9:34 AM The tribunal enters. There’s a little ritual that plays out each time: the two contending sides, and some of the spectators, rise, as you would for a real judge in a real court. The rest of us stay seated, in silent protest.
9:36 AM Faisal Joseph up for the complainants. He’s promising to treat us to a tour of some of the seamier parts of the blogosphere. No guilt like guilt by association…
9:40 AM Kurrum Awan back on the stand. Joseph entering a Sept 2006 Ottawa Citizen poll in evidence, showing that two in five Canadians back racial profiling. Aha, clearly the evil hand of Steyn at work: he’s already influencing public opinion even before the Maclean’s piece appeared!
11:45 AM The hearing now turns to readings from various blogs I’ve never heard of: The Brussels Journal, some Catholic blog and… oh, the late Western Standard! Not obscure, just obsolete! (The mag, I mean — the website is still in business.) The Western Standard reference: a blog post by Ezra Levant, the defunct magazine’s former publisher, dated Dec. 2 2007. This is slightly surreal: he’s sitting in front of me as I write this, laptop in hand, writing about being spoken about with reference to something he’d written about … this case. This is getting so meta I’m losing track…
McConchie on his feet. Leafing through some of the other bloggers in the complainant’s file; ConradUSA, Holographic, Templar… I think they left out the Raelians and the guy outside the liquor store who swears he invented Silly Putty, by I’m not sure.
The Catholic blog is run off a server based somewhere in California. McConchie suggesting, not unreasonably, “who knows whether anybody in Canada read any of this?” What relevance is there to present proceedings in what somebody in America says — “under American laws with regard to freedom of speech,” he adds pointedly — even if it’s about a Maclean’s article — which would of course be the internet version, which the tribunal had ruled it had no jurisdiction over.
Now to the Brussels Journal, based in, why yes, Brussels. Not Brussels, New Brunswick, but Brussels, Belgium. Does the tribunal’s jurisdiction extend to Belgium, he asks? In my humble submission, it does not.