Friday, June 16, 2006

Up in smoke

The CBC is smokin' these days, producing such thought-provoking pieces as today's little ditty titled Manitoba NDP under fire for ignoring smoking ban. While no Manitoban should be ignoring the smoking ban, the story stretches the truth as we thought only Brodbeck could - starting with the following opening statement:

"An NDP smoking ban in public buildings in Manitoba appears to be going unheeded by some government staff members who have been spotted puffing away in the legislative building," the story claims.

"Earlier this week, three people were spotted hanging out the windows of the NDP's caucus office, smoking."

Well, NDP caucus members do not work for government any more than Tory caucus members do. But let's not let the facts get in the way of a cheap "gotcha" story.

The story goes on to say: "The CBC tried to get a comment from Michael Balagus, Premier Gary Doer's chief of staff, as he enjoyed a cigarette outside the legislative building. He too declined."

As the story says, Balagus was smoking OUTSIDE the building. But despite NOT breaking any law, Balagus finds himself named in this story about alleged wrong doers.

Using the CBC's peculiar brand of "news" judgement, one could see a whole series of stories emerging:

Balagus Has a Beer With Someone Who Used to Smoke; Balagus Spotted Grocery Shopping, Buys Smokes; Doer Spotted with Notorious Smoker Balagus. The possibilities are virtually endless. Of course, Tory health critic Myrna Driedger accused the government of "hypocrisy." (Like the CBC, having no proof is never a deterrant for Myrna).

Too bad the CBC didn't ask Tory MLAs Bonnie Mitchelson or David Faurschou for comment. The two Tories can be found almost daily, puffing away outside the east doors of the Legislature. Usually not far from Balagus himself.

Hmmmm.... Outside Smoker Balagus in Cahoots With Tories? Stay tuned folks. We'll smoke 'em out.