I'm going to start off with a disclaimer: I'm a proud Western Standard subscriber.
I subscribe not just because the magazine has a conservative viewpoint, but because it seems to be unbound by the censorship and thought-policing that plagues so much of Canada's mainstream media.
The Western Standard has been very much in the news for two articles in its two latest issues: one on the Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, and the other about Premier and Colleen Klein and speculation on the Premier's retirement date.
In the past few days, the magazine has taken much flak from people who have climbed the lately-popular "mole hill of righteous indignation". They claim that the Western Standard is a racist publication. There have been protests and certain outlets have stopped carrying the magazine.
Only in Canada, folks.
First of all, I have a hard time with this suggestion that the Western Standard is run by racists. Its publisher, Ezra Levant, is a proud member of Calgary's Jewish community... which leads one to think that he may just understand the importance of tolerance. Ezra is many things... persistent... intense... staunchly conservative... but this man is quite clearly NOT a bigot, nor does he promote such attitudes.
What people are forgetting in all of this is that the Western Standard is NOT THE SOURCE of the offending material. Rather, they are merely passing it along because of they are part of greater public debates.
Now don't get me wrong, i'm not onside with those who did produce this stuff.
I don't find cartoons mocking a religious figure who is revered by millions of faithful believers to be tasteful... that goes for Muhammad, Buddha, Vishnu, Jesus Christ, etc.
I also find referring to Mrs. Klein as "just another Indian" to be very distasteful... particularily since Mrs. Klein and the Premier have always been very supportive of me personally, even when others were not.
But, as Ezra Levant points out in a well-written blog, if people want to get at the root of the problem, they should start taking issue with the person who drew those Danish cartoons and with the supposed "friend" of the Klein's who made the reference to Mrs. Klein. And i'm obviously not the only one who thinks so, as evidenced here.
Speaking of issues, you should pick up the latest Western Standard.