Talk:Western Standard

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Odd comment[edit]

This article has much irrelevant information in it. It needs to be rewritten by a neutral party.

Western Standard/Alberta Report history[edit]

The back story about the Alberta Report and its "bankruptcy" is significant - why could a similar magazine with an identical demographic succeed where another claimed to have gone out of business due lack of readership? The answer is worth giving.

Also, Ezra Levant's background as a Conservative party worker is also significant - it explains a fair amount about the politics of the magazine.

All of this information is (1) true and substantiated; (2) relevant; and (3) worthy of inclusion in the article. I find it very hard to believe that anyone would remove this information from an article for purposes other than "image management".Geoff NoNick 16:31, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

You are defending the use of the Western Standard wikipedia entry as a forum for various comments about Link Byfield and the Alberta Report. Those comments are editorially questionable, but even if you are persuaded by those accusations, they do not belong on the Western Standard's entry, but rather on wikipedia pages regarding Link Byfield, the Alberta Report or other entries.

That is because you are confusing the two sequel magazines to the Alberta Report: the Western Standard and the Business Report.

The Western Standard was founded in the editorial vein of the Alberta Report, and hired several of their writers, including Candis McLean, Kevin Steel, Colby Cosh, Terry O'Neill, Ric Dolphin and Ted Byfield. In terms of financial matters, the Western Standard paid for the use of the Alberta Report's subscription list, and offered every former Alberta Report subscriber a modest credit towards a new subscription in the Western Standard. None of the owners or managers of the Alberta Report are owners or managers of the Western Standard, and there were no advertising contracts or other financial assets or accounts receivable that were transferred to the Western Standard.

The accusations about Link Byfield do not apply to the Western Standard, but rather to the other sequel magazine, called the Business Report (now simply The Report). The Business Report is owned and managed by former Alberta Report managers. The Business Report was in fact built around valuable advertising contracts that were left unfulfilled when the Alberta Report ceased publication.

If you were to actually read the links that you insist on posting to the Western Standard page, you would see documentation of this, especially in Kevin Steel's corporate registry documents. You would see that the various corporate transitions were to the Business Report or the Citizens Centre, and not the Western Standard. That is your central error: the dispute between disgruntled ex-Alberta Report writers and Link Byfield do not belong on a wikipedia entry about the Western Standard. They belong on pages about Link Byfield, or the Business Report, or the Alberta Report.

A few quick factual corrections, thought they are not as important as the main issue: that the allegations and squabble above do not belong on the Western Standard page, and implying that the Western Standard is part of any "suspicious circumstances" is inappropriate.

1. The Alberta Report magazine has not gone bankrupt.

2. Alberta Report did not have its own printing presses. It used Quebecor and Colorpress.

3. Alberta Report had an audited readership far greater than the Western Standard and the Business Report combined. It ceased publication for other reasons.

4. Levant was a member and activist of the Reform Party and the Canadian Alliance. The Conservative Party was not founded until after he left politics.

5. The Western Standard radio show was launched a month after the magazine itself debuted.

Western Separatism, Quebec-bashing, etc.[edit]

"It should also be noted that the magazine frequently publishes pieces which argue for Western separatism. The tone of these articles usually expresses undisguised hostility towards Central Canada in general and Canada's majority francophone province of Québec specifically."

The preceding paragraph was deleted, since in the view of the person who deleted it, it constituted vandalism. I would like to hear the justification for this. The magazine does, in fact, indulge in quebec-bashing and frequently runs articles endorsing western separatism. Perhaps some feel that the formulation of the above paragraph is a bit biased. So be it. Please submit a revision which formulates these facts in what you may feel is a more neutral way. If none is forthcoming, I would like to see the above paragraph reinstated in the article.Digging.holes 06:06, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

I've un-reverted it. Western Standard has an active fanbase on Wikipedia, it seems.Geoff NoNick 13:37, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

It's not that the Western Standard has an active fan base on wikipedia. The opposite: it has an active group of editorial critics, who confuse their irritation with the WS with NPOV style.

The WS publishes three editorial columnists who write signed op-eds supporting western separatism. One of them, Pierre Lemieux, is a Quebecker; the other, David Warren, is a Torontonian. To call their columns -- especially Lemieux's -- "Quebec-bashing" of hostility to "francophones" is absurd, to begin with, and it misses the philosophical symmetry between Quebec's grievances with Ottawa and the West's grievances with Ottawa.

The news articles -- as opposed to signed op-eds -- regardging western alienation have been neutral in tone, even scientific, as in the case of the magazine's cover story on the subject. Moreover, in that issue, the editor, Kevin Libin, cautioned against western separatism. This is hardly the demonic "undisguised hostility" claimed by the WS's critics. Rather, it is a reflection of the WS's critics' biases, and, just as important, their lack of attention to detail. I have written a neutral comment treating the subject. Phrenologist 23:43, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, all I can say is that if you think those articles were neutral in tone, you haven't been reading the same magazine I have. It's really a pity, because in my opinion it is otherwise a very worthy publication. But whatever. I appreciated your attempt to address the issue. I have added to it, though, feeling it did not go far enough. I have attempted to use more "neutral" language this time. See how you like it.Digging.holes 01:58, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Your "neutral" language was again nothing of the sort -- it was both biased and unsubstantiated. What do you mean by "openly critical" of "central Canada in general and Quebec in particular"? What does that even mean? That all things Ontarian and Quebecois are hated (and "openly")? A more sophisticated critic would observe that certain "central Canadian" politicians and policies are criticized -- just as certain Alberta politicians (e.g. Ralph Klein) and policies (e.g. Alberta's overspending) are criticized. Claiming that the WS is hostile (openly, mind you) to central Canada is such an obtuse and general statement that it is meaningless, and certainly not NPOV, let alone rooted in fact.

