Monday, June 25, 2007

A thirsty guy walks into a bar ... you finish it.

Wow. Yowch. The Sausage Man rebuts.

Now, normally, we would not rebut a rebuttal -- kind of a tedious experience for blogger and reader alike.

In his blog, Dan denies our assertion (in a rather thin-skinned way, wethinks) that in his post-election analysis piece he bought into the Tory thesis that the election might have been theirs had there not been a "flood" of pre-election advertising by the government.

Just for the record, we have no problem with Dan or any journalist reporting what one side says. That's all fine.

It is a silly point of view, of course. Utter nonsense to say that a few ads from the government (as all governments do) somehow fooled Manitobans who would have otherwise thrown Gary Doer out. But instead they decided to hand the NDP an historic 36 seat third majority.

Our point was that if government advertising could change the mood of the public, then Gary Filmon would have reigned beyond 1999, because the Tories advertised like crazy in the pre-election period.

In fact, just a few days before the recent election, Mia Rabson revealed in one of her pieces that as Hugh McFadyen was spending the last days of the campaign suddenly complaining loudly about government advertising, setting up this strange excuse for losing the election -- back in 1999 as Filmon's Chief of Staff, McFadyen was in receipt of a memo from his campaign manager Greg Lyle advising him to crank up the provincial ad machine. Which he in fact did, but to no apparent avail.

Nonetheless, if Dan wants to report McFadyen's and Scarth's ridiculous post-justification, fine.

However, for Dan's and others' edification, here is a key line from Dan's story:

However, the deft timing of the writ, combined with the flurry of pre-election advertising, seemed to do the trick: The NDP lead grew to double-digit levels almost immediately.

Note this is assertion by the author. Unless we are mistaken, this statement is not attributed to anyone. It appears to be the analysis of the writer.

This is allowed, of course. We believe it was valid to run this story not just on the Op Ed pages, as it did, but it could have run in the news pages. But statements such as the above clearly signals that it is an ANALYSIS piece, not just straight-forward reportage. It appears that it is indeed Dan's view.

It is that view we disagreed with in our previous post.

Dan, indeed, did drink the Kool Aid -- unless he now feels the above statement is not his view, that it is not his analysis.

'Nuff said. Belaboured point is now over.


Business to clear up -- we have heard from scriblers such as Dan and the soon-to-depart Curtis Brown that our references to the Mountain Ave. Typing School and calls for reform of the tired and pedantic FreeP Editorial Board seem to include them.

Rest assured, gentlemen.

While we don't always agree with our friends mentioned above, we are not saying all the opinion and analysis printed by the Free Press is completely lacking. We are, however, actually speaking specifically about the hidebound, trite troglodytes of the Editorial Board itself -- the likes of Flood, Oleson and Mitchell, as we have noted here before.

And if publisher Andy Ritchie doesn't do something about this, then he might as well sell the Op Ed page space to make way for car ads -- which has the benefit of both raising Free Press Publications' profits and doing the readership a favour. Please, Mr. Ritchie, stop the pain.


We're taking a break.

This space will darken for an undefined period -- the summer, anyway -- to rest and reflect on the purpose of this experiment of the past 18 months.

Take care all. Have a good summer. Have a few beers.