So how's that Gagliano appointment going over in Denmark?

Not so good.

"Canada Sends Fired Minister To Denmark," said the respected daily Berlingske Tidende, repeating Canadian reports that Mr. Gagliano's own preference was to be Canada's man at The Vatican. In other papers he was the "Demoted" Gagliano, and the "Fired Minister."

"Instead of being sent out in the dark, he was sent to Denmark," said one report. His new job, sniffed the Ekstra Bladet, was an "insignificant posting."

Gee, that doesn't seem very hospitable, does it? If they objected to Gagliano they should have raised an objection privately in the normal diplomatic manner, right?

Ignoring a fundamental tenet of diplomacy, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien announced Mr. Gagliano's appointment in Ottawa without privately advising the Danes first.

The names of nominees are supposed to be mentioned to the host country beforehand, to ensure they have no objections and thereby avoid any unnecessary public spats between capitals.

In Mr. Gagliano's case, the Danes were presented with a done deal, whether they approved of a scandal-tinged former minister or not.

When asked about the Gagliano appointment, a Danish official shot back: "you mean the nomination."

Well, you know those Canadian papers, always giving Mr. Chretien a rough ride. Let's see what the Danes think;

Demoted to Denmark : 18. januar 2002

Oh well. We know that he didn't do anything wrong, and that's what's really important.

Special Note: You really should read the whole article by Bruce Wallace at the Citizen, it's rare to see a newspiece that obviously was as much fun to write as it is to read. He goes on at length about the future working conditions of Mr. G. - lots of laughs

Memo to Susan Delacourt and Susan Riley

Brian Tobin on "Family".

"He feels it was an act of betrayal. There was no reciprocal loyalty from Chrétien,"

"When Chrétien was in trouble on Shawinigate, Brian was there, but when the going got really tough for Brian -- the boss wasn't."


You gotta love those whacky environmentalist doodz.

Five wildlife researchers are facing the possibility of federal charges after they planted bogus hair samples from the threatened Canadian lynx in two Washington state national forests.

If the samples had convinced authorities that the extremely rare cat was present in the forests, a host of measures dictated by the Endangered Species Act would have swung into motion, hampering everything from logging to hiking.

A spokesman for the Endangered Canadian Lynx(s) said, "Thanks for nothing, Assholes!"

Link via David Janes

It's back to the Bailey thing again...

Sorry if I'm boring anybody but this just offends me. Guess what today's National Southam Editorial is... ?

You guessed it. The manufactured story about Ray Bailey. I'm ticked off. I sent a letter to the editor of the Star Phoenix yesterday, I also exchanged emails with the Globe & Mail reporter who covered it urging him to look closely at the origins of this story, I sent an email to the Globe's Op/Ed editor about writing an opinion piece on this... the results so far? None.

Well, I'm going to keep talking about it and run the risk of being labeled a complete crank. Look what complacency has brought us.

A good opinion piece in the Gazette about Raymond Villeneuve.

Mr. Villeneuve, speaking in interviews Wednesday, said Mr. Macpherson and the other three people - journalists Josh Freed and Tommy Schnurmacher and Liberal MLA Jacques Dupuis - are "hostile to the Quebec people." He said, "I am the only one who says, 'Shut your mouth.' If they don't, by insulting us, they are going to provoke a revolt, a rebellion, terrorism."

Police are "investigating" his threats. What requires investigation is an open question. His threats were published on his own website, they have been widely reported, he has not denied them, and he repeats them at every opportunity. Where's the damn mystery?

Dr. Laura Schlessinger passes the torch

A psychiatrist whose phone-in radio show is billed as "the biggest group therapy in Quebec" has run afoul of the province's College of Physicians for describing drug addicts as "human rot" and mocking a battered woman who called seeking help.
Sharing Frank magazine an 'evil' act, Bishop says

The split between the church and the hellhole widens...

HALIFAX - A Roman Catholic bishop in Nova Scotia has warned his followers that reading Frank magazine, the notorious, satirical weekly published here and in Ontario, is a sinful act.

