield
    February 23, 2011

    Richard, you’ve said that you believe in global warming, have proven it is happening and accept that man’s role in it is the largest single factor, outstripping all the other factors combined manyfold.

    No, I don’t believe anything. I accept the direction the evidence indicates. There is no complelling evidence that human emissions of CO2 are changing the climate. I accept the evidence that the climate changes, always has, always will.

  165. #165 Richard Wakefield
    February 23, 2011

    It seems we are in agreement after all, and had you read what you were responding to before reacting to it, there would have been no argument.

    Coby, it’s not the proposal, it’s the timing and reason it is being proposed now, and not before Fox North applied for their licence. Hence, there is a hidden agenda in this proposal and that is to shut Fox North from getting the licence.

    I’m sure the existing CRTC guidelines are more than sufficient now to deal with FN or any other news broadcaster.

  166. #166 Richard Wakefield
    February 23, 2011

    However, already hate speech is not allowed, lying in advertising is not allowed, lying to courts or police is not allowed.

    I was waiting for someone to bring that up. The two are not the same. Those laws are when such speech harms someone. Same with lies. If you liable yourself with a lie you can be sued.

    Making statements about climate science which you THINK is a lie is not harming anyone. You would have to prove in court that anything Fox North says harms you.

  167. #167 mandas
    February 23, 2011

    snowman

    “…. I mentioned previously the disgraceful Maclean’s Magazine affair, during which a national news journal was hauled before the Canadian Human Rights Commission, then a Provincial HRC. Its offence was to publish a thoughtful article on a matter of fundamental importance, and for this it was threatened with fines and restrictions on future publishing activities….”

    Let me get this straight. You admit – quite correctly – that the magazine won the case. So what is your point again? Is it this?

    “….Maclean’s won on this occasion by the skin of its teeth, but the fact that this episode even took place was shocking….”

    Why is it shocking that it took place? Someone bought a case against a magazine for publishing – in their view – hate speech. And the courts found that the magazine had no case to answer. So why would you suggest that it was shocking that it occurred? Surely you would not be suggesting that someone does not have the right to bring a suit against a magazine?

    “….The right to free speech must be jealously guarded. We must be alert to any attempts to restrict it…..”

    So no – I guess you would be arguing strongly for the right of ANYONE to bring whatever suit they thought fit, because THEY have freedom of speech as well don’t they? Or do you believe that people should be restricted from bringing suits? Wouldn’t that be a restriction on their freedom?

  168. #168 Richard Wakefield
    February 23, 2011

    Can anyone, anywhere, tell me why they think this is a good idea? Can anyone, anywhere, tell me why this is not a retrograde step that can only cause harm to the credibility of journalism?

    That is likely already in the licence agreement.

    The issue will then become, if FN makes a skeptical statement on AGW, does that violate their licence? Does it qualify as a harm to people? That would have to be proven in court. Personally, let them have the licence, then when they brodcast something you think is a lie, then I expect you to launch a complaint. I then expect, actually would love to see it, go to court. You’d lose.

  169. #169 Ian Forrester
    February 23, 2011

    I can’t believe that supposedly educated (self or non-self) citizens seem to think that it is acceptable to LIE. Do they really want to bring modern civilization into a state of anarchy? How many lies do you think it took to get the various dictators installed into their abusive positions in the Middle East? Do you think that they have been honest with their citizens?

    You people are despicable and really have no clue as to what you want for the future. Why do you hate people so much that you want to inflict such damage on the future well being of our planet?

  170. #170 mandas
    February 23, 2011

    I am still waiting for someone to tell me why it is a good idea to remove the restriction on lying on the news if the lie doesn’t harm someone.

    The regulation is currently that lying is not allowed, and there can be penalties for doing so if it can be proved that what was broadcast is a lie. Isn’t that a good thing?

    But if this regulation is passed, then sanctions will only apply if the lie can be proved to have either caused harm or is likely to cause harm. Other lies will be perfectly acceptable.

    So come on. I am obviously slow. Explain to me why that is a good thing.

  171. #171 skip
    February 23, 2011

    Because, Mandas, when you say a “lie” is not protected speech it brings in the muddled problem of how we define “lie”.

    I have to admit I wish you and Coby would stop torturing me with the felt need to side with (nose fully pinched) Richard and Snowman on this issue.

    Speaking of whom . . .

    So, Snowman, trying to forget the performance of your contender on the Other Beck thread?

  172. #172 mandas
    February 23, 2011

    skip

    Not sure why you feel you are siding with your mates on this issue. And ‘lie’ is just a generic term I and others are using. The regulations use the terms, “false or misleading”, and it only applies to ‘news’ and not to other content.

    This is not nor has it ever been about freedom of speech or any other nonsensical extrapolation, and it does not just apply to Fox News or to anyone else for that matter – it applies to everyone equally. This is about whether the regulations should be changed from:

    A licensee shall not broadcast:
    (d) any false or misleading news;
    to this:
    A licensee shall not broadcast:
    (d) any news that the licensee knows is false or misleading and that endangers or is likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public;

    So can we please stop with the strawmen about Fox News, or freedom of speech, or ‘big government’ etc, etc. Canada – right now – has a broadcasting regulation which prevents the broadcast of ‘any false or misleading news’. The CRTC can take action against a broadcaster that violates that regulation.

    Do you – or anyone else – think it is appropriate to water down that prohibition against the broadcast of false or misleading news, to allow such false or misleading news to be broadcast, as long as it does not endanger public health or safety? If so, could you please explain why?

    It really is that simple.

  173. #173 mandas
    February 23, 2011

    And before anyone makes the argument about ‘freedom of speech’ or ‘censorship’ or ‘big government’ or ‘market forces’ etc, how about you consider this.

    If I was to try and set up a 24 hour broadcast channel with the aim of televising non-stop child pornography, I wonder what your opinion would be? Let me guess, you probably would think I should not be allowed to do so. But surely if I should be allowed to broadcast anything I like, or that I should let the market decide, then why would you have a problem with it? I reckon there probably is a market for such a channel, so then I should be allowed to do so, right?

    Or…. you could take the view that the government rightly and properly DOES censor some things. So this is not nor have it ever been an argument that anyone should be allowed to broadcast anything they like. No-one really believes that – even those people who continually spout ‘freedom of speech’ as a mantra without giving a second’s thought to what that really means.

    This is not about whether or not government should censor some things – it is about WHAT the government SHOULD censor. And in one camp, we have people lining up to say that people should be able to broadcast lies as if they are facts, and to say to the world “this is the truth”, when plainly and simply it isn’t. On the other hand, we have people who are saying that there should be a regulatory body which can hear complaints when they believe they have been told lies and or that they believe the facts are being misrepresented.

