Monday, February 14, 2011

Winnipeg Free Press opposes censorship - - except by Red River College officials who oppose censorship

Last Monday, the Winnipeg Free Press published a little - noticed editorial. After a week it had yet to be Tweeted or shared via Facebook. It will now be a less well-kept secret.

It may be what the Free Press says for public consumption, but it's a matter of 'do as I say, not as I do.'

In private, they embrace the very attack on free speech that they claimed in their editorial of February 7th to abhor.

Here's what the FP editor did, when The Great Canadian Talk Show on 92.9 Kick-FM threatened the election chances of their preferred, NDP-backed candidate for mayor by exposing a scandal involving illegal NDP financing of Mynarski candidate Ross Eadie in the October election.

Margo Goodhand phoned the new President of Red River College, Stephanie Forsyth to silence the show.

And she wanted her call kept secret.

Stephanie Forsyth immediately picked up the torch and the pitchfork and gave orders to kill the show.

Her hatchetman -- RRC vice-president Cathy Rushton, who represented the "President's Council" on the Board of Directors of the radio station.

Rushton had already taken one run at TGCTS prior to this. Another special interest group, the bike lobby, had tried to silence the show in August. Rushton went so far as to claim a nonexistent complaint from Mayor Sam Katz to garner support to have the show cancelled. But she failed.

Oh, and she made sure to say she was "against censorship."

" I'm not big on censorship at all but I think the CKIC Board needs to talk about our relationship with him. I'm not sure why we allow him to use the station as his soap box ."

Note how the people most active in censoring free speech always want to make it clear they're against censorship.

Well, this time she had her orders from her new boss. The only problem, was how to explain why the show was being cancelled, without admitting it was censorship to mollify the Free Press.

Red River College officials tried one excuse (students need the airtime), then amended that to "students and grads only" as a loophole to allow the Free Press show on Kick-Fm to continue. But they refused to say the obvious.

Station manager Rick Baverstock suggested they just admit it:

"I think it would be best to tell the truth and say he's offended partners of the College"

When she found out on November 5th, Rushton said:

" Rick's recommendation of how to talk to Marty does not work for me at all. I do not want to create the impression that this is about censorship of negative opinion about us or our partners".

So Red River College officials kept lying, with Forsyth's approval.

They lied to the National Post.

"(Graham Thomson) said the cancellation was part of a far-reaching “reorganization” aimed at ensuring students get air-time, and said the decision “was not about censorship.

They lied to callers.

They lied to the student body and station volunteers.

They want you to know they were against censorship before they were for it.

Just like the Winnipeg Free Press.

And what did that Free Press editorial say ?

"Freedom of speech is hardly worth defending if it means only standing up for what we agree with."

Next: When a sponsor of the show found out what Cathy Rushton said about them speaking out against the cancellation, it forced Stephanie Forsyth out of her bunker.