Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Letter from & Response to the National Post

From: Douglas Kelly []
October-05-11 2:57 PM
Subject: National Post Ad

Thank you for your valued feedback on the issue of the advertisement from the Institute for Canadian Values.  I’d like to further explain the National Post’s position and actions.

As Publisher, I am responsible for the content in our newspaper and website. That content includes editorial and advertising. Like editorial, ads have to meet a standard of accuracy and fairness.  The ad from the ICV failed to meet that standard. The headline reads: “I am a Girl. Don’t teach me to question if I’m a boy, transsexual, transgendered, intersexed or two spirited.’’
Nowhere in the Toronto District School Board curriculum are students taught to ask themselves this question. The ad was misleading and should not have run.
However, we should have the debate as to whether transsexual awareness should be taught to young students, or at all. We should have the debate as to whether the course materials and approach are appropriate. We should have the debate as to whether parents have the right to remove their children from these classes.
The National Post will have this debate this weekend through a reported analysis of the issue and op-ed contributions from both sides. We are not limiting free speech. Far from it.

The National Post more than any newspaper in this country is willing to cover topics and entertain opinions that are ignored by the mainstream media. We have given voice to all sides on issues such as abortion and private healthcare and freedom of speech. The National Post has been a leading critic of the many excesses of human rights commissions.
I trust you will continue to recognize the unique role that the National Post plays in the Canadian media landscape. In the months and years to come, other critical issues will be tackled. I hope you continue to be part of that conversation. Please reconsider your decision to cancel your subscription.
Thank you,
Douglas Kelly
National Post

My Response:

Dear Mr. Kelly;

Thank you for taking the time to explain the National Post's actions. Without debating the content of the curriculum, the legitimacy of debate or the right of the editorial board to change their minds on running ads or commenting, where the editorial board went beyond the bounds of decency is in their action of " donating the proceeds from the advertisement to an organization that promotes the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people". A newspaper should not be in the business of taking the advertising money from an organization that places an ad and directly support the cause objected to in the ad itself. Not only is this not a good business practice but objectionable from a principle of ethics. It is specifically on this basis that I cannot in good conscience fund your lobbying efforts. This is not the role of a newspaper. On this ethical financial ground I cannot continue to support this reversal of role from the previous good dialogue that the National Post has stood for.
Matthew Kratz

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