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Showing posts from May, 2007

Smug Free Press labels Winnipeggers scairdy-cats via self-sourced "news"

Without any fanfare, the Winnipeg Free Press has blazed a trail towards a New Journalism, one which abandons the outdated reliance on informed sources for stories. Instead, the FP has instituted a journalism where reporters simply cite themselves as the experts on issues. It's so simple, why didn't anybody think of this before? Take the full page devoted Saturday to the news that 78 percent of Winnipegers are scared to go into certain parts of the city. "A city of fraidy cats?" boomed the editorializing headline across the TOP NEWS page. Half the page was a story written by Aldo Santin about a Canada West Foundation survey of the citizens of seven of the country's larger cities from Vancouver to Toronto. It found that Winnipeg was tops in the number of residents who agreed with the statement "There are parts of the city I am scared to set foot in." The second half of the page was a story by City Hall reporter Bartley Kives who wrote, and we paraphrase,

The War in Afghanistan 2007 Weeks 20 and 21

Canadians still haven't been told what a huge impact the death of Mullah Dadullah, the Taliban's chief military commander, will have on our mission in Afghanistan. Dadullah was the last of the Taliban OG's from Kandahar. Turning him into worm food means the terrorist group will be shifting the bullseye of the insurgency from the southern province of Kandahar, where Canadian troops are stationed, to the eastern provinces and Kabul, closer to the home base of Dadullah's military rivals. Every history of the Taliban states that Kandahar is the "spiritual home" of the Taliban, and where most of their leaders come from. It was where the terrorist group sprang up before sweeping across the country to capture Kabul. They've been trying to recreate that moment ever since being driven out of power in 2001 by the U.S.The "Feared Taliban Spring Offensive" of 2006 was intended to capture Kandahar, drive out the Canadians, and springboard an assault of Kabul.

An exercise in Hugh-miliation

It's a good thing that the P.C. Party colour is blue, for it captures their after-vote blues so well, but yesterday you would be forgiven for thinking their colour was red. That way the red-faces on the shamed Tory caucus and the red eyes and noses on weepy party supporters didn't look entirely out of place on election night. There's no other way to say it. It was a rout. Hugh McFadyen proved an unmitigated disaster as the new leader of the Progressive Conservatives. He accomplished what most pundits thought was impossible---he left the party with even fewer seats than Stu Murray. Well, so much for McFadyen's grand vision of turning the Tories into NDP-lite. Or was it Liberals over-easy? That tsunami of federal Liberal voters he promised to deliver was nowhere to be seen even as the Devil danced away with the soul of the venerable party. McFadyen's self-professed acumen as a political paragon now shares a shelf on the trashheap of history next to General George Cust

The Stars predict a winner. Will voters comply?

Let's cut to the chase. You want to know who's going to win the provincial election. And we're going to tell you. The answer is.... ...written in the stars. Gary Doer was born March 31, 1948 which makes him an Aries. Hugh McFadyen was born May 31, 1967 which makes him a Gemini. We've examined what four astrologers have to say about the influences on the party leaders during the current month. * Penny Thornton was Lady Diana's personal astrologer for six years. * Susan Miller (Astrologyzone) is a world-renowned and accredited astrologer. She writes columns for In Style and has appeared on such shows as 20/20, The Early Show, and The View. * Neil Giles (Astrology on the Web) is an astrologer whose passion for mythology and the ancient traditions has led him on a journey through Astrology, Tarot, the Runes and the Celtic Ogham Script as a seeker and personal reader. He lives on an island in the South Seas. * John Hayes is the British Astrological and Psychic Socie

Jesse James shot down, and more

Remember the glowing reviews we told you about of the long-delayed Brad Pitt movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Howard Ford? Well, forget 'em . The only thumbs that count when it comes to this flick belong to the execs at Warner Brothers, the film's co-funder. And they've decided to emulate an unhappy Roman emperor. Warners has given up trying to get a version of the movie they feel they can sell to an audience. According to the Times of London, the divide between the filmmakers and the studio proved to be insurmountable. " Warner Brothers has failed to persuade the star to change The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford from a leisurely "poetic" film into an action-packed crowd-pleaser, or even to shorten its title." " As a result studio executives have decided to put the film into a small number of American art house cinemas and cut back on advertising ." The movie, which contains scenes filmed in Winnipeg,

