Friday, December 17, 2010

Good start to the day

This video made my day. And well that 90 second clip of Mr Assange outside the courthouse made my day yesterday.

The things he has to say may not necessarily be what you have been hearing. Though for me, it is good enough just seeing him out of solitary confinement and speaking as well as always. And a coooool cucumber, Julian Assange is quite the master at public speaking. Despite annoying and repeated interjections from the host interviewer, he keeps the lid on.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

We aren't holding a gun to your head, stop bitching

**Corrections from last post**

**1. Melissa Martin has said the following about the story in question:

The long story short of that is because the only evidence I, and several other reporters far more talented and experienced than I, could find came from an individual with a vested personal interest in seeing Ross Eadie lose the election… and this person would not go on the record.

We can’t put serious allegations in the paper unless we have strong evidence to support them. The stronger the allegation, the stronger the evidence needed, for obvious reasons. Parroting allegations made by an anonymous source with a clear and undeniable bias, along with some untraceable complaints, is not strong evidence.


**2. Bartley Kives did look into the Ross Eadie accusations. In my previous post I stated that "he did nothing." I take it back.

**3. Melissa Martin spoke to Red River College journalism students about reviewing, and entertainment reporting, and nothing about news.


*** New Post ***

For some the idea of human rights is difficult to understand. We live in North America, a place that by and large, consider themselves to be above and beyond human rights, as if it is in the past, that these things no longer happen.

To many, not having "freedom of speech" means nobody holds a gun to your head. It means that because there are other avenues to pursue, your "right to free speech" can be taken elsewhere. Like the internet.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was passed in 1948. I'm pretty sure the internet didn't exist then, or in Al Gore's infant brain. If The Great Canadian Talk Show had been cancelled in 1949, today, the same people ridiculing me in my comments would be saying "well you can still stand on the sidewalk and shout."

The facts here, remain. The truth is all we've got in the end. TGCTS existed for 4 years under the leadership of RRC President Jeff Zabudsky, who declined to act on political pressure, or Winnipeg Free Press pressure, to cancel the show. Within 3 months of new leadership, Stephanie Forsyth was bending to the pressure of the Winnipeg Free Press, to cancel another show, by leaning on two members of a non-profit executive. The reasons for the show's cancellation are bogus. We can all see through that, regardless of whether or not you are a fan of the show.

That, is interference. That, is silencing a voice of opinion and expression. Because one has other avenues to pursue, such as standing on a soap box with a megaphone on Portage and Main, does not make the accusation empty.

Choking off options and eliminating something that gains steam and has influence, is part of controlling information. If something becomes a threat to your existence in one medium, it does not mean that influence is transferrable. TV and radio have the ability to gain the most attention.

Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of the Press, are necessary to hold government to account and keep the truth from being swept under the rug forever. With an American-style attack ad campaign for next year's provincial election already ramping up, Winnipeg, and Manitoba, are worse off with even just one less alternative voice.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Red River Censorship over a Free Press cover-up

Tonight was TGCTS Live, at the Norwood Community Centre. Both "Young Josh" and the twitter-blogger Hacks and Wonks tweeted from the event and I suppose that collectively it kind of amounts to a sort of live blog. Marty and TGCTS of course was silenced on November 8th.

Where does this all stem from?

Well it turns out that the Winnipeg Free Press has a history of going to the Red River College president to get Marty fired. Just that Jeff Zabudsky wasn't as malleable as Stephanie Forsyth obviously is.

Why did someone go to the president this time? Well, that person was Margo Goodhand, editor of the WFP. The reason, was that Marty had "defamed" a reporter. Publisher Bob Cox, alleges that Marty had not checked his facts and was spreading lies.

Who hasn't checked their facts? Bob Cox.

The story in question was during the civic election, written by Melissa Martin and Bartley Kives, about Ross Eadie and the NDP, at a Point Douglas Residents Association-held candidate debate.

Ross Eadie, during that very meeting, stated that he could not run if he were not financed by the NDP. Melissa Martin, failed to write this for the story. Because she failed to write it, I suppose, her bosses, Margo Goodhand and Bob Cox, believe it did not happen. Because it did not happen, I suppose, Margo Goodhand, can go to the president of Red River College and allege that Marty Gold is defaming her reporter.

If you wish to read a first hand account of this incident, you can go here.

If that is not enough to convince you, more than 5 formal complaints were made to the City Elections Official Marc Lemoine. Though, these were not investigated, because according to Mr Lemoine, he is not able to investigate such things.