"When I buy Frank magazine and pass it around, I am doing evil for I am sharing in the sin of detraction and/or calumny [slander]," Bishop Campbell wrote on Dec. 26.

Gee, I wonder if this guy has been getting any grief from Frank?

Three years ago, he secretly ordained a number of priests affiliated with the Army of Mary, a Catholic sect outlawed by the Vatican. The secret ordinations created anger among some existing clergy in the diocese.

Last summer, all but two of Canada's 93 active Catholic bishops condemned the Army of Mary as a heretical order and urged its adherents to quit. The order's foundress has claimed to be a reincarnation of the Virgin Mary.

That would tend to attract attention.

Bishop Campbell manages to draw a parallel between Frank Magazine and John Walker, American Talib. It's the return of Tali-bashing.


I wonder if this one will get the full court press?

Denis Coderre has got off to a rocky start as Canada's new immigration minister, having to apologize for once saying that immigrants and refugees who support sovereignty should be deported.

Speaking to a partisan crowd in the north-end riding of Bourassa that he now represents, Coderre said he "would never allow a person to whom we have offered political asylum, because they were in danger of death in their country, to come and spit on our flag and advocate the separation of Quebec. Sometimes I would like to call into question the deportation law and send people who spit on my flag back to their own country."

Think you'll see this story repeated across the Southam chain? Survey says..... Not in this life, pal.

I know I said I was done with this Bailey thing but... well, I'm just a filthy liar, I guess.

There is a column in the Star Phoenix today which includes a transcript of the original telephone conversation. All along I have been kvetching and carrying-on about that pesky little (as) that was inserted into the Bailey quote and it turns out that the Star-Phoenix has decided to excise that offending little conjunction in today's version of the interview.

Q. Why, you don't like Rey?

A: No, Rey can't handle it. No, Rey's background is in Asiatic and southeast Asian minister and that type of thing. He is not aware of veterans or veterans' affairs.

No more 'as' on the Star-Phoenix site but it's repeated in the National Post, the Ottawa Sun and the Toronto Star. The quote is even further enhanced at the Globe & Mail.

The Globe has the quote as,

"That really breaks my heart," Mr. Bailey was quoted as saying. "I can't believe what you're telling me. Rey can't handle it. Rey's background is in Asiatic [affairs] and [as] southeast Asian minister. He's not aware of veterans and veterans' affairs."

The addition of [affairs] actually serves to clarify Mr. Bailey's meaning but the question remains; how far down this 'clarification' road can you go and still claim to be quoting the man?

Bottom line; the Star Phoenix altered Mr. Bailey's quote so that they could accuse him, in a headline, of calling Mr. Pagtakhan "Asiatic". There is no more need to repeat the accusation because Mr. Bailey has clearly gone on to shot himself through the foot and the story has taken on it's own momentum. Thanks to our wonderfully converged media, people from coast to coast have been reading about Mr. Bailey's "Asiatic" slur. A slur he never made. But nobody really sweats the details when you're talking about an intolerant old bastard from the Canadian Alliance.

A couple of days ago I suggested that Howard Wilson was beginning to show a hint of backbone on the Gagliano file. Apparently, I got one right.

After watching his recommendations to strengthen the federal Conflict of Interest Code gather dust for almost a year, the Ethics Counsellor yesterday called on the Liberal government to adopt changes within 120 days.

That way, according to Howard Wilson, the 39 members of the new Liberal Cabinet would have to respect tougher conflict rules as part of their existing obligations to comply with the code within four months of taking office.

The remarks by the Ethics Counsellor, who has been widely criticized as being powerless and ineffective by opposition MPs and academics, suggest he is growing frustrated about the government's reluctance to move on the issue.

Chretien, of course, simply shrugged it off.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister gave no indication he was in any hurry.

"Mr. Manley has a responsibility to look into these recommendations. I've seen them ... and we'll have something to say when we'll be ready," Mr. Chrétien told reporters, repeating comments he made almost a year ago.

