, 07.24.2018 08:00 AM

Dear CBC: what I know, what I don’t

I didn’t know Reese Fallon.

I may have met her, once, when Beaches-East York MP Nate Erskine-Smith – who did know her – held an anti-racism event in our neighbourhood.  Nate had a number of Young Liberal club members there, helping out. Reese was a member of that club.  I remember feeling sorry for these young people, because a group of neo-Nazis and white supremacists had shown up and were disrupting the meeting. It was pretty ugly.

So, I didn’t know her.  I do know, however, that she is still being mourned – she isn’t even in the ground, yet – after she was murdered on Toronto’s Danforth Avenue Sunday night.  She was there for a birthday celebration with friends.  One of her friends was wounded and taken to hospital, too.  That’s what I know.  That’s all that most of us know.

Here, too, something else I know: it was appalling, and wrong, for CBC Radio to devote a lot of time, this morning, to the killer.  In one part, they had what sounded like a professional actor breathlessly read the letter his family sent out.  In another part, they had a youth worker who knew the killer come on, and he related how the killer had “a million-dollar smile” and was “humble and reserved.” It went on and on and on like that, for a long time, on CBC Radio.

I don’t know if any those things are true, either.  Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t.  Personally, I don’t usually associate having “a million-dollar smile” with people who slaughter children on a city street.

What I do know is this: it isn’t just governments that have a role to play in preventing other Reese Fallons from being executed one night.  The media has a role to play, too.

And that role does not include treating the killer with more deference than the killer’s victims.

Before they – innocent children – are even in the ground.

40 Comments

  1. MikeTO says:

    Hitler loved children and was kind to animals, you know. He painted too.

  2. Matt says:

    I’ve been hearing some disturbing stuff about the shooter.

    Stuff like time spent in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Stuff like he was very well known to police for past criminal activity involving violence and weapons, including firearms. Stuff like Toronto Police, the OPP and RCMP all having talked to him about his online activity. Stuff like his computer having evidence of visits to pro ISIS websites. There is much more.

    I’d also like to know WHO wrote the letter released by his “family”. His Dad is allegedly on his death bed. his brother is allegedly in a coma following a car accident and there is no mention of where his mother is. The shooter was living alone in the family apartment.

    The letter seems like it was written by a professional public relations firm.

    • Ron Benn says:

      Matt, the problem with the internet is that it is difficult to separate fact from fiction. It may take time for the investigators to provide the public with reliable information. We need to be patient.

      In the meantime, as Mr. Kinsella has pointed out, news channels are desperate to fill their 24 hour day, and lacking any useful content, decide that providing more “insight” into the social misfit who indiscrimately shot into crowded restaurants and shops trumps civility and decorum. Journalism ceased to be a profession when they chose chasing eyeballs over thorough investigations, and the CBC’s decision making only reinforces that conclusion.

    • Peter says:

      Where did you hear that stuff, Matt? I’m totally on board with Warren here, but if I’m going to dismiss the CBC for yet another syrupy peon to an immigrant killer, I’m not going to go the other way and start finding tenuous links to ISIS to fill out a narrative. Authorities, please.

      • Matt says:

        Directly from TPS, OPP and RCMP officers.

        Only one journalist seems interested in getting the truth:

        https://torontosun.com/news/local-news/warmington-was-danforth-attack-terror-or-terrorism

        Basically confirms some of what I’ve been told.

        Heard some other stuff but have not been able to get it confirmed, so I won’t post it at the moment. But if the stuff is true, heads are going to roll in government, the security agencies and police departments.

        I will say, a lot of agencies seem to be in “Cover Your Ass” mode right now.

        • Paul Taalman says:

          Why? In Canada, heads never roll. There’s no accountability at all except to the victims and their families.

          • Matt says:

            Well, Goodale claimed yesterday that there was no national security connection with the shooter. That he was not on any of the agencies radar. That’s a lie. The OPP’s PATS unit was aware of him.

    • William R Morrison says:

      I also thought that the letter was professionally written. Will we learn who wrote it, and when? Obviously it wasn’t his family.

    • Matt says:

      Clarification:

      Dad allegedly on his death bed, sister allegedly died in a car accident, brother allegedly had a stroke, no information about his mother.

  3. Bill H says:

    Warren, I couldn’t agree more. Sounds like everyone connected to the shooter is trying to get out in front of the story, (as they say in politics) and CBC is facilitating it.
    A Monster is a Monster is a Monster – Period!

    R.I.P. to those two beautiful young lives taken too early.

