Former Globe online editor now reporting live from the Caribbean’s floating prison
by Ezra Levant
Until this summer, Stephen Wicary was The Globe and Mail’s online editor.
He would choose what would and wouldn’t go on the website. He would write headlines. He would choose photos. These are all political decisions.
Sometimes he would move from the behind the scenes and come out publicly with his own editorials denouncing Stephen Harper — accusing Harper of being anti-democratic, and heavy-handed, and even censorious.
So he was a left-winger, who claimed to care about freedom.
But then he moved to Cuba. Not a vacation. He’s moving there for two years.
Someone who had for years condemned Harper as being too authoritarian was moving to the country that the human rights NGO, Reporters Without Borders, calls the most repressive country in the western hemisphere.
I asked Wicary a dozen questions about this — and he refused to answer.
The Media Party all knew Wicary was going to Cuba, a land without press freedom. The Ottawa press gallery even threw a goodbye party for him and none seemed conflicted with a reporter going to an island of censorship.
A lot of other journalists answered my questions to Wicary for him. They were acting as his lawyers. They said he didn’t really believe in Communism. They said he was just there to support his wife, who got a promotion to work there for an NGO. The suggestion was that Wicary didn’t really love Cuba, he just loved his wife, so it was an act of marital solidarity, not political solidarity.
Wicary has been in Cuba for a few weeks. Miraculously, he has been able to get an Internet connection. No ordinary Cuban has that privilege — but Wicary somehow got Castro’s permission.
It was weird right away. There he is in Cuba — a controversial, newsworthy place, with scandals and corruption and violence and repression, with a cholera outbreak right now, with a Spanish human rights activist held hostage — but all he kept writing about on Twitter was Canadian politics, publicizing left-wing political commentaries.
But then Wicary wrote this from Cuba last week: “Have been reading up on Canada-Cuba relations and it seems Sun papers have a long tradition of asshattery with regard to the island … During the 1999 Pan-Am Games in Winnipeg, they published a how-to guide for athletes seeking to defect.”
Wicary has never criticized Cuba or, aside from a couple retweets, even reported on its scandalous news.
But he just comes right out and engages in Communist propaganda, denouncing Canada’s Sun newspaper — we’re asshats, he says — because in 1999 we wanted to help Cuban athletes come to Canada? Who would possibly object to that? Other than someone who is working under the restrictions of the Communist Party? Is he also working under its direction?
All of a sudden, the excuses offered up by the Media Party — the best possible spin, the best possible light — for his Cuban move are washed away.
Stephen Wicary, Cuban sellout, is now making anti-Canada, anti-defection tweets from Cuba, using his special government privileges.
He’s condemning Cubans who want to flee to freedom — the freedom he himself will presumably exercise one day, probably when he needs free health care and doesn’t want to go to a filthy Cuban hospital.
Stephen Wicary is the Walter Duranty of our age. Duranty was a New York Times “reporter” in the 1930s who, like Wicary, went to the Communist country of the U.S.S.R. He was the Times’ bureau chief in Moscow from 1922 to 1936, a time of horrendous massacres, including the man-made Ukrainian famine called the Holodomor, where Stalin starved to death as many as 12 million souls.
Duranty denied it, covered it up; engaged in lies and propaganda; and won a Pulitzer Prize for his deception. Stephen Wicary isn’t as talented as Duranty. But he’s happy to play the same role.
And far more dark is the fact that the Media Party — all his friends back here — are either silent, or cheering him along.
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