    Imagine for a moment that YOU are now the subject of one of these news stories. Imagine that you are a normal, hard working individual, but for some reason you get on the wrong side of a ‘news’ reporter (maybe your dog shit in his yard or you had an affair with his wife). So the reporter decides to get even with you, and goes on national TV and reports that you are a serial sex offender who has just been let out of prison, and are a danger to the community. He even televises your address so everyone knows exactly where you live.

    Of course, being an advocate of free speech who is opposed to restrictions on broadcasters, and who recognises that the free market should determine what is on TV, you would support the right of the reporter to do exactly that, and this tabloid ‘current affairs’ program is very popular among the lower, socio-economic status community. Or maybe – just maybe – you might be upset by this and wish there was some way you could take action against the reporter for broadcasting lies as if they were news.

    But then – you would be stuffed wouldn’t you, because no such regulation prohibiting such lies exists, because you campaigned against it. Pity really.

  174. #174 Snowman
    February 23, 2011

    I can only assume, mandas, that you have not read any of my posts or those of others. No one is arguing for the right to engage in criminality (such as the broadcasting of child pornography) nor is anyone proposing the suspension of laws of libel.

  175. #175 mandas
    February 24, 2011

    Yep – read em all.

    So you want to lie about things, not people huh?

    And can you tell me what ‘criminality’ is? (Hint – its breaking the law. And if the ‘law’ is that you can’t tell lies and call it news, then that, by definition, would be criminality)

  176. #176 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    I hope you noticed Richard’s posts, Snowman.

    If you’re wondering how lies being paraded as facts (which is what news reporting is meant to be about) can kill democracy, his stance is an excellent example.

  177. #177 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    “If I was to try and set up a 24 hour broadcast channel with the aim of televising non-stop child pornography, I wonder what your opinion would be? Let me guess, you probably would think I should not be allowed to do so.”

    Heck, no need to go so far.

    What if you broadcast 24/7 about how the USA was killing peaceful Muslims and showed shots of crying wounded people (and left out that these were pictures from an earthquake) and that for this reason any attacks against the US Government and its military was called for to punish them?

    Would it be fine?

  178. #178 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    PS Inholfe and Beck call for the jailing and execution of the IPCC scientists for “lying” about AGW.

    Never noticed any of the people defending the lies as truth getting all in these two guys faces.

    Is it because it is Inholfe and Beck lying about the IPCC lying? That would indicate they are at least being consistent but rather knocks holes in their stance that they know AGW is fake.

  179. #179 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    “with idiotic statements about things such as the US president’s religion. And of course, none of these things have anything to do with the topic”

    It does illustrate how lies can kill democracy, mind.

  180. #180 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    “Wow, let me ask you this: do you ever actually read the posts that I and others contribute, or do you simply go on autopilot?”

    Funny.

    I would wonder the same thing about you.

    Many others wonder whether you listen at all, so parsimony would lead us to conclude the problem is with you, not me.

  181. #181 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    “Richard, you’ve said that you believe in global warming, have proven it is happening and accept that man’s role in it is the largest single factor, outstripping all the other factors combined manyfold.”

    No, I don’t believe anything.”

    No, you said that you believe in global warming.

    That’s my alternative view on your writings.

  182. #182 Snowman
    February 24, 2011

    Skip, I am pleased, though not surprised, to have your support on this thread (and I handsomely choose to overlook your remark about the need to hold your nose). But I have a question for you: noting, as I am sure you do, the inability of your allies to argue coherently or even follow a logical train of thought, do you not begin to feel uneasy about the company you are keeping?

    If so, I have a suggestion. Come over to our side, where you will be welcomed with open arms. With one bound, you will be free from humbug, self-righteousness and group-think. Believe me, Skip, you will find it liberating.

  183. #183 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    “noting, as I am sure you do, the inability of snowman to argue coherently or even follow a logical train of thought, do you not begin to feel uneasy about the company you are keeping”

    There.

    Fixed the typo for you.

  184. #184 Richard Wakefield
    February 24, 2011

    I can’t believe that supposedly educated (self or non-self) citizens seem to think that it is acceptable to LIE. Do they really want to bring modern civilization into a state of anarchy

    Ian, you are missing the point. In a free democracy people have the right to lie all they want. You also have the right to ignore them. The issue is when you start to impose laws against lying you open up a pandora’s box to abuse by governent.

    Have you gotten your call from Gadhafi yet? Looks like he could use your help.

  185. #185 Richard Wakefield
    February 24, 2011

    No, you said that you believe in global warming.

    That’s my alternative view on your writings.

    And you would be wrong. I don’t believe in anything. If you continue to claim otherwise you would be the one lying.

  186. #186 Richard Wakefield
    February 24, 2011

    PS Inholfe and Beck call for the jailing and execution of the IPCC scientists for “lying” about AGW.

    The IPCC did lie by using “studies” from websites and not peer reviewed papers. They knew what they were doing was a lie but they published anyway. Since the mitigations to stop AGW cost BILLIONS, then there is direct economic harm in the IPCC lies.

  187. #187 Richard Wakefield
    February 24, 2011

    If I was to try and set up a 24 hour broadcast channel with the aim of televising non-stop child pornography, I wonder what your opinion would be?

    It’s breaking the law, and you would go to jail. The two are not the same.

    They are not the same because what is a “lie” to you on issues of AGW, is not really a lie but an alternative interpretation of the data.

    Case in point, Ian’s continued claims I was lying about everthing I posted. Ian was lying of course because Ian doesn’t understand what a lie is. Anything that disagrees wth his world view is, to him, a lie.

  188. #188 Richard Wakefield
    February 24, 2011

    I am still waiting for someone to tell me why it is a good idea to remove the restriction on lying on the news if the lie doesn’t harm someone.

    The regulation is currently that lying is not allowed, and there can be penalties for doing so if it can be proved that what was broadcast is a lie. Isn’t that a good thing?

    It’s about the interpretation of what a lie is. There are people who think that anything you say that disgrees with their world view is a lie. It’s not a lie of course, it’s a different perspective. But those who do not like that perspective will label it as a lie in an effort to squash that alternative view. So usng the word “lie” is highly abused.

  189. #189 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    “The IPCC did lie by using “studies” from websites and not peer reviewed papers.”

    How can you lie by using studies from websites when you don’t use studies from websites?

