Saturday, December 17, 2011

The worm has turned on media obsession with the Irwin Cotler story

Reprinted from David Akin's blog, a comment from our friend Gabby in QC that totally destroys the MSM narrative on the Cotler story with examples of the media doing the exact same thing.


Let me begin by saying: my gut feeling is that Mr. Cotler is beginning to mount a campaign for the leadership of the Liberal party.

Now … when I first heard about this story, my reaction was ugh! Why is my party engaging in such dirty tricks? I jumped to that conclusion because I read / heard that people in the Mount Royal riding had received calls actually telling them Mr. Cotler WAS retiring and that there WAS an imminent by-election.
However, in the real call (from the video Mr. Akin posted) I notice the caller says: “Some people are suggesting that the current MP may retire … if you would consider supporting the Conservative party if there’s a by-election.”

• Mr. Cotler’s name is NOT mentioned, so he is not being personally targeted. Given some people’s lack of interest in politics, they may not even know who their MP is.
• “the current MP MAY retire” is not the same as “the current MP IS retiring.”
• “IF you would consider supporting” and “IF there’s a by-election” are hypotheticals, not statements of fact.
So, sorry to say, the reports about the calls were inaccurate. If there have been untruths, it is the way in which some media have portrayed the calls.

Furthermore, the media often engages in rumours, using unnamed sources to lend credence to their articles. In November 2010, Chantal Hebert, Jane Taber, and John Ibbitson all wrote columns about the imminent departure of Peter Mackay to go to a Bay St. law firm. Did Peter Mackay raise that as a question of privilege? No.

In 2008, Mia Rabson “discovered” Vic Toews was about to be appointed to a Court of Queen’s Bench judgeship. Did Vic Toews raise that rumour as a question of privilege in the House? No.
And who can forget the infamous “wafergate” accusations? Did the PM ask the House to look into it? No.
Some may argue that those rumours were not started by a political party so the Cotler issue is not the same.
BUT Mr. Cotler’s main argument is that his job as an MP was hindered by those rumours. Regardless of the source, the rumour was the aggravating factor supposedly hindering his work. Would Mr. Cotler have felt less aggrieved if the calls had been placed by the NDP? Would his work as an MP have suffered less or not at all?

Finally, Andrew Cohen in a column entitled “The smearing of Irwin Cotler”
“It is true that Cotler has had doubts about remaining in Parliament, which isn’t unusual for a politician of his age, experience and interests, who now finds himself a backbencher. Even before the Liberals became the third party, Michael Ignatieff had to persuade him to run again this year.”

SO, the rumour that Mr. Cotler was considering leaving politics did not necessarily originate with the Conservatives. Why is Mr. Cotler now making such a big deal out of it? And why are media people like Susan Delacourt, Jennifer Ditchburn, Greg Weston, Evan Solomon, and even the usually fair Bruce Anderson trying to keep this issue alive?


After a solid week of stories from most of the MSM, with the Globe and Mail in particular who seem to have a sick obsession with continuing this non story, come some relevant facts that the media has chosen to ignore.

Their own actions.

WTG Gabby, but don't be surprised if you find yourself named in a letter from Bob Rae to Elections Canada.

Link to John Ibbitson story on Peter MacKay leaving that was published AFTER MacKay himself had said he was not leaving.

And this from the CBC on Vic Toews, who also said he wasn't leaving but yet CBC published the 'reprehensible' rumour anyways and may have violated Toews 'privilege' as an MP, at least according to what the Globe and CBC have been repeatedly saying in their numerous Cotler stories.


Jeff said...

AA, I wonder if other readers of your blog are like me: do your numbers spike when you expose media bias? I absolutely love it when you post material that demonstrates them pushing a narrative.

And naming names is valuable to: Susan Delacourt, Jennifer Ditchburn, Greg Weston, Evan Solomon.

Ardvark said...

Gabby did all the work on this one and nailed it.

maryT said...

And Bob Rae is asking elections canada to investigate. Somebody please fill all the liberal mps email with the results of the election May 2. They lost, they are the turd party. They have no power, they can't vote no confidence to bring the govt down and form a coalition.
Their biggest wish is to have a do over on the vote re contempt that led to an election.
And quebec was sure that layton would be PM after a coup.

Alain said...

Thank you for the clarification. I am also guilty of assuming that the report was correct and thought it was a stupid thing to do. I also maintained that regardless it was a drop in the bucket compared to the dirty tricks played by the Liberals and NDP. I did not jump to this conclusion based on the MSM but due to other posts on Blogging Tories.

Ardvark said...

It seemed like a cheesy thing to do but you have to ask what it was the polling company did exactly.

There is not much difference between a pollster asking "If the current MP retires would you support..." vs. "If a federal election was held today who would you vote for?" Both are hypothetical, and to be honest with a majority there is LESS chance of a federal election happening than having an MP possibly retire, but that doesn't stop almost daily polling on the subject from one of our many polling firms.

maryT said...

