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Hall of Fame Member
Dec 25, 2005
Eagle Creek

Lindsay Shepherd: How Christie Blatchford exposed the Wilfrid Laurier thought police

Excerpted from Diversity and Exclusion: Confronting the Campus Free Speech Crisis by Lindsay Shepherd.

Christie Blatchford and I exchanged some initial emails and had a couple of brief phone calls so she could confirm the details of the incident, and ensure she got the facts straight. After I sent her the secretly-recorded audio, she wrote back to me, “I just listened. Jesus H. Christ, what a pompous pair of gits,” and “You do realize these people are INSANE?”

I was unsure, at that point, whether it was legal for me to have recorded the meeting. I was completely willing to be named in Christie’s piece, but I asked her not to mention the recording I sent her. She respected my wishes, and said she would use quotes from the recording without mentioning I had a tape of the conversation. I contacted Jordan Peterson through the email address on his website, explained what happened, and gave him a head’s up that I was going to the press, so he shouldn’t be shocked if he saw his name in the papers soon.

From the first time I spoke to Christie over the phone, I felt like I was talking to someone with genius levels of perceptiveness — someone who intuitively understood me and immediately understood the issues at hand.

Christie released her article on November 10, 2017, in the National Post. “Thought police strike again as Wilfrid Laurier grad student is chastised for showing Jordan Peterson video,” the article was titled. The subheading read “Her supervising professor told her that by showing the video to her ‘Canadian Communication in Context’ class, ‘it basically was like … neutrally playing a speech by Hitler …’”

I read over her article. In the meeting, I had barely even noticed Rambukkana’s comment comparing Peterson to Hitler. When you’re in a high-stress situation like a disciplinary meeting, some of the most revealing comments can go unnoticed.

By the time I clicked on Christie’s article, readers were already pouring into the comment section. Throughout that whole day and the next, I was continually refreshing the comment section, not wanting to miss a single comment. “Long live Jordan Peterson,” “RIP Free speech on campus,” and “What a world we live in when the 22-year old TA has more sense and courage than those corrupt professors,” the comments read. It seemed to me that the verdict was in: I was in the right. There were some comments on the skeptical side: “Sounds like a god-awful situation, but this is just the TA’s side of things, we don’t know what was really said in that room.” Those comments were totally fair: at that point, I had no intention of ever making it known that I had an audio recording of the meeting. At least Christie Blatchford knew that I hadn’t twisted any component of the story. My fears about being widely denounced online washed away: the praise was by far outweighing any negative comments.

I sent the Christie Blatchford piece to a couple of my close friends and family members, who all congratulated me for getting the story in the media. Christie also forwarded me some emails from readers who wanted to send me a message of support. I made sure to get my own hard copy of the newspaper for memory’s sake — I took the bus over to Conestoga Mall and bought the last National Post from the stands at the convenience store. Sure enough, Christie’s column was on page A5. I proudly took the newspaper home and stashed it in a bag of mementos that I kept in my closet, where I put special cards, photos, ticket stubs, and other reminders of meaningful moments.

The next day, Wilfrid Laurier University acknowledged the article: they sent out a news release on November 11, 2017 saying simply:

The National Post recently published a column that referred to Wilfrid Laurier University. The university is committed to fostering a learning environment that is open and challenging but also welcoming and supportive of all students. The university is engaging a neutral third party to gather facts regarding the situation referenced in the column. Because of the privacy issues involved, we will follow established internal processes. It is important to understand that the issues involved in this matter are complex and affect all universities.

I didn’t think much of the statement, as no one had contacted me about any third-party investigation.

My work was now done. All I had wanted was one single article that exposed the professors, the Communication Studies department, the diversity office, and the preposterousness of the meeting. Christie told me to let her know if I faced any fallout, and thanked me for reaching out. I was feeling rather proud: I had done my part to notify the wider Canadian public about the suppression of free thought in academia. I could die tomorrow knowing that I had made a societal contribution in my life.

A few days later, Christie Blatchford notified me that a Laurier liberal arts professor, David Haskell, was looking for my contact information — he had written an op-ed in the Toronto Star that supported me. He wrote:

Quotes from the meeting, which Shepherd recorded, show that she was subjected to a barrage of accusations as her motives and character were called into question. She was ultimately told she was not allowed to expose students to views like those of Peterson because, according to her thesis adviser, discussions that create “an unsafe learning environment” are “not up for debate.”