    It’s also a bit rich (pun unintended) complaining about this being automatically a lie coming from YOU.

    WG1 used peer reviewed material. There’s no peer reviewed material on how you run a Manganese mine (a topic in another WG report).

    “””No, you said that you believe in global warming.”

    “That’s my alternative view on your writings.””

    And you would be wrong.”

    No, I would be right since according to you, an alternative view of data and information is true.

    You believe in AGW, Dick. You’ve looked at the data and accepted that humanity is the major single cause of climate change today.

  190. #190 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    “It’s about the interpretation of what a lie is.”

    Nope, there’s truth and there’s lie.

    If I say the sky is tartan, that is a lie.

    Please show me how an interpretation of “lie” would make that statement true.

    “There are people who think that anything you say that disgrees with their world view is a lie. ”

    Indeed there is, Dick. You’re a prime example.

    “It’s not a lie of course, it’s a different perspective.”

    So how can you claim the IPCC lied?

    The evidence is fact.

    You (and many other denialists) deny and lie about the facts because you cannot accept the consequences but cannot say so, so must instead deny and lie.

    The truth is not on your side, so you go to the camp of liars and lie about what lies are to hide your association.

  191. #191 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    “Ian, you are missing the point. In a free democracy people have the right to lie all they want.”

    Dick, you’re missing the point. A newsman isn’t a person. Journalist isn’t a person. A corporation isn’t a person.

    And if you’re free to say whatever you want, why are Julian Assange and Bradley Manning in trouble?

    Julian at least committed no crime and Bradley may be upholding his overriding oath to protect the constitution from foreign AND DOMESTIC enemies.

  192. #192 Richard Wakefield
    February 24, 2011

    You believe in AGW, Dick. You’ve looked at the data and accepted that humanity is the major single cause of climate change today.

    Now you are the liar.

    The IPCC used WWF reports as peer reviewed studies. The knew they were garbage, but passed them off science anyway. That’s lying.

  193. #193 skip
    February 24, 2011

    And in one camp, we have people lining up to say that people should be able to broadcast lies as if they are facts, and to say to the world “this is the truth”, when plainly and simply it isn’t. — mandas

    For considerations of legally sanctioned censorship, what is “plainly and simply” not the truth, Mandas? Would you deny Richard his right to publish his stupidity? Half of what the fool says is a lie of one grade or another. This is why I can’t be party to this line of reasoning from our otherwise admirable administrator and yourself.

    Truth is its own best hope. (I thought of that just now, but now that I think about it, its a pithy little aphorism, don’t you think?) We censor kiddie porn and sedition reluctantly, because those compromises with freedom of speech are obviously necessary. But we don’t make a habit of it. As Richard put it with atypical articulateness:

    In a free democracy people have the right to lie all they want. You also have the right to ignore them.

    Freedom of speech means you have to accept the wholesale bullshitting of the likes of Richard, Fox News, and Snowman.

    Speaking of whom:

    I have a suggestion. Come over to our side . . . Believe me, Skip, you will find it liberating. –Snowman

    I credit you for giving me a chuckle on that one, Snowman–the devil whispering in my ear. And I actually half believe you: The mindless, illiterate, indifferent posture is always the easy one. You and Richard are cases in point.

    But get this much straight, my Limey friend: The only difference between you and your Mike Tyson is a post-secondary education and the ability to routinely articulate oneself with greater skill than a cockatoo. Even if AGW was shown via future scientific investigation to be false, I would joyfully accept that but would never be on your “side”–the side of obfuscation, evasion, and rhetorical bombast in lieu of honest discussion. (Thank God we won the revolution. Through my granny’s side my daughter will have Daughters of the American Revolution papers; you’re inspiring me to make a bigger point of it than I otherwise would have.)

    Enjoy your freedom of speech, Snowman, and continually abuse it by lying as you see fit. Its your right.

    And yes, I’ll still be pinching my nose as you exercise that right.

  194. #194 Richard Wakefield
    February 24, 2011

    You believe in AGW, Dick. You’ve looked at the data and accepted that humanity is the major single cause of climate change today.

    Now you are the liar.

    The IPCC used WWF reports as peer reviewed studies. The knew they were garbage, but passed them off science anyway. That’s lying.

  195. #195 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    “Now you are the liar.”

    No, it’s an alternative view of the information you’ve supplied.

    Which YOU believe isn’t a lie.

    “The knew they were garbage, but passed them off science anyway.”

    Why don’t you say that is just YOUR interpretation of it? No, when the IPCC don’t agree with what you WANT to be true, they lie.

    Which makes your assertion earlier about how Ian says you lie just because you don’t agree with him a prime example of projection.

    However THIS:

    “The IPCC used WWF reports as peer reviewed studies.”

    is a lie.

    they used a WWF report as a WWF report. Not as a peer reviewed study.

    Again, Dick, you lie and lie. Which is why you want to hold off any attempt to make lies paid for when damaging.

    Snowwhatever, THIS is the sort of person who gets corrupted by the comforting lie and will pollute the democratic process by his willful antisocial antics.

    A misanthropy created, maintained, and reinforced by the media providing lies as if they are facts.

  196. #196 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    “Would you deny Richard his right to publish his stupidity?”

    Is Dick a newscaster now???? Is he using his media empire to state his pack of lies?

    Sheesh, you really reach out to the extremes of Off Topic to create your strawmen.

  197. #197 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    Skip, go back to the top of this thread.

    You see those links? You may see them as underlined text in a different colour.

    Go click on them.

    Go look at what the petition is for.

    Go look at what the complaint is and the content of the request.

    I don’t think you’ll find your manufactured problem exists except in your fevered imagination, seeing black helicopters under the bed…

  198. #198 Richard Wakefield
    February 24, 2011

    No, it’s an alternative view of the information you’ve supplied.

    You obviously do not know the difference between facts and interpretation of data.

  199. #199 Richard Wakefield
    February 24, 2011

    Wow, google: IPCC lied

  200. #200 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    “google: IPCC lied”

    No, they didn’t. Try google: tartan skies

    About 7,320,000 results (0.27 seconds)

    However, that doesn’t mean anything to the petition.

    I take it you DID read the thread topic..?

    Now, in your weird twisted mind, you DO want lies punished.

    But ONLY if it’s IPCC lying.

    Why is that?

  201. #201 Richard Wakefield
    February 24, 2011

    Now, in your weird twisted mind, you DO want lies punished.

    I have made it clear where I stand on this issue.

    If you don’t like lies on TV then get all the religious programs off the air. Start a petition for that and see how far you get.

