John Baglow vs Connie Fournier, Mark Fournier and Roger Smith: the ‘FULL TRIAL’, day 7, part 3

Day 1 part 1 and part 2 , Day 2Day 3 and Day 4 part 1 and part 2 of this trial were covered in March, 2014 (write-ups by me at links).

Day 5 will be written up later, as writing it up may affect the trial…

Day 6 is here.

Day 7 part 1 is here and part 2 is here – sorry about having had to chop this up into short little bits, it seems my original write up was too long for WordPress to format correctly.


Following up on Dr. Baglow’s ‘uncivil’ language regarding Kate McMillan, Mr. Frankel brought up Dr. Baglow’s testimony that he believes in being ‘uncivil towards the uncivil’.  In my never-humble-opinion, this was a low point for Dr. Baglow….being shown to have been ‘uncivil’ to Kate McMillan even after she had been so ‘civil’ to him!

It was at this point that the judge noted that the level of sarcasm on the blog posts she had read was incredibly high…and she questioned Dr. Baglow if all the blogs were like this.  He explained that no, not all were – for example, some of the anthropological blogs he frequents, even though they address controversial topics, they maintain an academic level of discourse.

Then we got into the Godwin’s Law…the discussion was predictable, as was the redirect regarding it.

Following that bit, Mr. Frankel went on to demonstrate that Dr. Baglow did not object to much more reputation-damaging statements than the impugned words, such as  being called ‘a shill for Hezbollah’ and ‘traitor’.  Dr. Baglow’s response to all this was ‘context’…as in, had it been in ‘different context’, he would have taken legal action against them, too.

Next Mr. Frankel concentrated on the difference between Dr. Baglow’s blog posts and his editorial pieces for the National Post (having convinced an editor by the name of Kelly McParland (sp?) that having a leftist’s POV would enrich the publication).

It seemed quite clear to me what he Mr. Frankel was doing (if, indeed, he was doing what I think he was doing):  he was demonstrating that the submission process to a newspaper – even an editorial – is much different than a blog post or comment for a blog post.

It also seemed to me that Dr. Baglow also saw where this was going and was doing his best to avoid going there…like saying that ‘he knew how an op-ed ought to differ from a blog post so there was no need for anyone else to make changes to it’ and so on.

Yet, Mr. Frankel got Dr. Baglow to admit that the comments to his blog were not read by him until after they had been posted – in other words, he had no ‘editorial  control’ over the comments posted on his site – while the op-ed pieces he submitted to National Post were not only groomed by himself to adhere to a different standard than a blog post would, but that they had to be vetted by the editor prior to publication.

To me – this is the key difference between the blogosphere/discussion forums and actual online publications:  the ‘newspapers’, even in their online versions, have editorial control of what they publish because they read and OK everything PRIOR to publication, while blog comments and discussion forum posts/comments are NOT read/vetted by the administration prior to publication.  Indeed, in the case of a discussion forum with some 10,000 users (like, say, Free Dominion), vetting all posts/comments by the administrators would not only be physically impossible, but leaving everything in a vetting cue would prevent the ‘online conversations’ which define the very nature of debate on discussion forums.

 Therefore, it is (and I am extrapolating where I think this argument was going) it is ridiculous to hold people who have not seen a comment/post to the same standard of responsibility for it as those who have read and vetted it.


The next bit of time was taken up with discussing one of Dr. Baglow’s least favourite politicians… Vic Toews.

Frankly, I did not really grasp the significance of all this – except to unmask the visceral hate Dr. Baglow has the capacity for.  I really did not understand how this bit impacted on the matter in hand…except that Dr. Baglow’s hate-on for this politician resulted in him posting some nasty stuff about him – stuff one might argue was more slanderous than ‘the impugned words’….  As in, it demonstrated Dr. Baglow had both written and published more ‘libel-worthy’ things about Vic Toews than had ever been posted anywhere about him self.

Dr. Baglow’s not entirely convincing response was that had he been called on it, he would have cowered in a corner and backed down with a generous apology.  (I am paraphrasing somewhat…but I found the answer to be less than convincing because Dr. Baglow would not look up while he spoke until almost the end and then hurriedly added that, of course, he would only do it for statements he thought were truly potentially defamatory – and that then he’d re-phrase them but, of course, he would not take down and apologize for frivolous claims…)

I know I am going over this in a LOT of detail – but, I do think that the CCLA’s participation as ‘a friend of the court’ in this matter is very, very important.  The outcome of this case will, after all, determine the freedoms all of us enjoy (or not) on the internet!!!

The next bit struck a little bit close to home for the CCLA:  supporting freedom of speech was being criticized as ‘enabling’ hate speech….

