A little while ago I posted a review of several journalists’ positions on First Nations governance, Indigenous land rights, Idle No More, Chief Spence and Attawapiskat. With the exception of Ibbitson, all of the journalists I reviewed positioned themselves as experts and went on to express views in ways that displayed their ignorance and serious lack of judgement.
When I posted the article I made a small effort to let the journalists, who are mostly on Twitter, know that I had written something critical of their various articles.
Some journalists that I wrote about ignored me. Others made jokes and made fun of me until they were “bored” and then ignored me.
And one fellow, Andrew Coyne of the National Post, claimed that I was creating an argument with which he could not win. I tweeted him back to ask the question, “which part?” and he simply ignored me. And even though I was bothered by Jonathan Kay’s brash “humour”, I was more affected by Andrew Coyne’s utter dismissal. After all, I had taken considerable time to write an earnest criticism, without payment, and off of the corner of my desk, of his and others’ judgement. And he dismissed it in a single tweet that said essentially that I had failed to make an argument to which he could respond. I don’t think that’s the case and I find it frustrating. I suppose I would rather he just ignore me, like Ivison did.
Anyway, over the next little while I thought I would try to write a series of arguments so explicit that Coyne would be forced to actually read them. And it’s a good exercise: articulating just what is racist can be very difficult. All of the arguments I will attempt to write will be towards the conclusion that Andrew Coyne has written numerous racist things.1
I should add that I did not originally call the writings by Coyne and the others racist. Originally, I simply focused on the lack of good judgement. Partly I think it’s important to take up the argument on racism, because Coyne repeatedly makes fun of people who criticize him for writing racist things. On Twitter, and in his written dispatches for the National Post, racism for Coyne seems to be a matter of much comedy and headshaking. His favourite rebuttal to the accusation of racism is to simply accuse the person of ad hominem.
- Question and answer on journalism and other forms of writing Posted on: May 2, 2014
- Can we have infinite, exponential growth with finite resources? Andrew Leach says Yes. Posted on: February 4, 2014
- Petrostatehood is not a zero or one Posted on: September 5, 2013
- The best journalism is a kind of advocacy Posted on: August 20, 2013
- He wrote three articles that I will focus on: 1. January 7: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/01/07/andrew-coyne-idle-no-more-movement-is-a-dispute-between-rival-factions-in-the-aboriginal-community/ 2. January 9th: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/01/09/andrew-coyne-stephen-harper-must-bolster-moderates-as-true-voice-of-native-canadians/ and 3. January 11th: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/01/11/andrew-coyne-atleo-was-courageous-to-meet-with-harper-as-his-constituency-openly-revolts/ ↩