  202. #202 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    “I have made it clear where I stand on this issue.”

    Indeed you have.

    You want things you don’t agree with to be called lies and be punished, but lies you do agree with to be called alternative explanations and supported.

    And the religious programs on TV are not news reports.

  203. #203 Snowman
    February 24, 2011

    Greater skill than a cockatoo, Skip? You aren’t exactly setting the bar very high.

    Still, my suggestion that you join us remains. As you perhaps remember from your Christian period, there is more joy in heaven over a sinner that repenteth than over ninety-nine that are righteous. So, come on, Skip. You will be on the side of the angels.

  204. #204 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    Snow, can you ever keep on topic and follow a logical thread?

  205. #205 skip
    February 24, 2011

    No, Snowman.

    I would be on the side of the likes of you and Richard. Whatever angels there might be are not in your company.

    And truth is not only its own best hope (I’m still liking that one, however it resonates in your Anglo ears); the truth is also its own avenger.

    You lie, Snowman. I have proof. I bought dogmatic delusion once as a younger and less educated man. Fool me twice shame on me.

  206. #206 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    I thought it was “I can’t get fooled again”?

    (and so memes are born, bastardy though its heritage be)

    Snow can lie. Dick can lie. I can lie. We’d be liars, but we’d still be us.

    But News cannot lie and be news.

    THAT is what this thread is about.

    Realising that if something wants to stop being News, then they lose the benefits of being news and if they fail to live up to society’s rules, then, like any criminal, they should face the consequences.

  207. #207 skip
    February 24, 2011

    Look, WoW.

    I distracted Snowman. He’s a nuisance anyway so I’m not apologizing for it.

    And I understand what the petition is about. I’m just saying as reasonable as it *sounds* I don’t agree.

    Let me make this completely clear: I *want* people to have the right to *specifically lie*. If lies cause tangible injury to individuals I want said injuries to be redressed in civil court. I do *not* agree with the petition *or* the existing Canadian law.

  208. #208 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    “Let me make this completely clear: I *want* people to have the right to *specifically lie*.”

    But a corporation isn’t a person.

    Neither is a journalist.

    Neither is a Judge, priest or policeman.

    Neither is a congressman.

    When the people occupying these roles lie, they abuse the trust given to the position and you lose what you say you want to keep by disagreeing with the petition.

    “If lies cause tangible injury to individuals I want said injuries to be redressed in civil court.”

    Yah. Good luck taking Koch Industries to civil court.

  209. #209 skip
    February 24, 2011

    When the people occupying these roles lie, they abuse the trust given to the position . . .

    Agreed. And the remedy is to vote them out, decline their products, and publicly censure them in an environment of *unrestricted speech*.

    Free speech is like the free market and democracy, WoW: Its horribly flawed but for most applications its the best thing going.

  210. #210 Wow
    February 24, 2011

    “And the remedy is to vote them out, decline their products, and publicly censure them in an environment of *unrestricted speech*.”

    Hasn’t worked so far.

    If it had, why did the law have to include laws against false advertising?

    When Nestle were pilloried for pushing their formula on the third world (requiring clean water, in short supply), Nestle were not hurt because they bought up many other brands, so people defected from Nestle to … Nestle.

    Judges aren’t voted for.

    Policemen are above the law (the thin blue line will defend their own). This isn’t just USian, but the Canadian mounties who killed a man after surgery because he was wielding a (table) knife and was having an episode. His chest wound to the heart from the operation hadn’t healed.

    What happened when two burly mounties were called?

    Pikachu!

    After that?

    Bupkis.

    And how do you avoid police anyway?

    Your options are all similar to “if you don’t like your country, get out”.

    Why the hell aren’t you trying to make your country BETTER?

    Chicken?

  211. #211 Snowman
    February 24, 2011

    You certainly have an ability to go off on tangents, Wow. How did we get on to the Mounties? Skip is right about this – not about many things, but certainly about this.

  212. #212 skip
    February 24, 2011

    If that’s an offer of solidarity, Snowman, I decline it.

    Sorry, WoW; the discussion is getting too broad for the forum, let alone this thread.

    Peace.

  213. #213 Snowman
    February 24, 2011

    It’s not an offer of anything, Skip, merely an observation. As you know, I value truth above all else, and this leads me to declare my agreement with you on those rare occasions – in fact, on this unique occasion – when you are right.

  214. #214 skip
    February 24, 2011

    As you know, I value truth above all else . . . –Snowman

    Laughable.

  215. #215 Snowman
    February 24, 2011

    A simple declarative statement of fact, Skip.

  216. #216 Richard Wakefield
    February 24, 2011

    But News cannot lie and be news.
    THAT is what this thread is about.

    How would you tell the difference between a mistake on a newscast and a lie? That’s what this is about.

  217. #217 Richard Wakefield
    February 24, 2011

    Hasn’t worked so far.

    Spoken like a true socialist. Our system works very well, better than anything else invented so far. You find a better system than democracy then you can run on that platform. Last I looked Communists in Canada get less than 1% of the vote.

  218. #218 Richard Wakefield
    February 24, 2011

    When the people occupying these roles lie, they abuse the trust given to the position and you lose what you say you want to keep by disagreeing with the petition.

    Yet people still vote Liberal here, and a day doesn’t go by when then don’t lie about something.

  219. #219 skip
    February 24, 2011

    Let’s do a little thought experiment to test how honest you really are, Snowman.

    Observe the clown whose posts are between yours and mine. Do you still think this retired fireman, with no scientific education, no publication record of any merit, whose principle investigative resource is a spreadsheet, who thinks you can extrapolate a southern Canadian temperature trend to the world, who thinks that climatology can be discerned watching system maps on the Weather Channel, who routinely cites as authorities things he has neither read nor understood (and which often specifically refute him), who has demonstrated methodological incompetence including a misuse of a t-test so absurd it caused physical pain to observe it . . . is the equivalent of a “Mike Tyson” in his presentation against AGW?

    Do you still *really* believe that, Snowman? Here’s your chance to show that you value truth above all else.

    There is another question I want to ask you, but first lets see how you deal with this one. Show me this honesty you’re talking about.

  220. #220 Richard Wakefield
    February 24, 2011

    Wow, skip, that was one lot of lies about me.

  221. #221 skip
    February 24, 2011

    And that’s one, big lie from you.

    Everything in that post can be documented, and in fact I have on various occasions in the various threads.

    Take me up on that, Mike Tyson?

    Which statement is a lie?