Bartley Kives, although he was not present at this candidate debate, was also made aware of this allegation via email. That is, both writers of this story, were fully aware that Ross Eadie, had let it slip that he couldn't run without NDP support. Melissa Martin didn't report. Bart knew, but didn't do anything about it. And the Winnipeg Free Press never ran a correction, nor a follow up story, nor did they ever run a story about how the City Clerks office apparently cannot investigate illegal campaign activity, which would suggest there is no body to uphold civic election laws.

So when Margo Goodhand got wind that Marty Gold was criticising Melissa Martin for not reporting this incident? It seemed like high time to go talk to the new RRC President, Stephanie Forsyth.

After the election, Melissa Martin spoke to RRC CreComm journalism students. I wonder how many of those students are aware of her fine work in gatekeeperism? Or of how the Winnipeg "Free Press" was involved with getting Marty Gold off the air, or of how their new president is clearly a fan of free speech and human rights.

Freedom of Speech is article 19 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Not only does Marty Gold have a right to express his opinion that the Winnipeg Free Press' civic election coverage was crap (a right both Margo Goodhand and Bob Cox should familiarize themselves with), but that this basic human right and founding principle of Western democracies including Canada, is not to be interfered with.

Stephanie Forsyth? Meet Article 19. By the way Steph, Canada voted in favour of passing this Universal Declaration. And by the way, the Canadian Museum of Human Rights is coming to town.

The City of Winnipeg, home to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, and home to a community college president who violates said Human Rights.

It is fascinating to me, how "journalists" in this town can go to a candidate debate during an election and fail to report a candidate who admits to engaging in illegal campaign activity. Then, the paper's brass can lie and accuse someone of defamation to a post secondary institution president. Meanwhile, the paper can pretend that the incident did not occur. Then, the college president can do no investigation into whether or not these allegations are true, and terminate a radio broadcast, without legal reason to do so. With no formal complaint, and with nothing in writing.

The Winnipeg Free Press has succeeded in controlling information. Their previous attempts to silence TGCTS were foiled by Jeff Zabudsky, who was aware of the relationship between Kick FM and RRC, and refused to get involved. Kick FM station manager Rick is responsible for all programming and has been for the past several years.

With the exception of one program: The Great Canadian Talk Show. Marty Gold's show remains the only one pulled off the air since November 8th under the guise of "student interest."

The RRC Kills Free Speech Facebook Group.

If this contradicts anything anybody may have received from Graham Thomson, his email is: gthomson@rrc.mb.ca

Or please, by all means, email the editor and publisher of the Winnipeg "Free Press." Or by all means, email RRC President Forsyth's (sgforsyth@rrc.mb.ca) and educate her on Article 19.

Smeared

One thing in particular continues to crop up in relation to Julian Assange, founder and spokesperson for Wikileaks, that very much disturbs me. It is bothersome to me how people, especially people writing for American media outlets, can be so ignorant, and well, stupid.



....That this man, is motivated to bring down the US Government.

Or that he is politically motivated.

How can this be? It is so ridiculously stupid that you must really have to have your head so far up your ass with patriotism that it is not possible to remember where the Afghan Diaries, the Iraq War Logs, or the US Embassy Cables came from.

Not like they hacked it out of US servers, or pulled a B&E at the Pentagon. A fellow by the name of Gordon Crovitz writing for the Wall Street Journal has succinctly presented this rather comedic point of view by saying:

"The reason he launched WikiLeaks is not that he's a whistleblower....but because he hopes to hobble the U.S."

The piece refers to a couple of essays Assange wrote (which I will have to try and find somewhere) which, though Crovitz attempts to spin things his way, the quotes he lifts seem to be better fitted to explaining the current situation than explaining someone's motives to topple a specific government. Crovitz then stretches it to compare Assange to some guy who sent bombs in the mail. Absolute lunacy.

They were sent this information. They published it. If you watch Assange speak, he frequently refers to material Wikileaks published that greatly affected Kenya in 2007. Either they have stayed true to their mission statement, which I believe they have, or sometime between 2007 and 2010, Assange decided he was going to hate on the US and launch "attacks" against them.

It is hard to argue that publishing information is an "attack." US Congressman Ron Paul is (not surprisingly) the only US politician that has not denounced Wikileaks. Rather beautifully, he said:

"In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble."