UPDATE! Behold: the Stand up for Margaret Wente Facebook page!
Behold: the Fire Margaret Wente Facebook page, where a simple, defensible message—basically, that Margaret Wente is a lazy hack—is almost totally subsumed by shrieking accusations of racism, thus summoning all manner of right-wing pundits and bloggers to her defence on grounds that a racist is a liberal losing an argument with a conservative, or some other devastatingly droll summation of the great battle of our times, when really we all should be able to agree that lazy hackery shouldn’t be gobbling up column-inches in The Globe and Mail. Another opportunity for harmony and bliss safely averted.
(Here’s the column that started it all, by the way. She ought to have known defending Dick Pound is never a good idea.)
UPDATE: That wasn’t one of my clearer blog posts ever. Just to clear up any confusion, I absolutely reject the idea that what Wente said on this issue should be some kind of firing offence, or that it was prima facie evidence of racism. But nor do I think it was very substantial or interesting, or that she put very much thought into it, or that she sought out alternative viewpoints before she arrived at her conclusion. That’s fine; there are no “rules” for columns, any more than there are for blogs. If the Globe wants to keep running her, I’ll defend to the death their right to do so, and I’ll defend her against shrieking calls of racism that are based only on her contention that primitive native cultures were inferior to European and Chinese ones. That’s opinion, not necessarily racism. And it’s just so sadly predictable to see people levelling those charges when they could lay far more accurate and thoughtful ones with a little effort. The Globe, for example, has run several intelligent, rational rebuttals to Wente.