The story makes it clear that Mr. Manley has not put Wilson's recommendations at the top of his priority list but it's the surprisingly direct language of Mr. Wilson that surprises me.

The Ethics Counsellor, who reports to Mr. Chrétien, said he is seeking a meeting with Mr. Manley as soon as he returns from his foreign trip.

"These recommendations have been under consideration for some considerable length of time and I think that, in essence, Mr. Manley is very, very familiar with the issues at play here," Mr. Wilson said.

"Once you've decided you're giving responsibilities for Crown corporations to Mr. Manley, this makes great sense, doesn't it, to have him deal with it," Mr. Wilson added.

"So, I look forward to what I think will be quite a productive discussion with him upon his return. We have 120 days before we finalize everything [for new Cabinet ministers]. I am not anticipating any major difficulties," he said.

It's the fact that Mr. Wilson has put a timeline on the matter that should cause Mr. Chretien concern. Having Mr. Wilson go overboard, whether you push him or let him jump, is going to look very very bad for Chretien. Good on ya, Howard. You keep up growling like that and you might lose that 'lapdog' label.


My very last post on this... I promise.

I got a chance to hear some of that Star Phoenix tape just now, there's an audio report here. Just as I suspected, the original interview, the one that launched this whole debacle, rates only a mere snippet in the story. About twenty seconds of tape, carefully edited, still doesn't make the case. Bailey doesn't even hesitate at the point that was changed in the original quote, his comments were straightforward and unambiguous; "Rey can't handle it. No. He's been... Rey's background is in Asiatic and SouthEast Asian Minister and that type of thing. He is not aware of Veterans and Veteran's affairs."

That's the whole of the quote and there is nothing, no pause, no hesitation, not even a hiccup, that would account for an alteration of that quote. The alteration was made so that a plausible claim could be made that Bailey had called Pagtakhan "Asiatic" and based his opposition on that "Asiatic" condition. The quote that started this entire mess is a blatant misrepresentation and that misrepresentation still stands as the headline at the Star Phoenix.

I find it interesting that the remainder of the linked report consists of comments made to the CBC rather than the additional comments that were made (and misrepresented?) by the original reporter. The CBC reporter, presumably more experienced in the subtle art of leading spooked and defensive subjects to their doom, managed to elicit more damaging comments from Mr. Bailey which likely will leave a permanent smear on his name. His comments about where Mr. Pagtakhan lived during the war, while having the quaint attraction of truth, are political suicide. It matters not that you think yourself a tolerant man, you've noticed a difference and remarked upon it and that is the end of it all. Just to be clear, I think Bailey's reasoning is poor and likely does indicate intolerance. I just wonder at the process that turned that hot light upon him and I wonder how many of us can look straight into that light without blinking. It seems to me that Bailey's fate comes of being a poor liar who was bested by a good one.

A sad, sad display.
Pierre Bourque, to his credit, is YELLING AGAIN. This time he is giving the bii-iig headline to Ray Bailey's version of events. As expected, Bailey argues that he was commenting on political experience as opposed to ethnicity when he coined the new term; "Asiatic". Regardless of all that, Bailey did offer an apology to Pagtakhan late today in a telephone conversation. There was no apology offered to Bailey's high-school English teachers. Reportedly, Pagtakhan has accepted the apology and I guess there's nothing more to say, is there?

I think so.

In the latest revision of this story there are a few new twists.

Steve Gibb, editor of the StarPhoenix, said a retraction is not forthcoming.

"We stand by the story as it was reported," he said. "I've listened to the tape and it's reported verbatim."

Pagtakhan, who learned of Bailey's letter late Wednesday, said "I believe in the media. Why would they create a story?"

Good question, Rey. I called up Steve Gibb this afternoon to see if I could hear the tape. I ended up speaking to James Parker, the writer who first penned this scurrilous little piece, and he assured me that transcripts of the tape are going to be published. I asked if he would play me the tape. I told him I was particularly interested in the part where he had inserted the '(as)' into Bailey's quote. He actually started to scan through his tape for a moment and then, either frustrated or reluctant, asked that I call back in a few moments. I did so and, lo and behold, he no longer wanted to play the tape. Way to stand by that story, guys. Parker told me that the tape would be made available to the media (CTV if I recall correctly) but I haven't heard of it yet.

