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Tom Flanagan

13 May 2014 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The noted academic and former advisor to Stephen Harper, Tom Flanagan discusses his new book, Persona Non Grata: The Death of Free Speech in the Internet Age (Signal, 2014), and more, with Joseph Planta.

Persona Non Grata: The Death of Free Speech in the Internet Age by Tom Flanagan (Signal, 2014).

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: Persona Non Grata

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at TheCommentary.ca.

Tom Flanagan joins me again. He’s just published a new book, Persona Non Grata: The Death of Free Speech in the Internet Age. It chronicles the fallout from what he calls, ‘The Incident,’ the subsequent media firestorm, the denunciations he received from the Prime Minister’s Office, through to the Premier and leader of the opposition in Alberta, who he had advised in the previous provincial election campaign. On 27 February 2013, Professor Flanagan was giving a talk on the Indian Act, when he was asked a question about child pornography. His response was recorded and posted online resulting in a virtual mobbing that put him out of work, and gave people who saw the clip the impression that ‘Tom Flanagan was okay with child pornography.’ The book looks at detail as to the conditions to which this became a media melee, and the resulting damage done to his reputation. The book is also highly readable and engaging when talking about the threat to academic freedom he suffered, and the unpacking he does as to his views on child pornography, which a clip online couldn’t possibly explain. Tom Flanagan is a professor of political science at the University of Calgary, and a former advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He is a scholarly author, and one of popular books that have won prizes, including the book he was on with last time, some seven years ago, Harper’s Team, which I must say is one of the better books on politics in this country, especially in its insight into political campaigns, especially those campaigns of the last decade that brought Stephen Harper to the fore. This new book is a Signal Book published by McClelland & Stewart. Please welcome back to the Planta: On the Line program, Tom Flanagan; Dr. Flanagan, good morning.