Friday, August 24, 2007

Edmonton Journal Columnist Scott McKeen Launches Vicious Smear Campaign Against Pro-Family Mayoral Candidate Bill Whatcott


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 smckeen@thejournal.canwest.com 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:
Phone: 780-885-7866
E-mail: christisking@shaw.ca

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.

3 comments:

  1. Rather cool blog you've got here. Thanx for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to this matter. BTW, why don't you change design :).

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  2. Jeez -- sounds like Bill Whatcott should join the fictitious Landover Baptist Church. See here:
    http://www.landoverbaptist.org/
    -- Or maybe the Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, Kansas, which the Southern Poverty Law Centre calls a hate group. In Canada, he'd be at home more in Alberta than anywhere else.

    G.L., Vancouver, BC

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  3. I do feel the need to point out that, regardless of what you think of Mr. McKeen's writing style, a large part of the reason Mr. Whatcott was viewed by the electorate as a fringe candidate (he garnered just over 1% of all votes cast) is that, in the context of the Canadian legal system, very little of his platform actually dealt with civic issues, and the few civic issues he does mention seem secondary, trivial, and at times petty.

    1) Changing city zoning bylaws to discriminate against a specific legal activity would likely have raised the ire of politicians inside and outside the city, even if it withstood a legal challenge. Lobbying federal and provincial governments on issues relating to abortion and contraception would at best be a waste of tax-payer money, and at worst could cause negative repercussions with how much funding the city receives from those levels of government. All of the issues mentioned here are federal issues, and would be perfectly valid if Mr. Whatcott were running to be a Member of Parliament, but using city money to lobby for issues that don't directly affect the city would be a colossal waste, especially for a candidate who wants to downsize government and introduce tax cuts.

    2) Corporal punishment, like abortion, is strictly a federal issue in Canada.

    3) While a little off the beaten path, the way the city's homeless shelters and police deal with fathers is a perfectly legitimate issue for a civic election.

    4) The funding animal shelters is a legitimate civic issue, although the ability to combat nuisance animals is partly a question of animal welfare, a provincial issue.

    5) The Strathcona Shooting Range lease is a legitimate civic issue. Everything else mentioned relating to gun control is a federal issue.

    6) While international trade is a federal issue, the city can technically organize public service announcements on any topic it wants. Education beyond PSAs (i.e. in the schools) is strictly a provincial matter.

    7) Education for youth, regardless of its subject, is controlled exclusively by the provincial government.

    8) The implementation of an international protocol is exclusively up to the federal government, although local environmental initiatives could be a civic matter (recycling is generally civic, "clean air" is likely a provincial issue).

    9) While the distribution of funds within the Edmonton Police Service is a common civic issue, the firing (or the prevention of hiring) of officers because they are homosexuals is unconstitutional and patently illegal in Canada and has been for over a decade.

    10) These are legitimate civic issues, although one might wonder how Mr. Whatcott will lower taxes, given all the lobbying he planned to do.

    R.A., Edmonton, AB

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