The Winnipeg Free Press appears to be gearing up for the next federal
election by hiring the most strident hater of the Conservative Party they could
find to join their editorial department.
This past weekend Samyn announced that "we have a new editor
responsible for the perspectives you will be reading both in print and on-line.
Shannon Sampert, an expert in Canadian politics and the media, joins our
newsroom from the University of Winnipeg...Shannon becomes the first woman to
oversee our editorial pages. I think Dafoe would be proud."
Shannon Sampert was no stranger to The Black Rod (more about that in a
minute). We more-or-less ignored her in her teaching job at the U of W, but when
we learned she was in a position to influence public opinion through
manipulation of the city's largest daily newspaper, we decided to look closer at
the slant she's likely to bring to the editorial pages "in print and
In 2000, Sampert was the vice-president of communications for the
Alberta Liberal Party. But that was a long time ago and indicative of
nothing more than a decade later. Or was it?
In her Twitter profile Sampert describes herself as "left-of-centre."
Read on to see through her Tweets what's considered left-of-centre in academic
and MSM circles:
Shannon Sampert @PaulySigh · 2 Feb 2012
under #Harper, the earth is flat and the sky is yellow and truth is what Sun
News tells us.***********
Shannon Sampert @PaulySigh
· 20 Jan 2012
hell freezes over. I agree with CPC. @WinnipegNews:
MacKay puts the kibosh on order of 20,000 stress balls http://bit.ly/Ay9Buk
Shannon Sampert @PaulySigh
I regret that the rest
of that reads: his newser but for a minute my hopes were up. RT@natnewswatch: Wow, Harper is
Shannon Sampert @PaulySigh · 13
Air Canada should have sick days when #cpc MPs are trying to fly
home. #missedopportunity #ac
11:21 AM - 2 Apr 2012
Shannon Sampert @PaulySigh · 2 Apr
Vic Toews goes to the hospital by ambulance because of the flu. I am
fighting my sarcastic urges right
Sampert re-tweets a lot of other
people's messages, and one of her favorite commenters is Stephen Lautens, of'
Toronto, who describes himself on his Twitter account as "recovering lawyer,
passionate & progressive moderate... occasional columnist..."
See, from her re-tweets, what passes as a "passionate moderate" in
Retweeted by Shannon Sampert
@stephenlautens · Jul 19
#putharperonthestand (put harper on the
stand...ed.) and watch him burst into flames as he swears to tell the truth.
@stephenlautens · Jul 27
Harper renames Therese Casgrain
Volunteer Awards the "Prime Minister's Awards." In related news, Boy Scouts
renamed "Harper Youth" #cdnpoli
Harper Youth/ Hitler Youth. Get it?
Always a knee-slapper
at Sampert's house.
For real insight into how classy this guy is, see what he wrote
following the sudden death of former Conservative Finance Minister Jim
(TO BE CLEAR, THIS APPEARED ON LAUTENS' TWITTER SITE AND WAS NOT
RETWEETED BY SHANNON SAMPERT.)
i'd be willing to pay for a lot more state funerals for
Conservatives. A lot more... #cdnpoli
— Stephen Lautens (@stephenlautens)
April 11, 2014
Another of Sampert's favorites is Dan Gardner. She loves the guy.
We know because she told everyone so.
Shannon Sampert @PaulySigh · 15 Mar 2012
I've decided I
love @dgardner -- the man speaks the cynical
Here's what to expect on Middle East
coverage when Shannon Sampert gets control of what goes into the Free Press
/dgardnerDan Gardner @dgardner · Jul 17
illustrated. Later on the very day that four children are killed, the CPC tweets
Conservative Party @CPC_HQ
Through fire and water, Canada will stand
with Israel. Add your name if…
What about local news? Sampert tipped her hand here too.
8Thank god property
taxes have gone up. It's ridiculous how little I pay. I'd rather see better
transit, snow removal and paving
Shannon Sampert @PaulySigh · 26 Apr 2012
If Wpg police
want more officers and another helicopter, watch for the release of scare tactic
"stats". #bewary #beingplayed
Sampert didn't rise to the bait when someone tried on Twitter goading her
with accusations of being a lesbian. But she did show her real attitude
towards men with this re-tweet.
2:41 PM - 28 Feb 2012
Retweeted by Shannon Sampert
Danger @_Roxie_ · Jul 25
"@sassycrass: I'll say it again: most men don't
learn misogyny as misogyny. You learn it as Being A Man."
And Shannon Sampert appears to be a regular reader of The Black Rod.