  4. Bent says:

    I could care less about the shooters “mental” issues. I care about those poor victims. Shame on you CBC. You are spot on Warren. Well written.

  5. MitchB says:

    Taking that letter at face value is bad journalism. In fact it’s worse than that. CBC has taken the low road of being a mere gossip mongerer.

  6. Westguy says:

    You do make an interesting point here, Warren. I remember after the van attack on Yonge Street it seemed like they couldn’t dig up the incel stuff fast enough. Even before the connection was confirmed, the CBC had stories about incels right alongside with the coverage of the attack. There was no attempt to soften or humanize Minassian.

  7. RKJ says:

    Why does our society too quickly treat victimizers as the victims? There is a certain condescension within some media regarding this theme – feeding this kind of “victimizer as victim” story to the CBC is similar to giving warm milk to a kitten. The whole story is lapped up within question or complaint.

    • Bill H says:

      The letter certainly appears to be professionally written, and not something dictated off the cuff. A lot of time and effort went into the letter (spin) to gain sympathy for the shooter and family. Why do we have to know anything about his family’s car accidents, health and death records? CBC obviously did not have the time to fact check all or any of this – how much is true? In fact, the letter is so well written to garner sympathy for the shooter and family, who’s to say it was not written in advance of the shooting – sounds crazy eh. And even so, mental health is not necessarily a defence. It would be extremely unusual for anyone suffering the alleged conditions the shooter exhibited to harm anyone, in reality, he would most likely be the one harmed. Arguably, sane people don’t walk down the street killing people at random. CBC do some real journalistic work, and stop facilitating friends and family to somehow excuse this monster, at the expense of the real victims. (Will the CBC and Trudeau want to get to the “root problem” as stated by Trudeau after the Boston bombing)? What we really care about is the victims, and how do we “try” to prevent further incidents. Platitudes to the victims families from the (shooters family) lawyer does not cut it, especially as the letter is all about them.

  8. Neale Vincent Peale says:

    Good article, Warren.

    Someone in dire straits, looking for an exit, with access to a restricted firearm AND who’s listening to CBC’s “empathize with a perpetrator” could very well be spurred to take a horrible and unjust next step.

    I’m certain the CBC doesn’t intend this. But they should be cognizant that getting attention is a possible motivation.

    Similar to handling famous suicides; the Canadian press ought to have a protocol against glorifying, analyzing “the life and times of __”. Focus elsewhere.

  9. Grant says:

    It’s the typical trying to wring as much compelling coverage out of the story as possible, given no fresh info from police. Let’s no ascribe any more malice to it than that.

  10. Kyle Phillips says:

    The CBC took this exact same approach in 2006 after the shooting at Dawson College in Montreal. Then Metro Morning host Andy Barrie did a segment the morning after that explored how we treat people who feel left out, like the shooter in that case. All my thoughts, sympathies, prayers, are for the victims, like this poor young woman and her family, or the father on life support who was shot who, if he survives, will wake to learn he lost his lost a 10-year daughter.
    Thank you for putting in words the frustration I felt listening to the CBC this morning, Warren.

  11. Sean says:

    Well said Mr. Kinsella

  12. Sam says:

    As many of pointed out, it’s a heck of a coincidence that the name was released pretty well at the same time the “family statement” was released.

    Which also, quite coincidentally was time enough to get any social media this wack job had scrubbed and/or deleted. We must protect the public from getting to “worked up” now, mustn’t we?

    If this indeed, was a case of getting the perps social media scrubbed from the public eye before the name was released, will we ever find out about it? If we do, will we find out why, will people have to answer for this?

    I own and use a restricted weapon. I watched the video of this guy using one. I don’t buy the deranged wacko story for a minute, I watched his stance and his aiming, this guy knew exactly what he was doing and probably had some training.

    If this is the case, and it’s being kept from the public, this is very, very alarming.

  13. p bre says:

    agree…focus on the 2 lives lost and impact that has on their families – a friend also shot , father of 10 year old also shot …a multitude of others wounded …impact on first responders, other citizens , hospital staff…thoughts and prayers gone stale

  14. Matt says:

    So there is apparently quite a battle going on on wikipedia.

    Someone created a page about the shooting with all the glowing tributes to the SHOOTER the MSM has been pumping out.

    The page was edited to include the information from the Joe Warmington article I linked a few posts up.

    The page was then edited again to remove the Warmington information and make claims the shoot was not known to police ect.

    The page was then edited again to put all the Warmington info. Been going on like that all day. Why do I bring it up?

