The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Monday, August 19, 2002

Looks like it did send a chill through the newsroom.

This plain-jane wire story about Liberal Senators declaring support for Jean Chr├ętien was given the headine

Eighty-five per cent of Liberal senators declare support for Chretien

in the Ottawa Citizen web site. The Globe and Mail's headline merely read "Most Liberal senators back PM." Most, by definition, is somewhat more than half. "Eighty-five percent" seems more impressive than "most," doesn't it?

More evidence, that despite what Izzy and Leaonard Asper claim, the recent firing of Citizen publisher Russell Mills has put a chill on the Citizen. Before the Aspers' manoeuvres, the Citizen's editorial page was one of the strongest critics of the Liberal government, and had no problem with writing headlines that made the situation for the Liberals look pretty grim.

For those of you who don't remember, Mr. Mills was fired as publisher soon after the Citizen ran a lead editorial calling for Prime Minister Jean Chr├ętien's resignation. The official line was that... well, it changed a lot! First, it had nothing to do woth the editorial calling on the PM to resign, then said that Mills had failed to inform the Aspers that they were going to run the piece. Later that same day, Leonard Asper said that the editorial was "the last straw." Well, what was it?

It is well known that controversial editorials, colums, and news items have to be run through the CanWest Global central office now that CanWest Global owns the Southam papers. This was never the practice under any of the chain's former owners.

The whole situation caused quite the kerfuffle, of course. The Aspers said that there would be no direct interference in the paper's operations, but many feared that there would be a silent reluctance to run material that could embarrass the Prime Minister, who is a close friend of CanWest majority shareholder I.H. (Izzy) Asper, and company CEO Leonard Asper.

Russell Mills has gotten the last laugh so far. The man once described as Canada's most boring journalist has been given a visiting professor's position at Harvard. I think that that beats working for the Aspers and one of their McMedia outlets.

In other Citizen-related matters, Susan Riley has a column on the more civilized (and invisible) NDP leadership race.

I should have more to write on the NDP race, but there hasn't been a whole lot of action except for the contenders announcing their candidacy. Maybe it's not just the "corporate media assholes" that are the cause of the NDP's troubles after all.
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