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:

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Swan is 1st, CBC was last, and what's new with Waub and Gary

We were surprised to see Minto MLA Andrew Swan as the first out of the gate to announce he wants Gary Doer's job as leader of the Manitoba NDP and Premier of the Province.

The first to step forward is always the sacrificial lamb, the least likely to succeed.

We thought for sure it would be Thompson rep Steve Ashton. He hasn't got a chance of winning, but he's the North's favourite son. Even after conceding, he could always claim he was a winner for forcing northern issues on the party's agenda.

Instead, Swan showed his political acumen by reaching for the Loser's ring first.

Swan is a cabinet minister, the Minister of Competitiveness, Training and Trade. That job is so irrelevant he can abandon it in the middle of a recession at the drop of a hat and nobody cares. Quick....who was the Minister of Competitiveness, Training and Trade before Swan?

Riiiiight. It was Scott Smith, who found the experience his ticket to obscurity.

The biggest asset Swan brings to the race is his rep as Gary Doer's chief cheerleader. Remember Spirited Energy? Even after the public laughed the slogan into irrelevance, Swan slapped on his Spirited Energy cape and annouced he was going to spend $2 million to expand the campaign to the rest of the country.

And when Opposition leader Hugh McFadyen said in the last election he would work to bring the Jets back to Winnipeg, Swan said the only one who could accomplish that was Gary Doer!

We'll give him this much, right now he's leading in the Muppet vote, given he's a dead ringer for Beaker.

At Swan's announcement, he was supported by the NDP's contingent of Strong Women---plus Erin Selby. What a public slap in the face to Greg Selinger, another cabinet minister on everybody's list to run for the leadership.

Here's the the public face of the NDP's women MLA's, including two cabinet members, who don't think Selinger is the best choice to lead the party. They prefer a divorce lawyer who spent 14 years driving wedges between couples. That's gotta hurt.

You know what hurts? Giving CBC-TV news a big boost and watching them fall on their faces.

CBC got thumped badly in the story du jour Wednesday, the arrest of a woman for nearly beating a baby to death in Gilbert Park. In horse racing terms they were the 'also ran.'

CKY had the best coverage. Global didn't do badly, but announced they were withholding the baby's name because Child and Family Services "might" be involved. Yeah, that's what we want; a television station that gives us less information.

And, what's this? The CBC's Waub Rice voiced an entire story without his trademark sing song inflections. Has somebody been taking voice lessons?

Have you noticed how everyone in the MSM is avoiding the obvious? Prior to taking up his new job in Washington, Gary Doer has had, shall we say, a little work done? His famous snaggle-toothed grin is gone, replaced by some even, pearly-white choppers. And it's not your imagination, he does look younger, courtesy of a slight nip/tuck that lifted those jowls 10 years.

The big question is....did the Mrs. get something too?

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