  222. #222 Snowman
    February 24, 2011

    Your weakness in these discussions, Skip, is that you employ techniques that would embarrass a thirteen year old member of the junior debating club. Are you seriously asking for a simple yes or no answer to a thread that went on for a stupendous 2,000 posts (or whatever the figure was)?

    However, I will say this: I found the unremitting, personal attacks on Richard to be wholly distasteful, as I think any neutral person would. Even now you cannot resist calling him an uneducated retired fireman, a snide comment that diminishes you.

    What, after all, was Richard’s crime? It was to point out an unusual and possibly interesting pattern of temperatures over a number of stations in Canada over several decades. The sample was not large and there were many who challenged his techniques, but perhaps his findings merited further investigation. It was surely a modest and reasonable position. But how did you react? With horror, indignation and foaming outrage.

    Whatever the merits or otherwise of Richard’s arguments, he remains the only person here who has attempted to carry out an original analysis. The best the rest of you can do is to look things up on the internet and smugly denounce him – in the apparent belief that you have done something estimable. The fact that you remain incapable of understanding the irony speaks volumes.

  223. #223 Ian Forrester
    February 24, 2011

    Why do deniers lie every time thy put their fingers on a key board or open their mouths?

    Whatever the merits or otherwise of Richard’s arguments, he remains the only person here who has attempted to carry out an original analysis.

    Wakefield was not the only one to do “original analysis” on Canadian temperature data on this blog. Others did some and showed that Wakefield was wrong and lied about his conclusion that “Tmax in Canada are decreasing” thus AGW is disproved.

    He was shown numerous papers in the scientific literature which disproved his claims and he still lies about “Tmax decreasing”.

    That is why you deniers are called liars, you lie. You lie when what you have said is shown to be incorrect and you continue to repeat your nonsense over and over again.

    Everyone by now who has any intelligence at all is fed up of Wakefield’s lies and any one who supports his dishonesty also deserves the derision of intelligent people.

    Grow up and become educated and honest.

  224. #224 skip
    February 24, 2011

    Answer the question, Snowman.

    Why aren’t you? Is Richard really a “Mike Tyson” of climate skepticism or isn’t he?

    Please answer the question.

    Notice Mike Tyson has no answer to my question, either?

    This is what it boils down to, Snowman: honesty. You are not honest. You can try to writhe and distract with your appeals to dignity and what not but the bottom line is you are a liar.

  225. #225 Wow
    February 25, 2011

    skip, maybe if you can explain why canadian laws on restrictions to speech are wrong and what they damage.

  226. #226 Wow
    February 25, 2011

    “214 As you know, I value truth above all else . . . –Snowman

    Laughable.

    Posted by: skip | February 24, 2011 12:35 PM
    215

    A simple declarative statement of fact, Skip.

    Posted by: Snowman | February 24, 2011 12:55 PM”

    Indeed, that statement of yours is laughable from a simple declaration of observable fact.

    “How did we get on to the Mounties?”

    Uh, we got there because it is considered possible to avoid lying policemen by taking them to court.

    It was AN EXAMPLE of that not working.

    There are plenty more. “Don’t taze me bro!” being one, London tube shooting being another really big screwup that has had no consequence for the perpetrators.

    Of course you’ve shown that you don’t really understand analogies, so it’s rather surprising you don’t understand examples either.

    This must make learning anything REALLY difficult for you.

    Which explains your problem, really.

  227. #227 Snowman
    February 25, 2011

    Wow, so far I have given you the benefit of the doubt. He’s just a little excitable, I told myself. He tends to bash out these post without thinking. Don’t be hard on him.

    Alas, your recent efforts force me to conclude that you really are as dense as I had feared. Is it actually possible that you cannot see the difference between lies that may or may not have been told by police officers and the issue at hand here: namely, whether the apparatus of the state should be brought to bear in determining truth in news reporting?

    A problem with this thread is the profusion of people who are intellectually incapable of understanding the argument. Skip knows that you fall into this category, but as you are also his warmist buddy he is reluctant to be frank.

  228. #228 Wow
    February 25, 2011

    “Wow, so far I have given you the benefit of the doubt.”

    Why don’t you give me the benefit of the reading?

    “Is it actually possible that you cannot see the difference between lies that may or may not have been told by police officers and the issue at hand here:”

    I can, problem is you can’t see the similarities.

    “namely, whether the apparatus of the state should be brought to bear in determining truth in news reporting?”

    It already does. Libel. Swearing. Profanity. Nudity (before the watershed).

    Why don’t you see that lies from the news organisation is merely propaganda and that, if it isn’t reigned in, you no longer have democracy?

    Because you LIKE the propoganda from Fox (unlike what you want to call the propoganda from the IPCC on AGW, which you DO want crushed).

    It isn’t that you’re stupid per se, but that you’re misanthropic and bigoted.

    “A problem with this thread is the profusion of people who are intellectually incapable of understanding the argument.”

    Indeed. Why don’t you and Dick understand the argument?

    Because you both like the lies to continue since you don’t have truth on your side.

  229. #229 Richard Wakefield
    February 25, 2011

    Why don’t you see that lies from the news organisation is merely propaganda and that, if it isn’t reigned in, you no longer have democracy?

    You have yet to show us how you would differentiate lies from genuine mistakes?

    Until that is done this petition is worthless.

  230. #230 Wow
    February 25, 2011

    “You have yet to show us how you would differentiate lies from genuine mistakes?”

    You seem to have no problem doing it when it suits your purpose.

    When someone says that Mojab Latif says we’re in for a cooling trend of 30 years at least when he ACTUALLY said that with the temperature record we have you can easily pick a ten year period where you can get a negative trend, then how can that be a genuine mistake?

    When it’s said that Dr Jones says there’s been no warming for the last 15 years, but what he was asked is whether there has been warming that is statistically significant in the 15 years prior to 2009 and answers with there is a warming trend but not to the normal 95% confidence limit, how can that be a genuine mistake?

  231. #231 skip
    February 25, 2011

    Wow:

    As I understand it existing Canadian law banned “false or misleading news”. The revision would loosen the standard to if it were “knowlingly” thus–which is of course an extremely difficult standard to prove and thus opens a floodgate of Fox News Bullshit. But even *that* provision is offensive to me, because it brings under the scrutiny of the courts the muddled problem of defining “false and misleading”.

    The remedy to liars is not legal restriction; its the truth.

    For example, watch this:

    Richard, which of my statements in post 219 is a lie?

    http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2011/02/petition_to_protect_canadian_m.php#comment-3371172

    Please be specific. You’re claiming my post is a lie. I’m claiming I can document every assertion, and that in fact it is *you* who are lying when you deny them.

