Well the time has come to announce the eagerly anticipated winner of the Golden Gyroscope for Spinning the Basi/Virk Trial the hardest in 2006. I have to admit when the amount of spin applied to this issue in the newpapers, on the TeeVee, online and even by the Attorney General of the Province is so great that we have to spend our time dealing with nausea from dizziness, it isn't easy to choose a winner. But then on December 27, once I had put bricks on the corners of the paper so it wouldn't spin, there was the headline in the Globe and Mail "THERE IS NOTHING TO THESE CHARGES." If one was wondering what charges are referred to then the online headline might be helpful - "DAVE, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? I DON'T KNOW, BOB. I HONESTLY DON'T." That's certainly not as boring as the old "It wouldn't be appropriate to comment on a matter before the courts" so why not just DELIVER A VERDICT IN THE PRESS!
For those of you who still haven't guessed, the winner is that recycled relatively poor (I'm not talking about his bank account) sports writer - GARY MASON. Oh, and by the way Gar, I've decided that you don't deserve the lovely Gold Gyro, so we are fixing you up with the plain jane model. Most likely neither one can spin as well as you, so suck it up and be happy with what you're given. Too bad you're not a journalist, but hey, we can't all be in the NHL either!
Rather than soil myself and butt my head on the paywall at the Gross & Maul(the truth) - I will share some of BC Mary's observations upon discovering this PR Fluff piece (thanks to BC Mary - They played Gary Mason like a violin):
I've often said that I wondered how Basi and Virk were doing. And yet this big, sprawling, teary-eyed story came across as creating suspicion, because it didn't seem that they or Gary Mason were being straight with the public. I don't know, but could public opinion then influence the trial verdict? I've never seen the inner thoughts of any other accused person put on public display before, almost like an endorsement of their innocence, just ahead of their trial. Have you? Is this legal?
.......Gary Mason's story begins (in the on-line version) in bed with Dave and his wife Inderjit Basi. Got that? The reader is dropped right into the accused's marital bed. And I don't want to be there. Yuck to "grab-'em-by-the-balls" attention-getting. It's unworthy of an old Conservative newspaper. More about that point later.
......It's a long article, mostly personal opinion, riddled with intimate personal gratuitous information. Basi is "stunned, "in shock", "his mind whirled" and "feeling numb", things which Mason has no way of knowing himself; but which he accepts in the role of stenographer. It's mawkish emotionalism, money-talk, baby-talk, daddy-talk, thwarted ambition, every maudlin angle to create sympathy except for one glaring omission. What about the public? What did Basi and Virk think about the public interest?
......There are many glaring clues, subtleties, contradictions and points of interest in this story, well worth anyone's study. It's an article which will end up in university-level journalism and political science classes for all the wrong reasons.
Gary, I don't imagine you are interested in my advice but, why don't you go back to the sports beat . Sports really aren't all that important, so it wouldn't really matter if you don't get it right. I know, if you lie about the score some bookie and bettor might get in a fight, but hey, that's gambling for you. But issues that involve the public trust, and actually even life and death (as in CN's management of BC Rail and the "Ugly American's" handling of the BC Ferries, to name just two issues this government needs to answer for that could be partially illuminated by this trial "about nothing") are obviously too important to be handled by someone of your journalistic weaknesses and fictional talent. You want to spin? Go home with your
On the Other Hand!
Some folks weren't even nominated for Gyros because gosh darn-it they were just trying to share what was actually going on without consciously or unconsciously promoting someone's agenda. There are three I would like to point out or honor at this moment in time.
Robin Matthews for his incredible effort in being at so many of the hearings to date and telling it like it is and was.
Bill Tieleman for not ignoring the issue and being so willing to share information and argue the points if necessary.
Last, but defintely not least, BC Mary who has kept on the issue and even worn out shoe leather chasing up and down the Island in search of the vanishing and elusive courthouse and publically available (as it should be) information about what the courts are doing on our dime and time, and supposedly in our interest and the interest of justice (cough, cough).
Remember boys and girls - the day after April Fool's Day the trial is scheduled to begin. It's about time, or we're all being taken for fools!