Kate McMillan over at Small Dead Animals runs a fine blog with a lot of provocative content. Unlike many of her Conservative cohorts, she keeps things civil, she has a good wit, and her range of interests, while nearly always ideologically filtered, is wide. But when talk turns to First Nations, her dark side tends to emerge.
In the past, she has posted some comments that keep coming back to haunt her. She has attracted, as an antagonist, a formidable Indian rights activist, Meaghan Walker-Williams, whose latest broadside against Kate and others can be found here.
Kate is now a member of a CBC Round Table on the current election campaign. Another member posted a withering attack on the politically late, unlamented Mike Klander, and linked to that post by Meaghan. Kate threatened to sue the CBC and her co-commentator in the following two letters, posted within an hour of each other:
This is your formal notice that I consider the post currently up at the CBC forum, by: Marcie Abramovitch December 26, 2005 2:30 PM Titled: Another example of bad taste for the Liberals
To be an act of malice and intentional libel. I am holding the CBC responsible for permitting this post, as the Abramovitch post clearly links to a site that defames me. For the CBC to allow their forum to be used to sideswipe other members of the blog is unacceptable, and unworthy of a public broadcaster.
Here is the second:
Can someone explain to me how the editorial process allowed the linkage of
this hate site run by Meaghan Walker Williams?
This woman also runs the following sites: http://smalldeadanimals.blogspot.com/ Where she has been known to invite others to do me harm and suggested I have sex in lesbian threesomes with my dogs. This woman is highly disturbed.
She is also responsible for this site, which is devoted to attacking the highly successful Indian blog, Dust My broom. It goes by the delightful name of "Uncle Tom Injuns" http://dustmybroom2.blogspot.com/
If the CBC is going to allow another roundtable member to direct their traffic to a site operated by an internet stalker who has dedicated much of her online life to slandering myself as well as others, I will hold the blogger responsible, the editors and the corporation responsible for libel.
Here are the quotes that Meaghan references at her site, and to which Kate takes exception:
Build new residental schools, if that's what it takes and tell the detractors to go to hell.
I changed my mind. We don't need residential schools for those little 4 year olds running the streets of Saskatoon late at night. We need institutions to lock up the Indian activists and apologists, so that there's an outside chance that the concept of "personal responsibility" will take hold in First Nations communities.
Now, there is no love lost between these two bloggers: that much is obvious. Hurtful things have no doubt been said on both sides: in Meaghan's post noted above, some tasteless photoshopping of herself by Kate is also mentioned. But it is simply astounding to me that Kate threatened to use the courts against third parties who had the temerity to link to a site that does no more than refer to her unfortunate comments of some time ago. She probably richly regrets having made them in a public forum; perhaps she and Mike Klander might have a drink or two at some undisclosed location and commiserate. Nobody said politics was kind.
But Kate, it seems, has scored a victory. The CBC caved almost immediately, and the link has been removed from the co-commentator's post. Censorship and heavy-handedness have won. Those, whatever their politics, who would silence the opposition and shut down debate can only take heart from this.
So I am here being even-handed. I despise what the Liberals have been up to in this campaign, with their threats and (in one case) the jailing of a heckler. But when Conservatives play the same game, it is only right that they be called on it. I, for one, regret the CBC's cowardice in censoring the Round Table post. It sets a terrible precedent. The last thing we need during an election campaign is more threats and silencing.
UPDATE/CORRECTION: (December 28) I am reliably informed that I got the order of Kate's two letters wrong; the one identified in my post as the second was actually the first received. More important, on prompting by Andrew of Bound By Gravity, I retract any suggestion that Kate speaks for, or is a member of, the Conservative Party of Canada. That she is a conservative, there can be no doubt; that she is frequently in the company of Conservatives, whether at the Western Standard's Shotgun blog, on the Blogging Tories blogroll, or even literally as a fellow-traveller on a recent Tory cruise, there can be no doubt either. But she was not acting as a Conservative Party representative when she threatened to sue her co-commentator. She was just being--herself. I apologize, not to her, but to the Conservative Party; and I await their apology for endorsing the candidacy of the racist Rob Anders in Calgary West. Fair enough?