While the Anchorage Daily News can be editorially persistent and strident in opposition to issues, officials, or candidates with whom they disagree, never in my 16 years of reading ADN have they stooped anywhere near as low as the Edmonton Journal did today (August 24th, 2007).
In his column published today in the Edmonton Journal, columnist Scott McKeen launches what I consider the most vicious, vitrolic attack against a political candidate that I have ever seen in a mainstream newspaper. And the target of his ire: local pro-family activist Bill Whatcott (pictured above left), who has launched a campaign to replace incumbent Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel. Read the full column HERE.
McKeen opens his column by describing Whatcott as a "self-righteous jackass" [Gee, Scott, why don't you tell us what you REALLY think], characterizing him as a bully whose lengthy campaign against homosexuality is intended to be an ego trip rather than a serious attempt to influence public policy. McKeen highlights and demonizes Whatcott's opposition to hate crime laws, trumpeting the fact that Whatcott was fined $17,500 in 2005 by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal for distributing pamphlets slandering gay and lesbian people. Whatcott states he hasn't paid the fine and never will. In addition, Whatcott, a licensed practical nurse, was targeted for economic warfare in 2005 by the Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses. The disciplinary committee convicted him of unprofessional conduct, fined him $15,000, and suspended his nursing license for 45 days. A Saskatchewan judge upheld this ruling in July 2006.
Here's a short excerpt from McKeen's column, so you can see for yourself who the real purveyor of hate is:
Unbowed, he plans to run in this fall's civic election [election day on October 15th] against incumbent Stephen Mandel and use the platform to espouse the views of his so-called Christian Truth Activists. Not that he needs a platform. He tends to make his own.
Google his name and you'll find Whatcott all over the web, spewing vitriol and claiming to be a warrior for God. You'll also discover that Whatcott is obsessed with the terms sodomy and sodomites.
If you talk to him, he'll happily tell you of his wayward youth, when he was homeless, addicted to drugs and getting cocaine from a dealer by performing homosexual sex acts.
"Do I hate homosexuals?" he asks. "No, if I did I'd have to hate myself because I've committed homosexual acts." Whatcott says the term "hate" is a tool used by the liberal establishment to silence him. If only it worked.
McKeen then concludes his hit piece by briefly discussing Whatcott's platform. You can send McKeen an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell him what you think of his yellow journalism. You can review Whatcott's official platform for yourself, published in FULL HERE, in a two-page PDF document, and decide for yourself whether or not it's "hate". Here are his issues, along with my brief summarization of each:
1). Sanctity of Life: Will implement zoning restrictions on abortion clinics and pro-abortion referral agencies such as Planned Parenthood. Will cut off municipal funding to such entities and will lobby both the Alberta Provincial Government and the Canadian Federal Government to follow suit. Will also lobby the Canadian Federal Government to outlaw abortion, toughen laws on euthanasia, and criminalize the dispensing of contraceptives to minors without parental consent.
2). Parental Rights: Supports a parent's right to use moderate corporal punishment on misbehaving kids, and will resist efforts to abrogate this right.
3). Father's Rights: Believes that fathers suffer discrimination in child custodial matters. Will advocate for quality low-cost housing for impoverished dads and will encourage further activism by non-custodial fathers. Will initiate a public inquiry into the disparate treatment of fathers by Edmonton Police.
4). Animal Rights: Will defund animal shelters and reallocate the funds towards helping the homeless and road maintenance. Will strengthen the right of Edmonton residents to combat nuisance animals.
5). Gun Owner's Rights: Will resist Federal efforts to register and confiscate private firearms, and strengthen citizens' rights to purchase and use firearms for self-protection. Will reverse the city's decision not to renew the lease for the Strathcona Shooting Range.
6). Communist China: Will educate citizens on China's appalling human rights record and encourage people to boycott Chinese products in solidarity with the victims of Communist oppression.
7). Sexual Health: Supports full-disclosure comprehensive sex education for youth for the purpose of promoting abstinence.
8). Kyoto [Protocols]: Considers the Kyoto Protocols a fraud based upon junk science, will oppose their implementation, and instead direct support towards local initiatives such as recycling and clean air targets for business.
9). Tough on Crime: Will disband the Edmonton Police Hate Crimes Unit and redeploy its officers into actual crime-fighting units, fire homosexuals in leadership positions within the Edmonton Police Department, and ban future hiring of homosexuals by this agency.
10).Taxes vs. Arts: Opposes public funding of the arts and will terminate it; will also downsize municipal government and cut taxes.
Bill Whatcott welcomes feedback. Contact him two ways:
However, Bill Whatcott is not the only mayoral candidate targeted by McKeen's toxic tongue. Another candidate, Dave Dowling, who has a less controversial agenda, has also been panned by McKeen as a "fringe candidate", and Dowling posts his response on his campaign blog, asserting that McKeen is a "liar". So it's obvious that Scott McKeen uses his bully pulpit not to educate Journal readers but to selectively target, defame, and smear personalities with whom he disagrees. This is gutter journalism in the classical tradition of Geraldo Rivera, Jayson Blair, Leonard "Cry Me A River" Pitts, and Christian Trejbal. The latter name became infamous in March 2007 when he published the names and personal information of everyone in Virginia's conceal-carry database in the Roanoke Times.
The abusive language Scott McKeen uses to describes Whatcott's Christian affiliation may also breach Canada's human rights guidelines. Perhaps Whatcott ought to file a complaint against him to his local human rights commission in Edmonton, just to see if it works both ways.