By Charlie Smith, from straight.com, September 29, 2010
Vancouver writer and activist Murray Dobbin has started a letter-writing campaign to protest the Globe and Mail’s firing of weekly left-wing columnist Rick Salutin.
“I don’t need to tell you how few progressive voices there are in the mainstream media whether it’s TV, radio or newspapers,” Dobbin wrote in a message being distributed by e-mail. “Someone from outside the country observing the media would assume that this is a reactionary country with virtually no progressive tradition.”
Dobbin stated that Salutin told him he was given no reason for his dismissal. Salutin had written a column for the paper since 1991. “If we don’t respond it will be implicit support for the decision—the ideological gate-keepers at the Globe will gloat and claim no one cared anyway,” Dobbin added. “We do care. Rick upheld the best of what Canada has been and can be again.”
Dobbin urged regular readers of Salutin’s column to write to Globe and Mail editor-in-chief John Stackhouse, executive editor Neil Campbell, and national editor Sinclair Stewart: “just say in your own words what you think of the continuing efforts to diminish Canada—in terms of the role of government, our role in the world and the democratic debate which depends on a diversity of views.”
New colour on every page is no substitute for Rick Salutin's long-standing, cutting edge thinking and writing that has appeared in the Globe and Mail since 1991. Over those years, he has constantly contibuted new perspectives on stories worn thin by a media mind-set that can only be described increasingly as "corporatist."
Heather Mallick also used to appear on the pages of the Globe and Mail, now, however she has returned to The Star, and all her former readers welcome her return.
There are, it is too true, far too few left thinkers and writers in Canada, and while I do not hold out any hope that Salutin will be returned to his space in the "new globe," it is also true that both he and his readers deserve a far better explanation than "he does not fit with our new design."
This piece also urges any readers who might pass this way to write to the Globe and Mail and protest the firing of Rick Salutin, in the strongest terms, and perhaps that generates into a few cancelled subscriptions.
Salutin deserves nothing less from his many readers.