Dear Mr Cruickshank and Mr Carlin,
I am writing to express my deep disappointment in your decision to pull Heather Mallick's opinion piece from your site. Perhaps it is simple ignorance of the nature of online politics as played in the blogosphere by right wing pressure groups and their media enablers. To read that you are even remotely concerned by attention from Fox News, America's most stilted and partisan, far right cable network and the deplorable National Post almost makes this a piece for comedy. If either of these "news" outlets practiced even a fraction of the policing they demand of you, they would perhaps approach a credible position. However, this is simply not the case. The partisanship you allude to is at its most strident at these two organizations. The fact is that in this case, the CBC has been "freeped".
Freeping (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=freep) is a term coined to acknowledge the efforts of right wing groups to bully and pressure organizations and to falsely skew polling data and information gathering online. Freeping is named for the extreme right wing website, freerepublic.com which refined this practice to an art. Hence more than 300 people "taking the trouble" to contact you. 300 organized, encouraged and enabled by proven pressure tactics intended to cow any legitimate organization or media outlet from expressing a contrary opinion. There is no little irony in that most of these characters are the very same folks who have railed at length against human rights commissions "stifling" their god given right to defame and abuse ethnic, religious, social and sexual minorities.
Gentlemen, you have been played like suckers. Congratulations, you have, at the behest of this online cadre of vocal extremists, silenced a voice from one of Canada's better writers. To think that you have done so under pressure from such laughable hacks as the Kay family makes me ashamed for you. By removing the article, you have not practiced self correction, you have knuckled under. These people may be socially retrograde bottom feeders but you have shown that you can be bullied. You have rolled over and they smell the blood in the water. You have compromised your integrity, you have shown weakness and there is nothing they love better.
I implore you to re-post the Mallick piece. Yes it makes controversial statements but throwing it down the memory hole is not the answer, it is not responsible journalistic practice and it is certainly not "healthy restraint". It is a knee jerk and cowardly reaction to organized pressure. The correct response would have been to offer up space to accompany the piece with a counter argument from an appropriate voice from the other side of the ideological gulf. If Mallick's claims are baseless, allow an argument to be made to refute them.
For the first time in my life, I am ashamed of the CBC and gentlemen, I am ashamed for you.
I encourage everyone that has a modicum of common sense to express themselves in kind. Let there be no doubt that these pressure tactics will not only continue but will increase in virulence.
Alison at Creekside1
RossK at Gazetteer