Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Silence from the National Post

I wrote to Gordon Fisher, President of the National Post; Douglas Kelly, the Publisher; Jonathan Harris, VP of Digital Media; Stephen Meurice, the Editor-in-Chief; and Jonathan Kay, Managing Editor, Comment.

I asked them all the same thing: if it would not be acceptable for someone at the National Post to write a piece entitled "Dear Jews: Most of us don't care what you think", why is it acceptable for Charles Lewis to do so with "Jews" replaced by "atheists"?

Not a single person at the National Post was courageous enough to reply.

It speaks volumes, doesn't it, about the double standard that allows atheists to be criticized in the most vituperative and bigoted ways, with no uproar?

Addendum: (December 20). Stephen Meurice responded to me on December 17. Here is my response.


Brian said...

"Dear (group organized around belief z about X): most of us don't care what you think..." about X. After all, we think -z. So FYI: we're not open to argument.

The "about X" is implied, though in other contexts it could be more reasonably interpreted as "most of us don't care what you think about anything". My first thought is that the not caring is limited to the subject that the group is identified with. That's the best interpretation.

"Dear (member of group Y not organized around an idea but rather ethnicity): most of us don't care what you think." This has to be read more broadly to mean the not caring extends to anything a member of the group says.

Jews can be seen as both an ethnic group and an organized rejection of some ideas. So it's not clearly a double standard because the more offensive case is in fact treated more strictly.

I agree that the treatment is more disparate than it should be, because the cases are quite similar yet the press treats them as entirely different.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

They probably think of you as a funny guy. Which is not to say that you shouldn't write to them. On the contrary, if they received a number of such letters, they would feel compelled to reply.

What amazes me is that, or most people, it is more preferrable to have a religion which is different or antithetical to theirs, rather than not have a religion at all. It would seem, rationally speaking, that the distance (some kind of graph distance, say) between different religions R1 and R2 can be greater than the distance between either of them from a neutral position, agnosticism or atheism.

Valhar2000 said...

Not a single person at the National Post was courageous enough to reply.

It seems that they just don't care what you think.

TomH said...

My first thought was that they may be having their lawyers look at it, but as far as I can determine, the National Post does not employ an ombudsman. I think that is all the clue we need to see that they don't care what readers think.

Remember, they are only a business selling readers to advertisers.

Gingerbaker said...

For $399,156 in annual compensation, I will happily provide my services as Director, President, Secretary, and Chief Bottle Washer of The Atheist League for Secular and Civil Rights.

I'd rip the National Post a new one that they would never forget, let me tell you.