Posted: 2/21/2008 3:45:00 PM
Author: Terry Glavin
A Forum For People Who Have Whacked-Out Views
by Terry Glavin
It's just come to my attention that the Freedom-To-Be-Antisemitic forum the Vancouver Public Library is convening on behalf of conspiracy theorist Greg Felton will be introduced by the British Columbia Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee. Least that's what the Library Journal reports.
This is shaping up to be the most intellectually strange event at the Vancouver library since the Necessary Voices Series hosted 911-Truther Barrie Zwicker (about which I reported here ).
Meanwhile, in the UK, Ophelia Benson, co-author of the excellent book Why Truth Matters, looks at the VPL's justification for drawing Felton to its bosom and asks a couple of questions.
"Then does the library think its role is to provide a forum for exchange of any and all views no matter how uninformed, wrong, baseless, distorted, incompetent they are?
". . . Does the Vancouver Public Library, in short, really see no difference between upholding the right to intellectual freedom and affirmatively providing a platform for people to purvey, for instance, inaccurate history?"
In the Library Journal article I noticed two other things.
The first is that the library has responded to the uproar over the Felton invitation by offering to provide additional programming for the airing of "a different perspective." Spot the weirdness in that? Good.
The second is that the lunatic himself responded to the Library Journal by questioning its credibility and inviting its readers to telephone him directly to have a chat about things. Felton even posted his telephone number for you.