Memo to Newstalk 1010: Appealing to Appeal to Authority is just really bad logic twice over. Why opinionists need a clue.

The "Roundtable" on Newstalk 1010 is supposed to opinionists spewing opinion about a wide-range of subjects. Most of which they know nothing about, really. But if we were to confine people who weren't experts from speaking, very few of us would get to say anything at all.


News is about fact, but there is way too much opinion that has diluted the product. The Roundtable is a prime example of factual dilution: a host fires off a headline, and then everyone at the table gets to put their own take on the matter.

But this morning's edition was peculiar as it was pathetic. The topic was why the federal finance minister had sold shares in a company shortly before a policy announcement had negatively impacted shares of said company. The minister had no answers to give during session.

That's an important topic to discuss, and air time would be better served digging and finding out more about this incident. There may be numerous scenarios, but unless we have facts, it is difficult to say what the truth and reality of this situation is really all about.

But when one panelist expressed his concern that the process of disclosure may be flawed, leftist propagandist Scott Reid had a peculiar reaction to it: he appealed to authority, stating if Canada has these rules and do other countries, what made the panelist qualified to question it?

Really, Mr. Reid? Once upon a time countries around the world sanctioned slavery, genocide, homophobia, and treated women as property -- and saw it as normal and righteous.

Are you saying all those who questioned their governments were wrong in doing so?

Well, yes, of course he is. When you try to shut someone down with an idea that people shouldn't question a traditional way of conducting business because they are not experts, then you are being a tyrant. Once upon a time, it was acceptable to ban women from voting and running for public office. Many countries around the world also banned women from voting.

Did a woman require a PhD to challenge the government?

Don't be stupid.

Citizens are supposed to question those in power around the world. That is their civic duty.

And if you truly believe that only experts should be allowed to open their mouths, then resign from your little gig on Newstalk 1010 and don't open your mouth again.

Mind you, I am not of that ilk. Sometimes experts miss the obvious, and it takes an outsider who is not corrupted by the confines of the discipline to take a look around, and ask the important questions the experts missed because they were too in love with their positions, perks, and book smarts to notice.

And we always need free ideas for the world to progress and grow, regardless of who asks them.