Friday, February 11, 2011

Feeling paranoid? Have a baseless accusation to make? Contact the Toronto Star.

Because they will be happy to publish a story on it for you.

Check out this article written by Susan Delacourt/ Bruce Campion-Smith.

Highlights: ( alternate section title: find the speculation. Because there are few facts other than the on the record denial from the conservatives, but why let facts get in the way of speculation)

OTTAWA—Two University of Ottawa professors, vocal critics of the federal Conservative government, say they have become targets of a new political intimidation tactic, aimed at using their private, personal information against them.

...but Mendes and Attaran are convinced that it’s part of an academic witch hunt by the governing party — part of a wider campaign to silence university voices that may be critical of the Conservatives.

I started thinking, my God, this is a McCarthy-like attempt to politically intimidate both of us,” Mendes said 

Neither Attaran or Mendes know the name or names of the requesters, but they have suspicions about the motive.

It seems like an intimidation tactic,” said Attaran

The information makes me think it’s somebody who is essentially trying to amass a file on critics of the government,” he said in an interview. “I have a feeling it’s political.”

“It certainly set off some alarm bells,” Attaran said. “Somebody wants their sticky fingers on me. I just don’t know who it is.

Mendes: “If I knew who the person was and the person was politically connected, I’d be furious.”
They (U of O) seem to agree that it’s meant to clamp down on academic freedom in some way,’ he said.

Heather MacIvor, a professor at the University of Windsor and a longtime researcher and commentator on the Conservative party, said she believes that there is a concerted effort to put a “chill” on academic critics of the Harper government,

This government has a hostility toward people who think for a living or people who write for a living,” MacIvor said

MacIvor said she’s been told that Conservative operatives refer to her as “Liberal hack” 

Here’s the thing. I don’t make that public. I don’t talk about the fact that I worked for the Liberals,” MacIvor said. “I can tell you that my employment record for Parliament Hill is (only) in the National Archives. It takes a lot of work to find it. Somebody found it.”

Nor did spokeswoman AndrĂ©e Dumulon want to speculate on why U of O has been receiving a disproportionate share of access requests in recent years. “We don’t know anything about the motives behind the requests,” Dumulon said.

I found one more in another story, this time in the Ottawa Citizen:  "It does have a distinct political whiff to it," Attaran said.   


An entire article based purely on speculation, feelings, and unconfirmed suspicions (unconfirmed suspicions seem to trump confirmed denials) published in the Toronto Star under a Susan Delacourt/Bruce Campion-Smith byline.

Not that I am surprised though, because with Delacourt we are talking about a 'journalist' who wrote another article based on the TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE notion of a Tuesday (Federal elections are held on Mondays) March 29th election.

You know what they say: If it is published in the Toronto Star, it is probably bullshit.  ( If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.)

Related: Who is Amir Attaran?

Liberal supporter?  Follow the money.

Other opinions:

BCBlue gives his thoughts here.

Blue Like You.

The National Post.  ( I love the title: Possibly the lamest front-page “exclusive” in the history of Canadian journalism)

A Few Figs.

New Ekos poll out: CPC 37.3 LPC 24.8 NDP 14.2  GPC 10.7 BQ 9.9

Seems like the Liberals plan to steal the NDP platform has fallen flat.


Anonymous said...

This crap made it onto the front page of the Star?

Never again will I believe anything written in that rag.

Anonymous said...

Talk about desperation. This reminds me of the torqued up front page headline on the Star from about a year ago: "Grassroots Revolt".

That was all about the 20,000 or so people then on the Facebook Page who were against the prorogation. It took a massive co-ordinated effort by all the usual suspects in the anti-Harper universe to move that story along.

Don't tell me these lefty clowns are going to try and make something out of these "persecuted" profs ? What a joke that will be.

Calgary Junkie

Ardvark said...

The real sad part about this is that among the MSM only the National Post has called out the Star on this; others in the MSM bubble happily re-tweeted the link without question.

That sort of says all you need to know about the sorry state of our MSM.

Anonymous said...

Delacourt and these two rabble rousing whiners get exactly what they deserve.
Delacourt should get on her broom and take a flight and these two should take a hike.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I expected this kind of thing from Susan Delacourt but very disappointed that Bruce Campion-Smith was in on it as well.

Anonymous said...

Delacourt is also responsible for this piece of trash:

claiming Tory candidate Ryan Hastman shouldn't be allowed to attend taxpayer funded events in Edmonton.

maryT said...

Either Bush or Sarah requested the info on those profs. LOL
Or maybe a liberal, to cause a big stink. It has now been verifies that 1 person requested the info on both of them. Does one have to pay for said info.
Regardless, a lot of info on those two has been published, re their political contibutions, and past stmts made by them have come back to haunt them. Why is it ok for one of them to demand detainee documents be published, but not his expenses. And then we were reminded one of them was in a scandal at harvard and got iggy to protect him and get him a job in Canada. And we can't forget he wanted free fertility tests and invitro for his wife.
Bet they wish they had shut up and handled this in private. More will come out due to Delacourt and other media. The person who requested said info does not have to go public and the University can't give out his/her name.
And this has reminded all of us of the anti Harper that most profs have.
On top of this, ekos is getting a lot of negative comments re their latest poll.
Could he have inflated figures so the next one will show a huge drop that Susan and friends can write stories re Harper falls from grace.
Taber: New poll shows Tories well ahead of Liberals - but Harper's not buying it
And really OT, but Macleans is advertising on Click on a story and up pops a blurb from said magazine. They must know that is where all their former readers have gone.

maryT said...

Maybe we are being too hard on poor Susan, didn't the crtc just change the rules to allow misleading and untruthful stories, as long as they don't endanger our health or safety or something.
Susan has taken that to a new low.

Ardvark said...

But my blood pressure goes up when I read BS stories so it might indeed endanger health.

Print media is excluded from those rules. Perhaps it is time to sic Charlie Angus on them!

Anonymous said...

I think the person requesting information on the two profs is Julian Assange. ;-)

After all, wouldn't you want to know who's sending you stuff?
-- Gabby in QC

Ardvark said...