Meanwhile Grant Hill, a genuine bigot, almost took flight in his haste to get away from Bailey's comments...

"Those comments are completely, totally, 100-per-cent unacceptable in an inclusive party, one that branches out to every aspect of Canadian society, and that's the Alliance," he said Wednesday.

But Alliance deputy caucus leader Rahim Jaffer, while saying the comments as they were reported were "obviously unacceptable," suggested the paper got it wrong.

"It seems to be that could have happened after seeing the transcript."

Hunh? That sounds like an expression of support, I think. Perhaps the Alliance should forget about all the sensitivity training and spend a little time on remedial English. ( Insert Joke about Chretien here )

Anyway, I expect this whole thing will fade away rapidly, another quick and dirty smear job on the Alliance. The Bailey 'miscue' will be dredged up again in a couple of weeks or months as part of the accepted lore about those intolerant western rednecks. And only the most hard-line Alliance supporters will ever question the conventional wisdom that's been manufactured today.

Sure enough, the National Post has picked up that psudeo-story about Racist comments. Someone a little more talented at innuendo has polished it up, but the central, and deliberate, confusion is carried forward intact. Alliance MP Bailey was discussing political experience but it's all being cast as a racial slur and the whole thing hinges on a single word (as) that was simply inserted into a quote to change it's meaning.

A storm is brewing over a Canadian Alliance MP's controversial comments that the new veterans affairs minister may not be up to the job because of his "Asiatic" background.

Bailey is quoted as saying. "I can't believe what you're telling me. Rey can't handle it. Rey's background is in Asiatic and (as) southeast Asian minister. He's not aware of veterans and veterans affairs."

This rewrite is a little more cautious but every bit as dishonest.

On the radio, just now, the announcer reports that Bailey claimed 'He can't do the job because he's Asian.'

Manufacturing dissent - it's something to see.

Quite a surprising story from the Montreal Gazette. Raymond Villeneuve, that lovable terrorist kook, has been throwing around the threats again.

Don McPherson of the Gazette writes;

This column was supposed to resume in yesterday's paper, but I was otherwise occupied on Monday, filing a complaint with the police.

The complaint is against Raymond Villeneuve, the 1960s Quebec terrorist, convicted killer and professed admirer of the Sept. 11 terrorists who is notorious for attempting to intimidate and incite violence against "enemies" of the sovereignty movement.

I am the latest target of Villeneuve's fascist tactics, along with two other journalists and a member of the National Assembly. The other journalists are fellow Gazette columnists Josh Freed and Tommy Schnurmacher, and the MNA is Liberal Jacques Dupuis.

Villeneuve threatened us with violence in an "open letter" sent to me by E-mail on Dec. 30 and published in the current edition of La TempÍte, the newsletter of Villeneuve's Mouvement de LibÈration Nationale du QuÈbec, a copy of which was faxed to the Gazette on Jan. 1. They arrived while I was on my winter vacation and were waiting for me upon my return on Monday.

Can't someone take this moron off the streets before he kills someone? It's obvious that he has no appreciation of his own situation (He's awaiting sentencing on other intimidation charges at the same time he's making new threats) and he obviously feels justified in doing murder. Why isn't this asshole rotting in jail already? Why did we all swap away bits of our own freedoms late last year? We were told that it was all for the greater security against the terrorist threat. Here we have an unapologetic, convicted, terrorist running around threatening Journalists and Politicians unimpeded. If this guy doesn't represent a threat to public safety, who the hell does?

Villeneuve's letter has apparently been removed from his own site but a copy can still be found at thenewforum.ca for those who are comfortable in French.

Pierre Bourque FREAKS OUT!

over another boneheaded statement by a Canadian Alliance MP. Is this really the best story this guy can find today? And does it really require a screaming headline more fitting for a five alarm fire? It's usually fun to point out bias but stuff like this is just too fricking obvious.

