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Showing posts from August, 2005

CBC Lockout Irony

CBC IRONY John Webb, the Manitoba president of the Canadian Media Guild, wants to stay in touch with locked out CBCers. He sends out a daily update, but apparently people have been missing it. So he's telling everyone ( ) to look for it on their computers ... under Junk Mail. We couldn't make this up if we tried. ***************************** MARY LOUISE PARKER AND MOSQUITOES The biggest female role in Brad Pitt's new movie, The Assassination of Jesse James, has gone to Mary-Louise Parker , who is no stranger to Winnipeg. She's been cast as Zee James, the outlaw's wife . The latest schedule calls for the film crew to come to Winnipeg Oct. 22 for a five day shoot. She filmed the made-for-TV movie Vinegar Hill in this city last year, and she has strong memories of the shoot. As reported in Variety: Mary-Louise Parker was in Winnipeg "in the middle of a field getting eaten by mosquitoes" when she found out via email that she had been n

FLQ Victim to Paul Martin: Reconsider your choice

After listening to Bruce Vallance of Winnipeg tell his story we contacted him to expand on his experience when he was caught in a 1970 FLQ terror bombing. Here is his account to us: Good Morning; Thank you for filling me in. I'm afraid that I'm sadly uninformed. The reason I became involved in the debate is that I really believe that this lady is a bad choice for the position. While she is undoubtedly very intelligent and well educated. her only accomplishments and suitability for the position is that she is a black female television reporter who speaks five languages. I for one don't think that it's enough. We have just had an ethnic female television reporter filling that position and she and her arrogant husband were an absolute disaster. The Queen herself is far more approachable and down to earth than was Ms Clarkson. As for the FLQ being glossed over; that entire period is very poorly documented in the public record. In order to save James Cross' life the ter

A History Lesson for Paul Martin about the FLQ

We had no intention of writing about Michaelle Jean. Since her and her husband's close associations with Quebec separatists was revealed, so much has been written about them that we figured there wasn't anything we could add. That changed on Tuesday. On Tuesday we got mad. On Tuesday, radio host Roy Green , who is filling in for vacationing Charles Adler, read an email from a Winnipeg man named Bruce Vallance . It was chilling. And for the first time we understood why all decent citizens in the country oppose the appointment of Michaelle Jean. The debate over Jean's suitability to be Governor General, and Paul Martin's spectacularly bad judgement, has been oh-so-Canadian. Academic. Scholarly. All about "sovereignists" ( that polite word for separatists) and their attraction for the Quebec political and social elite.But Bruce Vallance reminds us about what is missing from that debate, that something we all knew was there but couldn't put our fingers on it u


New details have come out about the day that Matthew Dumas was shot to death by police. Elisha Cumbers, a features writer with the Canwest Times, an affiliate of the Winnipeg Free Press, has been following up our exclusive story "Daddy, They're Beating Him Up" She spoke with a police officer on the QT. Her source confirmed the gist of our exclusive story, and added some graphic new details. He told her: "Police had Dumas in hand and led him to the back lane... Dumas escaped (the) police grip by assaulting the officer. He ran for the back lane, where two officers attempted to subdue him and had him in their hands again, but he again escaped." As we reported on April 24th, police caught up to Dumas on the stoop of a house on Dufferin Avenue after a brief chase that began when he took off as two officers walked over to talk to a group of youths. The police were looking for suspects i


His boss at the CBC called him "larger than life, a take-charge, can-do, go-to guy, experienced and decisive, with boundless energy and enthusiasm". He was the "golden boy" come to lead the national broadcaster to glory. On Wednesday, he called it quits, but the local media barely noticed his exit from the national scene. But not The Black Rod. Slawko Klymkiw's journey through the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is almost movie-of-the-week material, the kind he himself would commission for the Mothers Corps. And if you believe that, then you will also believe the many accolades bestowed upon the man whose decision "to accept an invitation to take up a new, exciting and very different professional opportunity" happens to coincide with the current lockout that many say is the death knell of the CBC as we have known it. Or, about the same time senior brass decided the NHL method of labour negotiation, a.k.a. starve the bastards out, was the only altern