To her credit, during her inquisition Shepherd had the courage to suggest that it was not the duty of the university to make students comfortable but to make them think. Had she been given more chance to speak, she might have also noted that claiming certain ideas can make a classroom “unsafe” is, for the most part, an unscientific ruse used by many to simply rationalize censorshi

Once I got in touch with him, Haskell told me he was in contact with Global TV and could arrange for them to come to campus to film a segment about the Laurier controversy. Haskell was a strong proponent of free expression and open inquiry, and wanted the story to gain more traction.

The Global segment was airing that same evening on the nightly news. I didn’t have access to cable in my basement suite, but wanted to watch it right when it aired, so I went to the campus pub that night and asked the bartenders to change the channel to Global. I could hardly hear any sound coming from the speakers, but there I was on the screen, in my pink ski jacket and purple glasses.

“Hey look, it’s Laurier!” a pubgoer exclaimed, pointing to the B-roll on-screen of the campus quad earlier that day.

I then saw a still picture of my face on-screen, with some direct quotes from the meeting, and an audio waveform moving up and down. I realized Global TV had included an excerpt of my original audio recording. I had sent it to them when they asked to review it, but I couldn’t recall ever giving explicit permission for them to publicize any part of it. Oh well, nothing I could do about it now.

But once people heard the recording for themselves, that’s when everything got really, really crazy.

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Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
WOKE WATCH! GOP free speech fan wants porn site cancelled
Arizona Republican Paul Gosar wants to cancel mom and pop porn site OnlyFans and wants it investigated for prostitution

Author of the article:Brad Hunter
Publishing date:Apr 06, 2021 • 1 day ago • 2 minute read • 18 Comments
From pastor to porn star. Former minister Nikole Mitchell feels her "whole self" now that she's stripping on OnlyFans.
From pastor to porn star. Former minister Nikole Mitchell feels her "whole self" now that she's stripping on OnlyFans. SCREENGRAB
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What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Arizona Republican Paul Gosar counts himself as a free speech advocate and foe of cancel culture. In fact, he authored some awkwardly entitled legislation called Stop Censorship Act of 2020.

Now even commercial truckers are trying to run fake plates in Ontario

But wait… it now seems that Gosar wants to cancel mom and pop porn site OnlyFans and wants it investigated for prostitution.

He said: “On this site, individuals can advertise their willingness to travel across state lines for illegal or immoral activities, and the platform providing publicity for these individuals appears to subsidize and capitalize off this travel. It is worth investigating this issue further.”

Paul Gosar, an enemy of cancel culture, wants to cancel OnlyFans.
Paul Gosar, an enemy of cancel culture, wants to cancel OnlyFans. PHOTO BY PAUL GOSAR /TWITTER
Not so and he doesn’t have a hope in hell of shuttering the site. The site goes to great lengths to prevent users from facilitating in-person encounters.

Going on ad nauseam about the evils of the site, he pointed to “prostitution, child exploitative material, and illicit sexual coercion” but fails to offer a single example.


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Is this tree a toxic racist? An Oregon school director says a school’s new emblem of an evergreen could trigger memories of lynching. Another member says, uh, no it won’t. Oh, Portland. Trees Ontario Photo
Is this tree a toxic racist? An Oregon school director says a school’s new emblem of an evergreen could trigger memories of lynching. Another member says, uh, no it won’t. Oh, Portland. Trees Ontario Photo

If Portland, Ore. didn’t exist, someone would have to invent it.

The Pacific coast city known for all manner of wokeness, petty social justice gripes and grovelling politicians has done it again.

This time, a high school had been considering changing its mascot from a trojan to an evergreen tree.

But it seems there are concerns about the tree’s link to lynchings and that’s not good.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School was renamed earlier this year after the famed Black activist and reporter who documented lynchings in the deep south.

The school had settled on an evergreen tree as its new mascot after students and staff selected it.

Oh dear, a vote was stopped at the board of education because one of the directors said there were “concerns” from the community about the tree’s imagery.

“I’m wondering if there was any concern with the imagery there, in using a tree … as our mascot? I think everyone comes with blind spots and I think that might’ve been a really big blind spot,” said Michelle DePass, Portland Public Schools Board of Education Director.

Of course, the lone saner head on the board said the issue had been brought up and no one could think of an evergreen tree associated with lynching.

“[Using the evergreen as a mascot] had nothing to do with the horrible history of lynching in the United States. Lynching trees typically are not evergreens,” Martin Osborne, who is Black, told The Portland Tribune.