    He won’t answer me, Wow. I don’t need to take him to court. He’s exposed.

    Here’s another great example:

    Snowman: Do you *really* still think Richard is the “Mike Tyson” of climate change denial?

    He won’t answer either. Why? Because like Richard he is a liar, and the ugly truth (that he realizes now Richard is a loser that he backed foolishly) is too embarrassing to admit. So he won’t admit it. He’ll lie.

    When someone on the news does something like this it would be the exact same remedy. The remedy for false speech is the truth, not the courts.

  232. #232 Wow
    February 25, 2011

    “But even *that* provision is offensive to me, because it brings under the scrutiny of the courts the muddled problem of defining “false and misleading”.”

    Courts do this all the time.

    If it’s broken for this, then it’s broken for the entire justice system.

    And please have a look at my post #228.

    Fairly easy to eke out false or misleading from those.

    See also Mama Grizzly’s complaing against Michelle Obama and her claim that milk has gone up. False. It’s a mathematical fact. No grey area.

    “He won’t answer me, Wow. I don’t need to take him to court. He’s exposed.”

    But he isn’t Fox News or CBC or The Daily Mail. He’s exposed but he has no greater access nor greater right to speech than you.

    But a corporation isn’t human and “nobody is to blame” and, since they accrue the combined might of the multitude that inhabits it, you are in a david v goliath where Goliath has brought the whole freaking army and declared slings weapons of mass destruction, banned by the geneva convention.

    Koch Industries have lied.

    How will YOU expose them?

    They can reach millions. You? Scores. Tops.

    When news organisations can lie with impunity, they reach millions. This is why you are so scared of government control of media, isn’t it.

    Well what if they are in control of those who WANT to be dictators of the country? Just because they aren’t controlled by the government currently in power doesn’t mean that their lies are different from the ones they’d make if their backers were the government.

    “The remedy for false speech is the truth, not the courts.”

    And you get all the free speech you can pay for.

    Murdoch has a lot more free speech than you.

    What do we do when the playing field is uneven? SOCIETY DECIDES to enforce the level playing field.

    Read, for example, your statutory rights.

    Government intervention in private affairs.

    Heck, the very same people gave the constition which limits US Government as would give this law limits on corporations.

    Or would you say that the government too should have unfettered free speech rights?

  233. #233 mandas
    February 25, 2011

    Ok – 230 posts later, let me summarise for anyone who has come in late.

    Half of the posters think it is ok to tell lies on TV and call it news. The other half of us don’t.

    And no-one will be able to persuade the other side to change their minds.

    Coby, can we move on now?

  234. #234 Richard Wakefield
    February 25, 2011

    Richard, which of my statements in post 219 is a lie?

    I just did to you what you are doing to Fox North.

    Now do you understand the morass you make when you a priori assume lying?

  235. #235 Richard Wakefield
    February 25, 2011

    When news organisations can lie with impunity, they reach millions. This is why you are so scared of government control of media, isn’t it.

    When governments can lie with impunity, they reach tens of millions. Who can counter government lies?

    Governments have far more influence, far more power than any news organization.

  236. #236 skip
    February 25, 2011

    I just did to you what you are doing to Fox North.

    Wrong again, Einstein.

    I’m the guy on *your* side on the Fox News license issue. Remember?

    What you just did to yourself was show again the paucity of your claim.

    Your witlessness continues to amaze.

  237. #237 Richard Wakefield
    February 25, 2011

    Half of the posters think it is ok to tell lies on TV and call it news. The other half of us don’t.

    Speaking of lies. No that is not our position. It’s not OK to lie, period. The point of our side is it is NOT up to government to dictate who is lying and who isn’t. It’s up to people watching such programs to spot those “untruths” and then act on showing if they are lies vs mistakes. Action could be complaining to the CRTC first, then if not satusfied take the “offender” to court where you would have to PROVE intent to lie.

    That’s the safest mechanism.

  238. #239 adelady
    February 25, 2011

    Yes!!!!!

    Good news is a bit thin on the ground just now, but this is fantastic.

  239. #240 skip
    February 25, 2011

    LOL.

    I would thank you for the link, Richard, if I had disagreed with you in the first place on this licensing issue.

  240. #241 Snowman
    February 26, 2011

    Though I have the greatest admiration for Canada and Canadians, they must be the only people on earth who would consider a decision to limit their personal freedom a matter for celebration. Over the years I have watched with dismay as Canada has transformed itself. Once a proud nation of self-reliant people, it has become ground zero for the nanny state and the politically correct movement. And people here rejoice in it.

  241. #242 Richard Wakefield
    February 26, 2011

    Not all of us. But you are right, nannyism keeps creeping, and creaping, in. People here just do not want to take personal responsibility.

    Maybe the tide is changing though. People are seeing what is happening economically in socialist Europe and they don’t want to go there.

    And we have the Ontario Liberals trashing rights here in Ontario with eco-fees, more taxation, and wind turbines popping up everywhere driving the cost of power to unafordable hieghts. All putting this province into a have-not status for the first time in Canadian history. And Ontarians are embarrased about that after spendng decades kidding Newfoundland about being a have-not province.

    Polls show the Ontario Liberals will be toast come Oct as the Conservatives win. And federally the Conservatives are nearing majority territory. Now that would be a celibration.

  242. #243 skip
    February 26, 2011

    Big government is not end in itself to be sure, Richard, but remember this: Big, monolithic, American government is what won the war for all of us in 1945–including our ungrateful Limey friend Snowman and hyperborean cousins such as yourself.

  243. #244 Snowman
    February 26, 2011

    You are wrong to think me ungrateful, Skip. No one acknowledges more readily than I the debt we owe to our American cousins. I have no idea what I have said that would give you that idea.

  244. #245 Richard Wakefield
    February 26, 2011

    Skip, it wasn’t big government that won the war. It was volunteers like my father and grandfather before him who won the war. It was the people who worked overtime, who sacraficed to keep my father supplied. They won the war. If anything, big government screwed up when ever they got involed. Government always screws things up.

  245. #246 skip
    February 26, 2011

    Yeah, well.

    I’ll drink to your grandad if you’ll drink to mine.. And if our Republican competitors to FDR had had their isolationist preferences there wouldn’t have been any gasoline for Snowman’s grandpa’s Spitfire. (Said gratitude noted; implied ingratitude retracted.)

