Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The End Of The Hegemony?


So, last Friday I'm at work, hidden away behind closed doors putting the finishing touches on a last minute bit of science geek-type editting, when I remember to tune into Mr. Good's radio show on the (nolonger)Giant98 so that I can hear Vaughn Palmer and Keith Baldrey prattle on about British Columbia politics.

Why would I subject myself to such a thing, you might be asking yourself?

Well, I thought CanWest's Glimmer Twins, also known as 'The Ledge Boys', might have something interesting to say about the pseudo-start of the RailGate Trial.

And, if truth be told, Mr. Palmer did not disappoint.

By way of example, Palmer raised the issues swirling around former BC Rail Auction Chop Block operator Gary Collins. In addition, Mr. Palmer even went so far as to suggest that if the Premier had, indeed, received information about the investigation when he shouldn't have that this just might be a problem for Mr. Campbell as well.

Mr. Baldrey on the other hand was completely dismissive of RailGate and all it entails.

In fact Baldrey, feigning world-weariness, even went so far as to suggest that no matter what happens neither the media nor the public will care because all the major players long ago left government.

Of course, neither Mr. Baldrey nor the moderator, Mr. Good, raised the spectre of why those officials left government so suddenly in the first place.

Or why mainstream media coverage of this story has been almost less than zero pretty much since it began in late December of 2003.


It's important to remember that up until the time of the airing of the radio show in question (ie. last Friday) the only local Journo even close to the mainstream who had been doing any serious, continuing reporting on RailGate has been Bill Tieleman writing in The Tyee, 24 Hrs, and on his own blog.

However, once allegations of Mr. Campbell's possible involvement seeped out last week, Tieleman's stablemate Sean Holman, who also writes for 24 Hrs as well as his own PublicEye Online, went off to try and get the Premier to comment. And when Mr. Campbell instead went into hiding Holman reported that instead - which at least got the matter into the public prints.

All of which sounds kind of ad-hoc.

But it was a beginning.

And thusly, since last weekend a veritable thicket of fingers have suddenly come out of dikes. As a result, a whole whack of outlets have started reporting some of the juicier details. And some of them have even been naming names and connecting a few dots.

Heckfire, Gary Mason even called the entire thing 'The Trial Of The Century'* in his column on Saturday (and it appears that his tongue was only halfway in his cheek)

So, the question is - will any of the local MSM outlets, especially those run by the CanWest hegemony, stay with it over the long haul?

Based on their track record, and judging by the way they've seized on the recent short term deflector-spin aspect of the Dobranos story, I kind of doubt it.

And, get this, I actually hope they do not.


Well, because if Mess'rs Tieleman and Holman were left alone to chase this thing every single day for the next six or maybe nine or even twelve months, just imagine the story they could give us - a cast of characters not even Dickens at his most twisted could have come up with, intersecting narratives, plot reversals, cliffhangers, money, greed, speed, action, graft, and perhaps even the death and the resurrection of the public trust all rolled into one.

And if the boys driving the 24 Hrs bus actually gave Tieleman and Holman the resources to really do this thing, flat-out, full-bore and non-stop wire-to-wire?

Well, to paraphrase the words of W.P. Kinsella ,spoken by James Earl Jones in the movie Field of Dreams:

And a few of them would read it on the internets.

But I also figure that a whole lot more of them read it in 24 Hrs while standing on SkyTrain, or riding on buses, or sipping in coffee shops, or while hiding in their cubicle farms, or maybe even sitting at their kitchen tables, on their lazy-boys, in front of the TV, or, best of all, on their thrones.

And if all of this were to happen (or even half of it), the SunCorp/Pattison-backed 24 Hrs gambit will have paid off in spades.

Which just might mean that the CanWest print monopoly in Lotusland would be all but over over.

Imagine that?

*Hmmmmm.....where have we heard that 'Trial Of The Century' monicker before? Oh yes, here it is.


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