Friday, January 13, 2006

Mean? You ain't seen nothing yet!

"If you would know the depth of meanness of human nature, you have got to be a Prime Minister running a general election." -- John A. Macdonald, 1891

I think on this blog I have not been pro-Conservative or pro Liberal. I have a mocking sense though of the Liberals due to the non-answers I have gotten in the past from letters, or from the Bulte affair. I am very upset that Martin did not tell Bulte to back off on her fundraiser. But that is life. He has got himself in lots of his own troubles with the Gomery report and his zero-tolerance for some things (selective ethics is part of the meaness).

The Gomery report in case you did not read it, said that Paul Martin did not administer the funds so he was off the hook. It did not say he did not know of the funds. It gave him deniability and he took it. For me, to think that in some Cabinet meeting a matter of a secret $250 million over 5 years was discussed as Prime Minister Chretien said it was and that Paul Martin Finance Minister was there, is something that the print media and the Conservatives have been soft on. The ethics of such a secret fund was not part of the Gomery Report.

I can only speculate the softness on the Conservatives part is because they were "in the loop" too on this large amount of money not mentioned in the budget papers at the time (I read them too). By agreement or by necessity to look the other way as the money was authorized? Or they were incompetent? Or more likely plain loyal, to their former Prime Minister who set up a Unity Reserve, the predecessor of the Sponsorship program, that they were well aware of was now in the hands of the new Prime Minister.

I like loyalty. I don't like secret funds.

The media? They don't seem to want to do work other than reportage. And the secrecy of the fund itself is perhaps a contemporaneous thing. Or not. I don't like now. I would not have liked it then.

I remember Paul Nowack while instructing a freelance writing course telling me in greater elegance than this, that most reporters need feeding but that it is the rare investigative reporter, hated by his peers, muckraker by his target, tenacious in spirit, that persists in finding the facts to support the writing that needs to be done. He put emphasis on "needs to be done."

The media is afterall a check and balance in a free country and even the softer reporters stand up for freedom of the press.

I suspect Nowack is gone now to higher writing duties, but the blogsphere is something to behold where anyone who wants to dig up the story can and should. Be factual. Link sources. Feeding the reporters is I guess left up to John and Jane Doe, as they have to tell their stories. I am digging up the Sound Recordings industry, the Canadian one, at least from the statistical story that is public information, and the story is well going to be here for those who want the truth (Part 1 is here, Part 2 is coming real soon).

Not just opinions. But linked with facts. That is my only Northworthy way for these types of articles. For other stuff, every body is entitled to an opinion. And beer and popcorn too.

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