The plurality of the WS's writers are from Ontario and Quebec -- Coyne, Coren, Selick, Warren, Lemieux, etc., etc. Perhaps you're alleging that they are self-hating Ontarians (tell that to Coyne), but again, if so, you are confusing particular disagreements with particular policies with a general bias and prejudice.

It's one thing to disagree with the WS; that's fine. But an encyclopedia entry about the WS is not the same thing as an attempted rebuttal to the WS. Controversies are important to describe, but they must be as precise as possible -- the opposite of what you've done. It's as if you've written "everybody knows that...". Well, no, actually. And until you get specific and accurate, I'm going to turn GeoffNoNick's comment around: it's not that the WS has an active fan base online; it's that people who find the WS's editorial stance irritating are using wikipedia as a letters-to-the-editor page. The kind of bias and non-factual generalities you've written are not appropriate. I've tried to find the middle way, and you've simply reverted to your "they hate the East" talk. Sorry. Phrenologist 16:35, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Excuse me, who's biased? I don't give one whit where the writers come from. If you read carefully what I wrote, I was not referring to the whole of WS, but to certain articles that it frequently publishes. That you would take these comments about certain specific articles published by WS and try to pretend that I was aiming them at the publication as a whole is dishonest, not to say simply pathetic. If you want some prime examples of Quebec-bashing in the US, try this one article in the November 28th 2005 issue, by Rick Dolphin, which gives us gems like claiming that "Quebec is a distinct society" is simply PC-speak for "Quebec is a basket case") ; or "its pig-head insistence on restrict its citizens to a language that otherwise would have disappeared from the continent years ago..." ; or "the Liberal government in Ottawa became Quebec's bitch" ; or Quebec "is a foreign, costly province that doesn't really want to be a part of the federation other than for the money it can extort from the rest...". Of course, Ric Dolphin is endless in his sarcastic comments which drip contempt for Quebec in his other articles/rants as well. In the September 19th 2005 issues, he accuses "the Laurier government" of "bowing to the wishes of Quebec, carv[ing] the West into manageable pieces" in order to disenfranchise the West. Or how about these marvellous tidbits from David Warren in that same issue: "Anyone with half a brain in Quebec is a separatist, anyway, And since the last person with a whole brain died around 1980, I don't expect more."

I of course could go on and on, but you get the point. Whether or not you or I agree with the above quotations is entirely beside the point. T But if that doesn't constitute Quebec-bashing, well then, I'm a pickle in a toaster oven. These comments are not directed towards policies or politicians, but to the people living in the province of Quebec. So please leave your own biases aside and agree to call apples apples and oranges oranges. As I have indicated three times now, I simply wish to point out the fact that the magazine regularly publishes such articles, NOT that the editorial stance as a whole is leaning towards those opinions. That is certainly noteworthy to anyone not living in Alberta, which happens to be the situation of most people in the world. Digging.holes 18:41, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

You are cherry-picking. Ric Dolphin's stock-in-trade is caustic opinion -- he is an equal-opportunity insulter, of every province, region, party and "ism". He is not a reporter or an staff editorial writer, but rather a bylined op-ed contributor. That is an editorial distinction of importance -- if not, then Warren Kinsella's op-ed, or indeed any letter-to-the-editor could be hung around the neck of the magazine as "frequent articles". They are not articles at all, in fact, but bylined op-eds. For contrast, the WS's coverage of bilingualism is balanced -- it contains fair and ample quotes and comments from those who support bilingualism. To condemn merely the reportage of such stories -- or any other Western grievance -- as anti-Quebec is to betray your own biases against such coverage.

In the spirit of wikipedia's intellectual iteration, I will incorporate your facts regarding Ric Dolphin (even without checking them first) -- but they will be just that: about Ric Dolphin. You are extrapolating ad absurdum to the entire magazine. I think I have flushed you out -- you read a few op-eds that got you mad, and then you sought to label the entire magazine ("generally critical", etc.) That's not accurate or NPOV. My latest changes are.

Finally, I would point out that your first edit did not in fact (contrary to your assertion above) limit your comment about anti-Central Canada/anti-Quebec to particular articles. If you review your original edit, you will see that you label the magazine itself that way, holus bolus. I am adjusting to your points, conceding where you are right, arguing where you are not -- why don't you do the same, instead of holding firm and pretending you didn't make the original overstated edit that you did? Phrenologist 19:44, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I am about to break the rule about respecting my fellow wikipedians, but you really are a nitwit. I have stated three times now (here goes a fourth) that I was in no way applying this to the entire magazine, simply stating that it was noteworthy that the magazine was fond of publishing such pieces. You are simply displaying your own bias and prejudice on a silver platter. Or did you even read what I wrote? You are one of those people who argue against what you wish other people had said rather than what they really say. Get off your high horse, stop going on a crusade here. No one is attacking your precious Western Standard magazine, I have stated before that the publication is otherwise very respectable. The fact that you are incapable of tolerating even the mention of a critical view of it shows your bias, not mine.

Because arguing back and forth with hard-headed people like you wearies me in the extreme, I will let the current incarnation of the article stand as is... for now. See you on the other side of Christmas. Digging.holes 19:44, 24 December 2005 (UTC)