What Free Speech? Judge Hits Citizen Journalist With $60K Fine Over Supposed ‘Fake News’

Written by Wes Walker on August 7, 2018

Hey Acosta — THIS is what a threat to a ‘free press’ REALLY looks like. When telling the truth is no longer an adequate legal defense, we have a problem.

There are two very different views of what the free press should look like.

Andrew Breitbart — the man for whom the website was named — had a vision of citizen journalists existing everywhere. Everyone now has a camera and microphone in their pocket at all times, and we can document and share the stories that are really happening all around us. Unfiltered.

The other view — and sadly, one gaining political traction — is that only certain news should be fit for public consumption, because the public is easily duped, and lacks the sophistication to filter the good stuff from the bad stuff.

The key problem with that idea is in who gets to do the sorting, and on what criteria.

While little Jimmy Acosta whines that Trump’s fans call him mean words, look what’s happening just north of our border.

One New Media blogger — Philippe Magnan — has strong opinions on the separation of religion and state.

If he were directing that against Christian influence on the political sphere, nobody would have ever heard his name. But that fight is moot in the Canadian province of Quebec, after all, their culture was primarily secular to begin with.

But with a recent influx of immigration to Canada from Islamic nations, there has been a growing tension between the political demands made by secular and religious elements of society.

As we said, Magnan has an interest in ‘separation of religion and state’. You can see where this is going, right? The burqa ban which is now the law in SIX European nations — Austria, Denmark, France, Belgium, Latvia, and Bulgaria — was the topic of interest.

After all, Iranian women are risking prison (and worse!) in protesting their regime by REMOVING that same veil. But apparently, that’s not something that the good citizens of Canada are permitted to discuss.

Philippe Magnan […] was accused of defamation in 2014 by the self-styled feminist activist Dalila Awada, who defended her right to wear Islamic clothing without restrictions at the time the government wanted to legislate on a Charter of Values.

Defendant Magnan was found guilty of defamation in a landmark decision rendered July 10, 2018. He was ordered by Judge Carole Julien to pay the accuser Awada $60,000 plus costs.
Source: The Postmillenial

A blogger got a $60k fine for defamation. From a court.

Let that sink in. His reasoning?

The judge then states that no evidence of expertise was offered during this trial concerning the existence of mechanisms guaranteeing that information available “on the web” is real and valid when it comes from “citizens”.

The Tribunal finds these mechanisms still remain in the niche of “professional” journalism. Judge Julien then cites a decision of the Quebec Press Council as an obvious example of such mechanisms in action and deems that no such mechanism protects Awada against Magnan’s publications. Only the protection afforded by the courts remains.

Oh. You can trust the PRINTED news, and TV news. Just not that newfangled interwebz stuff.

According to the reporter, the blogger was exceptionally well-researched. He was addressing a specific issue — the veil — and whether or not it was appropriate in the Canadian context for her to wear it, and whether it was being compelled by some guy in a position of power and authority within Islam.

The complaint basically amounted to ‘he said mean things’ about her. If he were a news agency he could have been able to do this without the same penalty. But since people in authority like saying anything that isn’t CNN is ‘fake news’ we find ourselves here.

It used to be the case that telling the truth — like he did — was an adequate defense against defamation charges. Not anymore.

Let’s see. Are even the ‘reliable’ media in QUEBEC all members of this media club?

Nope. Not even the ‘real media’. So even that criticism is dubious at best.

Meanwhile, in America, several political candidates — On the Right, mind you — have complained about having their ads denied. (It’s possible some on the left have been denied. If so, feel free to link them in the comments. But a brief search on the topic showed no matches.)

A Republican congressional candidate has accused Facebook of not allowing her to promote her campaign video because it includes scenes from the Cambodian genocide – which her parents survived. — Source: FoxNews

Pro 2A Republican Denied Facebook ad.

Facebook blocks Republican judge from boosting video of nephew overcoming severe birth defect.

Increasingly, the ‘fake news’ panic and the control of social media seems like it’s being leveraged for political advantage. Less than 100 days out from an election in which the control of both House and Congress hang in the balance, this is a more direct threat to the democratic process than foreign meddling could ever be.

If only ‘some’ news stories get out — the kind that are ‘approved’ by the gatekeepers, do we still have an unimpeded democratic process? Are citizens being deliberately starved of critical information without which they cannot fully exercise their franchise?

This is hardly a localized thing, either. Google has agreed to China’s censorship. Facebook complies with Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Pakistan, you will remember, is where someone was once killed for insulting their prophet (you-know-who) on social media.

We’ve seen what happened to Tommy Robbins in the UK, where the ‘free press’ has all walked lockstep and cheered the political arrest of someone their own Top Magistrate released as having been wrongfully treated under the law. (And since that time, social media accounts of Tommy’s friends have ‘gone dark’.)

And their own government is complicit:

Maybe it’s time we start taking our own freedoms a little more seriously, as well as our responses to anyone who would actively silence political dissent.

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What Jim Acosta, Rachel Maddow and the Rest of The Media (D) STILL haven’t figured out yet is why we call them ‘Fake News’.

Let’s spell it out for them. In a shirt.

Because you know they won’t be able to figure it out on their own.

JOUR-NAL-IST: A Professional Liar For Liberal Causes

There’s a ladies’ version

And a men’s version

The problem isn’t just the lies they tell…

It’s the truth they DON’T tell…

And the opinions laced right through them.

It’s propaganda:

JOUR-NAL-IST: A Professional Liar For Liberal Causes

And the best part? This shirt is made in the USA, printed in the USA, on an American-Made t-shirt press!