The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have since 2005, adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL:

Thursday, November 09, 2006

CBC's new anchor; We're called names; MSM blind to WAG crimewave

CBC has a new host. PC youth leader calls us names. Crime engulfs downtown Wpg. but MSM is blind.

Don't touch that dial.

We're proud to announce the new host of CBC Television's supperhour news show is... Janet Stewart.

Yes, that Janet.
She of CTV's supperhour news show.

CBC's motto for the new millenium is obviously "if you can't beat 'em, hire 'em."

Janet didn't have to audition through CBC's host-for-the-week process. She's a known quantity, though recent focus groups said they weren't thrilled with what they knew. With her contract running out, and management playing coy, the jump was easy, even if it is a jump down to the lowest rated news show in town.

CBC is hoping that channel surfers, spotting a familiary face, will stick around---at least until they realize they don't recognize any of the reporters and begin wondering if they've enterered a parallel dimension.

If Krista Erickson left any of her leather outfits behind (if Camilla Di Giuseppe decides to leave one of hers on the CKY coat-rack instead of hauling them all to Calgary at months' end), maybe we'll be seeing a new side of Janet Stewart very soon.

It didn't take long to get a response to The Black Rod's take on the recent Tory annual convention (

None other than Tory youth leader Shae Greenfield wrote in, with, shall we say politely, a fiery blast of venom.

For someone who just ran for school trustee, and who shows a healthy interest in politics ( Liberals federally, Progressive Conservative provincially ) diplomacy is not his strong suit.

Usually we treat emails to The Black Rod with the utmost confidentiality, but since Shae has posted his reponses on his own Internet website, we feel released from that constraint, although we have redacted his email address.

He also forgot to post our follow-up question to him, and you can ask yourselves why.

Shae Greenfield wrote:
Date: Wed, 08 Nov 2006 20:17:25 -0600
From: Shae Greenfield
I am not the PC Youth President, but the Past President. And given the fact that Gary Doer is the Premier of Manitoba, I see no corrolation between my intention to leave the province and Mr. McFadyen's leadership of the party. If anyone can be faulted, it would be Mr. Doer who has failed to make Manitoba an attractive place for a young person such as myself who is currently seeking opportunities to grow in his young career.
Shae Greenfield
----- Original Message -----
From: Black Rod
: Wednesday, November 8, 2006 9:10 pm
> When were you replaced and who is your successor? As of this
> minute according to the PC website, you're the boy-er, the man.
> Hugh McFadyen Leader Brent Pooles President Bob
> McGregor Past President Jennifer Zyla First Vice President
> Grant Cooper Second Vice President Shae Greenfield PC Youth
> President Ken Lee Treasurer Peter George Dyck PC Caucus
> Chair Destiny Watt Secretary

Shae Greenfield wrote:
Date: Wed, 08 Nov 2006 21:23:19 -0600
From: Shae Greenfield
Subject: Re: RE: RECENT POST
To: Black Rod
I am well aware that the site has yet to be changed. Nevertheless, I am not the PC Youth President. Your indepth journalism astounds, really. Checking a website. Good on you. That must have taken hours of digging. Isn't that the sort of garbage you whine about incessantly from the Free Press. Of course they at least have the courage to put their names to their work. Perhaps some day I can get a job at a trashy Winnipeg bar and that way I can be a journalist, like yourself.

You are a cheap hack, and worse, a coward. Please leave me out of your posts in the future.

Shae Greenfield wrote:
Date: Wed, 08 Nov 2006 21:50:16 -
: Shae Greenfield
Subject: Re: RE: RECENT POST
To: Black Rod
I also would love for you to explain how my decision to look for opportunities abroad is the fault of the Leader of the Official Opposition. It's nonsensical. There's no logical connection between the two. Hugh McFadyen is not the Premier. If you are intent to attack Hugh incessantly - as you have clearly indicated - again, I would ask that you keep me out of it. As per usual, you know nothing about what you are talking about.

If I seem combative and aggravated, it's because I am. You anony-bloggers are a bunch of gutless scum. If you want to mention my name, mention your own, you coward.

We find it interesting that the most fervid supporters of Hugh McFadyen never want to discuss the issues, choosing instead to launch personal attacks on anyone who doesn't toe the party line.

But worse, we lament the level of reading comprehension in our college-educated youth.

The Black Rod simply pointed out that Hugh McFadyen's promises to keep youth in Manitoba falter when his own youth leader is preparing to leave as soon as he gets his degree.

If he doesn't have confidence in his Fearless Leader, who should?

There's an old saying that, given the obvious problems with reading comprehension, youth may find confusing: Do as I say, not as I do.

We're also still waiting to find out when Shae Greenfield stopped being the PC Youth President.
He, for some reason, failed to tell us.
Nor did he answer who has taken his place.

Oh well, we guess in the Tory and Liberal parties, for Shae straddles them both, insults trump facts any day.

A regular reader directed us to this story on a local discussion forum:;action=display;num=1162858600;start=0

Under the heading First Hand Account, we read this from poster casualchris:


So my girlfriend and I, and two friends decide to take in the Harry Manx concert at the WAG last night (which was very good BTW) and we parked on colony behind the building and when we came out, the WHOLE BLOCK of cars, probably 12-15 had windows smashed and contents stolen/strewn about the boulevard. In the end, all that was lost was (we think) was a satalite radio, roughly 20 cds, and the case. Pretty good IMO because she makes a point of not leaving too many valuables in the car.

But the thing is clearly this was someone who knew the occupants would be away for a couple hours and they figured it was a low risk thing to do. I'm guessing they've hit that spot before.

So I get to thinking, why should I not park there sometime during an event like that and lay on the back seat floor and wait for these MF-ers with a bat and deal with this the old fashioned way. Clearly nothing else will be done to ensure this doesn't happen again because from the sounds of things it goes on everyday without much deterent.

Not a word of this has filtered through to the MSM.

Yet this is exactly the problem facing the city and the downtown.

Each and every one of the people attending the WAG that night told their relatives and their neighbours what happened, and no amount of Spirited Energy advertising will overcome the facts on the ground.

An isolated incident?
Consider these posts flowing from casualchris....

burber wrote:
I'll bet the theft was just for fun. My brother's wedding was at the WAG.....some out of town family parked on Colony. Big surprise, they returned to their car to find all 4 tires slashed, nothing stolen

mrchristian wrote:
I've heard from friends before that have been targeted en masse on that strip while at Art Gallery events - seems to be a regular spot. It makes me wonder why the GALLERY itself doesn't take some ownership of the issue. Either have signs or a volunteer out there pre-event suggesting it's not the best place to park, have a volunteer or security person patrolling the strip during the show or, as it's a dark and isolated part of the street behind the gallery, install huge freaking lights form their property and light that strip up like it's 12 noon.

It should be a concern to them if it happens that often in the same place.

It should be a concern for every citizen of Winnipeg.

Crime downtown is out of control. The news media don't know it because they aren't downtown ( what about CTV and CBC and CITY-TV ? - ed.) We guess nobody has called a news conference to tell them.

The editor of the Winnipeg Free Press calls reports like these from citizen journalists "no better than graffiti under a bridge."

Coming from a newspaper that fabricates quotes to bolster its dipping circulation, his sneers rank as high praise from a wounded and frightened relic of the past.

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