Ezra has been the indisputable man in the battle against the “human rights” racket. I’ve been happy to coast along, but he’s doing the heavy lifting. I’m Dean Martin to his Jerry Lewis: he’s doing all the work and I feed him the occasional line.
Shortly after this thing started, I had lunch with a journalistic bigshot in Montreal who advised me to play it cool – don’t respond to interview requests, don’t take a stand, let these suits work their way through as if it’s some legalistic technicality in which you have no particular investment. And at a fancy Quebecois restaurant, that seemed like good advice. Then Ezra posted his interrogation video and I understood that my friend’s advice was all wrong and that Ezra’s strategy was right. Go nuclear. “Denormalize” them. Expose them for what they are – hacks at best and, at worst, deeply corrupt thugs. Ezra is like one of those shower settings where the merest nudge of the dial whacks it straight from nothing to a scalding torrent – which in a moribund public discourse such as Canada’s is what it takes.
One thing that was confirmed to me this last year is that the incessant media self-congratulation about journalistic “courage” is in inverse proportion to any mustering of the real thing. It took Ezra going nuclear, going bananas, going medieval on Jennifer Lynch’s totalitarian ass to rouse the great dopey herd of conventional wisdom even to take notice of this issue sufficiently to move the debate one smidgeonette in the direction of sanity. I forget who it was who said that Canadians weren’t going to put up with some blowhard going crazy over “their” beloved “human rights” commissions, but they got it exactly wrong. Let’s take it as read that Ezra is everything his detractors say he is – a blowhard, loudmouth, self-promoter, a “controversy entrepreneur,” etc. If he weren’t a blowhard, loudmouth, whatever, he wouldn’t have been so spectacularly successful in his “denormalization” of Canada’s “human rights” commissions.
For a while, whenever I switched on The National, they seemed to be running lame soft-focus features on “Canadian heroes making a difference in the world.” Most of these heroes weren’t in the least bit heroic: they were just hitching their stars to the usual wagons of the international feelgood circuit. But Ezra, in the face of relentless battering by nuisance lawsuits, made a difference in the heart of the Canadian state and exposed the ugliness of the Orwellian “human rights” regime. By comparison, Jennifer Lynch is the typical Canadian “hero” – wafted up from one bauble of the state to the next, garlanded with the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and all the other finery Ezra will never ever be considered for. But he is the real hero and Canada could use more like him.
Mark Steyn is the author of America Alone and the recipient of three human rights complaints over a Maclean’s excerpt from the book.