Update: Bourque's alarmist headline points to a headline that is simply dishonest.
The Heading reads as follows;

'Asiatic' unsuited for veterans post: MP
Alliance member questions appointment of Filipino-born MP

The story is extremely erratic in it's use of quotes and the headline makes the dishonest suggestion that the Liberal MP was labeled as "Asiatic" by the Alliance MP. That's not what happened though. The Liberal MP is Rey Pagtakhan, who was born in the Philippines. The Alliance MP is Roy Bailey.

Here's the longest direct quote of Bailey in the whole story.

"That really breaks my heart. . . . I can't believe what you're telling me. Rey can't handle it. Rey's background is in Asiatic and (as) southeast Asian minister. He's not aware of veterans and Veterans Affairs."

That's not a slur against Rey Pagtakhan, it's a comment about his previous portfolio which was indeed Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific). This reporter is either terribly confused (by an admittedly awkward bit of phrasing) or he is being dishonest. The parenthetical 'as' in the quote indicates that it was added by the reporter or an editor in an apparent attempt to clarify meaning. In this case, it is a deliberate misrepresentation of what was actually said. Baily was discussing Pagtakhan's political background, not his ethnicity. This is slimeball journalism.

There is lots more.

Prime Minister Jean Chretien made a mistake when he appointed an "Asiatic" as veterans affairs minister, Canadian Alliance MP Roy Bailey said Tuesday, in remarks that were condemned by the new minister, a member of the Filipino community and another opposition MP.

The condemnation by the member of the Filipino community does not appear anywhere in the story. Perhaps the reporter simply ran up against a deadline and forgot to solicit one - pretty sloppy 'bigot' manufacturing.

Following is every direct quote by Bailey in the order they appear;

"The Chinese chap?" the Saskatchewan MP said when told Filipino-born Rey Pagtakhan was appointed to Veterans Affairs.

So he confused his ethnicity. Insulting? No question. But Pagtakhan had no objection when Chretien told Chinese law students that Pagtakhan "looks a bit like a Chinese."

Bailey, MP for Souris-Moose Mountain and the Alliance critic for Veterans Affairs, said Pagtakhan is "not originally Canadian" and thus unqualified to hold a position that requires an extensive knowledge of Canadian history.

Why does the reporter not specify his own question? I don't think three words - deliberately stripped of context by a reporter who's already demonstrated dishonesty - should carry a story. But those three words are the whole basis of this smear piece.

When asked if the veterans affairs minister should be a born-and-bred Canadian, the 73-year-old former farmer and teacher said: "absolutely. I'm not a veteran. But I lived through all of World War II and I take a great interest."

Second verse, same as the first; The reporter does not quote his own question and the given answer is meaningless without that context.

Then we have the condemnations by Pagtakhan and NDP Member Dick Proctor who apparently are responding to the reporting journalist's version of what was said which may, or may not, be related to what was actually said by Bailey.

Our intrepid reporter finishes with the standard Alliance smears, dredging up the ghost of Bob Ringma for good measure.

It's bad enough that crap like this gets printed. Why do we have alleged professionals like Bourque screaming like banshees to try to generate buzz over a cheap piece of kneecapping journalism. Can Bourque not differentiate between news and hatchet jobs?

Shoddy, shoddy, shoddy.


I know I shouldn't have done it, but I read another Larry Zolf column tonight. This time I responded on his discussion board because posting a link over there didn't work the last time. Anyway, here's what I wrote.

Larry Zolf is not merely bad, he is utterly horrible. Is there no person in the whole of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation who could spend half an hour going over this dreck before it is published for the entire world to see? I hardly know where to start with this guy; his condescending attitude would be easier to understand if he occasionally said something insightful or germane. But this random, rambling litany of slurs and bigotry is not even internally consistent.

I'll simply pick a paragraph out of the middle of the damn thing; it might be the thesis of the thing, it might not be... who the hell would know? In any case it seems as good a point as any to jump in.

