National Post is a Disgrace
As you may have heard, the National Post ran a front page cover story today on how Iran had introduced a law requiring religious minorities to wear coloured badges identifying their religious status. This is a very provocative claim, as such an action would be very reminiscent of Nazi Germany's actions towards the Jews and we all know where that led.
I'd link to the online version of the story, but the National Post has removed it from their website (for now you can see a copy of it here) Instead, they have this story, which basically admits that their first story was all lies, without actually apologizing at all.
As longtime readers know, I'm no fan of the National Post. But while I have come to expect slanted coverage from them, I never expected, and am in fact shocked, that they have declined to this level of unethical behavior and incompetence. Given the current political climate, the National Post knows that a story of this nature could make (at least make part of) the difference between war and peace, and as a result, life and death for many people. With so much on the line, with the huge prominence given the story on the front page of the paper, and with the point of fact in question being so (relatively) easy to verify, these lies from the National Post rank, in my view, as about as big a breach of trust and violation of the public interest as it is possible for a newspaper to make.
Frankly, I am disgusted.
And I'm not very impressed by Stephen Harper either:
"Prime Minister Stephen Harper was quick to condemn Iran on Friday for an anti-Semitic law that appears not to exist.
Harper seized on a newspaper report that said Iran's hardline government would require Jews and Christians to wear coloured labels in public.
The prime minister couldn't vouch for the accuracy of the newspaper report, but he added that Iran was capable of such actions and compared them to Nazi practices.
"Unfortunately, we've seen enough already from the Iranian regime to suggest that it is very capable of this kind of action," Harper said.
"We've seen a number of things from the Iranian regime that are along these lines . . .
"It boggles the mind that any regime on the face of the Earth would want to do anything that could remind people of Nazi Germany."
Maybe it's just me, but I'd prefer to have a national leader who doesn't go spouting off about how awful foreign countries are based on rumours. I know how I'd feel if some foreign newspaper ran a false story like that about Canada, and that country's leader said he didn't know whether it was true or not but it was the kind of Nazi-esque thing that Canada had shown itself capable of, and his mind was boggled that Canadians would want to act like a bunch of Nazis. And I'd damn well expect an apology once the story had been shown to be false.
The National Post needs to run a front page retraction and apology in the same font that they ran their initial story. Anything less will confirm that they place their right-wing pro-war agenda ahead of the truth and ahead of any semblance of journalistic ethics.
Credit to the Canadian Cynic (here and here), POGGE, and Liberal Catnip for following this story and providing links. My post title is also pretty much the same as Liberal Catnip's, but honestly, it is the only title that is appropriate in this situation.
Update: Antonia does a good job pulling all the pieces together on her blog here.