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Showing posts from April, 2005

First Casualty of the Election

The election hasn't been called yet, already it's claimed the first casualty.

It's been apparent for weeks now that there has been a deep split at the Winnipeg Free Press between the editorial page and the editors of the newspages. One has been railing against the corruption exposed by the Gomery Inquiry and calling for an immediate election; the other has been promoting the federal Liberal party and local Liberal MP's at every turn.

Guess which was which.

Call us precient or paranoid, but The Black Rod was in the midst of writing about this scism at the very hour the stretcher was called onto the battlefield.

Wednesday, the paper made it clear it speaks with one voice, and that voice is not the voice of ex-Publisher Murdoch Davis, who has been unceremoniously shown the door. And with him, we expect, will go all those calls for the resignation of Paul Martin and his Liberals.

There can be many reasons for a change of top management, ranging from financial misdeeds to person…

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FIRES PUBLISHER MURDOCH DAVIS

Hold the presses!!

The Black Rod has just learned that the Winnipeg Free Press has parted ways with publisher Murdoch Davis.

Davis had been impossible for reach for days but no one could figure it out. Then this morning a high-level meeting resulted in the unceremonious dumping of Davis without so much of a "wish him well."

Morale skyrocketed among the ink-stained wretches of the newsroom when the terse memo was released today at 2PM. "Davis wasn't all bad", it was suggested. After all, he had managed to unload the former editor, the not-missed Nicholas Hirst, as well as longtime Sports writer Scott Taylor and editor Buzz Currie as fallout from the Taylorgate affair.

Co-owner Ron Stern pledged to "work more closely with the newspaper" and he made reference to the "fine team" at the broadsheet, in the short memo announcing Davis' departure.

Wags say the man on the spot is now incoming editor Bob Cox, hired by Davis mere weeks ago to fill Hirst…

EXCLUSIVE: "Daddy they're beating him up"

A ten-year-old girl holds the key to the story behind the shooting of Matthew Dumas by a City of Winnipeg police officer.

This young eyewitness has helped The Black Rod reconstruct the final five minutes of the troubled life of the teenager who died of a police bullet in January.

The story begins as Matthew Dumas ducked into the back yard of a house on Dufferin Avenue after managing to elude the police officers who were chasing him that afternoon.

Matthew had been unfazed by the huge signs proclaiming Beware Of Dog, and, indeed, by the big dog itself who was chained in the back yard and whose native name meaning "bear" accurately describes its size. The dog's barking aroused the home's resident who opened the back door to see what was going on.
He found Matthew, winded but calm, standing beside his back door. The youth asked if a certain boy lived there, certainly a ruse to explain his presence there. He had a cigarette in his hand and the home's resident gave him a …

CBC Helps The Black Rod Reconstruct Police Shooting

Last evening CBC-TV tried to restore the credibility of Terry Nelson, shattered by letters he wrote espousing anti-Semitism and full of demagogue threats. Suddenly revived was a story about a police shooting of a Native man this winter, that no one from MSM properly covered in the first place.

You will recall that Nelson was at the forefront of native leaders depicting city police as murderers, when 18 year old car thief Matthew Dumas was being apprehended as a suspect in an East Kildonan robbery.

Reporter Ian Flett took a camera to an unspecified address next to the shooting location, and interviewed an elderly native man who is a police witness. The witness, he said, stepped forward because there was something not right about what he saw and how the police chase ended.

CBC used the opportunity to once again allow an "expert" to blame the police for the death, and thereby revive the anti-police hysteria that Nelson whipped up in the first place.

The witness told CBC that Dumas …

THE ASPERVILLE HORROR Part 2: cue Terry Nelson

Just when you thought it was safe to go to the human rights museum....

The Aspers, a close family, working together to fulfill their dad's dream project, didn't see it coming. Fresh from a successful reveal of the striking design for the Museum that is to be their father's legacy, they thought they could relax.

But, as in all scary stories, that's exactly when something loathsome falls out of a dark closet. Cue Terry Nelson, or, as he is known in court circles, Roseau River Chief Terrance Nelson.

Terry Nelson has his own issues with the Human Rights Museum. And the Asper's have theirs with Terry Nelson, starting with the matter of a couple of letters containing extreme anti-Semitic viewpoints.

Terry Nelson called a news conference this week, ostensibly to apologize for the latest of those letters. We're sure the Aspers would have preferred that the apology not come on the heels of the good news about the museum, but better sooner than never. Right?