    And if you think we could have won in two theaters on an all-volunteer army–Canadian or otherwise–you’re dreaming, Richard. I might pinch my nose and share your gloom at court-enforced “truth” in news, but government is indeed often the best answer to society’s most pressing problems. Its why we have one in the first place.

    This is indeed why I am an advocate of a graduated fossil fuel tax as a response to climate change–as well as host of other problems–but that’s for a different thread.

  246. #247 Richard Wakefield
    February 26, 2011

    And if you think we could have won in two theaters on an all-volunteer army–Canadian or otherwise–you’re dreaming

    Canada was all volunteer both wars. What we did have a “draft” around the end of 1944, but that conscription was for homeland defence only. No conscripts were sent out of Canada.

    All current overseas deployments are also volunteer only.

    BTW, in both wars the Germans feared Canadians more than any other soldier. Seems our on the ground, individual inovations in the field was effective. My grandfather won a metal for bravery for such, taking out a machine gun nest single handed.

    Generals in room hundreds of miles away didn’t win the war. Though hats off to Patton, one of the few generals who actually contributed to winning the war. He should have been allowed to do what he wanted and the war would have been over sooner. A debate for another thread.

  247. #248 coby
    February 26, 2011

    skip: “I would thank you for the link, Richard, if I had disagreed with you in the first place on this licensing issue.”

    But you two do disagree. Richard likes things the way they are. In #153:

    “If it is proven in court that a newcast stated a knowing [lie] they should be given the option of correcting such, or loose their licence if enough of such occur.”

    Which is exactly what the CRTC policy is right now and exactly what the petition at the top of the post is trying to preserve. And now we know is the way things will stay.

    Snowman: “they must be the only people on earth who would consider a decision to limit their personal freedom a matter for celebration.”

    No one’s personal freedoms have been touched. This is about the freedom of a news broadcasting agency in its use of public airways. So far, all of the arguments in favour of removing the current regulation are against this strawman, personal freedom, or they are general arguments about the principle of free speech. The problem with arguing in favour of “free speech” is that no one here is arguing against it, and it is an argument based on a false pretense that the absolute freedom of speech actually does exist, which it does not, not in any modern society I am aware of. Thus this issue is about how to find the balance between enforcing responsibility and retaining freedom. No one yet has made an serious attempt to argue that prohibiting a public news broadcast from making intentionally false statements tips that balance too far.

    Snowman, in 163 you replied to me:

    You misrepresent my arguments, Coby. I have acknowledged from the outset that the right to free speech is not absolute, and is legitimately constrained by laws concerning libel, fraud or incitement to criminality (which would include, in most jurisdictions, hate speech). However, the limits to free speech should be few and specific, whereas the right to it should be general and assumed. The existing Canadian law, which you defend, fails on this test.

    This law is very specific. It does not target individuals. It does not target all broadcast material. It does not target all forms news distribution. It does not target all types of statements. It targets only broadcast corporations that disseminate news over public airwaves (in the modern interpretation of that phrase, including cable etc) that make delibrately false statements of fact. It does not get much more specific than that.

  248. #249 coby
    February 26, 2011

    skip in #193: “Would you deny Richard his right to publish his stupidity?”

    I am afraid this is the most strawiest of all men here. (I know you made other more nuanced posts, but this line of reasoning is central to just about everyone’s objections.) Firstly, the answer is of course “no”. Richard has the right to publish whatever he wants on the internet, or flyers he hands out on the street etc. But if he owned a tv station, he would not have the right to lead his nightly news cast “This just in: new analysis reveals conclusively that human caused global warming is a fraud. There has been no rise in temperatures, in fact, summer temperatures around the globe are decreasing.” (Lest we get distracted debating if this is false or not, or a lie or not, please just take away the obvious point.)

    The problem with the remedy you proposed further down thread, namely that the antidote to such a lie is to simply present the truth, is that it does not take into account the disproportionate impact of a lie spoken to millions with the authority of the nightly news, versus “skip” on a blog comment thread pointing out this is not in fact true.

    The erosion of freedom of speech is indeed a potential threat to a democratic society, I can acknowledge that point. However, unchecked propoganda, be it gov’t created or corporate created is a far greater one.

    I’m not trying to get the last word here or anything, we can all agree to disagree on this one as there may not be much left to say…but I did feel the need to make one more try at getting the above points across.

    Next topic: ice sheets.

  249. #250 Snowman
    February 26, 2011

    I think you are right, Coby. Goodness knows we have all had our say. Time to move on.

  250. #251 skip
    February 27, 2011

    All reasonable enough, Coby. (And Wow, who made essentially the same argument.) Just a couple of parting shots before I genuinely allow you the last word.

    First, Richard’s incoherence on this point (you pointed it out before) is a reflection of Richard, not the point. (I mean, look at his silly response to my point about all-volunteer armies: Canada had all volunteers; therefore, volunteers are all you need!)

    Second, the seemingly innocent restriction on “false and misleading” *news*–as opposed to individual free speech– strikes me as arbitrary and easily blurred. What if Richard, for example, eventually received corporate sponsorship from Exxon-Mobile and called himself the Wakefield News Network? At what point is he a “news source” and not just a goofball with a harebrained opinion?

    Don’t worry, Coby. This isn’t one I’m going to fall on my sword over. I don’t know enough about the history of the existing (and as of now unchanged) Canadian law to say one way or the other how good an idea it is. I’ll just say I smell a manifestation of different national histories (revolution against the Crown versus the placid BNA) that has lead to a regulation north of the border that seems dodgy to my Yankee sensibilities.

    I wish you folks the best with it in any event.

  251. #252 mandas
    February 27, 2011

    skip

    “…This is indeed why I am an advocate of a graduated fossil fuel tax as a response to climate change–as well as host of other problems–but that’s for a different thread…”

    Apart from having to put up with crakar, maybe you would like to move to Australia now:

    http://www.pm.gov.au/press-office/climate-change-framework-announced

  252. #253 mandas
    February 27, 2011

    “…….Generals in room hundreds of miles away didn’t win the war. Though hats off to Patton, one of the few generals who actually contributed to winning the war. He should have been allowed to do what he wanted and the war would have been over sooner. A debate for another thread……”

    For f###’s sake Dick, will you please stop showing your ignorance. Patton was an idiot who had no comprehension of strategic issues. If you want this debate, then I will give it to you somewhere else if coby wants to start an appropriate thread.

    But I will warn you – I am a graduate of war college, not an ARMCHAIR general.

  253. #254 skip
    February 27, 2011

    Patton was an idiot who had no comprehension of strategic issues. –mandas

    But not a *tactical* genius as per the film and legend?

