Open Sources Show Notes for Thursday January 8, 2015

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The first episode of Open Sources Guelph will be jammed packed as a very busy week in news brings us many stories and many points of discussion. From more religious violence in France to the fall of a cultural icon, this inaugural edition of Open Sources will aim to cover all the angles and offer some sharp commentary on the biggest stories of the weeks.

This Thursday, January 8, at 5 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Scotty Hertz McWhinnie will discuss:

1) The Attack on Charlie Hebdo. Three gunmen opened fire on the offices of a French satirical newspaper after the publication of some controversial cartoons that, amongst other things, mocked the Prophet Muhammad. A total of 12 people were killed including two police officers, a maintenance man, and several of Charlie Hebdo‘s staff of cartoonists and reporters, including editor Stéphane Charbonnier. What does this mean for media censorship and the right of free speech? (It’s hard to find the offending cartoons, but this New Yorker article has a pretty good description of them.)

2. Sony Hacks Fallout. Media censorship was a major topic of conversation over the holidays as Sony pulled the comedy The Interview from theaters before releasing it to independent cinemas and on Video-on-Demand. With millions made and a butt-load of priceless publicity, it seems like this is a win for Free Speech, but is there more to the story than the impact of one movie? What happened to the hackers threats, and are they, indeed, North Korean agitators?

3. Cosby Comes to Canada. We will be joined by Melanie Baker, one of the organizers of Voices Carry, a protest event in Kitchener that was counter programming to Bill Cosby’s appearance at Centre in the Square. Cosby has been accused of the sexual assault of 18 women, possibly more, but has yet have any criminal charges filed against him. Cosby’s celebrity, the shocking nature of the allegations, and his own silence on those allegations have blown up into an international news story with our region as the epicentre. Can Cosby still perform as if nothing else is going on? Should he?

4. Dalhousie Dental Dilemma. The winter break did nothing to defuse the controversy at Halifax’s Dalhousie University and its dental school as 13 students who were part of the Facebook group “Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen” were suspended. Facebook comments referring to “hate sex” and using chloroform on female students prompted complaints, and although the school approved a restorative justice process, several on campus and across Canada felt that didn’t go far enough. What’s the appropriate punishment for these dental students, and what’s going on at Canadian universities that some students think this kind of activity is acceptable?

5. Fantino Out at Veterans Affairs. After weeks and weeks of angry opposition calls for his removal, Stephen Harper switched up his cabinet by replacing Julian Fantino with Erin O’Toole as Veterans Affairs Minister, and demoting Fantino to Associate Minister of National Defence. Political necessity, or too little too late? Also, Harper finally granted Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne a face-to-face meeting. Is Harper being shrewd in lancing two boils on his record so early in the new year, and if it is, will it help his electoral fortunes?

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.

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