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Showing posts from September, 2005

Rock and Roll Miracle at the Met??

Okay, just remember----miracles do happen. Who thought for a minute that Danny Schur would succeed in putting on a big-budget homegrown musical? Or that, given the worst spring weather in recent memory, he would end the run better off financially than Rainbow Stage did? We, for example, had written off the Metropolitan Theatre as just another decrepit building that the City couldn't bring itself to tear down. But then the Winnipeg Free Press had a story last week that two of Winnipeg's biggest movers and shakers were prepared to put money into the Met to turn it into an "entertainment venue/rock and roll museum." It wasn't much of a story. Based on "sources". Buttressed by hints. Supported by one detail, or was it two? But the gossamer thin story was enough to hang a headline on, and that was enough to catch our eye. And we whispered: It's a miracle . Oh, the Free Press story alone wouldn't have elicited that reaction. What turned our skeptics

Loewen jump to Liberals sinks Tory leader?

Manitoba Tory Leader Stu Murray went through a trial by fire on Friday. And he melted like a marshmellow on a stick. A disgusted demoralized caucus watched as Murray did his best Caspar Milquetoast performance, once again demonstrating why he will never be elected Premier of this province. Murray failed every category of the test. He failed the test of leadership. He failed the test as a communicator. He failed the test of vision. He even failed to act like a human being. At 9 o'clock in the morning he sat in a restaurant with his colleague John Loewen, who proceeded to tell Murray he was abandoning the provincial Conservatives to run federally for the Liberal Party. He was abandoning his ally on the front benches. He was abandoning the 33,000 Crocus Fund investors who had put their trust in him to get the truth out of the NDP. He was betraying the men and women who worked to get him elected to the Manitoba Legislature. He was turning his back on everyone who supported him and defe

Mystery solved: Friend joins Picket Line Peter

The spectacular emergency landing of a Jet Blue aircraft at Los Angeles made for great television. Investigators will now have to determine what caused the mechanical failure and their inquiries may lead them straight to Winnipeg. The airplane landed with the nose wheels turned 90 degrees to the direction of travel. The flight crew was unable to retract the landing gear after takeoff. The A-320 made a textbook landing until the wheels caught fire creating a plume of flame under the aircraft all the way down the runway. The cause of the malfunctioning nose gear is under investigation by LAX authorities, the NTSB, the FAA, and other investigative agencies. A similar incident occured in 2004 on the fourth flight following a maintenance "C" check where the dynamic seals inside the nose landing gear (NLG) shock absorber of an A- 320 had been replaced. The maintenance was performed by a contract facility. Inspection and teardown of the nose gear revealed the shock absorber had been

Happy Anniversary Buckhead- Rathergate one year later

We know we're a few days late, but....HAPPY ANNIVERSARY. Friday was the one year anniversary of Rathergate. As you will recall, that was the attempt by Dan Rather and CBC, a senior member of the mainstream media, to defeat George Bush by using forged documents to smear him just before a presidential election. An internet poster calling himself Buckhead caught CBS red-handed. It ended with Rather humiliated and his career in ruins and a string of firings at the CBS show Sixty Minutes II, followed by the cancellation of the show itself. And it was the moment when the Blogosphere became a major player in news gathering and news dissemination in North America. It was also the inspiration for The Black Rod. Since then, we've seen a dozen instances where bloggers have caught established news agencies--whether radio or television stations or major newspapers-- lying and forced them to issue humiliating corrections. Not that that has stopped the MSM from publishing slanted "news&q

Local Newscasts sex up in run at CBC

How apropos. One losing team outside. Another inside. Locked out CBC employees got a break from routine yesterday, when they moved their picket line to the Stadium to bring their message to 30,000 football fans come to see the (mis)fortunes of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. As the lockout heads for Week Five, we got to wondering what pickets talk about as they trudge in circles before an unnoticing public. So we tuned in. They're NOT talking about the weather. They're NOT talking about the Great NABET Strike of 1981. They're NOT talking about the miserable showing of the Bombers this year and whether Jim Daly should be run out of town on a rail. (Oops, sorry. We digress). One thing they ARE talking about is: WHERE'S KRISTA? Where's Krista Erickson, the face of CBC news in Manitoba? There's been no sign of the poster girl for CBC Manitoba, anchorgirl extrordinaire last seen just before the work stoppage, filing fluffy stories from Toronto. After all those months spen


The CBC lockout has lasted four weeks. A month. One down and no end in sight. The Black Rod has been reading the lockout blogs written by CBC employees from coast to coast to sample the mood of the picket lines. Some are defiant. Some defeated. And some have stopped talking altogether. And you married people out there know that that's never good. But if there's one positive outcome of this experience, it's that it has dispelled any doubt about bias in CBC's coverage of national and international events. The lockout blogs have let us hear how CBC employees talk when they're with other CBC employees. What they really think, and not what the CBC ombudsman or CBC president says they think. The Globe and Mail had a lockout story Thursday linked to another of those instant polls. That garnered these posts: (highlighting is ours) Thursday, September 8 Vote "YES" for CBC today posted at 07:17AM Pacific time Seems the Globe and Mail is having a pol


Richard Cloutier led off his new CJOB morning show Tuesday with a bang - a big exclusive about a story we have been tracking for months, the O'Learygate scandal. He reported that Robert Goluch, executive director of the Public Schools Finance Board, has been removed from his job. The government won't say so ("human resources matter"), but it's universally believed Goluch was shuffled off to Intergovernmental Affairs because of the Swinford Park development. The Seven Oaks School Division acted as the developer of a housing subdivision in defiance of restrictions placed on school boards by the Public Schools Act, and now claims innocence because the Finance Board gave it's approval. Cloutier noted the scheme lost money. That's the first time that's been revealed to OB audiences. Any reader of The Black Rod has known it since June, when we scooped the city with our analysis


Eardrums around Winnipeg will soon be able to recover from the hemorrhaging they have suffered the last few years. After being told over and over again that what morning radio listeners in Winnipeg needed was to be "entertained", Charles Adler has taken the hint and will be exiting his dreadful un-entertaining morning show on CJOB to cater to his ego -er, national audience with an equally dreadful afternoon show on the Corus Radio Network. No doubt he will continue to recycle the same tired cast of Asperite journalistas, New York cabbies and that guy from London no one cares about. Chuckles first heard the fat lady singing last summer when something resembling competition took to the airwaves in the moribund Winnipeg market. An obscure campus radio station launched with a flagship talk show that- egads! - actually took calls and listened to what Winnipeggers had to say. This was in stark contrast to what Chuckie boy had been doing, which to remind you, was to: A) constantly c