Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Fascinating Peek Into The Gears Of The McGregor and Maher Machine


I've been reading Ottawa Citizen reporter Glen McGregor's blog for awhile now (i.e. pre-Robocalls).

In fact, I really enjoyed it when he called himself 'Sushiboy' and ran the thing on an amateur platform like the rest of us.

Now he's got a proBlog and, while he doesn't post as meanderingly (read: interestingly) or as often, there is still good stuff there.

Today he offers insight on how complicated stories, one of which he wrote recently based on investigative digging he did together with Postmedia's Stephen Maher, are often misunderstood/misinterpreted by one's readers.

So he takes a Mulligan and tries again.

Here is McSushiboy's (b)lede:

"My Postmedia colleague Stephen Maher and I have written about 40 stories on robocalls and related issues since news of the Elections Canada investigation broke on February 23rd.
Each one deals with a complicated topic with lots of legal implications, so we try to explain each new development as clearly as we can, with as much precision as possible, while taking great caution to avoid conclusions that might wrongly implicate someone.
Sometimes, however, we don’t do such a great job and the point of the story gets lost in the details. Today’s instalment is one example.
After reading a lot of comment boards and Twitter chatter, I realized that many readers — and even some headline writers from our chain — are reaching incorrect conclusions based on the story.
I’ll take the blame for that, as I wrote an admittedly clumsy lede that would have been even more confusing if my editor, Andrew Potter, hadn’t demuxed it a bit. But still, some seem to think our story speaks to the guilt or innocence of workers from the campaign of Guelph Conservative Party candidate Marty Burke and/or the Conservative Party of Canada.
Let me give this another try…"

The gist of the thing?

Well, the fact that the bills from Rogers Communications that the M. Burke campaign supplied to the Elections Canada have account numbers that do not match those sent to the person or persons in charge of the IP address used by the so-called Pierre Poutine does say anything about 'involvement' or 'non-involvement' of anyone, regardless their political affiliation (or not).

Importantly, E-Canada has the subscriber information regarding the account linked to the IP address used by Poutine, while McGregor and Maher do not. Thus, the latter cannot, and have not, written anything definitive on the matter.

But that's just my interpretation.

Go read Mr. McGregor's entire/complete story of what he really wants people to know based on what he, himself, actually/for sure knows.

On a blog.

It's an interesting way to go about things, eh....In fact, it's kind of like what H. Caulfield wanted....You know, when he mentioned that he'd like to be able to call up the author of something interesting to find out what he or she really thought about the thing...Personally, that's all I ever want from a reporter who knows stuff - to find out what they really think....In fact, if I was going to be really forthcoming here, I think that may be why I give a couple of the local pundits such a hard time on these here pixels - because sometimes I am convinced they are not telling us what they really think...Now I know, based on what little I know about how the journalism business actually works, that things can't go that way all the time (or even most of the time), but on things that really matter, when the reporter/pundit really does know what is really going on/went down....Well?



kootcoot said...

Ross, as to:

"because sometimes I am convinced they are not telling us what they really think"

I'm of mixed feelings about this statement, in that once the writer starts telling me what they "think" we have entered the realm of "opinion," not that there is anything wrong with opinion writing, or op-ed. However the thing that grinds my grits is when opinion poses as fact and worse when reporters (purposely) do not share what they know, or purposely refuse to know, because it contradicts the ideology they are pledged to support.

This whiff, no let me correct myself, STENCH, of election fraud worthy of a tin-pot dictator that surrounds our Harper Government(tm) needs to be thoroughly investigated and those in office as a result of it must be not only turfed from office but sanctioned by monetary penalties and perhaps even jail. This is an assault on the very idea of democracy that is worse than the everyday assaults we have to tolerate due to the influence of money in politics and a compliant corporate owned media.

It us surprising that PostMedia would allow their rag to challenge the Harper Government(tm) and its legitimacy, but I applaud them and Maher and MacGregor. We, the great unwashed people, must not let this slither down the memory hole.......

BTW, if you missed Christy Clueless on the House w/ Evan SolemnMan, you missed a comedy treat.....what a joke, premier my patooi, she shouldn't be in charge of herself, much less a province.

RossK said...

Great points Koot--

Especially the flip side.

And ya, you got me....I guess I was really speaking of pundits/columnists.

Was actually working this am, and thus missed the (not)Premier...May listen on pod...Or...May instead stick nine inch nails, with tabasco sauce on tips, in my ears...


Bill said...


Yes, "stick nine inch nails, with Tabasco sauce on tips, in my ears"- that would be the no brainer- just like Christy. And the pain woudn't last as long.

Anonymous said...

Is there anything Harper hasn't lied about?

There was election fraud, and the election isn't valid. I don't give a damn who is to blame.

I read about the election fraud, right after Harper won his so called majority. This was on an American site called presscore. They said, Harper's election win was rigged, and robo-calls went out from the U.S. I believe they named, North Dakota.

I read: Harper gives a speech in New York, at the Council of foreign Relations. This was Sept 25/2007. This is what presscore was talking about, why the election was rigged. I'm afraid, I believe everything they said. BC Mary and I agreed on this one.

Beijing York said...

OMG, I finally heard Christy Clark on The House this morning. I knew she was bad but hearing her speak for the first time made me really feel awful for you good citizens in BC. Definitely suited up as one of the four horsemen of the Harper Apocalypse.

RossK said...


Not surprising, really.

She is being ridden by Ken Boessenkool and Sara McIntyre.