Is this the new Canadian political reality?

This is from the introduction of my 2015 book Kill the Messengers: Stephen Harper’s Assault on Your Right to Know, published by HarperCollins. I’m posting it for Press Freedom weekend. How much of it fits today’s political climate?   The Harper government has set out to kill many messengers. The media is obviously one of them. And, while Harper’s war

Read More »

Choking off the terrorism propaganda pipeline should be the world’s duty

When suicide bombers attacked several Christian churches and some of the country’s best hotels on Easter Sunday, the Sri Lankan government swiftly reacted by shutting down social media. The Sri Lankan regime was concerned about video propaganda from the attacks. It also wanted to close off the messaging functions of Facebook and Twitter, and it pulled the plug on WhatsApp.

Read More »

Nick Cohen and James Goodale on Julian Assange

Cohen was in the middle of the original Wikileaks storm, so his piece is definitely worth a read. I’ll be writing more on the Assange case this week. A different take, from James Goodale a lawyer who worked on the New York Times’ fight to print the Pentagon Papers.Tumoren Anorektale colliner er komplekse og baseret på den formodede interaktion mellem

Read More »

Has Facebook ruined the world? (book review)

Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe (Penguin, $37 hard cover) is an intriguing book about a good idea that turned out to be bad, something that was useful when it was small but is now a menace because of its size and power. Facebook started as a way for people to meet and keep in touch with their friends.

Read More »

Who Gets to Cover Parliament and the Legislatures? A Legal Analysis

The press gallery function is more than a commercial news reporting service. It is an integral part of our work; a service which Parliament must safeguard for the Canadian public who are entitled as of right to the fullest information of activities here. –House of Commons Speaker James Jerome, 1976 [1]   Introduction The Parliamentary Press Gallery plays an integral

Read More »

Dissecting the Shame Wizard Part II: I will give $10,000 to anyone who can prove that Canadaland isn’t simply false news

Yes, it’s a very snappy headline. Lawyers should have flashbacks to law school and the Carbolic Smoke Ball case. Journalists and other people who read this might wonder why I would risk my money. Because there is no risk. I’ve been following the back and forth between Canadaland and the WE organization since last fall when Canadaland started to put

Read More »

Dissecting the Shame Wizard, Part II: I’ll Give $10,000 to Anyone Who’s Got a Kellogg’s Box With a WE Logog

Yes, it’s a very snappy headline. Lawyers should have flashbacks to law school and the Carbolic Smoke Ball case. Journalists and other people who read this might wonder why I would risk my money. Because there is no risk. I’ve been following the back and fourth between Canadaland and the WE organization since last fall when Canadaland started to put

Read More »