Davide Mastracci is part of the latest generation of McCarthyites who are attempting to police the discourse on social media. Inspired no doubt by old Joe himself, Mastracci compiled a blacklist of journalists who allegedly support the killing of Iranian terrorist and Quds General Qasem Soleimani. Further evidence of their wrongthink lies in their vocal support of the Iranian people in deposing the totalitarian Iranian regime.
A managing editor at Passage—a Canadian publication that claims to be the bearer of “thoughtful political, economic, and cultural ideas from a left-wing perspective”—Mastracci has bylines at The Walrus, National Observer, Canadaland, Al Jazeera, and Intifada.
The blacklist includes respected veteran journalists such as Tarek Fatah and Terry Glavin.
Mastracci has taken his efforts to policing speech on social media to a level beyond that of other so-called “anti-war” writers who have in various forms expressed support or condolences to Soleimani, or oppose intervention in Iran. Mastracci created an excel spreadsheet containing a detailed list of every writer he judges guilty of thoughtcrime.
The good news is that the blacklist isn’t working out the way he intended. It backfired, as many clever Twitter users used Mastracci’s attempted cancellations as a list of “recommended reading.”
Twitter user Eugene Vizitiu said, “Thank you for keeping these lists of professionals who do journalism, not leftist propaganda. You’re a great guy for promoting them. Keep up the good work!”
The Post Millennial’s own Jakob Glogauer quipped: “The writers should be commended and sincerely thanked for their solidarity with the great people of Iran, who simply want their freedom back.”
Avideh Rafaela Motmaenfar, President of the Council of Iranian Canadians, added, “Supporting the struggle of Iranian people is not party politics, don’t throw Iranians under the bus because you hate right wing. we are not interested in your feelings for Trump or anyone else. Be on the right side of the history! Don’t side with dictators!”
Making a blacklist of writers who oppose the Iranian regime and are using their platform to advocate for an end its human rights violations is beyond the pale. It’s anti-freedom of speech, anti-freedom of the press, and more importantly, it spits in the face of the friends and family of the thousands upon thousands of people Iran has murdered, as well as the innocent victims of Ukranian flight 752.
Indeed, in Iran, journalists are quitting their jobs in lieu of spreading state propaganda. The Guardian reported that “At least two presenters working for the Iranian state broadcaster IRIB have announced they have quit their jobs, with a third saying she quit some time ago after having told lies on behalf of the state for 13 years.”
One of the journalists, Ghanbar Naderi, noted that “Millions and millions took [to] the streets following the assassination of Qassem Suleimani. It was a rare moment of unity but the IRGC blew it. As a journalist you need to be able to sleep at night. I will never ever distance myself from the truth. This a great nation. It has made many mistakes that are unacceptable. If the IRGC shot down a civilian airplane, I have no choice but to condemn it.”
According to The Washington Post, the Tehran Province Association of Journalists stated: “What endangers this society right now is not only missiles or military attacks but a lack of free media. Hiding the truth and spreading lies traumatized the public. What happened was a catastrophe for media in Iran.”
This is the regime that Mastracci is defending? Is that what he wants to see from the media here at home? The Canadian journalists who condemn this tyrannical government are somehow the bad guys?
Making a list of journalists who should be targeted and deplatformed for standing up for human rights is not the kind of thing you would expect to see in a country like Canada. It’s the kind of behaviour that belongs in the worst kind of totalitarian societies where citizens are conscripted to snitch on each other—societies very much like the current Iranian regime. Perhaps Mastracci should consider moving there. He’d fit right in.