Yet, Mr. Frankel was able to turn it inside out and, after he got Dr. Baglow to admit that supporting free speech – even for neo-Nazis (as per some people’s definitions) could be perceived (and was repeatedly labelled as such by his ideological comrades, as well as Dr. Baglow himself) as ‘support for neo-Nazis’ (or other such ‘hate’ groups), then support for Omar Khadr and his ilk could, reasonably, be seen as ‘supporting’ – or, at least ‘giving aid and support/comfort’ to the Islamists/Taliban that Omar Khadr was working with. What’s good for the goose…

It was very well done and it revealed clearly demonstrated the ‘if one, then the other’ bit here.  I fully expect it to come out in Mr. Frankel’s closing argument.

I suspect this highlights the ‘important’ bits of Mr. Frankel’s cross examination.  I know, my write-up is verbose, but it took surprisingly little time – just over an hour!

The court took a little (less than an hour) break at this point. And, so shall I – leaving the rest for another post!

6 Responses to “John Baglow vs Connie Fournier, Mark Fournier and Roger Smith: the ‘FULL TRIAL’, day 7, part 3”

  1. Jay Currie Says:

    Well done!
    Poor Dawg has written some awfully stupid things in his attempts to keep s.13 alive and Frankel is more than willing to use them to indicate the level of discourse on the blogs.

    At its best blog chat and comments are like an amiable discussion in a bar at about 5:30 in the afternoon when everyone is enjoying their first or second beer. At its worst bloggery sounds like drunken lunatics howling invective at each other to no apparent purpose. Taking either terribly seriously is a mistake. One which the lefties made when they decided that a few SLAPP suits would smarten the righties up.

    As the left kept losing arguments, litigation was the next best thing to actually having a point to make.

    • xanthippa Says:

      Thank you! I try…

      While each one of my posts gets tweeted, I don’t actually go on Twitter myself…my kids had set it up for me, I don’t even know my password. But. a friend had told me Dr. Bagow, while he finds me pleasant, tweeted that reading my write-up made him feel like he was in an episode of ‘Sliders’.

      I guess it must be my highly flawed Aspie perception of reality…and my Aspie inability to be tactful for very long…

      • Jay Currie Says:

        Well, he’s the guy who should be suing himself for publishing the words he is now complaining of. Very meta indeed.

        The left likes to create its own realities usually parallel to our own. Sort of like Sliders.

      • xanthippa Says:

        Unfortunately, too true…

  2. Maikeru Says:

    As an active member of FreeDominion since 2005, I’ve witnessed first hand all of the litigation forced upon Connie, Mark, and fellow members.

    I’ve read there opinions expressed by virtually every ‘player’ in the Sec 13.1 game, and consider FreeDominion archives a rich source of material about efforts to censor Canadian cyberspace.

    I believe that the litigation forced upon FreeDominion flows originally from then relevant ‘same-sex marraige’ discussions, and thereafter from an ongoing intolerance for facilitating opinions contrary to what is deemed righteous by Human Rightsists via Counsel.

    In Canada, Mr. Kinsella’s 1995 opus ‘Web of Hate’ pre-dated broad public participation in internet discussions, then limited by high computer cost coupled with pre-cellular phone modems.
    That novel illustrated the perception/fear that a 4th reich might arise in Canada if all and any speech was permissible.
    In BC, what goodwill existed between left and right was steadily eroded by prohibitive legislation concocted by the NDP government of the 1990’s, and reflected online after the 90’s were over.

    Y2k heralded reliance on computers, followed by outbreak of the World Trade Center War, triggering massive demand for online communication.

    2005 saw Sec 13.1/Hate of Web persecutions in full swing, only coming apart at the seams in 2008 through eg. online access to ‘live blogging’ and CHRT transcripts.

    One good measure of internet civility in Canada from 2000 to 2014 is the number of lawsuits Connie has attracted, when, and from whom.

    Xanthippa, I really enjoy the ‘you were there’ quality of your observations, and am spurred to ask if Mr. Baglow exhibits traits associated with Aspergers ?

    • xanthippa Says:

      “Spot the Aspie’ is one of my favourite passtimes!!!

      Yet, I’m afraid I have not noticed any of the signs associated with Aspergers in him. Not one bit…

      Aspergers presents differently in males and females, most likely because we use both our hemispheres for communication while males only use one, which results in a larger number of neural connections between the hemispheres in females. (As a matter of fact, the increased neural connection thing is also true of left-handers: someone ought to do a study to see if left-handed, ambi-dextrous and right-handed male Aspies present differently once the severity of the Aspieness is controlled for – I’m willing to bet that the left-handers will be more difficult to spot…)

      Still, male Aspies’ tend to display more external symptoms than most female Aspies. Plus most Aspies tend to display their symptoms more obviously when communicating in their native tongue, as opposed to a second or third language – I suspect this has something to do with learning the body language together with the spoken language…additional languages are learned when the brain has had a chance to mature more.

      Now, I am not certain what Dr. Baglow’s first language is, but, I have no reason to think it is not English. So, I’m evaluating this under the presumption that he is communicating in his first language. So, a male Aspie communicating in his first language would, most likely, have difficulty hiding the Aspie ‘tells’…..and Dr. Baglow certainly has not displayed any, either on the stand not while chatting with me.

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