04.27.2011 08:13 AM

Next time someone says Sun News is a CPC adjunct, I plan to cite this

(And, may I say, this is very, very disappointing.)

Bad information is an occupational hazard in this business, and fortunately our in-house protocols prevented the unthinkable. But it is the ultimate source of this material that is profoundly troubling to me, my colleagues and, I think, should be of concern to all Canadians. It is my belief that this planted information was intended to first and foremost seriously damage Michael Ignatieff’s campaign but in the process to damage the integrity and credibility of Sun Media and, more pointedly, that of our new television operation, Sun News.

If any proof is needed to dispel the false yet still prevalent notion that Sun Media and the Sun News Network are the official organs of the Conservative Party of Canada, I offer this unfortunate episode as Exhibit A.

37 Comments


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    smelter rat says:

    Mr. peladeau claims to speak for ordinary Canadians…but only listens via moderated comments 🙂


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      Michael Watkins says:

      CBC Reports that Patrick Muttart was on Sun Media’s Payroll… and also on the payroll of the CPC campaign. Muttart strikes back at the Empire.

      The article doesn’t say they two contracts were overlapping, although there is an odd comment that Muttart’s company is still providing “pro-bono work for the network, giving feedback on graphics and on-air promotional spots”.

      Yeah, small world, etc.

      ps: is it any wonder that Canadians are looking for a third choice?


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        Namesake says:

        yup. The Citizen’s Glen McGregor – who also effectively deconstructed the first story – picks up on that US communications co. employer’s press release / defense on Muttart’s behalf.

        And what strikes me about it is how similar this guy’s role and career arc with the PM is to that other evil genius / Mr. Fixit we’ve heard so much about, of late: Bruce Carson.

        (Both did the vital comm work on stickhandling tricky issues for the PMO; both continued to do work extending the PM’s agenda ostensibly for other employers after leaving the PMO, but with his backing, endorsement &/or grant money; both came back to serve at his pleasure during sudden progrogrations or elections.)

        And ironically, both would be the ones who’d help him deal with bumps in the road like this… except, um, this time, they ARE both the bumps, UNDER the bus, and are in no position and with even less inclination to help.

        Karma’s a bitch.

        http://talkpos.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/muttart-responds-to-peladeaus-iggys-war-essay/

        Statement From Mercury LLC in Response to a Column by Pierre-Karl Peladeau:

        http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/Statement-From-Mercury-LLC-cnw-989652696.html?x=0


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    Dave Wells says:

    It would have been more convincing had they told Muttart to go stuff it right away. As I see it, they received some planted intelligence on Ignatieff, decided not to run the story, and are now shouting this fact from the rooftops as proof they are not CPCTV.

    Um, sorry, not convinced. Did I miss something in the chain of events?


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      catherine says:

      Yes, you missed that they did run with the story, they just didn’t publish the photo of Ignatieff (supposedly, ha!) in Iraq raring to gun down some people. That’s supposed to be proof they are not CPCTV.


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        JenS says:

        Exactly. Their blustering indignation belies what they actually did run with, which defied all laws of journalistic accuracy. The parts they didn’t use were solely the parts they could get sued for. This doesn’t in any way prove they are anything beyond Conservative shills aimed at the lowest common denominator. And sorry, WK, but even your involvement isn’t able to push their average past that.


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    GPAlta says:

    So where is their headline “HARPER’s TOP AID LIED”? The real story is buried.


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      smelter rat says:

      Apaprenlty Muttart went back to Chicago. Guess he was “just visiting”.


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    Dave Roberts says:

    It’s a pity the Toronto Star couldn’t make the same assertion that they aren’t an organ of the soon-to-be former Offical Opposition.


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      Nastyboy says:

      B-b-b-b-but it’s only biased yellow journalism when it’s someone we don’t agree with.


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    kyliep says:

    No, the Sun just ran a headline on their pages one week ago declaring that Iggy planned the Iraq war. I’m sure there was no intention to turn left-wing voters off the Liberal leader.


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      Warren says:

      Yep. And I went after the author, on-air, and linked to it on this site. Did you not see that?


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        Ted says:

        I did and good for you. But Lilley was completely unapologetic for his deceit.


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          MontrealElite says:

          Right you are Ted


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            JenS says:

            As you should have. Lilley has absolutely no credibility whatsoever. He is an archetype of what has caused the profession a bad name.


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      kyliep says:

      warren, yep, saw that, and props for you for doing so and pointing out how ridiculous the whole story was. wondering how many people who saw that headline took the time to watch or listen to you in that segment, though. i’m saying it had the intended effect, which was reinforcing the association b/w Ignatieff and the Iraq war.


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    Ted says:

    When even your best friends and allies are calling you deceitful, you know there is something to it.

    Question: Are the Harper Conservatives even capable of being honest anymore?


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      smelter rat says:

      Were they ever?


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        Ted says:

        I do think they thought they were honest when they formed government.


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          smelter rat says:

          Most crooks and liars do. It’s part of the pathology.


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    Jeff says:

    Sorry not trying to be smug but still missing something here and I read the piece Warren linked to.

    Ok the picture wasn’t Mr. Ignatieff once a higher resolution picture was furbished. Thus it would seem that Harper’s aide hoped SUN media would run with the blurry version with the full piece making Ignatieff look bad and when he presumably defended himself and SUN had to print a retraction, they would look bad. And, in due course, SUN would have again pointed this right back to where they did just point it making Harper’s aide and by proxy Harper look slimey. So the logic doesn’t add up.

    All that aside, what of the rest of the information? The article insinuates a grainy picture was provided that later turned out to not be Ignatieff. What about the rest of the information? Has it been debunked?


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    catherine says:

    I assume you are being sarcastic, Warren.

