Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Crossing the line into idle bigotry

145 Responses

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  • DeepRed, in reply to Scott Chris,

    Self preservation and self interest will ultimately win out.

    That is, until they collapse under their own weight, as happened with the News of the World last year.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4057 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris, in reply to Sacha,

    I just don’t understand what you’re saying. That no one should be able to make a press standards complaint to an organisation that invites press standards complaints?

    Heh, nice framing Russell. Returning to my initial observation, I was merely disagreeing with you that the Waikato Times should be compelled to remove the article, primarily based on the simple principle of free speech. The press council's regulations are beside the point as far as I'm concerned.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris, in reply to Sacha,

    So morality and acting in a greater good don’t exist in your world? How sad.

    Sure they do. I'm well intended. Aren't you? Question is; which of us is paving the devil's road?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Scott Chris,

    which of us is paving the devil’s road?

    I'm pretty comfortable saying it's you. I recognise the rhetorical trope of singling out a minority as an insidious menace bent on control of society, and that rhetoric not infrequently inspires violence against minorities. This is exactly the kind of crap that Breivik was collecting before he went on his rampage. The people who say it and the people who publish it and the people who believe free speech is a right that trumps all other rights rather than being balanced with them all bear that responsibility, including you.

    Since all we're advocating is that the Times be held to standards it volunteered to hold itself to, you protest too much.

    I cannot help but notice that the most absolutist free speech defenders I know are overwhelmingly not usually members of groups that are not usually targetted. As a Jew, my interest in preserving your free speech rights to vilify my ethnic affiliation is balanced with my fear of a neo nazi eejit being pushed over the edge to put theory into practice. I am completely happy to lean on the Times now about their choice of whom and to publish in order that I don't have to have a softball bat by the doorway later. I imagine Anjum feels the same way and I support her.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2917 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    PS: if Michael Cox feels impelled to get the word out and the Times has a change of heart, like everyone else in New Zealand he remains completely free to publish his own fucking racist newpaper.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2917 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    And on re-reading, apologies for the extra negative in my first comment up there. I got so excited I read and re-read without noticing.

    "overwhelmingly not members of groups that are usually targetted"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2917 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Scott Chris,

    Heh, nice framing Russell. Returning to my initial observation, I was merely disagreeing with you that the Waikato Times should be compelled to remove the article, primarily based on the simple principle of free speech.

    Except that nowhere did I say that.

    I expressed the view that “The Times should, in this instance, step up and take out its own rubbish.”

    I said nothing about them being compelled to do anything, just that I felt they should step up in this instance.

    And then on the first page of comments I said:

    The part of Anjum’s request I have mixed feelings about is that the column be removed from the website. I’m generally keener on annotating such tosh with links to a rebuttal, but that’s between Anjum and the editor for the time being.

    I trust that clarifies things.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    This is exactly the kind of crap that Breivik was collecting before he went on his rampage. The people who say it and the people who publish it and the people who believe free speech is a right that trumps all other rights rather than being balanced with them all bear that responsibility, including you.

    Seconded. And I have no time for those apologists of Breivik who think "political correctness made him do it". (HT Kiwiblog - one of his saner posts, even if the commenters aren't) It's the political murder equivalent of the Gay Panic Defence and the Twinkie Defence - an excuse to rationalise the irrationality of homicidal illiberalism.

    And the Elders of Zion again comes to mind. A political forgery it may have been exposed as, but the exposé came too late. It was adopted as official policy by all the wrong people, who then sent 6m+ people to the gas chambers and furnaces, or otherwise aided and abetted it.

    The burning issue is, where is the boundary drawn between free speech and incitement of hatred?

    And on a related note, it seems a lot of today's US military recruits aren't necessarily the ones that helped save the world in 1945.

    If you want to know more about the hatemongers among us, Extremis Project does all the work so we don't have to.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4057 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to DeepRed,

    That is, until they collapse under their own weight, as happened with the News of the World last year.

    That was a long time coming - two decades perhaps even more.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1174 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    As a Jew, my interest in preserving your free speech rights to vilify my ethnic affiliation is balanced with my fear of a neo nazi eejit being pushed over the edge to put theory into practice.

    Totally Stephen. In terms of locating the boundary that DeepRed mentions, I'd be interested in reading any studies on correlation between hate speech and hate crimes. Perhaps wrongly I'd assumed it may be akin to pornography/rape causality argument. The internet is rife with hate speech, has there been a major shift in hate crime stats since the web went household? Or does literature merely preach to the (un)converted, the bias/ action attributable primarily to formative education?

    From Partners Against Hate

    It is difficult to tell if hate crimes are on the rise or on the decline. On the one hand, reporting hate crimes is a voluntary action taken by States and localities. Some States with clear histories of racial prejudice and intolerance have reported zero incidents of hate crimes. At the same time, many victims of hate crimes are often reluctant to come forward -- a direct result of the trauma caused by the crime. Although the Hate Crime Statistics Act was passed in 1990, States have only been collecting and reporting information about these crimes to the FBI since 1991. It appears that for those States and localities that have reported hate crimes, the number of incidents nationwide has continued to hover annually somewhere between 6,000 and 8,600. Again, this may be indicative simply of the reporting or non-reporting trends of different localities

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    I recognise the rhetorical trope of singling out a minority as an insidious menace bent on control of society

    I think you're over reacting. Personally I find America's (seemingly with the rest of the Western media in tow) systematic demonisation of Iran along with Netanyahu's breast beating to be far more insidious.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I trust that clarifies things.

    My bad. I should have said feel compelled rather than be compelled.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Scott Chris,

    I think you’re over reacting.

    Yes, it wasn't so bad, it was only bigotry.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1122 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Scott Chris,

    I think you’re over reacting.