Black Rod Blog is calling the MSM handling of the expirey date comment against
Neville a drive by smear. Pot calling the kettle black!
11:32 AM - 2 Apr 2011
That's not surprising given as how we gave her her first major ink
in this city six years ago in an article titled 'Mayor or Moose.' It's
still one of our best.
But given her new job at the Winnipeg Free Press, the details of the
humourous story take on a more sinister shading. It appears Sampert is a
fan of censorship and of intimidating others who don't share her extremist
She'll fit right in at the FP.
The Black Rod was also on the mind of FP columnist Dan Lett yesterday.
jumped into a comments thread to deliver a fine rant against our story
pointing out how badly out-of-touch the Winnipeg Free Press was with
the public in Winnipeg:
Here's a sample:
8:43 AM on 8/11/2014
are supposed to take notice when some anonymous blogger agrees that
the racist comments made by another individual are justified? Someone
who wants to portray downtown as a place where people are regularly
terrorized by the panhandlers?
on folks. I can assure you that I spend more time downtown that most
of you. My spouse works right downtown. Having grown up in a larger
city that I still visit regularly, I can tell you that big cities are
all about the collision of affluence and abject poverty. It's one of
the predictable, lamentable facts of bloody life. But terrorized?
...Winnipeggers are such big babies about the panhandling threat.
wants to be asked for spare change by someone who may be under the
influence of some substance. It's uncomfortable and awkward. But to
characterize downtown as some sort of war zone - who is really employing
the hyperbole here.
line - congrats to the one anonymous dude who uses his posts to plug
the other anonymous dude's hateful commentary. Another blow for
transparency, accountability and public debate.
hee. You might take this seriously if you didn't know that Dan Lett,
the Winnipeg Free Press Golden Boy, just made up his own facts.
Nowhere did we say that anybody was "terrorized." Read the story for yourself. Lett just made that up.
set up a straw man, punched him, kicked him, poked him in his
imaginary eyes, knocked him down, jumped on him while pounding on his
own chest and shouting "Look at me. I'm so tough."
hee. You know why somebody has to fight a straw man, don't you. It's
because they can't win an argument, so they need a diversion.
pretending to beat up an imaginary man of their own invention, they
get to pretend they're winners, not loooosers. Hee hee.
did Danny think we wouldn't spot this: "I can assure you that I spend
more time downtown that most of you." You see, there's a reason why
Dan spends so much time downtown, and it's not because he's hyping the
Free Press News Cafe on McDermot.
Dan's wife, Becky Lett, is a librarian. And, whooo, there's a library downtown.
would have a better front-row seat to the drunks downtown than a
librarian? Maybe Becky Lett can tell us why the downtown library
stations security guards at the top of the stairs leading from the
overhead walkway? Or why the police do walk-throughs the library so
often. Or, give us more details of the threats on the life of a
security guard who was removing riff raff (an event reported in the
Winnipeg Sun and repeated in The Black Rod).
C'mon Dan, Let's hear the skinny about downtown directly from your wife Becky.
you recall, was one of those who went to great lengths to excuse the
racist attitude of NDP cabinet minister Eric Robinson.
was only in paragraph 19 of a 20-paragraph story that Lett allowed
himself to use the word "racist." He spoke about "inflammatory email
remarks" and a "charged, racially motivated comment" before finally,
reluctantly, concluding with "allegations he is a racist."
he had no hesitation calling 'racism' on the private, non-government,
observations of the wife of a mayoral candidate that Lett wants
Funny how that works, isn't it.
Press can smear with impunity those they want out of office, while
excusing the most egregious behaviour from those they want in.
That's professional journalists at work.
a brief aside, while Dan Lett was defending Eric Robinson for his
attack on white people who tried to improve the lives of Indian, Lett
was keeping very, very silent about an event that had been held at the
FP News Cafe.
You see, nine months earlier, the News Cafe hosted the star of the very fundraiser that prompted Robinson's racist comments.
Here's how the newspaper hyped her appearance:
The temperature is falling outside but it was heating up at the Winnipeg Free Press News Café Thursday afternoon.
Miss La Muse, a local burlesque dancer stopped by to discuss an important fundraiser for Osborne House.
from the sale of Foxy Shoppe Calendar will be given to Osborne House,
which provides a safe and supportive environment for women and children
who are experiencing domestic abuse.
A calendar launch party is being held at The Foxy Shoppe at 87 King Street from 7-9 Friday evening.
Miss La Muse also put on a short performance at the cafe. Watch a replay here.
Labels: Dan Lett, Free Press, Shannon Sampert