Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Who killed TGCTS?

I thought it might be Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick, or maybe Rosanne Wowchuck driving her car while talking on a cell phone, but I was wrong on both counts. I went to the Save the Marty Fundraiser last night, where Marty Gold laid it all out with a seemingly endless string of emails in a powerpoint presentation.

Marty is a systematic guy. Obviously very passionate about what he does, but also very deliberate and organized. He might make a good Process Architect, if he's looking for a career change. I am not going to go into any detail because my memory isn't that good -- probably as a result of not eating fish as a kid as documented in my last post. If you want more details go to Graham's blog. Here is my point form summary:

  • Free Press reporter Melissa Martin covered a mayoral debate for Mynarski Ward, wherein the eventual winner, Ross Eadie, declared that he was receiving support from the provincial NDP. Melissa neglected to mention this tid bit in her report.
  • Marty Gold took her and the paper to task for not picking up on this statement, which if true would violate our civic election laws.
  • Melissa got very upset by the criticism and complained to Free Press editor Margo Goodhand
  • Margo called new RRC chief Stephanie Forsyth explaining that one of her reporters had been personally attacked and defamed.
  • Stephanie, apparently without doing any research into the validity of these claims, "suggested" to certain execs at RRC that Marty's show be terminated.
  • Marty's show was terminated
You might wonder: did Ross Eadie really say that he was receiving support from the NDP? Well, that's what some people heard, and there are complaints to that effect currently sitting with the city elections official. There were also a couple of witnesses from the New Winnipeg forum, at least one of whom I have met personally so I know they are a real person.

You might also wonder: why would Captain Stephanie so willingly comply with the complaint by the Free Press? The answer to that depends on how well you can read between the lines, how good your imagination is, and/or how tightly your tinfoil hat is screwed on. Potential answers include:
1. Steph is a media whore and did it as a quid pro quo for getting her picture in the paper three times the following week.
2. Steph is lazy and decided that cancelling the show at the threat of a lawsuit was easier than investigating if there was any merit to the complaint.
3. Given that Freep co-owner Bob Silver is closely tied to the governing NDP party, whom Marty has beat up on his show, and that RRC is partly funded by the gov't, there may have been veiled threats made about reductions to funding for RRC if they did not comply.
4. Stephanie and Margo are secret lesbian lovers, and are planning to adopt orphans from Botswana, leave their current partners, and start a new family on Cape Breton Island after Margo arranges a departure from the Freep with a generous severance package, which would be put at jeopardy if she could not contain the damage to the paper's reputation that was being done by Marty Gold.

Of those, I think the last one is obviously the most plausible, but to shield myself from lawsuits I want to make it clear that I have no evidence about any of those.

Coucillor Harvey Smith (a.k.a Father Time) was there, and promised to look into the Ross Eadie issue by following up with the elections dude, although if he remembers to put on his pants every day I think that's all we can reasonably expect at this point.

As an aside, those of us who attended got free copies of Retropeg, a coffee table book with old B&W photos of Winnipeg. Harvey, who was sitting directly behind me, made a comment as we were leaving about how nice the book was, and I came this close to asking him if there were any pictures of him in there. Although I later realized that the pictures were all from the 70s when Harvey was already getting up there in years, so perhaps it wouldn't have been as funny as I imagined it would be.

I guess if there is one message that I would like to pass along to the Free Press, it is this: it is not too late to cover the Ross Eadie thing, even if it turns out to be a non-thing. The original article that covered that debate was very brief and touched on a lot of things so perhaps you can be excused for not getting into the details. However, a sitting councillor being investigated for potential election finance violations, or the failure of the elections official to conduct the investigation, is a fairly significant story. Especially if it implicates the provincial governing party. Better to get on top of it now, even if it turns out to be that he simply mispoke and everything is cool, because if it eventually does come out that he was breaking the rules then it could be embarassing for the Free Press that they knew about it all along and failed to report on it.

11 comments:

RM said...

As embarassing as not bothering to get the Hydr Whistle Blower's take on things? As embarassing as telling us all the Active Transportation Projects are loved by all citizens? As enbarassing as calling Rodney Hunt a Chief of a Band and getting him to comment on issues as if he were a representative of the North End? As embarassing as cheer leading for a new park about 1000' from the Forks? Embarassed by cheerleading the new stadium idea, and the CMHR? The Freep isn't worth buying to cover the bottom of the bird cage. Margo should be afraid... very afraid.

Sam said...

I sent an e-mail to Melissa Martin asking her if this story was true and this was her response. Do we believe her?

"It depends on how you define “truth,” I suppose.

I didn’t report accusations about Eadie engaging in, basically, election fraud. That’s true.

What is not said, because nobody has asked, is why I didn’t report that accusation. And the long story short of that is because the only evidence I, and several other reporters far more talented and experienced than I, could find came from an individual with a vested personal interest in seeing Ross Eadie lose the election… and this person would not go on the record.

We can’t put serious allegations in the paper unless we have strong evidence to support them. The stronger the allegation, the stronger the evidence needed, for obvious reasons.

I take no issue with people who want to criticize my reporting. Usually, I agree with them. I do take issue with people implying that I deliberately kept mum on what could have potentially been a career-making story for myself out of some sort of “gatekeeperism.”

It would have been in my best interests to report that story, if I could make a story out of it that would have passed legal muster and been roundly defensible, especially for a fairly strong accusation. I couldn’t. People are free to draw their own conclusions about the truth behind the accusation, and chalk the lack of a story up to a failure in my investigating, which I would consider to be fair.

But it is not truthful to assert or imply that I deliberately didn’t write the story for any purpose other than my failure to find evidence for a story I could put my name on, put in the paper, and sleep at night knowing that I did the right thing.

The rest of it, I’m not privy to, so I can’t really speak to that.

Cheers,

Melissa"

DriveGoddess said...

Wow....

cherenkov said...

@ Sam: thanks for posting that.

Do we believe her? I gave her a call, and after talking to her I'm inclined to believe that she didn't intentionally not report something that she knew was significant.

Kenny said...

Hey Sam

Sam, can we please talk about this email.

Please email me

SpiritedKenny@gmail.com

Orange Rod said...

Marty had it coming. He should go get a telemarketing job now.

Marty said...

I'll be calling you in a hour, Cremesicle.

nra said...

@Orange Rod

"Marty had it coming"

It would seem to me that you want to censor all voices that don't coincide with your views. I would assume that's why you always censor my posts. You are a coward that lacks the intelligence to debate your viewpoints and panders to a core group of blinded useful idiots. Go fuck yourself.

Gustav Nelson said...

NRA,

Funny, because the same thing happens to me too.

I wholeheartedly agree with your synopsis.

DriveGoddess said...

Heheheheheh.....let the wrestling matches begin?

cherenkov said...

I told Marty Tuesday night that I expected to see him pile-drive somebody through a table, but no luck.

 
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