On-line lefties outraged that the Globe employed Rick Salutin for only 19 years

On-line lefties outraged that the Globe employed Rick Salutin for only 19 years

In the fine tradition of Toronto summer projects, the Globe and Mail has been working hard at renovating its aging exterior into something modern and new. This means more than just new paper and a different shape; some of the content is changing, too. Rick Salutin, the paper’s left-most voice for most of the past two decades, is being shown the door. (Naomi Klein had an occasional column, we recall, and Tabatha Southey could always be counted on for a little lefty fun, although the rumour is that she’s out, too.) Muslim über-contrarian Irshad Manji is being given his spot. Needless to say, this has some people outraged. The campaign to save Salutin’s spot is under way, and it all started with a blog post by Murray Dobbin:

Each time I saw that column in the Globe – a hard-line neo-liberal paper in most ways – it allowed me to believe progressive voices were still part of the mainstream debate – a place at the table that we might be able to expand. The sheer breadth of his commentary is amazing – economics, politics, culture, cities, philosophy, the nation. And in all of it he was an original thinker – not “derivative of anyone” as some else said today.  He challenged, provoked us into thinking beyond conventional progressive ideas and ways of seeing. He was tough but never shrill and rarely really angry – just dead on the money. When you read Rick Salutin you feel like you still live in Canada.

That the Globe would fire him is indicative of the final stage of the Canadian political and economic elite’s betrayal of the country’s traditions and values.

Really? We thought maybe it was just a relatively common marketing decision in an industry that’s desperately trying to stave off obsolescence with new ideas and products. But national betrayal sounds plausible, too.

People like Salutin have a lot to be confident about in this business. They’re well known enough to remain in high demand even if a long-time employer lets them go. If Salutin wants to keep writing, it’s hard to imagine he’d have a hard time finding work—and we hope that he does does (find work, that is).

• Reinstate Rick Salutin [Murray Dobbin’s Blog]
• Protest launched over firing of Globe and Mail’s Rick Salutin [Straight.com]
• Rick Salutin out as Friday Globe columnist [The Coast]
Rick Salutins Last Words [The Tyee]