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, August 11, 2011

News nobody else is going to tell you

Ditch what you think you know about the melee in Osborne Village last weekend which resulted in shots fired and the stabbing death of one man.

There's lots the police aren't telling the public. Here's some of it:

You've heard that the incident involved an estimated 50 people. You haven't heard that it involved a confrontation between one group of Asians, Vietnamese in appearance, and another group, East Indian in appearance.

Each of these groups was about 15 in number. The rest of the people on the street were bystanders.

The night had been unusually testy in the Osborne Village Inn, with scuffles breaking out in the line to get in, and on the dancefloor. At closing time, the patrons spilled out onto Osborne as usual, but instead of dispersing, they coalesced around a face-to-face confrontation between two men.

One man accused the other of having stabbed his brother a year ago. The sides formed and trouble was in the air. Bar staff stepped in, trying to diffuse the tension by talking to the individuals who were most agitated to calm the situation down enough so that everyone could go their way without a fight.

Then shots ran out.

Who fired, we don't know.

But it transformed the confrontation into a screaming mob looking for escape. One of those running for his life was 27-year-old Baljinder Singh Sidhu. Word is he saw his salvation in a taxi nearby. He jumped into the cab, but, before it drove off, a group of men literally dragged him out of the vehicle and began stabbing him outside the Happy Cooker, located in the former Bank of Montreal building on Stradbrook at Osborne.

He broke free of them and ran for his life across Osborne back towards the bar for help. He never made it. He collapsed, and died on the sidewalk.

Apparently much of the action was captured on cell phone video, but how much of that made its way into police hands is the unknown factor. Nobody has been arrested for the stabbing death of Baljinder Singh Sidhu yet.

There's another fugitive on the lam, and this one is a real cur.

His victim: none other than petite CBC television news host Janet Stewart---among others.

It seems that earlier this summer former CKY sports director Steve Vogelsang was hosting a farewell party at his house after retiring from his job as journalism instructor at Red River College. Among the guests was Janet Stewart.

During the evening, Vogelsang's dog leaped up and chomped down on Stewart's face, the bite coming dangerously close to one of her eyes. With blood gushing down her face, she was rushed to hospital. Despite treatment, the gash got infected. You may have noticed her absence from the newscast for weeks; it wasn't a vacation.

Shocked partygoers were discussing the event when they suddenly realized something---they had ALL been bitten by the same dog at one time or another.

As Janet Stewart was convalescing, Vogelsang packed up his wife and his dog and bid farewell to Manitoba for his new home in Nelson, B.C.

The only description of the fugitive--canine in appearance. Breed unknown.

H/t to A Friend.
It's said "revenge is a dish best served cold". They forgot to add that it tastes like four-month old crow.

Global News engaged in the most reprehensible form of gotcha journalism during the last federal election by "reporting" (and we use that term as loosely as possible) nothing less than a drive-by smear on Conservative candidate Shelly Glover.

On Monday, more than four months after their cheap shot hit their newscast, they apologized, saying, we quote "“proper journalistic checks and balances were not adequately followed and that [Shelly] Glover’s quotes were taken out of context.”

Actually, they still tried to wiggle off the hook by headlining it as clarification, but there's no mistaking the grovel in the statement.

Here, in full, in case you missed it, is the apology to Shelly Glover from Global News. The unforgivable illiteracy and errors are in red.

Global News: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 9:45 AM
.An important clarification and apology regarding a story we first reported on this program on Monday, March 28th. The report centered on excerpts from an interview with Shelly Glover, Conservative M-P fir St. Boniface. During the interview, Mrs. Glover commented on then Liberal MP, Anita Neville's performance, saying she had "passed her expiry date."

In our story, we inaccurately suggested that Mrs. Glover's comments meant she thought Ms. Neville was too old for the job when Mrs. Glover never made any comments related to age.

A review of the complete interview transcript supports Mrs. Glover's assertion that she was
reffering only to Neville's performance in Parliament on behalf of her constituents.

Our story, which ran during the federal election campaign, resulted in some harsh criticism for Mrs. Glover, which was unjustified. Global News Acknowledges that in this case, proper journalistic checks and balances were not adequately followed and that Mrs. Glover's quotes were taken out of context.

A full transcript of the interview with St. Boniface M-P Shelly Glover is available here:

Nelly Gonzalez: What do you think the concern is? We know that most Manitobans here usually vote conservative in many of the ridings. But there is a couple that could be up for grabs. We know Anita Neville, there's a mystery candidate there. If it's going to be Joyce Bateman or other names... What do you know about that and what do you think the chances are for the party to regain that seat in Winnipeg Centre?

Shelly Glover: Well I think Anita is in trouble, I've only been in parliament for two and a half years Nelly and I'll tell you, there are a lot of shenanigans going on in parliament. And we need some fresh blood, we need some new people, who come with some new ideas and who are going to really stand-up for their constituents and I'm afraid Ms. Neville has passed her expiry date. Her constituents are constantly coming to my office because the can't receive service in French, because they can't receive phone calls back. I think Ms. Neville is going to be defeated. I can't tell you who...

Nelly Gonzalez: Because you know who the candidate is and you know this person well?