LZ: "The Gagliano Affair may be a bigger boomerang for the Alliance than the re-anointment of Stockwell Day. The Gagliano Affair is already on the rim of Italian- and Quebecois-bashing. The Gagliano Affair only plays well to the anti-immigrant, anti-ethnic, anti-Quebec sentiments of Anglo rural strongholds the Alliance already holds."

This statement, as if it were not jaw-droppingly offensive enough on it's own, comes after a dozen tail-wagging paragraphs about the masterful Liberal manipulation of those dopey ethnic voters. Gee Larry, do you think your contention that 'ethnics' are that stupid and unprincipled might be a little offensive in itself? "Never mind honesty, integrity, competence or criminality. I want a candidate who looks and sounds just like me." To then turn around and accuse Gagliano's detractors of being 'Quebec bashers' and 'Italian bashers' is almost stunning in it's dishonesty.

Zolf complains that Andrew MacIntosh, the National Post reporter, keeps rattling off "Quebecois" names as if MacIntosh had chosen the names himself. Never mind that these folks are stuffing their pockets with public funds, MacIntosh is in the wrong for using their names!

The rest of the column is filled with gratuitous insults; Jon Grant has a 'Dudley Do-right complex', Alliance supporters are bigots, Alexa McDonough is a 'shrill ally of the Alliance'. Indeed, it seems that only Larry Zolf and those clever, race-baiting Liberals are worthy of the slightest respect. Here's the thing, Larry, most Canadians are disgusted by people like you; partisan cheerleaders who squirm and flirt while the crooks divvy up the spoils. The only sin is losing, eh Larry?

Mohammed Ali invented the rope-a-dope but Jean Chretien perfected it. After lying on the ropes for weeks and months, Chretien came out swinging late in the 12th round and, I'm sad to say, he takes the round and the match, and lives to fight another Day. The cagey old bastard. I was watching his post-fight interview late this morning and I actually caught myself cheering him on when he started pounding on the media. Don't get me wrong, I despise Chretien and everything he represents, but you have to admire his mastery of the political game. Watching Chretien today, it's plain that he's not going to be pushed out by any of the lightweights batting at him now.

Tomorrow, I'm going to join the PC party. It's time to stop dicking around and actually build a political opposition in this country.

While he looked like Muhammed Ali for a little while today, everyone knows that Chretien has the heart and soul of a Mike Tyson.


Here's another Tobin prediction from TheNewForum.ca. I have to think that this guy has it pretty much pegged.
Damian Penny emailed me with the news about Tobin just now... He and I had a similar reaction to the news. I made a daring prediction in my reply to Damian, I think Tobin will return to public life within 20 - 36 months. Anyone else care to predict the time (or circumstance) of Tobin's resurrection?

Now that I'm here anyway, I'll take the opportunity to make fun of Warren Kinsella again. You might have noticed the XXX BANNED! XXX link to the left. It was my way of trying to generate a little traffic for poor Warren who still can't interest anyone in that horrid defence of the Aspers he wrote a couple of weeks ago. Now, the man who's made a very small name for himself as a proponent of censorship, has fallen back on the old 'Banned in Boston' marketing ploy in a last-ditch effort to get someone to read the damn thing. The 'censorship' charge is doubly-laughable since the article in question is an argument (badly written and horribly reasoned) that the Aspers are not themselves engaged in censorship. Is this guy serious? Is it self-parody? Satire? Irony? Perhaps it's one of those infinite regressions, like a mirror within a mirror or an old Aunt Jemima package.

Man, this guy's got more layers than Shrek.

UPDATE - Never mind. Warren has something new up today. It's about healthcare so I didn't even read it.

What The Hell????!!

I wasn't planning on blogging today but, when I saw Brian Tobin (all grave and noble) announcing his resignation tonight, I was drawn to the computer like a magnet to a refrigerator. What the hell brought that on, d'ya think?

