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Exposing the police-bashing Fake News expose in the Wpg. Free Press

There's a new challenger in town for the title of Fake News Champion.

Stand aside Dan Lett, columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press and current holder of the belt. Your new competition is your colleague, Ryan Thorpe, who's been described by his alma mater as an  "investigative reporter who covers crime for the daily newspaper."

This past Saturday Thorpe was responsible for a three-page spread headlined "SAFETY FIRST, everything else last." The thrust of the article is that the budget for policing (and the fire department and paramedics, but mainly the police) takes such a big bite (nearly half) out of the budget there's hardly anything left for other services.

This Saturday he had a follow-up story arguing that Winnipeg spends too much money on police salaries when only 34 percent of reported crimes are cleared.

To bolster his argument, Thorpe's both stories cited the work of Kevin Walby, "a criminologist and associate professor at the University of Winnipeg", who published a paper on how police use fear of crime as a tool to inflate their own budgets.

Of course, if there's one thing we've learned is to always check on the "experts" quoted in newspaper stories.  Well, lookee here...

Kevin Walby is not only an Associate Professor in the U of W's Department of Criminal Justice, he's Director of the Centre for Access to Information and Justice (CAIJ) which promotes freedom-of-information searches.

He's so big on the idea that he's edited a publication titled 'Access to information and Social Justice Critical Research Strategies for Journalists, Scholars and Activists.' A review of his booklet says "This book combines the political and the practical aspects of Access to Information (ATI) and Freedom of Information (FOI) research. It covers ATI in relation to critical social science, investigative journalism, and social justice activism in Canada.  

So he's an SJW--social justice warrior.

We dug deeper into Walby's credentials. There we found he's a fan of critical criminology.

What's that, you ask? We did and we'll save you a little time by summarizing our finding.

Critical criminology is a kissing cousin of critical race theory (of which you're going to hear much about shortly if you don't already know of this insidious ideology).

Critical criminology is a theoretical perspective in criminology which focuses on challenging traditional understandings and uncovering false beliefs about crime and criminal justice, often but not exclusively by taking a conflict perspective, such as Marxism, feminism, political economy theory or critical theory.. Critical criminology frequently takes a perspective of examining the genesis of crime and nature of 'justice' within the social structure of a class and status inequalities. Law and punishment of crime are viewed as connected to a system of social inequality and as the means of producing and perpetuating this inequality.[1][2] Critical criminology also seeks to delve into the foundations of criminological research to unearth any biases.[3]

Critical criminology sees crime as a product of oppression of workers – in particular, those in greatest poverty – and less-advantaged groups within society, such as women and ethnic minorities, are seen to be the most likely to suffer oppressive social relations based upon class division, sexism and racism.[4]

Critical criminology, as a general theoretical principle, asserts that crime is based in class conflict and the structured inequalities of class society. The class divisions and their associated forms of inequality under advanced capitalism, therefore, generate the problem of traditional crime.
Kramer, Ronald C. (1984) "Critical Criminology, Traditional Crime, and Public Policy," The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare: Vol. 11 : Iss. 2 , Article 2. Available at:

Spring 2014  Marx and Critical Theory Listed in: Philosophy, as PHIL-366
Faculty  Daniel A. Koltonski (Section 01)
A "critical theory" has a distinctive aim: to unmask the ideology falsely justifying some form of social or economic oppression—to reveal it as ideology—and, in so doing, to contribute to the task of ending that oppression.  And so, a critical theory aims to provide a kind of enlightenment about social and economic life that is itself emancipatory: persons come to recognize the oppression they are suffering as oppression and are thereby partly freed from it.

Marx's critique of capitalist economic relations is arguably just this kind of critical theory.  As participants in a capitalist market economy, we fall into thinking of the economy in terms of private property rights, free exchange, the laws of supply and demand, etc., and, in so doing, we fall into thinking of capitalist economic relations as justified, as how things should be.  Marx argues that this way of thinking is nothing but ideology: it obscures, even from those persons who suffer them, the pervasive and destructive forms of alienation, powerlessness, and exploitation that, in Marx's view, define capitalist economic relations.  Any prospects for change, reform, or for Marx, revolution requires first that people come to see capitalism for what it is, for they must first see the ways in which they themselves are alienated, powerless and exploited before they can try to free themselves from it.

So Ryan Thorpe's three full-page investigative expose of police funding turns out to be a disguised defund -the-police bombast based on a left-wing univesity professor's Marxist theory of class warfare that makes criminals the victims and police the tools of oppressors.  

Fake news, anybody?

But while we're on the topic of policing, it's been more than  two months  since a mob tore down two historic statues on the Legislature grounds right in front of a score of Winnipeg police officers.  There were no arrests then and there have been no arrests since, even of protestors who assaulted police at the scene. The police haven't even asked for the public's help in identifying the vandals, as they usually do when faced with a crime.

In fact, its beginning to look like the Chief of Police Danny Smyth doesn't want anybody to be charged.
And authorities should be asking why.

Nobody looks more foolish than Manitoba Justice Minister Cameron Friesen who declared at the time "we must hold accountable those who break laws." Nobody is being held accountable and Friesen seems content to see mob rule be swept under the rug and forgotten.

Equally useless has been Markus Chambers, chairman of the Winnipeg Police Board. He's made noises about running for mayor, but his silence at the inpotence or worse of the police department in running down the people responsible for the worst vandalism in recent history is deafening. A mayor needs to show leadership, and Chambers has shown none.

Why isn't he calling the Police Chief before the board to ask for the status of the alleged police investigation into the shameful mob takeover of the Legislature grounds? 

Why isn't he asking Danny Smyth if he's just incompetent or if he's compromised by a personal relationship with a supporter of the vandal gang?

The politicians and police might be hoping the public forgets about the destruction of the statues, but The Black Rod will keep counting the days of inaction and asking why.

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