Shelly Glover: Well I do know who the candidate is, but the person is not a candidate of record as of yet, we're just going to have to wait until that plays itself out. But as I say I think the philosophies of our parties and very different. We stand by what we say. We don't flip flop, when we say we're going to do something we actually do it. The record of Anita Neville's party is not a record similar to ours. They have a number of issues from the past to address. Because they've said one thing and done another. I mean things, like the gun registry. It's a big issue, I know a number of emergency workers, police officers in that riding who are definitely coming out and I’ve had a number of police officers come into my campaign office unexpectedly saying we want to make sure that gun registry is taken care of. It's a waste of $84 million and they would like to see that money go to something far better than a piece of paper that tells you whether or not somebody’s actually filled out a form saying they've got a gun so I think Anita Neville is done, I think Raymond
Smart (sic- it was Simard)is going to try his best but I think these constituents are definitely going to stick with me.

© Copyright (c)
Readers of The Black Rod read the transcript of the full interview way back in March and could see for themselves how biased Global's reporting was.

The collateral damage of Global's gotcha journalism was to the reputation of reporter Nellie Gonzalez who did the interview and had to watch it used out of context to push a false story. Has Global apologized to her?

And speaking of apologies...

Will Dan Lett, Winnipeg Free Press columnist and, em, blogger, apologize to Shelly Glover as well? He attacked her in support of the Liberal Party of Canada, going so far as to psychoanalyze what she was thinking.

Now that the source of the story he was citing has admitted it was 100 percent wrong, will he do the honourable thing and issue an apology?

Bwahahahaha. We said honourable in relation to the Winnipeg Free Press. Ha ha ha.

And don't forget that these are the professional reporters we're supposed to trust. They are highly trained, extremely ethical, and never let their personal biases influence their, ahem, reporting. Oh, and they have editors to catch mistakes. They just can't get the story right, they can't spell and they refuse to correct the record unless forced.

You say Trumel, the rest of the world says Turmel. Bwahahahaha.

It's turning out to be Arson Summer in the Suburbs.

Fear is sweeping Fort Rouge and St. James. Nightly fires have residents on edge. Targets have gone from dumpsters, to garages, to golf courses, condo complexes and community centres. Even the new restaurant of former rock radio shock-jock Dick Rivers got damaged.

A video posted on YouTube in July may have caught a glimpse of one of the arsonists. A home owner in Fort Rouge had three surveillance cameras set up around the back and side of his house. He caught two young men in the lane, hanging around his place, goofing off, swinging hockey sticks, and---what's that?---carrying a gas can?

The video has been "removed by the user". But we watched it before it was, and, sure enough, for a couple of brief seconds, there's a shot of one of the young men walking with a gas can. A more complete analysis of the video is on the blog ReadReidRead:

"This creepy video was taken by the security cameras at a home in my neighbourhood between 8:35 and 8:46 in the evening on July 27. I don’t know where the specific house is. This is new on YouTube. It shows the arsonists lighting a fire! Since it’s eleven minutes long, I’ll give you the highlights timewise. At :55 two boys appear to be playing in the alley. They are the arsonists. They disappear and reappear. At 3:13 in lower right frame, the firestarter walks into yard carrying jerry can. Thereafter the accomplice acts as lookout, at 4:29 hiding when a car comes down the alley. At 4:55 the accomplice walks down the alley, looking back. At 6:13 firestarter runs in opposite direction carrying jerry can. At 6:34 firestarter casually walks by and down the alley, no jerry can. Note the same boxy black runners with white stripe from early shots. By 10:35 neighbours are reacting to hearing the fire engines. As I write this, the video has less than two dozen hits. I hope at least one of them is from the Winnipeg Fire Department. (Update: Sunday, July 31: Wpg. Police Services arson task force is aware of the video.) With today’s face recognition technology, these two should already be behind bars!"

We hope someone screencaptured the suspect and has provided a blow-up to police.

You want fear? Walk into a CBC boardroom. You can smell it.

Sun News is buzzing at the BBM rating of Ezra Levan'ts interview with Mark Steyn. Levant's show, The Source, the feistiest hour of television in Canada, registered 64,000 viewers at 4 p.m. Winnipeg time and 89,000 viewers at the 9 p.m. replay. That's 153,000 total.

CTV News Channel, by contrast, has 59,000 at 4 and 41,000 at 9 for a combined total of 100,000.

The blog A Few Tasteful Snaps ( , by Glen McGregor, Ottawa Citizen reporter, filled in the missing piece.

"I have half-hourly breakdowns from BBM for CBC. They show CBC’s Power and Politics drew 57,000 average viewers between 5:00 (Eastern) and 5:30 p.m. that night, and 70,000 from 5:30 p.m to 6:00 p.m. — an average for 63,500 over the hour, same as Levant."

"In the 10:00 p.m., time slot, CBC averaged 90,000 viewers over the hour, compared to Levant’s 89,000 — so, bang on. In that time slot, CBC was running Passionate Eye - I Shouldn't be Alive."

He concludes: "As I’ve said to people eagerly predicting Sun TV’s demise, there is an appetite for what they’re selling."

And nobody is more worried about that than CBC, the target of daily verbal assaults by Sun News hosts.

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