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 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:

Monday, January 05, 2009

Bad start to '09; spin replaces facts in New Year's car thief coverage

There's only one word to describe the controversial New Year's Eve beating of a car thief in St. Boniface---HOORAY.

Hear that, Keith McCaskill? Hear that, Davey Chomiak?


That's the sound of the public speaking. A public that's sick and tired of car thieves that roam the city knowing that they are virtually untouchable by the NDP's race-based justice system.

You don't like pictures of a car thief cowering in front of angry citizens? Get used to it, because there's more to come. The public is fed up with being told they getter get used to being victims because criminals have got "rights".

Well, now the decent citizens of Winnipeg are fighting for their rights to live in safety.

Hey, Gail Asper. You want human rights? They start right here, the right to defend your family, your property, your community, and your life. They start here, with the people, not with lawyers, not pompous professors, not cheap politicians, and definitely not the usual race-baiting hacks.

We wrote in The Black Rod's year-ender that 2008 was a watershed year for the mainstream media in Winnipeg, a year when their credibility went into the toilet. 2009 opened with them living down to every low expectation on the books.

They had different spins on the New Year's Car Thief story. Global News and CKY went for the knee-jerk racism angle. While the Free Press and CJOB took the stop-the-vigilantes tack.

The facts of the story were laid out for the reporters on where the story broke:

- A man leaving a New Year's party spotted someone trying to break into a friend's car.
- The man went back to the party to alert his friend.
- The men, accompanied by others at the party, ran outside and discovered the thief was trying to break the window of the first man's car.
- In the car was the man's terrified two-year-old son.
- The man's wife was either in the front seat or standing beside the car, screaming.
- The thief, undeterred, kept trying to get into the car.
- The group of men tackled the thief and held him for police.
- He tried to get away and the men had to use force to make him stay put.

When the police arrived, they took the man into custody. He didn't need to go to a hospital and he was "quite drunk", police said. They released him without charges, despite the fact that his attempt to smash the car window was seen by up to half a dozen witnesses.

Oh, and he was "aboriginal" in appearance.

The partygoers were not vigilantes, as the FP and CJOB tried to paint them. They were not a group roaming the streets looking for people they thought might be casing cars to steal them. They were law-abiding citizens who saw a crime being committed and risked their own safety to stop it.

They went to the defence of a woman and her child. They held the thief for police. They did exactly what good citizens are expected to do.

So how does the news media threat them? As criminals. And how do they treat the criminal? As a victim, to be pitied. How long will it be before Gordon Sinclair starts raising money for the, ahem, alleged thief?

Except for the Winnipeg Sun, the other professional reporters overlooked the fact of the terrified little boy in the car.

The year has barely begun and there's another classic example of how the MSM filters out inconvenient facts when they're pushing their own agendas.

This wasn't a racist incident. The citizens didn't beat up the thief because he was native. They beat him up because he was a thief who didn't want to wait for the police to arrive to arrest him.

But, but, but....what about the awful pictures? And that awful thing they wrote?

Two photos of the thief were posted on the internet.

They were so outrageous that they were printed in the daily newspapers and broadcast on t.v.

That's right, they were deemed perfectly acceptable to be seen in the family newspaper and on the family-friendly television news.

So, what's the beef about the pictures, again?

The only mistake they made was not to post a good closeup of the thief's face so that the neighbourhood could see who he was and keep a watch for him in the future.

The posting about the incident was headlined: us 1 - dirty indian thief 0

That's what's given the race-baiters the ammunition they needed. The knee jerk reaction of Global and CKY was, of course, to put the "thief" above the "us" in their reporting.

Dirty Indian Thief is, indeed, a slur. Not at Indians. At Indian thieves. It's an expression of contempt. And thieves should be held in contempt.

If the race-baiters are upset at a reference to the "dirty indian thief", then they should do something about the people responsible for the stereotype---the Indian thieves. Instead, they enable the thieves by making excuses for them (gangs are like families; they're only stealing your car because their mothers had to go to a residential school; it's poverty, man, its hard to get a day job when you're up all night selling dope and getting your neck tattooed).

The city is full of racial slurs of one kind or another. Snotty WASP. Paki cabbie. Jew lawyer. Don't we wish a world where the worst slur was Indian lawyer and not Indian thief?

And how much snot do WASP's have that makes this a definable characteristic?
Dishonourable Mention:
The worst reporting of the New Year's Car Thief was on Global News. Their first story (
now on Youtube) was a classic of bad journalism, starting with the fact that nobody at Global knows the first thing about blogs and bloggers. They think that anyone who posts on the Internet is a blogger. is a message board, not a blog.

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