The Long Way

The Long Way header image 1
March 18, 2021  

Free Speech in a Toxic Culture (S03 E03)

March 18, 2021

Danielle Smith

Feature guest: Danielle Smith, a journalist and commentator based in High River, Alberta.

Free speech in a toxic culture – communicating across political divides – these are among the biggest challenges of our times.

It’s not just a problem in the United States. It’s a problem in Canada too.

"In my first five years on radio, if I made an error, I could correct it in the next segment," journalist and commentator Danielle Smith tells The Long Way host Daniel Proussalidis. "I always felt some sense of comfort about that forum because I had people holding me to account and I would never stray too far away from the truth. Seeking the truth is most important to me. But what has happened in the last year is that ... the avenue to have that broad range of discussion has narrowed. There are certain groups or individuals that if you have some kind of embarrassing tweet that goes viral on Twitter, all of a sudden your entire reputation is destroyed and that is not somebody you can ever have on your show again. It's considered that 'oh, they're too radical' because they had that Twitter embarrassment. And so when you have that, you end up with a narrowing and narrowing of the number of people that you're allowed to talk to."

In this episode, Smith explains why she gave up a successful radio show on AM770 in Calgary and said goodbye to thousands of Twitter followers earlier in 2021. If you want to know more about what Smith does next in her media career, she's sure to post it on

Also in this episode, field reporter Peter Stockland brings us the story of a very accomplished journalist, Brian Kappler, who hasn't given up on social media but has put it on a strict diet. Plus, you won't want to miss Kappler's thoughts on what he calls "junk journalism" in Canada. And somehow, Peter managed to shoehorn in a reference to Tom Brady in their conversation.

Have some thoughts to share? Write to host Daniel Proussalidis at And don't forget to like, subscribe to, comment on, and share The Long Way wherever you get your podcasts.

Theme Song: Dream Background Beat by MSVoy |

Music promoted by

Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-ND 3.0)