    I think that's a bit rich coming from someone who finds asking a newspaper to uphold their own editorial standards a dangerous step on the slippery slope to censorship.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2917 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Cox's viewpoint in the article doesn’t strike me as bigoted, he doesn’t express hatred or intolerance - in expressing his point of view he makes an error of attribution. What Cox doesn’t do is delve deeply enough into the wider reality of the situation and what he over looks is a disservice to "the truth".

    It should be noted that In Pakistan a large number of Islamic Clerics gathered together following the shooting and issued a Fatwa against those who tried to kill Malala; in response to this Fatwa the Taliban affirmed their intention to kill Malala and her father.

    The Pakistan Taliban regard Malala and her father as symbols of the infidels and consider them to be an obscenity, they have expressed their desire to execute them both and have issued instructions that this be done.

    It has been reported that most Pakistani Government Officials have not condemend the Pakitsan Taliban for the attack and there appears to be a lack of commitment in Pakistan to stand against Taliban lead extremeist viewpoints. I don't know how true this is as I haven't asked them individually.

    I hold concerns over the practice of Islam and these are based largely on what I regarded as universal human rights particularly os they relate to the treatment of women and gay people. Islamic Law does not treat women as equals to men.

    Having regard to what I regard as the practice of inequality I would not like to live in or visit an Islamic State or have my daughter, sister or mother involved in the practice of Islam, however, that is my view I acknowledge people in this country are free to choose how they live and what they practice.

    In Pakistan 97% of thje population are Muslim, the error of attribution made by Cox is similar to saying that “the Germans were responsible for the Holocaust” rather than being more specific and correctly saying that “that Nazi Germany were responsible for the Holocaust”.

    When Russell say’s – “Malala was not, of course, shot by "the Muslims", but by members of a movement rooted as much in a patriarchal tribal culture as Islamist extremism” – it makes a similar attribution error and overlooks 1) that the order to Kill Malala and her father came from Mullah Fazlullah a Muslim Cleric based in Eastern Afghanistan and 2) that there could well be parents living in the region Malala lived who could be regarded as living a traditional life style that want their daughters to go to school - there were after all other children on the bus.

    How fine a point one puts on things is important.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1174 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    I think you’re over reacting.
    I think that's a bit rich coming from ...

    I think I detected a note of intentional irony.

    But Russell labelled the original as "idle bigotry". Perhaps instead it was rather more threatening - not idling, but revving up, eagerly awaiting a green light?

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 777 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Scott Chris,

    feel compelled

    the spotty teen's worst fear..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16266 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to DexterX,

    Cox's viewpoint in the article doesn’t strike me as bigoted, he doesn’t express hatred or intolerance - in expressing his point of view he makes an error of attribution

    Isn't such an error a fundamental underpinning of all bigotry?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16266 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    This tosh being printed is most likely an editorial failure. Someone really should have said "this is bullshit -- write a proper column". The editor himself may now decide along those lines -- that's his right.

    How would they know?

    The columnist has written an opinion piece on the attempted murder of a Pakistani school girl. The columnist has shown demonstratable research and with quotations and everything. That the editorial staff of the Waikato Times apparently doesn't contain sufficient expertise on the internal politics of the Swat Valley to dispute the research - this is not surprising.

    Could this even surprise you?

    Silence breeds ignorance. If it is inherently wrong (as you seem to suggest) to have a debate about political Islam, then ignorance of NZers will continue.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    a debate about political Islam

    doesn't that rely on distinguishing it from more broadly being Muslim?

    Silence breeds ignorance

    Totally agree. So does uninformed tosh being held up as knowledge by authoritative sources that many rely on. Fortunately there's a rather large sweet spot in between.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16266 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    I'm pretty comfortable saying it's you. I recognise the rhetorical trope of singling out a minority as an insidious menace bent on control of society, and that rhetoric not infrequently inspires violence against minorities. This is exactly the kind of crap that Breivik was collecting before he went on his rampage. The people who say it and the people who publish it and the people who believe free speech is a right that trumps all other rights rather than being balanced with them all bear that responsibility, including you.

    By the same metric whatever was "exactly the kind of crap that" Osama Bin Laden and Mullah Omar ascribed to before going on their own killing sprees would also be suppressed.

    Irony alert - suppressing that "kind of crap" is core to the texts Brevik likes.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Sacha,

    Isn't such an error a fundamental underpinning of all bigotry?

    To my mind bigotry is the active expression of hatred or intolerance of others.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1174 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I hold concerns over the practice of Islam and these are based largely on what I regarded as universal human rights particularly os they relate to the treatment of women and gay people. Islamic Law does not treat women as equals to men.

    Take this story written by a kiwi who recently went through Muslim marriage in Singapore:

    Singapore’s Muslim marriage courses under fire

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Meanwhile, in the civilised West, a young Indian woman is allowed to die in dreadful pain by doctors who repeatedly denied her an urgently-needed abortion because "this is a Catholic country".

    There aren't words.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    The columnist has written an opinion piece on the attempted murder of a Pakistani school girl.

    A disingenuous summary. The murder is the hook for a serious of increasingly dubious claims about Muslims as a group, culminating in a claim that Muslims attempt to take over Western societies from within wherever their numbers allow.

    By the same metric whatever was “exactly the kind of crap that” Osama Bin Laden and Mullah Omar ascribed to before going on their own killing sprees would also be suppressed.

    If by that "be suppressed" you mean I would support making a complaint to the Press Council suggesting that the Times not print it, do you think that would be a bad thing too?

    Irony alert – suppressing that “kind of crap” is core to the texts Brevik likes.

    Also, do you see the difference between complaining about texts because they consitute racial vilification (my rationale) and complaining about texts because of the ethnic/race/religious affiliation of the author?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2917 posts Report Reply

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