The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

17 July 2008

Canadian Censor Groups Fail To Silence Vancouver Host


Would-Be Censors Fail To Shut Down Canadian Host

While columnist and Rush Limbaugh fill-in Mark Steyn awaits his fate before the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, another case of Canuckistanian- censorship- run- amok thankfully has a happy ending.

CKNW/ Vancouver host Bruce Allen, also known as a major rock promoter in Canada, has been cleared of ethics charges after a recorded commentary offended Sikhs, Muslims and other groups.

We'd previously covered the allegations in September 2007.

From the Globe and Mail:

In a decision released yesterday, however, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council found that while Mr. Allen's self-described "rant" was "jumbled, unclear ... and not skillfully crafted," it did not violate the broadcasters' code of ethics.

The council did not call for any disciplinary or corrective action by either Mr. Allen or CKNW, leading to complaints on a multicultural radio station that justice had not been served.

In his segment last Sept. 13, Mr. Allen talked about the difficulties Sikhs had getting acceptable passport photos, while "wearing those handkerchiefs," and an Elections Canada controversy over identifying Muslim women wearing burkas. He also mentioned "the turban-wearing Mounties problem."

It was unclear what Mr. Allen, who represents international stars Bryan Adams, Michael Bublé and Anne Murray, thought about those issues. He would later say he was being critical of such "immigrant bashing." But at the time it sounded like he was using those as examples of problems caused by immigrants.

"This is all very simple. We have laws in this country. ... If you are immigrating to this country and you don't like the rules that are in place, then you have the right to choose not to live here. But if you choose to come to a place like Canada, then shut up and fit in," he said.

"If you don't like the rules ... we don't need you here. You have another place to go; it's called home. See ya," Mr. Allen said before signing off.

And from the Vancouver Sun:

The council's B.C. regional panel examined the complaint under a clause of the CAB code of ethics that prohibits "abusive or unduly discriminatory material or comment which is based on matters of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion," etc., the CAB said in a news release.

If Allen's comments seem ridiculously mild, you are not alone. What he said is downright tame by American standards. But in Canada, special- interest censors are quick to pounce on even the tiniest affront to political correctness.

While Steyn is on trial simply because excerpts of his book were reprinted in Maclean's, a political news magazine, Allen faced sanctions solely because he insists that standards be applied to everyone equally.

Canada's current system seems to allow nearly any offended party to subject its critics to a sham trial. The fact that Allen won his battle shouldn't make this state of affairs any less alarming.

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