Well, well, just as Canned Waste has maintained its ownership of the Vacuum Award for the second year running, so has the Globe and Mail from the center of the universe managed to maintain its grip on the Gyro itself. It is surprising that a Toronto based paper would annually win for its dizzying spin infested coverage of what is basically a British Columbia issue. But then it is (or should be) surprising that a paper from Hogtown pays as much or more attention to the BC Rail issue than our home grown megalopoly of the Media. Where BC's Can West dominated media tries its best to ignore the whole BC Rail Trial and issues, the Hubris of Hogtown prefers to spin it into humourous irrelevancy. Last year's winner Gary Mason took us to bed with Dave Basi and his wife in an effort to win our hearts over to give mercy to poor Ms. Basi and her fine upstanding husband and just forget about the stolen railroad and insider tips, bribes and god knows what.
This year, just in time to qualify (December 31, 2007) Norman the Spectre weighed in with No conspiracy here, just a badly managed justice system If you aren't a paying suscriber to the Globe and Mail though, it isn't worth going there to read the 46 words from the beginning of the article to which you will be allowed access. Unless you got there within SIX days of publication:
To continue reading this article, you must be a Globe Insider subscriber or a 5- or 6-day newspaper subscriber.
Or, you can purchase just this article.
Now if you kill a couple trees to make a copy of the paper, I'll probably have to pay for a copy today. But next week, or next month, I can get it for free just to use to light my fire in the woodstove. Oh well, the modern media is having a hard time figuring out how to "monetize" stuff, and some are doing better than others. Don't feel bad, Globe and Mail, even Bill Gates is running in place trying to figure out the new-fangled InterTooobz and how to make money with it, though he proved pretty good at making money in the desktop universe. And really, Globe and Mail, we are so thrilled that ya'll notice us back there with the whole universe revolving around you and all - heck, maybe that has something to do with inducing such SPIN in your writers.
Anyway, since I don't want to irritate all of the Globe and Mails herd of lawyers I won't reproduce the whole prize winning article by Mr. Spector and will merely, thanks to free use, quote some bits for critical purposes, in order to support my contention that Mr. Spector deserves this year's Gyro.
The first question that comes to my mind is WHY Norman's opinion is even valued by anybody in the first place. Let's examine some of the highlights of his career. Well, he was an advisor (I don't feel like looking up the exact title) to the man who was indisputably the worst Prime Minister in the history of Canada, well, at least until Stephen Harper came along. Oh, let's not forget that he also was some kind of advisor to Mini-Wac, the least pleasant Bennett for British Columbians to recall. So that's pretty much 2 for 2 in terms of being able to claim some responsibility for the policies of losers. I wonder if Norman advised Brian to cuddle up to Ronnie Raygun, and I wonder if he was the one who told Billy to pull the plug before the people pulled it for him.
Oh well, let's examine the dizzying contents of Norm's winning entry in the Spin Dizzy Gyro Sweepstakes. To begin with Norman makes much of the fact that someone (he assumes from the Victoria Police) apparently tipped off the media about the Legislature Raids so that pictures could be taken of dollies full of files being carted out of the Legislature. Does Norm think that the unprecedented execution of search warrants on the People's Legislature was less deserving of attention than say Glen Clark coming home from a day at the office to find his East Van home full of cops and surrounded by media? By the way Norm, I still haven't even begun to see any footage of the Ledge Raids to compare with the constant re-play of the Raid on the Back Porch Deck!
Normie quickly moves on to a favorite subject among those who consider themselves "real" journalists, writing for "real" newspapers as he attacks people like BC Mary and myself as conspiracy theorists (or was that other people on the internet?) and the whole matter as an NDP election ploy.
Unfortunately, though it's rarely stated as boldly, it has been replaced by dark hints of a plot to protect Gordon Campbell's government by ensuring that Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk never have to testify in open court.
In the main, this overheated talk circulates on the Internet among people whose minds incline them to believe in conspiracies. Sadly, however, some of the speculation is fuelled by New Democrats and their allies in the media, who see the Basi-Virk trial and its links to the BC Rail privatization as their big chance – okay, their only chance – to win the 2009 election.
What a cute concept, NDP allies in the media - which media would that be, Normie, the Republic of East Van, The NDP Newsletter?
Of course to people like Normie with no values other than their own personal advancement and winning elections as the only worthy goal, it must be difficult to understand folks who just feel that politicians should be honest AND have the interests of the people (that they are supposed to represent) foremost in their heart and mind. According to the Spectral One all is the result of "poor management" and a concerted effort to delay justice by employing lawyers.
This is not to say that repeated delays in setting a trial date are not a source of legitimate concern. However, there's no conspiracy here: British Columbians are simply witnessing for themselves how badly the justice system is managed. We're also seeing how that system can be played by anyone who can afford a good lawyer, or can find a way to have taxpayers pay for one – assuming that person isn't in any particular hurry to clear his name.
It is very difficult to support a claim that any delays in this trial are the result of delaying tactics by the defense, unless the defence is expected to just throw up their hands and go to trial without the disclosure of evidence to which they are still entirely entitled. This right may be headed for the same fate as the dodo bird, but as of today it is still the right of the Basis and Mr. Virk to be considered innocent until proven guilty AND to have access to documents and witnesses that may support their claim of innocence. The delays in this matter seem to be coming from somewhere far above the defendants in the pecking order.
Farther along Mr. Spector compares these happenings in BC to things going on in Ottawa, some of which involve his erstwhile buddy Brian and the questionable envelopes stuffed with cash. Almost too silly to mention is an implication in here that Stephen Harper is some kind of paragon of openness and accountability in his handling of the Schrieber/Mulroney issue - I hate to even give that the courtesy of a mention. Or maybe he's being critical of St. Stephen, this far into the article I'm so dizzy it is easy to become confused.
Mr. Spector moves along in his dizzying and fantasy laced delirium until he finally types out the sentence that all by itself would have qualified this piece as the hands down Leaden Gyroscope Winner with:
In comparison, there's been considerable coverage by B.C. journalists of the Basi-Virk pretrial manoeuvring – including in The Post's sister CanWest papers, which underplayed the Mulroney story until recently.
I can only conclude that Mr. Spector gets some special edition of the CanWest papers delivered to his home daily. You know, some that actually cover the news, especially the REAL news about things that are relevant and important to British Columbians.
Considering that Mr. Spector's two most prominent former clients are little more than unpleasant memories today, I would like to suggest that he apply for a position advising Gordon Campbell. Perhaps he could slide into Mr. Dobell's old office. I would be more than willing to write a personal recommendation letter, if he thought that would help.