Sunday, June 16, 2013

How the Canadian media might report the Komagata Maru incident today

In 1914, a ship containing British subjects including 340 Sikhs, 24 Muslims and 12 Hindus was turned away from Vancouver harbour due to exclusion laws.

Yes, much has changed since then but much is sadly the same. It doesn't matter now who wrote these laws or how this incident was reported at the time but I can't help but think of how such a discriminatory episode would be reported today by the elite Conservative media.

National Post
  • Babs Kay commends the men for keeping the women at home, "where they belong." However, she bemoans the 'ragheads,' referring to them as barbarous heathens.
  • Jon Kay concurs.
  • Jon Ivison recounts a personal incident of his youth in Scotland. However, he too bemoans the 'ragheads,' referring to them as barbarous heathens.
  • Christie Blatchford barely acknowledges the Komagata Maru, comparing the passengers to 'scalper Indians,' referring to all parties as barbarous heathens.
  • Rex Murphy compares the passengers to Occupy Wall Street, referring to both parties as barbarous heathens.
  • Tasha Kheiriddin, feeling left out, pouts, "just bomb the fucking boat." 
  • Conrad Black claims innocence.
  • David Frum at first calls the passengers, "Apes of Evil," later denouncing his fellow conservatives as "wrong-headed' without apology for his own earlier words of hate.
  • Andrew Coyne puffs on a pipe. 
Sun Media
  • Ezra Levant sneaks aboard and claims cover-up by the CBC. "They have toilets," he screams to the camera, referring to the passengers as barbarous heathens.
  • Michael Coren harumphs that the passengers are not victims but it is White Canada that are the ones put upon, referring to the passengers as barbarous heathens.
  • Brian Lilley fake spits on the studio floor in reference to the 'ragheads' on the Komagata Maru, much to the delight of guest Kathy Shaidle. They both agree the passengers are barbarous heathens.
Globe & Mail
  • Margaret Wente describes the occupants of the Komagata Maru using an unattributed poem by Kahlil Gibran. Next day, public editor Sylvia Stead writes an apology due to reader complaints of plagiarism. She also notes Mr. Gibran was Lebanese, not Indian. Wente is given a two-week vacation.
  • John Ibbitson is off fishing, presumably as penalty for writing something stupid.
  • John Stackhouse writes a scathing editorial, referring to the passengers as barbarous heathens but refraining from calling them 'ragheads.' Journalists all over Canada praise the editorial for its altruism.


  1. Now hold on there a minute. Don't you think that maybe, I guess not. You have it just about right.

  2. This is why you're on my blogroll still.

  3. Thank you, Thwap. It's an honour. And I mean that.

  4. Don't try to get me to believe you didn't use a macro (or copy and paste) for "barbarous heathens."

    For some reason I couldn't get a picture of Jason Kenny (bachelor about town) out of my head while reading this piece, so excuse me while I go barf now!

  5. kootcoot - I confess I did c&p but wish I had varied it but then again, they don't so..

    You're very astute! Jason Kenney is the source of much of the media's narrative. Whenever you read any of the 'journalists' in the post, you know who's really speaking.