An Election Pre-Mortem

It's all over but the counting. Why wait a week when you can read the post mortem of the 2007 election campaign here and now. The NDP were running scared for the entire campaign, never more so than the final week. They knew they would have to fight an uphill battle and they loaded up with every dirty trick in the book. The health care system is a shambles with doctor shortages, nurse shortages, annual emergency ward closures, rampant hallway medicine, deaths in emergency rooms, deaths on waiting lists, and a bureaucracy growing larger by the second. Kildonan candidate Dave Chomiak carries the stench of failure with him wherever he goes. The justice system is a nightmare. Candidates Doug Martindale (Burrows), George Hickes (Point Douglas) and Gord Mackintosh (St. Johns) wear the blood of Phil Haiart, Thomas Roy Phillips, and Rachelle Leost on their hands. The title of Gang Capital of Canada, Murder Capital of Canada and Car Theft Capital of Canada are the NDP's legacy for Winn

The War in Afghanistan 2007 Week 19

Our feet are tired from doing the happy dance and our throats sore from cheering Yaaa-Hooooo. Mullah Dadullah is dead. Who's your daddy now, Dadullah? U.S. Special Forces tracked him down and killed him Saturday morning. And with him the Feared Taliban Spring Offensive just went pffft. This will come as a great surprise to the mainstream media which has been engaged in its annual spring ritual of writing how revived the Taliban is, how rearmed and ready to overrun Afghanistan. But any objective observer has watched the net closing on Dadullah for months. For more than a year the Taliban has been operating under the delusion they defeated the Americans in Afghanistan. They saw as proof the handover of the southern provinces to NATO forces--the British in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold; the Canadians in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, and the Dutch in Uruzgan, a virtual no-man's land. As they saw it, having forced the Americans out, it would be a simple matter t

~Hughie, Hughie and the Je-eh-ehts~

If the Tories lose the election, pundits can point to one day in the campaign as the turning point---the day of the Winnipeg Jets announcement. And they'll be right, but not for the reason you think. No promise by any candidate stirred up as much negative emotion as P.C. Leader Hugh McFadyen's pledge to work for a return of the Winnipeg Jets. The letters to the Winnipeg Free Press were brutal: " Hugh McFadyen's the political equivalent of 'jumping the shark'. The Conservative campaign deserves to be cancelled." " I couldn't help but laugh..." " ...back to the drawing board." " Is Hugh McFadyen smart enough to it off? Not on your life." " We were hoping for much better things from McFadyen..." " just lost your shot a my vote." " ...I'm voting for Gary Doer for Manitoba, not a lost cause." " Hugh blew it." Ouch. That's going to leave a bruise. With a single

Did the Free Press fall for the Crocus confidence game ?

Once upon a time a daily newspaper like the Winnipeg Free Press could publish a fairy tale as if it was a legitimate news story and go unchallenged. That day is l-o-o-o-o-n-g gone. U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan of New York used to remind people: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. He is not entitled to his own facts." The FP obviously forgot that maxim when trying to peddle its "Special Report" on the Crocus Fund collapse as truth. This wouldn't be the first time a newspaper has interjected itself into an election campaign by presenting rewritten history as "facts" to deceive voters. It is, nevertheless, still fascinating to watch them do it as if they think they can get away with it. While eight pages of behind-the-scenes details into the final days of the Crocus Fund was interesting to those of us who actually plowed through to the end, it was Monday's piece by FP reporter Dan Lett that exposed the chicanery behind the series. Lett's art

New details of Crocus collapse rekindles interest in RCMP probe

What's wrong with this picture? In the middle of an election, the Winnipeg Free Press runs eight pages on the collapse of the Crocus Investment Fund--- without a single mention of how deeply the NDP government is enmeshed in the scandal . If the intent was to defuse the Crocus Fund as an election issue, somebody miscalculated. New details of the Crocus story reveal that: * the fund was in serious trouble much earlier than anyone knew before, * that government officials were aware of it, and * that the NDP government and Crocus engaged in a conspiracy of silence as Manitobans were being duped into putting their pension money into overvalued shares. This only supplies more ammunition to calls for a public inquiry, if not a re-energized criminal investigation into fraud, conspiracy and cover-up involving government officials including Finance Minister Greg Selinger , Premier Gary Doer and Justice Minister Gord Macintosh . That's not the story the FP wanted you to read. Their