    A Harper PMO insider sends them something that any idiot would know is false, they salivate over the photo but realize it needs to be checked, but run with the story anyway which is completely debunked by a simple google check that Amnesty and other human rights organizations attended the same meeting as Ignatieff, and they think the idea that they didn’t publish the photo of “Ignatieff” in army fatigues, slinging a gun, on the ground in the start of the Iraq invasion, means they aren’t in cohoots with Harper. What is Sun smoking? I thought that article completely discredited Sun’s CEO more so than any outside critic could do.


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      Namesake says:

      and they DO publish the photo anyway, which reprises the story, and causes some to believe it like they’d hoped in the first place,* while, again, not apologizing for debunking the whole bogus story in the first place.

      http://www.torontosun.com/2011/04/26/alls-not-fair-in-war

      e.g., see the comment there by:

      “Jack Dalfour
      You claim the person is “proved to be an American soldier.” Where is the proof? I believe the high-resolution photo looks more like Iggy than the low resolution. I do not see a name on the person’s uniform. IF this is an American soldier, what is his name?”

      In other Sun editorial news:

      apparently Michael Harris has been let go, for speaking truth to power

      http://rabble.ca/news/2011/04/criticize-harper-get-fired-ottawa-sun

      just like Greg Weston was last summer, for exposing the G20 fake lake / media pavilion costs.


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        catherine says:

        Hey, isn’t that Harper standing behind Ignatieff?

        Lol! Yes, this obviously is just more Sun spin on their “news”.


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    Bruce from Etobicoke says:

    A better headline might have been “The count of Harper staff and former staff now accused of lying is now at….my goodness that’s a very large number!”

    But I guess trying to take credit for not publishing fake news will have to do. I kind of think that meets minimum requirements performance wise.


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      Philip says:

      Or more accurately publishing a picture that could have got them sued. Sun had no issues runing their “story”.


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    dave says:

    What’s this?
    The Conservative Party and Sun cooked up this stunt so that Peladeau could compose a self righteous editorial saying ‘See! We’re not biased?’
    Is that what we unwashed masses are supposed to gather from all this?


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      catherine says:

      Supposedly and as a side bonus to both the CPC and the Sun they got to lie about Ignatieff planning the Iraq war in national media. Bonuses all around it would seem and now they want a pat on the back for it.


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    Supernaut says:

    Didn’t they go with this as their published hard copy front page?

    http://twitpic.com/4n90f2

    If they did, it speaks way louder than anything else.


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    Loraine Lamontagne says:

    “We are in the news business and what we care about more than anything else is the truth.”

    From what I have seen of the news business, they are in the business of collecting revenue from advertisers and avoiding law suits as much as possible.


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      dave says:

      The story goes about Izzy Asper speaking to his newly acquired editors and reporters and telling them that their job is to sell soap.

      I understand that some of them bristled at this; but, often, it looks like Izzy was on to something.


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    Briguyhfx says:

    Out of curiousity, what other media organisations were leaked this story? Was it a Sun scoop?


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      Namesake says:

      Good point. I suspect it was another nudge-nudge, wink-wink ‘exclusive,’ from one current PMO flak to another, past one, like that loathsome series they did on the “Vacationing Tamil ‘refugees'” last summer:

      which was based on a VERY suspicious leak from the Dep’t of Citizenship & Immigration, of an internal review of 50 Sri Lankan immigration files, where the families were all applying to sponsor another family member in (as many immigrants are wont to do!), and they found that a lot of the ones who’d come in as refugees had gone back to visit — most likely as soon as the civil war ended, and most likely to check in on the family members they wanted to sponsor in

      — but the Sun mischaracterized this as a “Survey” and declared all those people — and by extension, pretty much all Sri Lankan refugeee claimants, as “frauds,” in order to whip up support for the CPC and their (unconstitutional) ‘tough on boat people’ bills.

      http://warrenkinsella.com/2010/08/warman-wins-again/#comment-8160

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-politics-blog/2010/08/in-praise-of-context-a-little-background-on-that-secret-government-survey-of-successful-tamil-refuge.html


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      TDotRome says:

      Excellent point. If the photo & story were sent to every outlet, how is it their fact-checkers caught the BS & squashed it, yet Sun Media didn’t?

      If only Sun Media received the photo, then doesn’t that point to the adjuncted-ness of Sun Media to the CPC?

      And, you don’t get to pat yourself on the back for integrity because you didn’t run the photo…….you still ran the story!! And, you hammered Iggy base in scrum based on false information. That’s pathetic journalism (which Sun Media is rarely accused of doing).

      I’ve always found it hilarious when people…….cough, cough, Peladeau……..come out with excuses & explanations on why they effed up. When real men & women, grown up men & women would have first apologized.

      Heaven forbid you tell Ignatieff you’re sorry, right Sun Media?


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    Mike_02 says:

    Looks like the only “truth” in the Sun newspapers will be found on the comics page.


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    eattv says:

    Integrity. Good on Mr. Peladeau.


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    Darren K says:

    Sorry Warren, I like agreeing with you, but SunTV is nothing more than some rednecks trying to pretend they are a real news network. FOX News is the same, and Sun made multiple statements that hey would like to be FOX north.

    You will never argue that Fox is not an extreme right leading news organization, who promote the policies and practices of the Republicans. SUNTV made no bones about it, they launched supporting the Tories, or the Reformatories as you typically call them. Within the first 10 days, they have manufactured 2 stories that supported Harper – one you personally challenged on air.

    SUNTV – I can’t bring myself to call them news – is an extreme right leaning editorial that supports the Reformatories.

    BTW, in 1976, I worked for the local cable companies community TV, and our quality – technically was superior to the way SUNTV looks. I know you think they will work out the kinks, but……

    Sorry to disagree

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