The most contentious column of the year contained the word "savages." It tried a defence of Olympics executive Dick Pound, who was denounced for an offhand comment he'd made (in French) that Canada had once been a land of " sauvages." I tried to argue that European culture of the 1600s had in some ways been more "advanced" than North American aboriginal cultures of the same time.http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081229.wcowent30/BNStory/specialComment/home
This was not a popular view, to say the least, nor did I argue it especially well, although it might not have made a difference if I had. Within hours, a Facebook group called Fire Margaret Wente had signed up thousands of new members. Their e-mails to the editor denounced me for ignorance, malice and racism, and didn't stop for weeks. Later, at a symposium on journalism ethics, I feebly explained I hadn't anticipated such a heated reaction. To which one seasoned professor replied: "Well, you should have." She was right.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Margaret Wente blinks!