In a recent piece praising the CJC’s Bernie Farber for his part in forcing the United Church of Canada to back down on what Kay calls “its toxic bigotry” (some anti-zionist resolutions that were recently tabled), Jonathon Kay continues his quest to plumb the depths of wingnut dishonesty and hit new nadirs in the downward spiral of dumb.
Discussing the UCC’s diminishing membership, which he of course attributes to the church’s support of left-wing causes, Kay neglects to add that the United Church is not alone in their declining membership, a little context that’s obviously off-message. That bit of dishonesty by omission might have gone unnoticed if Kay had been able to resist the temptation to continue bullshitting in order to take yet another slap at the Toronto Star, and Antonia Z in particular:
Farber, it should be noted, also appeared personally at the recent Toronto Gay Pride parade to express his defiance of the event’s prevailing anti-Israel flavour (and in the process, got militantly anti-Israel Toronto Star blogger Antonia Zerbisias so hot and bothered that she ended up getting slapped down, probably unfairly, by her own newspaper). He has an admirable willingness to deploy himself personally to hostile territory if that’s what it takes to get his message across. (emphasis mine)
“Hot and bothered”? Really?? It’s not surprising that although he links to Kathy English’s first column berating Antonia, Dishonest Jon doesn’t bother linking to the actual comment that caused the tempest in a teapot, nor does he link to the lame, sorta-kinda mea culpa-ish column English wrote a few days later. Most ironically, Antonia’s comment only pointed out the very thing for which Kay heaps accolades upon Farber — that he put himself in “hostile territory” to get his message across.
Context really is everything, isn’t it?
Kathy English — still not getting it:
I learned much about “snark” and nasty blogosphere invective this week from some bloggers who disagree with my take on what Zerbisias wrote. Mean-spirited personal attack, inaccurate facts, innuendo and even speculation about the identity of my spouse was lobbed my way, much of it anonymously.
“Inaccurate facts”? At the risk of being a nitpicker, a fact by definition is accurate — truthiness is the primary requirement for factiness. Apart from that, the gist of it is that English is taken aback that some mean bloggers disputed the Star’s trashing of its best columnist. Well, that’s what we do — call bullshit. Welcome to accountability, proudly brought to you by the blogosphere.
I haven’t altered my view that Zerbisias’s blog comment (about Canadian Jewish Congress CEO Bernie Farber) fell short of the Star’s standards of fairness.
But I have learned more this week about its context. My own standard of fairness thus demands reconsideration of the harsh assessment I expressed in last week’s column.
At least she seems to realize that her public evisceration of AZ was uncalled for, although she’s still not completely clear as to why:
Though I gave Zerbisias opportunity to comment before publication of that column, she said little to help me understand the context of this comment she posted on her Star blog about Farber’s participation in the Pride parade: “Imagine my surprise when I saw Bernie Farber identifying himself as queer by joining a pro-Israel gay rights group in the parade … Funny because I didn’t know he was gay.”
Farber is not gay and Zerbisias knows that.
Sigh. If English still doesn’t get snark, I shudder to think what she’d make of the “shorter” concept.
UPDATE: Did someone say “shorter”?
UPDATE II: “Some blogger in Abu Dhabi” responds.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that!
The Divine Ms. Z continues to prove the old adage about well-behaved women seldom making history as she once again finds herself at the center of a frenzied little tempest of outrage, hurt feelings and political correctness run amok, this time because of a comment at her Canada Day post.
Zerb’s post mentioned the censorious tendencies of the zionist lobby. In the ensuing comment thread it came up that Bernie Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress had marched in the Pride parade with a pro-zionist GLBT group. (Yay for diversity-embracing Bernie!) However, he only signed on for it after failed attempts to get the parade to give an anti-zionist (not anti-semitic) GLBT group the boot.
Commenting snarkily on the possibility that Farber might have had his own agenda, Antonia said: “I didn’t know he was gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that”… and set off a shitstorm. Farber fired off an official complaint to the Star for having been “misrepresented” as gay (carefully adding words to the effect of “not that there’s anything wrong with that”)… even though at the parade he wore a T-shirt that said as much: “Nobody knows I’m Gay”. So come on — someone had to say it.
It all culminated Saturday as the once-proud Star caved and issued a pearl-clutching apology for Antonia’s “Gay Blog post”. Only an idiot (and in my opinion, a homophobe) would interpret her comment as an insult — either that or Farber didn’t like some of the other things Zerb had to say, and saw the comment as an opportunity to stop her from saying them. Pick one, there’s no “neither of the above” option.
That’s called “censorship”, so maybe Zerb should be thanking Farber for making her point.
You can advise the Star of how wrong they got this by emailing Kathy English at publiced @ thestar.ca.
UPDATE: What CC said.
UPDATE II: And what stageleft said.
UPDATE III: Alison’s Epic Fail Roundup. (Or, “What they said”.)
UPDATE IV: JAB’s take.