Steyn ex machina

Primetime Poliitcs has posted video of Mark Steyn’s appearance on the Canadian television program The Agenda with Steve Paikin. Steyn is followed by the three complainants in the Ontario human rights commission case against Maclean’s magazine.

The complainants alleged that Maclean’s committed actionable hate speech when it published an excerpt of Steyn’s America Alone. The commission found Steyn guilty of Islamaphobia, but dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. Its decision is accessible here. I’m not sure that even Steyn himself could have conjured a more absurd outcome.

During his interview at the outset of the show, Steyn challenged the complainants to debate him on the air. The complainants demand 15 minutes alone with Paikin, and then Steyn is brought in from the wings to save the show, a sort of Steyn ex machina. There follows an instructive discussion bearing on the fate of free speech up against determined opponents seeking in the best Orwellian style to exploit the language of human rights superimposed on the legal machinery of the administrative state.

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