Skip to main content

Smug Free Press labels Winnipeggers scairdy-cats via self-sourced "news"

Without any fanfare, the Winnipeg Free Press has blazed a trail towards a New Journalism, one which abandons the outdated reliance on informed sources for stories.

Instead, the FP has instituted a journalism where reporters simply cite themselves as the experts on issues.

It's so simple, why didn't anybody think of this before?

Take the full page devoted Saturday to the news that 78 percent of Winnipegers are scared to go into certain parts of the city.

"A city of fraidy cats?" boomed the editorializing headline across the TOP NEWS page.

Half the page was a story written by Aldo Santin about a Canada West Foundation survey of the citizens of seven of the country's larger cities from Vancouver to Toronto. It found that Winnipeg was tops in the number of residents who agreed with the statement "There are parts of the city I am scared to set foot in."

The second half of the page was a story by City Hall reporter Bartley Kives who wrote, and we paraphrase, that Winnipegers who are worried about crime are too stupid to know how good they have it here. He quoted himself as the authority for his story.

For those purists who insist on a second source, he threw in a quote from another Free Press reporter.

Kives flashed his street cred---for four years he's lived in West Broadway which, a decade ago, the Free Press once called "Murder's Half Acre", whatever that means.

The bad areas of town aren't as scary as people think, he wrote. If someone steals your child's bicycle or your barbeque, it's your own fault. "---actively seeking to prevent a civic duty."

Winnipeg just has an undeserved bad rep on crime. Sure, car theft is "out of hand" but the murder rate "is a pile of hooey... no statistical significance whatsoever."

Which should come as a surprise to the statisticians who thought by reporting murders per 100,000 population, they were making a useful comparison of the relative safety of communities. It took a Free Press reporter to set them straight.

Winnipegers who feel crime here is worse than other centres should need to travel more, said Kives. Crime is worse in Vancouver and Toronto.

And Detroit, we bet, only he forgot Detroit.

"The notion this city is actually one of the most dangerous in Canada is mildly insane."

Uh, whatever. Maybe we'd listen to this argument if anybody has actually compared Winnipeg to other cities in Canada or the world. Which they didn't. Neither did the Canada West Foundation survey. But it's a great Straw Man to knock down and Kives gave it a good licking.

His coup de grace was in citing "my colleague, Dan Lett" who "brilliantly wrote in his blog 'the plural of anecdote is not data'."

Well, so much for the exercise in New FP Journalism. Kives and his "brilliant" colleague Dan Lett couldn't be more off base.

Kives set up his sole source story by claiming "a survey suggests we think our city is more dangerous than it really is."

He got it wrong right from the get-go.

Winnipeggers know their city is more dangerous than it ever was.
That's the point.

Kives and Lett are willing to accept the "new normal".
Winnipegers not working for the Winnipeg Free Press are not.

- Crack dealers operating openly on Portage Avenue in front of Air Canada Park is not normal.
- Teenagers carrying concealed handguns is not normal.- Fights used to mean fists and bloody noses. Now it means knives and dead bodies. That's not normal.
- Girl gangs trying to beat a girl to death on Main Street is not normal.
- Stolen cars used as weapons to ram into innocent motorists is not normal.
- Gang shootouts in residential areas is not normal.
- Prostitutes walking the same residential streets is not normal.

These are all signs of urban disorder which scares people for good reason.

But, but, but...the statistics....Oh, you mean the "data" that trumps the anecdotes of crime. The "data" that shows the crime rate is falling, that arrests are down, that there's less crime than last year.

* Who keeps data on the number of crack houses on your street?

* Who keeps data on the number of gang members in your neighbourhood?

* Who keeps data on the gang graffiti that blankets your part of town?

* Who keeps data on the threats made to honest homeowners?

* Who keeps data on the number of crack needles and used condoms found on the boulevards when the prostitutes pack it in for the day?

* Who keeps data how often a motorcycle gang member drives by to collect his drug money?

* Who keeps data on the number people wearing gang colours that pass your house each day?

* Who keeps data on the garage break-ins, bicycle thefts, and car vandalism that are never reported because it's no use, the police don't care and it's cheaper to write off the loss?

* Who keeps data on the knives pulled on students to intimidate them?

* Who keeps data on the number of criminals out on bail, on probation, on house arrest, in breach of recognizance in the house across the street or down the block?

* Who keeps the data on the number of children who see ambulances arrive to pick up the bodies of murdered people?

But every single incident is an "anecdote". A story that's told to someone and repeated to someone else. A story that paints a picture of a part of town. Together the anecdotes make up the life of the city, a life that escapes the criminologists in their offices in Fort Garry as they pour over the "data."

Maybe the brilliant Dan Lett should have tempered his own cleverness with the rule of thumb that real scientists never forget: GI = GO.

Garbage in equals garbage out.

And what readers of the Free Press should never forget, is that City Hall Reporter Bartley Kives believes that anyone who thinks crime is a serious issue is either deluded or promoting a hidden agenda. His "reporting" will reflect that view.

Even if he has to quote himself to prove it.

