UPDATE: Just received a message from Jonathan Kay (via Facebook) explaining it was our message to him that led him to reevaluate his post. It reads: “After I got your note, I revisited the CBSC decision and reviewed the media coverage of it. You were correct that the CBSC decision was based on aspects of McVety’s pronouncements that were not directly related to the legal issues I discussed in my blog post. And so I took the blog post down.” We also received a note from a reader who tells us the National Post journalist who wrote the original news item continues to stand by the accuracy of his piece. While we welcome Kay’s decision to “revisit” the facts — rather than relying on McVety’s own spin — we’re still wondering, given the effort made by the CBSC to clarify that McVety’s opposition to homosexuality or gay pride played no role in its verdict (in both the full text of its ruling and the press release), how a renowned columnist for a major national newspaper got this so wrong?
"Garbage in, garbage out” is a popular computer science concept and an apt way to describe National Post columnist Jonathan Kay’s recent musings about Pride and a Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) decision.
A misleading story written by the Post about the CBSC’s recent reprimand of Charles McVety for broadcast regulation violations inspired Kay to pen an opinion piece so wholly inaccurate that all traces of the delusional screed had to be scrubbed from the paper’s website only days after the piece first appeared online Monday.
Here’s how his column appeared on the site until sometime late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning:
The column can be still be read at this Google page cache here.
This is what appears now:
As noted last weekend on this blog (and by others), the Post’s news report on the Panel decision misrepresented it as a reprimand of McVety’s opposition to Pride and the new proposed Ontario Sex Education curriculum.
Kay dedicates about half of his column to reprinting the report, yet not a single quote from the CBSC appears in his piece.
Raising alarm bells, Kay blasts his straw man decision as a horrible violation of McVety’s rights and, further, our crusader says the minister should be entitled to “take a dim view of a lifestyle that the Bible says goes against God’s will.”
Had Kay bothered to read the decision he’d know that the CBSC panel felt the same way. In fact, all he had to read was a single line from the report and he’d know the panel wasn’t censuring McVety for opposition to homosexuality at all, but, instead, for suggesting all gays are pedophiles.
McVety may not like homosexuality. That is his entitlement, but to leave the totally unsubstantiated impression that gay and lesbian adults have a predilection toward young, underage people is insidious and unacceptable.
Yet Kay has worked himself up into such a frenzy over the nudists at Pride he has little time for facts:
What we effectively have here is a religious Christian being driven off the air for doing little more than appealing to the provisions of our Criminal Code — not the Bible.
Was Kay in such a frantic rush to pound Pride and get some shots in at nudists that he couldn’t stop to read the CBSC decision himself? It certainly looks that way.
Xtra called and emailed Kay this week to ask about the inaccuracies in his column but has received no response. With the column now pulled, we’re curious if it’s a choice he made himself or if it was pulled by another editor. And why no mention of the removal anywhere on the site?
That he didn’t bother with facts because he was in such a hurry to complain about the degenerates at the Pride parade and blast the nudists as criminals is a revealing look at how Kay sees our annual festival.
Wonder if he’s completed a Community Advisory Panel survey yet?