Stop me if you’ve seen this one before:
- Party A makes a scathing criticism of something, overblowing a legitimate but minor disagreement to turn it into some national crisis.
- Party B criticizes Party A for crying wolf and comes to the defence of the person or action being criticized. Uses a history of similar wolf-crying as evidence to bolster the case.
- Party A accuses Party B of trying to silence them and take away their right to free expression, repeats arguments of Step 1 in different words.
- Party C comes to the defence of Party B, makes the same criticisms of Party A from Step 2, only in different words.
- Party D issues an ad hominem attack on Party B for completely personal reasons, and doesn’t deal with the dispute at hand.
- The general public gets bored of everyone accusing everyone else of trying to silence them and moves on, while letters to the editor stack up to the ceiling on both sides as everyone wants a chance to repeat arguments already laid out, in their own words.
Everyone needs to just take a deep breath. B’nai Brith criticized Liberal candidate Jocelyn Coulon. Josée Legault came to his defence. It should have ended there.
I was exposed to this same routine many times at Concordia when I ran the student paper there (naturally, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict was usually the subject there too). I though that I wouldn’t see that kind of childish back-and-forth when I stepped out into the real world.
I guess I was wrong.