This week the city's news outlets rushed to follow CBC's masturbatory interracial sex fantasy story (black man claims he was recruited to have sex with white wife) while ignoring the true news scoop by Winnipeg Sun columnist Tom Brodbeck involving a threesome of Winnipeg's most influential men---Asper, Mayor Sam Katz and unelected Premier Greg Selinger.
Oh, not that kind of threesome. Sorry.
We meant a business arrangement involving the three men, as in getting into bed together to announce a new stadium for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and in the process screwing the taxpayer. As in the CBC sex "scandal", there is no sex. But there is plenty of scandal in Brodbeck's exclusive story.
"But Asper says the initial agreement that requires him to cover all cost overruns in the stadium deal is no longer valid if the cost of the project exceeds its original $115 million price tag," wrote Brodbeck (Somebody's gotta pay, Winnipeg Sun, Aug. 30, 2010).
Say what? Asper's pledge to cover cost overruns only existed as long as there were no overruns? Yeah, that makes sense, doesn't it?
He told Brodbeck, presumably with a straight face, that he never expected that the cost of construction would be more than the estimate. Construction costs were lower in the spring, he said. So by the time the deal was announced, on March 31, it was too late. The window was shut. The moment had passed. Coitus interruptus.
Asper didn't tell anyone the deal was off for another five months. Like all men, he was ashamed he couldn't perform. But now that tenders are out and expected to be at least $25 million more than the first estimate, Asper decided to come clean.
Forget it boys, he's telling his partners, Sam and Greg. You've got to cover the bill. I'll get the tip.
There's one part of the deal Asper doesn't want to change. He still intends to buy the Winnipeg Blue Bombers by paying $75 million of the cost of the stadium.
There's one problem with that scenario.
When the stadium cost $115 million, $75 mil was 65 percent. If the bill for the stadium is now $139 million plus, $75 mil is only 53 percent.
So Asper wants to buy the team at a discount. He doesn't live in Winnipeg anymore, but he's still looking for a discount.
You would think this story of reneging on a pledge and renegotiating a multi-multi-million deal on the fly would be big news. Especially since its part of a pattern with the Aspers. His sister Gail pledged the private sector would cover the cost overruns on the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, then as soon as there were cost overruns, she went running to Sam Katz and Greg Selinger's predecessor Gary Doer for a bailout. Then she stiffed the city on property taxes.
At last count, adding the cost overruns of the museum and the stadium, the taxpayer will be tapped for at least $50 million by the Aspers.
How much of any city tax increase will go to prop up these "Top 30" influential panhandlers?
In order to report the salacious details of black-on-white sex, CBC had to frame it as a question of "character", as in the woman who didn't have sex with the black man is a judge and it's the public interest to judge her character.
David Asper is a lawyer. He teaches students at the university of Manitoba. Shouldn't we examine his character?
Once upon a time a man's character was judged by how he kept his word in business. But that was then.
Now, maybe in the spirit of this week's 'new journalism', we can examine why he wants to spend $75 million for the right to sit in the Bombers dressing room and watch large naked black men walk out the showers, their ebony bodies steaming, their big, uh, muscles bulging.