Ezra Levant, as you may recall, is the publisher of the now-defunct Canadian magazine Western Standard. Mr. Levant was summoned to appear before the Alberta Human Rights Commission to answer for his publication the Danish Mohammed cartoons, after several Muslims made complaints. Fortunately for blog readers, Mr. Levant had the foresight to videotape his encounter with
Turns out the blowback had other effects as well. The latest casualty is Mr. Levant’s interrogator on the HRC, who has resigned
…Shirlene McGovern, the “human rights officer” who interrogated me, has resigned from my case. The human rights commission advised my lawyer that McGovern quit because of the public backlash against the commission — and against her in particular. In other words, she didn’t like being called a censor in the blogosphere.
I’m not sympathetic. I believe that any government bureaucrat who makes a living interrogating citizens about their political beliefs ought to be held in public contempt. McGovern truly doesn’t get it — she thinks what she does for a living is perfectly bland, just like her.
As I wrote in the Globe last month, at my interrogation, McGovern wanted to make small talk and shake my hand. I upset her by not being complicit in my own prosecution.
In the future, I suggest that, if asked at cocktail parties, McGovern tell people she has a less disreputable job — say, tax collector, or parking ticket issuer.
This is what denormalization means. Human rights commissions are bullies, even if their officer of the day is a spacey, middle-aged drone. Surely McGovern can find a less destructive career elsewhere in government or — heaven forbid, in the private sector.
UPDATE: Here’s the kind of coverage that drove Shirlene to quit.
The decisive coverage referred to by Mr. Levant is an editorial in MichNews by Lee Duigon. An excerpt:
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We may marvel at Levant’s eloquence as he denies the Kourt’s right to put him through this inquisition, which has so far cost him some $100,000. We may marvel at his courage, his pluck, and the unassailable logic of his arguments.
But what is more marvelous still is the bovine indifference of the hearing officer. Levant would have done little worse, talking to a bottle of carpet cleaner.
What we see here is a petty bureaucratic tyrant who knows that the accusation alone is enough to find the defendant guilty, and that the whole procedure, as she understands it, is a waste of breath. She knows she’s not obligated to listen to a word the defendant says. It’s all she can do to restrain herself from cutting out paper dolls while Levant speaks.
She also knows that she and her Kourt are accountable to no one; that they, and they alone, decide what is permissible speech in the Province of Alberta; and finally, she knows that the Kourts have a 100% conviction rate. It’s Stalin’s show trials all over again, without the firing squads.
Yep, that about sums it up. I guess Ms. McGovern didn’t want to look at herself in this particular mirror any more.
But where do you hunt for a new job after finishing a gig like this one? Where does it help you to have “Grand Inquisitor” listed next to “previous position” on your résumé?
Hat tip: Zenster.