    The edits being made to remove all Warmington’s info, according to my contact who is able to find the source (maybe anyone can, I don’t know as I don’t use wikipedia) are coming from an Ontario Government computer.

    • Matt says:

      Here’s what I was sent:
      From the looks of the edit logs, someone didn’t like those facts in their precious wiki page, and removed them, saying “This information is not only untrue (the perpetrator was not known to police and there is no indication the act was ISIL-related.) Furthermore, the source cited for this information does not state these facts at all” only to have another user reinstate the edit, saying “Read the source. Clearly states known to police, has resided in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and had support for a pro-ISIL website”.

      The person who didn’t like the truth being told looks to be from the government of Ontario too, judging by their IP address.

      I’m going to keep an eye on it for the next few days and see who else tries to come in and edit it.

      EDIT: It looks like when they removed that text, they also removed the reference too. Interesting work the government of Ontario employees are up to today.

  15. Mac Trump says:

    Every time a deranged muslim terrorists kills innocent people CBC’s first move is to close comments on all related videos and immediately go to “taqiya”
    When did Soros buy the CBC ?
    Tax dollars paying for this Kalergi Plan propaganda $hit ?

    • Mac Trump says:

      Also , why do Canadians lose their firearms rights because a deranged muslim murders people ?
      If anything concealed carry should be on the table.
      Just wait until Trudeau’s White Helmet terror squad is brought here.
      We need more gun rights , not less ,
      if the plan is to flood us with hate driven cavemen that despise our nation , culture and are sworn to kill is all.
      Trudeau and his clown immigration minister are a vile farce.

  16. Scott Alexander says:

    The CBC’s default setting is to avoid stoking hate and racism which is not a bad thing especially in the early days coverage. I hope CBC will reveal who wrote the letter and fact check it before Ezra Levant does.

  17. Matt says:

    Well, well, well….

    Spin doctor behing shooters “family” letter outed.

    https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/furey-meet-the-spin-doctor-behind-the-hussain-family-statement

    “It was provided by Mohammed Hashim, a full-time organizer for the Toronto & York Region Labour Council. Social media accounts belonging to Hashim show him heavily involved in supporting NDP candidates both federally and provincially in Ontario. He’s also described as a driving force behind the National Council of Canadian Muslims.”

    • Bill H says:

      As I said earlier on here. There’s more to this story than meets the eye. Professional script writer to garner sympathy for the shooter and the shooters family. Possibly government involvement in a cover up? NDP and National Council of Canadian Muslims, T&Y Region Labour Council organizer!

      The shooter was very professional, he stood up straight, locked both hands and fired with confidence. This guy was professionally trained somewhere. He could have been a new recruit for whatever cause, and expendable. Not to be taken alive. Interested to know who’s bullet killed him – if this is not also covered up? Our liberal government would like nothing better than to keep all of this very quiet, if indeed he’s was a known ISIS soldier, and under surveillance? Don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist – but who’s to say it’s not?

    • Evan says:

      Yeah, the NDP, that well known branch of ISIS. What is this article trying to prove exactly?

      And Hashim is right; Warmington’s article was reckless. Giving details about the apartment building (including the unit number, ffs) is reckless. Saying that he was known to the OPP (sources say he wasn’t*) was reckless. Giving the address of the mosque he attended is reckless. Why should he talk to these guys?

      * Source: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/07/24/danforth-gunman-not-on-the-radar-of-national-security-agencies-safety-minister-says.html

      • Matt says:

        Goodale is lying.

        He was on the OPP’s PATS unit (Provincial Anti Terrorism Section) radar. Others too.

        The narrative created by the CBC and and NDP affiliated labour organizer is slowly being chipped away by real journalists.

        – The gun used was illegally smuggled in from the US. There was a second illegal gun recovered from his apartment. Even the CBC has now had to admit that, reluctantly.

        – The shooter was affiliated with local (mostly Afghan) gang Thronecliffe Park Killers. At least 2 membera of that gang have been deported.

        – There is very little evidence he was suffering from “severe mental illness and psychosis (I’m told nobody can find any of the doctors who supposedly treating him)

        – Security at his building called police July 5th 2018 because they saw he was carrying a gun. Heard to different things – He was gone when police arrived, police never showed up

        Goodale and others are in full CYA mode. But don’t worry. The whole truth will come out soon enough.