Popular posts from this blog

The unreported bombshell conspiracy evidence in the Trudeau/SNC-Lavelin scandal

Wow. No, double-wow. A game-changing bombshell lies buried in the supplementary evidence provided to the House of Commons Judiciary Committee by former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould. It has gone virtually unreported since she submitted the material almost a week ago. As far as we can find, only one journalist-- Andrew Coyne, columnist for the National Post--- has even mentioned it and even then he badly missed what it meant, burying it in paragraph 10 of a 14 paragraph story. The gist of the greatest political scandal in modern Canadian history is well-known by now. It's bigger than Adscam, the revelation 15 years ago that prominent members of the Liberal Party of Canada and the party itself funneled tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks into their own pockets from federal spending in Quebec sponsoring ads promoting Canadian unity. That was just venal politicians and a crooked political party helping themselves to public money. The Trudeau-Snc-Lavalin scandal is

Crips and Bloodz true cultural anchors of Winnipeg's aboriginal gangs

(Bebo tribute page to Aaron Nabess on the right, his handgun-toting friend on the left) At least six murder victims in Winnipeg in the past year are linked to a network of thuglife, gangster rap-styled, mainly aboriginal street gangs calling themselves Crips and Bloods after the major black gangs of L.A. The Black Rod has been monitoring these gangs for several months ever since discovering memorial tributes to victim Josh Prince on numerous pages on, a social networking website like Myspace and Facebook. Josh Prince , a student of Kildonan East Collegiate, was stabbed to death the night of May 26 allegedly while breaking up a fight. His family said at the time he had once been associated with an unidentified gang, but had since broken away. But the devotion to Prince on sites like Watt Street Bloodz and Kingk Notorious Bloodz (King-K-BLOODZ4Life) shows that at the time of his death he was still accepted as one of their own. Our searches of Bebo have turned up another five ga

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. There, we said it.

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. Oh, you won't find anyone official to say it. Yet . Like relatives trying to appear cheery and optimistic around a loved one that's been diagnosed with terminal cancer, the people in power are in the first stage of grief -- denial. The prognosis for Hydro was delivered three weeks ago at hearings before the Public Utilities Board where the utility was seeking punishingly higher rates for customers in Manitoba. It took us this long to read through the hundred-plus pages of transcript, to decipher the coded language of the witnesses, to interpret what they were getting at, and, finally, to understand the terrible conclusion.  We couldn't believe it, just as, we're sure, you can't--- so we did it all again, to get a second opinion, so to speak.  Hydro conceded to the PUB that it undertook a massive expansion program--- involving three (it was once four) new dams and two new major powerlines (one in the United States)---whi

Nahanni Fontaine, the NDP's Christian-bashing, cop-smearing, other star candidate

As the vultures of the press circle over the wounded Liberal Party of Manitoba, one NDP star candidate must be laughing up her sleeve at how her extremist past has escaped the scrutiny of reporters and pundits. Parachuted into a safe NDP seat in Winnipeg's North End, she nonetheless feared a bruising campaign against a well-heeled Liberal opponent.  Ha ha.  Instead, the sleepy newspeeps have turned a blind eye to her years of vitriolic attacks on Christianity, white people, and police. * She's spent years  bashing Christianity  as the root cause of all the problems of native people in Canada. * She's called for  a boycott of white businesses . * And with her  Marxist research partner, she's  smeared city police as intransigent racists . Step up Nahanni Fontaine, running for election in St. John's riding as successor to the retiring Gord Macintosh. While her male counterpart in the NDP's galaxy of stars, Wab Kinew, has responded to the controversy over

Exposing the CBC/WFP double-team smear of a hero cop

Published since 2006 on territory ceded, released, surrendered and yielded up in 1871 to Her Majesty the Queen and successors forever. Exposing the CBC/FP double-team smear of a hero cop Some of the shoddiest journalism in recent times appeared this long August weekend when the CBC and Winnipeg Free Press doubled teamed on a blatant smear of a veteran city police officer. In the latest example of narrative journalism these media outlets spun stories with total disregard for facts that contradicted the central message of the reports which, simplified, is: police are bad and the system is covering up. Let's start with the story on the taxpayer funded CBC by Sarah Petz that can be summed up in the lead. "A February incident where an off-duty Winnipeg officer allegedly knocked a suspect unconscious wasn't reported to the province's police watchdog, and one criminologist says it shows how flawed oversight of law enforcement can be." There you have it. A policeman, not

Winnipeg needs a new police chief - ASAP

When did the magic die? A week ago the Winnipeg police department delivered the bad news---crime in the city is out of control. The picture painted by the numbers (for 2018) was appalling. Robberies up ten percent in  a single year.  (And that was the good news.) Property crimes were up almost 20 percent.  Total crime was 33 percent higher than the five year average. The measure of violent crime in Winnipeg had soared to a rating of 161.  Only four years earlier it stood at 116. That's a 38 percent deterioration in safety. How did it happen? How, when in 2015 the police and Winnipeg's police board announced they had discovered the magic solution to crime? "Smart Policing" they called it.    A team of crime analysts would pore through data to spot crime hot-spots and as soon as they identified a trend (car thefts, muggings, liquor store robberies) they could call in police resources to descend on the problem and nip it. The police