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

Friday, December 13, 2002

Izzy, Mills kiss and make up

Not quite.

CanWest Global, publisher of most of Canada's leading daily papers including the Ottawa Citizen, has reached an undisclosed settlement with former Citizen publisher Russell Mills. Mills, who had been the paper's publisher since 1986, was sacked this past June after he had the temerity to run an editorial calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Jean Chretien without first having the editorial approved by CanWest headquarters. Chretien is a close friend of CanWest controlling shareholder Izzy Asper. Asper has been getting a bit of a reputation as a manipulator of his media holdings; forcing his papers to run the same editorials on national issues and not tolerating any dissent on the editorial page.

Mills himself was no protector of editorial independence himself. Back in 1996, Mills was summoned to meet with Conrad Black, who had just purchased the Citizen. Black, a staunch conservative, was displeased with what he perceived to be a soft left slant in the paper, and wished to get rid of the lefty riff-raff, including Mills. Mills pled his case with Black, and kept his job after promising to gas then-editor Jim Travers and editorial page editor Peter Calamai, and to replace the two with cranky libertarian Neil Reynolds (now editor of the Vancouver Sun) and strident conservative John Robson. However, Mills's firing turned him into the cause celebre of press freedom in Canada.

Mills got the last laugh: he accepted a visiting professorship at Harvard, an institution that I suspect has a little more prestige than the Ottawa Citizen.

(Izzy sez: Oh yeah? Well, it's not like he got a full, tenured professorship. Those visiting seats are a dime a dozen. So there.)

DISCLAIMER: May not be actual words of anyone nicknamed Izzy. Not valid when combined with any other offers. Void where prohibited, which is pretty much anywhere but the Cayman Islands. Possibly void there, too. Use at your own risk. Just like Microsoft products. Oops. Better take that back. Microsoft is good. Why would you need to use anything that's not Microsoft. If you disagree, there's something wrong with you. Is that okay now, Bill?
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