Saturday, March 29, 2008

When The News Looks Bad...In The Ledgiehood....Who Ya Gonna Call?

....Keith Baldrey!



At least that's the story according to Vaughn Palmer in 'L'Affaire de Lesser':

A slow week at the legislature, but at 5:30 on Friday afternoon the electronic mailbox kicked to life with a reminder of why one should never leave early on the political beat.


But this one was different. For there it was in the first paragraph, a reference to one of the targets of a police investigation being "Mr. John Les, the solicitor-general for the province of British Columbia."

Not over anything he'd done in his current post as a provincial cabinet minister.

Rather regarding "commercial transactions involving land developers when he held the position of mayor of Chilliwack," before he entered provincial politics.


"The timing was interesting: "Robin McFee, a senior Vancouver lawyer was appointed (as special prosecutor in the investigation of Mr Les and others) on June 28, 2007 . . . ."

Nine months ago. The top cop has been under investigation for almost a year? Why didn't he step down?

That question was still hanging in mid-air an hour after the release came out, when John Les himself surfaced to provide an answer, via a call to my colleague Keith Baldrey of Global TV.

Les was resigning, he told Baldrey. He denied wrongdoing and expects to be exonerated.

Did you catch that?

Essentially, you have an entire Provincial Punditocracy running around like crazy way, way, way late on a Friday looking for answers but unable to get them (see this piece by the Globe's Rob Mickleburgh, for example) and Mr. Les calls Mr. Baldrey out of the blue to give him the 'straight' goods as well as the 'scoop'.

Now why would Mr. Les do a thing like that?

Well, maybe it has something to do with how well Mr. Baldrey handled an unsolicited call that came even more unexpectedly, in the middle of the night, almost two years ago now.

All of which just goes to show that those personal calls to reporters you can trust can be oh, so valuable when you've got information to deliver straight down the stovepipe, unfettered by critical questioning.

Which isn't spin, exactly.

Instead, we have another name for it.....



And you've gotta love a line from Mr. Baldrey about positive reviews on the 'radio call-in shows' in the post linked to above now that we know what we now about media manipulation 'contracts'. Sheesh.


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