    Not that I care terribly. I generally pride myself in my knowledge of American history but admit to having little knowledge of Patton.

    I’ll think of a climate connection later.

  254. #255 mandas
    February 28, 2011

    skip

    Yes – Patton was a tactical and operational genius. Bur in strategic matters – which a senior general needs – he was a fool. Which is why Bradley and Eisenhower essentially sacked him.

    But slightly off topic :-)

  255. #256 Wow
    February 28, 2011

    skip, I guess my problem with knowing your problem is that this petition and the law from it doesn’t mean that the government gets to say “you’re lying” any more than child rape laws mean the government gets to say you’re abusing children.

    Just because the government could use it to remove an annoying person doesn’t mean we ought to get rid of the laws against it.

    And if you want to use civil courts, they can only redress damage, NOT punish (though the recording industries have managed to get that for their cases too) and expanding civil cases to include punitative action is a far FAR worse idea than letting government assert the law against lying.

  256. #257 mandas
    March 3, 2011

    Meanwhile – back in Canada…….

    Our mate Dick – who appears to have gone AWOL – recently highlighted that the people had spoken, and that WUWT was the most popular science blog of 2010. I guess he must think that means something.

    I suppose that if people are polled or vote for something, then the outcome must be true. Is that correct Dick (assuming you are out there)?

    So – I wonder what you think of this:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/02/22/pol-lunn-climate-survey.html

    It would seem your countrymen accept the science of climate change as real, and want your government to do something about it. Given your statements of support for the validity of polling, I guess that means you believe the government should take action. Or don’t you believe in polls and democracy if the vote goes against you?

  257. #258 mandas
    March 6, 2011

    A journalist speaks up for journalism:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/mar/04/daily-star-reporter-letter-full

    I like this quote at the end:

    “….You may have heard the phrase, “The flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil sets off a tornado in Texas.” Well, try this: “The lies of a newspaper in London can get a bloke’s head caved in down an alley in Bradford.”

    If you can’t see that words matter, you should go back to running porn magazines. But if you do, yet still allow your editors to use inciteful over insightful language, then far from standing up for Britain, you’re a menace against all things that make it great….”

  258. #259 mandas
    March 20, 2011

    We haven’t said much about freedom of the press and Fox News lately, but I just can’t let this one go.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7Pge9F5SpE&feature=player_embedded

    The stupidity just burns!!!! How can anyone with an IQ above their shoe size believe the crap that spews from these people’s mouths? This is so laughably stupid that you might even think it was Poe – but then you see who is talking and you know they might even genuinely believe it. After all – the tide comes in – the tide goes out…..

    I do like the ‘Freudian slip’ at the start of the video. “More on” Fox news indeed!

  259. #260 adelady
    March 20, 2011

    Aaaaah! Hormesis.

    Just like settling into a nice gently bubbling spa. You can feel it doing you good. (And you can sign the Oregon petition while you do it. Lovely.)

  260. #261 skip
    March 21, 2011

    The clip never got to policy implications . . . a genetically mutated chicken in every pot, and two depleted uranium cars in every garage?

    I actually read one of Coulter’s books (*Godless*: The Church of Liberalism.) It wasn’t even proofed correctly before being slapdashed to press.

    An unmitigated, colossal lunatic–or just a very good and sociopathic self-marketer. I could actually respect her slightly more if I thought she knew how full of shit she was and is just in it for the money gleaned off the drooling illiterati. She actually has a low degree from the University of Michigan, which is no mean achievement, so her insanity/retardation is a puzzle.

    O’Reilly is another piece of work in his own right, but that’s another story . . .

  261. #262 mandas
    March 21, 2011

    Meanwhile, in the Australian media….

    “Media Watch” is an excellent ABC TV program which critiques the media. Last night they did an expose of how “Talk Back Radio” (read: right wing nut job shock jocks) have dealt with climate change. A link to the show is here:

    http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3169309.htm

    One part of the show was particularly interesting. It occurs at 5:23 in the video. The nut-job is complaining about who the Prime Minister is siding with for her advice on climate change, and he sneeringly lists who she listens to, then complains why she is not getting her advice from elsewhere (ie from people who agree with him). Here is the transcript:

    “….She said she knew who she’d rather have on her side, not Alan Jones, not Piers Akerman, not Andrew Bolt, but the CSIRO, The Australian Academy of Science, the Bureau of Meteorology, NASA, the National Atmospheric Administration, and every reputable climate change scientist in the world. Did you hear that? There was no mention of leading Australian scientists who question climate change including Professor Ian Plimer, Professor Bob Carter and Dr David Evans, among others. What, none of them are reputable now?…”

    I think that’s pretty telling. Your average denier thinks that the PM should listen to a group of discredited mining company geologists and right-wing ‘journalists’ above the CSIRO, BOM, NASA, NOAA, AAS and reputable climate scientists. And this is EXACTLY why I will NEVER refer to them as sceptics. They are DENIERS, pure and simple, and worthy of nothing more than utter contempt.

  262. #263 mandas
    April 28, 2011

    Well, it looks as though ‘Fox News North’, or to give it its real name, ‘Sun News Network’, finally been launched in Canada.

    Here’s a short clip to highlight the quality of the journalism:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tTLOqpHHCI&feature=player_embedded

    Is this guy the Canadian Glenn Beck, ay?

  263. #264 Snowman
    April 28, 2011

    Of course, we are all deeply disappointed that Sun News Network is not to His Goatship’s taste. But life is full of sorrow, and we will just have to learn to live with his disapproval.

  264. #265 coby
    April 28, 2011

    I’m not sure that was real, was it??

  265. #266 skip
    April 28, 2011

    LOL.

    I can not only live with Mandas’s disapproval, but what is no doubt your assessment that the Canadian Chainsaw Massacre Man is the “Mike Tyson” of news broadcasting. You’ve found your Richard Wakefield of television, Snowman. Hope you have satellite service in Sussex.

  266. #267 Snowman
    April 28, 2011

    What is this strange power I have over Skip? We hear not a peep from him for days, but let me make just one comment and he rushes to the blog, breathless with excitement.

    Incidentally, Skip, I assume that – like most of your compatriots – you will be getting up at the crack of dawn tomorrow to watch the Royal Wedding. Look for me outside Westminster Abbey. I’ll be the guy holding a sign saying ‘Hiya, Skip old buddy’.

  267. #268 skip
    April 28, 2011

    What is this strange power I have over Skip?

    The same intrigue that any clown holds for anyone who enjoys tormenting clowns. If you find that empowering, it explains a lot.

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