Brian assured everyone (without even being asked) that this was not a 'strategic or political' decision. I'll give him credit, he kept a straight face while he said it. I'll believe that Brian Tobin is a former politician the day I read his obituary. Even then, a notarized copy of the death certificate might be required to stifle any lingering doubts. The guy had a two word message to impart (I quit) and still the half hour that the CBC allotted for his press conference was inadequate to the purpose. They had to cut away from his performance to go to the news at the top of the hour. I've seen Hollywood Starlets who were less drawn to cameras then our man Brian.

Given all that, I think Brian is a very smart and slick politician (do not mistake that for praise) - I'd like to think that he is leaving Ottawa out of a sense of self-preservation. The first rat deserting the sinking ship, so to speak... But that is almost too optimistic. More likely he is simply making a strategic retreat for the next little while. There are an awful lot of elbows flying in the Liberal party these days and a man of his stature could get a wicked black eye.

All in all, a pretty interesting development.


I just got an email from Rick Glasel

I just tried this link to Cuthand's columns
and I got a "404 Object Not Found". I don't know how many of his columns
were kept on the server, but it looks suspicious.

I'll say. I couldn't even find a reference to that page through the Leader Post site. Nothing on the Columnist page at all.

Cuthand is still listed as a Columnist at the Star Phoenix but there is nothing but an intro in his section. I wonder how much longer that will be there?

When I lived in Saskatoon, I would occasionally read one of Cuthand's
columns. I didn't agree very often with what he had to say, but in
Saskatchewan, you really need a different native perspective than what the
FSIN (Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations) spits out. The
Star-Phoenix and the Leader Post are two of the smallest newspapers in the
country (in terms of column inches) so I would think they would like to run
regional content whenever they can get it, just to fill the paper
out. Hey, if Cuthand wrote a really inflammatory piece of BS about the
Palestinians, imagine the outrage across the country and how many more
newspapers they would sell.

I just don't think the Aspers know the newspaper business very well. I was
never a fan of Conrad Black, but he either knew the newspaper business very
well himself, or he hired people that knew what they were doing.

I agree. I think that Black had his flaws (how's that for understatement?) but he isn't looking quite so bad in retrospect, is he?

Still More on Southam

The Gazette's new editor, footballer Larry Smith, sounds like a man more in the Asper mold.

He said having a consensus on six to eight national issues in the newspapers is crucial to the country's future.

"I have the same feelings as (the Aspers) do," he said. "The feeling is this: on certain national issues, we have to have a national consensus that goes right through this country so that the country itself will have a strong position on certain issues.

"Unfortunately, historically, we may have had national issues that were fragmented regionally, so that we would never have a national position."

[emphasis added]

Talk about your true believer! Larry thinks the future of the country is riding on national editorials from Canwest. I think even the worst Canwest detractors describe this policy as only one problem among many. What an awesome responsiblity Mr. Smith has taken on!
Him and Izzy and the boys are going to save this country, by gawd!

The fellow that got his column spiked by Southam is contradicting Murdock Davis about who rejected the story. This is from the transcript of an As It Happens piece. 'DC' is Douglas Cuthand, the man who came out on the losing end.

CBC: And how did you find out that the papers weren't going to run it - was it both papers, Regina and Saskatoon?

DC: Yes it was, both papers. Well, what happened was that I e-mailed the thing in like I always do on Thursday, and Friday morning I opened up the paper and looked in there. They just ran some wire copies in its place, and so when I got to work I called over to the newspaper to see what happened. I kind of suspected that something was up, so I very naively said 'did you get my e-mail?' or something like that.

CBC: And what did they say?

DC: Oh, they said that somebody - either Regina or Saskatoon, probably Regina - had sent it down to Winnipeg, and it went across the desk of, I guess Murdoch Davis is the editor-in-chief down there, and they pulled it. And apparently they found out in Saskatoon here at 9:00 that night. And of couse they have an evening press run, so they had to really scramble to throw something on.

CBC: Was there any reason given to you by Mr. Davis?

DC: No, none whatsoever. I didn't even talk to him, I just spoke to the local people here.

CBC: And did they tell you that they had been given any reason?

DC: No.