Lars Hedegaard and the Enemies of Truthfulness

Last week I noted how Michael Coren of Canada’s Sun TV was far bolder than any of his US television network colleagues in dealing with Islam’s threat to Western free speech, epitomized by Coren’s interview of Danish journalist and historian Lars Hedegaard, who survived an assassination attempt by a likely Muslim assailant, still at large. No such interview with public airing on television was conducted by any major US television network—ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, CNN—not even the self-proclaimed “alternative” to “stultifying political correctness,”  and “champion” of free speech, The Blaze TV.

Emphasizing, yet again, the ongoing, complete dereliction of duty of not only the mainstream legacy media, but so-called conservative outlets such as Fox News and The Blaze, Michael Coren opened his follow-up interview  of Lars Hedegaard, yesterday (2/15/13), with this observation:

You [Hedegaard] should be on every single TV show. This should have been [on] the front page of every newspaper in the civilized world.

To add insult to bitter irony, as described in this news item Friday (2/15/13)from Dispatch International, which Lars Hedegaard continues to edit while in protective seclusion, and reiterated during Coren’s latest interview, Hedegaard has been compelled to sue several Swedish media (including Aftonbladet, Svenska Dagbladet, Sveriges Television, Sydsvenskan and Helsingborgs Dagblad) for libel. The libel charge was filed with Allmänhetens Pressombudsman, (the Press Ombudsman) as well as the Chancellor of Justice.

Here is the wording that several Swedish newspapers elected to publish from the Swedish national news agency TT:

Lars Hedegaard, once convicted for racism, has been subject to an assassination attempt. An unknown man reportedly shot at Hedegaard outside his Copenhagen home. The author Hedegaard is one of the few Danes who is a certified racist [emphasis added], as he some years ago was fined by a High Court for having stated in a blog interview that Muslim fathers rape their children. He was later acquitted by the Supreme Court.

Of course Lars Hedegaard never received a “racist certification,” nor has any court verdict ever stated anything to that effect. Journalist and expert on freedom of press Nils Funcke rejected this repeated characterization as pure mendacity:

Writing in this way as if the conviction were final is nothing but an outright lie. The only existing conviction is an acquittal.

Moreover, a vitriolic opinion piece in Helsingborgs Dagblad, written by Johan Malmberg and published on February 7, 2013 declared:

Even a rabid racist like Hedegaard, founder of the Danish Free Press Society and editor of the Muslim-hating newspaper Dispatch International, is obviously also covered by democratic principles, just like everyone else. A man who claims that Muslims rape their children and try to take over the world may want to be considered merely an ’Islam-critic’. But what he truly is, is of course an enemy of Islam, hostile to foreigners, and racist.

Lars Hedegaard insisted that the false, perversely abusive accusation of “racism” gave impunity to those who might wish to persecute or even murder such alleged “racist” individuals:

After several years of misuse, the word ’racist’ means nothing more than a person considered by the rulers to be a threat to their power, and whom they thus persecute by all means possible. Being called ’racist’ in Sweden today is similar to being branded an ‘outlaw’ during the Middle Ages – a person standing outside the protection of the law, and whom one can thus freely lie about, assault and even kill

Singling out the mendacious, defamatory, and inciting screed of Malmberg, published by Helsingborgs Dagblad, Hedegaard added in his filing to the Chancellor of Justice,

The entire article is mudslinging and defamation of my good name. I desire that the Chancellor act effectively against this campaign of libel and mudslinging. Swedish media long ago crossed the limits of decency, and publication of these have caused me great harm and discomfort.

Returning to Michael Coren’s interview, Hedegaard revealed that all three parties in the Danish governing coalition are prepared to provide lifetime security for him, as is currently done for Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, whose security measures already cost 20-30 million kroner  (~ 4.5 million US dollars at present) per year. Hedegaard wondered aloud,

How many people can you protect this way?

Milton’s 1644 Areopagitica, regarded as one of the most impassioned and erudite defenses of freedom of speech ever written, included these words.

Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties. ..Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?

Nearly seven decades ago, George Orwell’s 1946 essay “The Prevention of Literature”, in paying tribute to Milton’s seminal argumentation, warned

[T]he immediate enemies of truthfulness, and hence of freedom of thought, are the press lords, the film magnates, and the bureaucrats, but that on a long view the weakening of the desire for liberty among the intellectuals themselves is the most serious symptom of all… The journalist is unfree, and is conscious of unfreedom, when he is forced to write lies or suppress what seems to him important news.

Thursday February 21, 2013, the Danish Parliament will discuss Lars Hedegaard’s case, and plight, with Hedegaard himself slated to speak in this forum. Let us pray Hedegaard’s courage inspires those otherwise more timorous in nature to gird their loins, renew their desire for Western freedom of thought and speech, and defeat the enemies of truthfulness.

Please watch Michael Coren’s interview of the heroic Lars Hedegaard, below:


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