Yes, it matters that the government is arresting reporters in Canada
Unlike those on the take, better men and women should be expected to keep their principles, especially when inconvenient. That’s how we can be sure we have principles at all.
Credit where it’s due, David Menzies can scrum with the best of them. Denied credentials to ask PMO-preferred questions, groups like Rebel Media, love’em or hate’em, have to make do with what they’ve got.
In this case, what they’ve got is a sidewalk, where Menzies has been arrested, detained, or cajoled on many an occasion, always for having the gall to ask a few questions of increasingly sheltered politicians.
There’s some performance to it all, to be sure. Adorned in his best hockey coach suit and a fedora, Menzies casts a slightly comic figure as an old gum-shoe who can take a licking but keep on ticking.
In this latest incident, now viewed the world over by millions — including Elon Musk — even the most fervent partisan should feel comfortable saying that Menzies did nothing wrong. (If you have yet to see the clip, I’d encourage you to give this craziness a look.)
There can be little denying that’s a fascistic block, not a charge, from a plain-clothes RCMP detail with the bit between their teeth. More troubling was the attempt to plant fraudulent charges of “assault,” which have since been dropped. Thank goodness the cameras were rolling to catch an increasingly politicized RCMP in the act.
When the dust settles on this latest act of Canadian government abuse of independent media, when the views die out north of ten million, and Rebel boss Ezra Levant (probably) loses another symbolic lawsuit against the government, not much will have changed.
However grotesque and authoritarian his collaring, Menzies will be back to scrumming the granddaughters of N*zi collaborators in no time. The Rebel will make boatloads of dough off fundraising for this lawsuit, as is their wont. Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre will be able to win more hearts and minds away from Trudeau, using calls of attacks on the press — which are mostly true.
And the Liberals, of course, will miss the boat entirely, which speaks to a larger issue of professional class detachment, from those who believe themselves to be above the law for reasons of righteousness, and those who no longer have the chutzpah to enforce the law, particularly, and currently, when it comes to defending Canada’s minority Jewish community.
If only David Menzies had been serving increasingly sour, lacklustre ‘double-doubles’ in a Keffiyeh, this whole mess might have been avoided.
Even before the state started roughing up media they didn’t like, and playing directly into the hands of their opponents who wish a nation less harm, it had been a downright dreadful few days for police optics in the People’s Republic of Ontario.
On January 6th, Toronto police handed out coffee to the military-aged males blockading a highway overpass adjacent to one of the city’s largest Jewish neighbourhoods.
On January 7th, police again bowed before a mob, this time to one that was holding legitimate pro-Hamas signage, who took to Toronto City Hall’s public ice rink, to threaten families and the elderly, and to take out the rest of their impotent rage towards the very existence of ‘settler’ Jews, and a Jewish State some 10,000 KMs away.
The average low-information progressive can ignore these scenes at their own peril. When the election asteroid comes, as it has recently started making impact in Europe and South America, ‘two-tier policing’ will be one of the reasons why. Much like with the slow and steady growth of cognitive dissonance under two years of Covid rule, one can not ignore such incongruities in nature for long.
You mean to say the bank account freezers, who helped crack some skulls, and even pepper spray the independent press during the war measure kettling of the Freedom Convoy, can’t clear a hockey rink or mall of violent threats? That they’ll continue to allow for the protest of Jewish businesses? And fire-bombed schools?
…But they’ll arrest that guy from the Rebel, and serve crullers to men cosplaying as their favourite Toyota-Land-Cruiser-driving revolutionaries?
Such matters are important, for they’re also matters of permission. When the same class of people who so easily forgave each Covid atrocity and act of casual discrimination — because yuck, the Great Unwashed — can stare blankly at an elderly couple being wished death upon, on the most Canadian of all symbols, a hockey rink, while chuckling at a reporter they don’t like getting roughed up for asking questions of a politician in a public space, they’re telling us they haven’t learned. That they can’t. That they won’t.
And if allowed to do so, they’ll repeat history all over again if it best serves them. So the goal remains a simple one: we do all that we can to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Only, in the not-too-distant future, if a pretend journalist like a Dale Smith, or some unemployed Canadian Tik-Toker gets the boot from a Poilievre event, we should be expected to speak up.
Unlike those on the take, and the detached denizens of a professional class who may be an ethical lost cause, better men and women should be expected to keep their principles, especially when inconvenient. That’s how we can be sure we have principles at all.
Keep on them. Keep at it. But do yourself a favour if you stumble across a Liberal MP in the wild: for reasons of safety and insurance, make sure your own personal bodycam is rolling.
And to remove all threat of arrest, perhaps find out how they take their coffee.
Acceptable Views is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
A personal note from the writer:
Thank you to the hundreds (!) who passed along kind words following my first appearance in a major Canadian newspaper. To be featured on page four of the Toronto Sun was kind of a trip for a writer used to appearing in more-indie corners of the internet, and writing on behalf of others. I’ve had (admittedly mediocre) fiction make it to print before — on a few occasions, years ago — but this was a big step for my career.
Starting with the founding of this now best-selling newsletter, and comms work on my first campaign, I’ve been trying to take bigger risks, to perhaps make up for a few years stuck in second gear. “Good enough” no longer feels good enough, so I’ve set out to grow this newsletter, and to some extent, my name, and while I’ve never been one who has felt comfortable taking a compliment, I’m proud to have started 2024 on an expanding piece of terra ferme, and the outpouring of support has been appreciated.
Most of all, I’m thankful to have you here. It really is a pleasure to be a part of your reading habits. That’s a gift I don’t take for granted.
Because I believe in truth in advertising, I have no reservations about sharing that our generous paid subscribers helped pay my bills last year, and kept the lights on here at the newsletter. If you’d like to help support my work and receive a few perks, you’re invited to keep these efforts economically viable for as low as $4.17/month.
If you’re not in a position to chip in, or feel overwhelmed by too many subscriptions, that’s OK too. Just do me a favour, and kick the odd column that you enjoy to your network. Any amount of growth helps.