The Dog Days of Summer

You know we're in the dog days of summer when the Free Press can't find a single news story worth reporting and, instead, devotes its front page to pictures of dogs and cats. The Black Rod, in turn, was debating whether to write about the lockout of CBC employees or Brad Pitt. Once we asked ourselves which story would people care more about, it was an easy choice. But then this item came across our desk, and we decided to regroup again. Canad Inns has run into some big financing problems, and why do we think this is related to the demise of the Crocus Investment Fund. Once the Crocus taps were shut off, the good times weren't rolling anymore. A multi-million dollar project that's been rolled out more than pyrogy dough at Alecia's is on life-support. Plans to build a four-star hotel in Grand Forks was first announced in the summer of 2003 . It would cost $17 million. Over the ensuring two years the project grew larger and larger until Canad Inns was trumpeting The Ca


The Winnipeg media followed Lloyd Axworthy like lemmings to the sea yesterday, except the sea was actually his new piece of pavement... ...the former north Spence Street, now handed over to said Lloyd without a blueprint or a dime to back his pedestrian mall model of improving downtown Winnipeg. Remember how the Ax redefined the core area when a federal minister to include his riding of Fort Rouge? Well, now, miraculously, 'downtown' includes his new riding - er, fiefdom- the U of W. Former CBC talking head Jennifer Rattray, in her new role as University of Winnipeg talking head, could barely contain herself when introducing her boss as the man who was the "champion" of the mission to recapture Spence Street from the evil motorists. This latest social engineering project led by the man who brought us the Core Area Initiative in the Trudeau era, is built on a bewildering number of twists and turns overlooked by MSM. This is the first time anybody other than business ow

Will This A-List Hunk Show Up At Kelekis??

[originally posted July 21, 2005] That wasn't the flutter of mosquito wings you heard last night; it was the sound of thousands of female hearts atwitter at the thought of Brad Pitt coming to Winnipeg to film a movie. The Winnipeg Free Press carried the initial story yesterday, but The Black Rod (entertainment division) brings you the full story today. Heartthrob Brad Pitt is indeed making a movie in which he plays gunslinger Jesse James. The script is based on the novel The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford written by Robert Hansen. Shooting is scheduled to begin in Calgary on August 29 then move to Edmonton in late September. The production will wrap up in November. (Although, given Pitt's recent illness, don't be surprised if the start date is pushed back.) Locations will reportedly be split between Heritage Park (where the Gunfighters Western Stunt Club perform the "Gunfight at the Boundary Corral" for tourists) and Fort Edmonton Park

Today's Topic: Attention All Newsrooms

Memo to newrooms: if you're waiting for an official police news release, it's going to look something like this: There's a gang war going on in the heart of the North End. At least that's if you consider drive-by shootings and firebombed houses as evidence. In a two-week period we counted two homes on Pritchard Avenue (near McKenzie) peppered with bullets in a drive-by, one house on Magnus Avenue (just off Aikens) sporting nine bullet holes after another drive-by, and a home on Burrows Avenue (also just off Aikens) which was fire-bombed. We can't say if this is related to the crack house smack dab in the middle of the action, or to the gent on a motorcycle who stops in regularly to make a pickup. Or if there's a connection to the marijuana grow op discovered by police on Burrows Avenue (the 400 block), just days before the public gunplay started . Or even if the two men taken to hospital "with lacerations inflicted by unknown weapons" after a fight in

TV NewsDiva in a Storm

Oh to be a young up and coming newscaster on the scene of a natural disaster. Reporting live from the chaos, the mayhem, the humanity .. and that is just covering what happened at the hotel. What is this about, dear reader? Well the CBC, always eager to reach out for feedback, has gotten an earful - mailbox full ? - of verbiage and are now in the midst of their own storm, Hurricane Krista . CBC-TV's local diva of the airwaves, Krista Erickson, was on vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico when lo and behold, Hurricane Emily struck. Her journalist's instincts kicked in and, grabbing her cellphone and ably tossing aside her leather bikini in favor of more conventional duds, Krista leapt into the fray and filed a report for CBC, as seen on The National. CBC reporter Krista Erickson, on holiday in Playa del Carmen, said few people slept in the packed emergency shelter. People woke up screaming around 4:30 a.m. local time as drywall from the building's roof started to collapse, sh