      • Bill H says:

        The Toronto Star, AKA Gerald Butts and the LPC mouthpiece.
        Of course Ralph Goodale (so called safety minister) will say what he has to say to protect his derrière. Goodale is the same guy who knows exactly where every ISIS returnee is, and will do nothing to charge them with leaving Canada to fight for a terrorist organization. These guys are freely walking the streets of our cities. Who is the Toronto Star trying to protect – Trudeau or the victims and families?

  18. Lon Briscoe says:

    Sickening.

  19. Paul O says:

    Well said, Mr Kinsella.

    I grieve with the families of the victims.

    And I ponder *why* our national news media have taken the position they have on this incident.

  20. Bill H says:

    Agreed, Fred. Goodale is full of Bull Shit and Bafflegab statements on everything he comments on. He’s a serial lier! But he, like Trudeau and all the liberal cabinet, are teflon. The MSM (other than the Toronto Sun and National Post to an extent) do not ask the the tough questions and demand a real answer or call them out when they know they’re BS-ing.

    CBC should be ashamed they published a letter from the “Family” – with a heartfelt sob story about the shooter. The author of the letter writes like a professional political speech writer – who paid him or who does he really work for? Who scrubbed the shooters social presence clean and why?

    The brother is/was a gangster or worse – and traded in guns. There was a substantial amount of ammunition, high capacity clips and an assault type rifle found in the apartment. The “family claim” they had no idea the shooter’s brother was in trouble with the law….give me a break. What size is this apartment – 1o00SqFt?

    Not one person the shooter worked with ever saw or thought he had mental health issues, but the CBC is all over it and believes the third party letter writer of dubious credentials! Mental Health is not an excuse. In fact, people with mental health issues are more likely to be on the receiving end of violence. https://cmhadurham.ca/finding-help/the-myth-of-violence-and-mental-illness/

    CBC has been told by the liberal government to play down any information that could hurt them – guaranteed. That’s what happens when the government pay the CBC and the journalists salaries. Trudeau gave the CBC a huge raise in funding, why?

    To the grieving families, all decent people are sorry for your loss, no one should lose a child or loved one , and more especially to senseless violence.

    Matt – please keep on top of this story. There’s a lot more to this.

  21. Kevin says:

    I couldn’t agree more. There seems to be a growing tendency for the media to report killers as being otherwise fine people, and the victims as secondary. How did we start doing that? And how do we get them to stop?

    Interesting discussion on P&P yesterday. Panel was talking about wider notifications by mental health counsellors when someone posed a threat to themselves or others. No one talked about whether that would be a disincentive for someone to come forward in the first place. Seems to me if we add to the stigma of admitting a mental health problem, keeping people away, then we’re no further ahead. So I’m wondering: who gets notified now, and how does that work? How long before the appropriate databases are updated? If agency A, B and C need to be notified, but it takes 2 months for an alert to be registered in every place, is that good enough? Would people be more protected by strengthening and streamlining the process already in place, or by moving to a wider notification system? Or some other solution?

    • Bill H says:

      Kevin, yes there is a system already in place, that Tim Powers alluded to on P&P. Tim understands this more than most! It’s not perfect for sure, but it’s a lot more than other commentators would admit to. Problem here is, the media is conflating gun violence with legal guns and mental health to score political points. To obtain a legal gun, there’s a strict course and test that must be taken, and of course passed. After which the results are given to the appropriate authorities for approval of a licence. Now to be clear, a Hand Gun is next to impossible to obtain a licence for in Canada. After background checks are completed, family members are sent forms to be completed as to whether this applicant should get a gun licence. Family members are obliged by law to testify in writing if the applicant is of sound mind or a record of violence etc. You never hear this in the media. Canada has a Porous Border, that the liberals are trying to deny – illegal guns flood across our border – and other things too! The gun the shooter used was illegal. But I digress.

      My wife works in Mental Heath and Addictions, so I take notice when the media spout pure fiction on mental health sufferers, violence and the law. You can bet that if a patient told any medical proffesional that he/she was on a suicidal rampage to kill as many people as they can, the authorities would be notified PDQ. But people with mental health issues are less likely to do this than the general public at large. How do we stop so called “sane” people is the real issue here. Why did the family of the shooter in this case not alert the authorities of all the weapons and ammunition in the apartment? They are as guilty in this crime. The next issue is, Canada has become so blinded by civil liberties and individual rights to privacy, that it would be next to impossible or impossible for any government to enact anything in the name of the greater good for all. We have become so insufferably politically correct.

      We have nothing to fear from or by the mentally ill – it’s the “sane” people walking our streets we really have to worry about. And this includes our politicians.

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