We watched the fa…

THE ASPERVILLE HORROR - UN Oil for Food scandal touches HR Museum

It had been a successful day.

The bold design for Izzy Asper's dream project, the proposed Canadian Museum for Human Rights, was met with kudos.

The federal government announced $100 million in funding, taking the budget over the hump. The last drops of champagne had been drained, the streamers pulled down and the banners for the museum were all packed away when the Aspers felt a chill trickle down their collective spines.

Like a scene out of the Amityville Horror, a sense of impending misfortune settled over the family. It was the Asperville Horror.

And it wasn't just the presence of federal Liberals stinking with the taint of corruption, kickbacks, cover-up and scandal. The sight of a large Liberal oozing sincerity as he promised to spend a hundred million dollars of taxpayers money to buy election support was only a foreshadowing of what was to come.

Yesterday, a dark cloud passed over the Asper project with the news that a member of the museum's National Advisory Council ha…

New Editor at the Winnipeg Free Press

Another exclusive for The Black Rod.

The Winnipeg Free Press is only hours away from announcing that Bob Cox is the paper's new Editor.

If the name sounds familiar, you have a good memory.

Bob covered the courts for the Winnipeg Free Press more than 20 years
ago. He also worked here as the local Canadian Press reporter a number of years.

He moved on to the Edmonton Journal where he worked with current
Free Press publisher Murdoch Davis. Davis obviously has a long memory, too.

Bob is presently the Night Editor at the Toronto Globe and Mail.

We welcome Bob's return and hope it will mean a better relationship between the FP and the blogosphere. Bob recently saw his name spread across cyberspace when he was asked by the Minneapolis Star Tribune to comment on the work of Capt. Ed in breaking the ban on publication at the Gomery Inquiry. We quote:

"Within hours of (the blog) being posted people found it and were passing it around," said Bob Cox, the night editor of the Toronto news…

FREE PRESS REPORTING LOST IN CYBERSPACE; Axworthy actually panned

The Black Rod originally posted March 10, 2005

There was a time you would read the newspaper and never once give a thought as to why they published certain stories.

The only reason it made the papers was because it was 'news'. If it wasn't, it wouldn't be printed. It stood to reason. They were professionals. They knew better than us what "news" was and what wasn't. And they were careful to separate the "news" from the paper's political leaning which was relegated to the editorial pages. We knew it was so because they told us it was.

Kinda quaint, ain't it. But that was newspapers PI---pre-Internet. We know better now.

This may be news to the Winnipeg Free Press where it is business as usual despite a recent dipping of a toe into the world of the blogosphere.

The Black Rod last commented on the shameless shilling of the Winnipeg Free Press in a post-budget, pre-convention Liberal love-a-thon.

We noted the many Liberal faces prominently being pr…

Spring Has Sprung; Crocus Scandal Blooms

originally posted April 4/05


The Black Rod

Ahh, you know spring has sprung when the Crocus Scandal blooms.

The Manitoba Securities Commission has announced a "statement of allegations" against the Crocus Fund board of directors. It says they "acted in a manner contrary to the public interest" in the way they handled the setting of the real value of shares in the fund last year.

The Crocus board can dispute and challenge these allegations at a public hearing set for May 6. Or they may choose to settle with the commission before then.

In the meantime, the statement confirms the sequence of events outlined in The Black Rod four months ago.

Now, when we take the details in the Securities Commission's release and mix in the names of the players that we identified in January, add in what we've learned since, and we get a much fuller picture of what occurred in the fall and winter of 2004.

And it's not a pretty picture. It's much worse than the newspaper stories …

Canada's Greatest Superhero; Adscam heads West

The Black Rod

A giant wave of names, dates, numbers, truths and lies is sweeping across the blogosphere and the mainstream media. It's threatening to overwhelm readers and reporters alike. But amidst all this turmoil, The Black Rod has managed to uncover the greatest secret of the entire scandal.

Read on. But keep this information from the prying eyes of American bloggers. They can't keep a secret.

Today's topic: Adscam's Greatest Secret Revealed
The true identity of Canada's Greatest Superhero
By day, he's meek, mild-mannered Mr. Dithers, a politician in a bad suit droning endlessly about health care.

But by night, he's transformed---into Capt. Wire Brush, foe of the foes of the Liberal Party, sworn to scrub clean every stain on Canadian politics.

Where once he dedicated his powers to fighting the horrors of unchecked carbon dioxide and the imminent threat of missile defence, he's now facing the battle of his life against the evils unleashed by his arch-nemis…