In the past week I have had three calls from pollsters, including EKOS. Not once has a persons name been used, just what party did you vote for last, what party would you vote for if an election was called tomorrow. 2 of them were from AB regarding WRA and PCs and would I ever consider voting lib or ndp in AB. No way, ever.
I think the liberals, with this tactic and then Justin's rage are just a means to get into the news. Re Justin, there have been more comments on his Guy Fawkes look than anything else.

Pissedoff said...

And little Bobby goes running and crying to daddy. Is this all this idiot can do. Rae you are in third place get over it. You just make yourselves look even more than Turdos potty mouth.

Anonymous said...

Colter shouldn't complain. Dirty tricks are like ethical oil.

Patsplace said...

Judging by the Cat-Meat article. I'm not surprised by the "leader of the Liberals" connection...and then it all became clear. lol

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 06:57:00 AM said: "The speaker used the same company in his own riding."
And that means what? That there was necessarily any wrongdoing? Tell me something: when you're looking for a good mechanic, a reliable plumber, or any other service, whom do you hire? Those that your friends and acquaintances recommend or some unknown quantity? You're suggesting the company and the Speaker both did something illegitimate. Isn't that merely YOUR gut feeling?

Plus ... did the Speaker side with the Conservatives? No. He went out of his way to assuage Mr. Cotler's hurt feelings, calling the tactic "reprehensible".

So, your statement "The speaker used the same company in his own riding" is meaningless.

And isn't your assertion "Harper and his boys are rotten to the core" also YOUR gut feeling? Maybe your gut is reacting to too many Chiquita bananas!

BTW, Alberta Ardvark, I blush at your praise.
-- Gabby in QC (

jad said...

In your list of media stories, you omitted the attempt by Ibbotson and Delacourt to lend credence to an unsubstantiated rumour that the PM and his wife were on the verge of splitting up. It was about a year ago I think.

BTW, great work as usual, Gabby.

Anonymous said...

I don't need to rely on my gut to know that Harper is a sleaze.

1.Harper campaigned for an elected senate and pledged that “all appointments would be made on merit-based requirements”. In his first act as Prime Minister, Harper appointed his campaign co-chair Michael Fortier as a Senator and Minister of Public Works.
2.In Opposition, the Conservatives fought hard against floor-crossing. Days before the election, 40 Conservative MPs supported a private members’ bill banning floor crossing without a by-election.
Within hours of receiving the election results, Mr. Harper dismissed the valuable contributions of many of his fellow Conservative candidates and instead sought out the Liberal Minister, David Emerson, for a key position in his cabinet.
3.Although Conservatives promised a free vote in the House of Commons on the appointment of new Supreme Court justices during the election campaign, they will now appoint an ad-hoc parliamentary committee to question the new appointee.

The list goes on and on.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ Sun Dec 18, 11:26:00 AM, on your point re: free vote on SC judges' appointments: [Updated Tue. Feb. 21 2006 8:51 AM ET]
"... Harper announced Monday that future nominees to the Supreme Court of Canada will face questions from an all-party committee of MPs.

It will be the first time in Canadian history that Supreme Court justices will face a hearing before ascending to the bench.

Members of Parliament, however, will not have the power to veto any nominees it disagrees with. The prime minister will still have the last word. ..."

I can't help it if you and your FaceBookie BFFs propagate inaccuracies or can't understand actual policy announcements.
-- Gabby in QC

Anonymous said...

As for the floor crossing ... I cannot provide a link, but I distinctly remember Peter Mansbridge asking a question about floor crossing in a town hall type set-up with Stephen Harper during the 2006 election.

Previously in 2005, Conservative MPs Joe Preston and Helena Guergis had presented a private member's bill to prevent floor crossing from taking place, I suppose in reaction to Belinda Stronach's doing so to get into cabinet and keep the Liberals alive as government.

When asked by Mansbridge whether he supported banning floor crossings, Mr. Harper said no, because that would mean that parties like his -- the new Conservative Party, a combination of the former PCs and the Reform/Alliance -- would never be able to take place.
-- Gabby in QC

Anonymous said...

And finally, regarding Michael Fortier ... It's probably useless to try to make people like you see the logic of appointing someone to represent Montreal & its metropolitan area by an appointment to the Senate, with the proviso that Mr. Fortier resign and run in the next election -- promise made, promise kept.

My gut feeling is that you're experiencing some nostalgia. So, if you'd REALLY like to read about the good ol' days, read this:
-- Gabby in QC

Anonymous said...

Jad @ 09:39:00 AM, to be fair, those rumours were spread by Norm Spector and Andrew Cohen. I didn't read anything by Ibbitson on that issue, so possibly I missed it, but, to her credit, Delacourt definitely wrote a blog post dismissing and condemning the rumour.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I'll try to make this my last posting here, since I've been monopolizing it ... but the Anonymous @ 01:47:00 PM reply to Jad is mine. i forgot to identify myself.
-- Gabby in QC

Ardvark said...

Crap, the trolls got loose in the garden again but I see that Gabby has come by to clean out the BS with reality.

Anon at 11:26: All 3 of your troll talking points have been debunked years ago and again by Gabby today but yet here you are PURPOSELY spreading misinformation while accusing the conservatives of playing games and harboring the hate.