The British Columbia Mainstream Media Mustn’t Ever Again Complain About Robust, Legitimate Criticisms: The ‘Basi-Virk’ Evidence Accepted Then Ignored
I’ve spent the last two days since I released the Kieran-Bornmann memo (showing the Premier to have, once again, lied about her involvement in the sale of BCRail) flummoxed by the mainstream press in this province.
I never complain when I cover a story that they don’t. I understand there are more important things like forest fires, shootings, crash fatalities and nude princes of England cavorting in Las Vegas, that will trump almost anything on any given day.
Sensationalism and sex, sells. It’s the old saw my father used to tell me about–one that he learned first hand: “You have to sell the sizzle with the steak, my boy. No one will give a damn about a piece of meat on the plate unless it looks appetizing, too.”
Yes, quite. But I’m afraid the MSM in this province is over-selling the sizzle.
Case in point: Respected media baron David Black’s proposal of a refinery in Kitimat and Martyn Brown’s eBook, primarily schooling Christy Clark and her government, have dominated the headlines on provincial matters for the last ten days. Mr. Black’s rather adventurous, but sensible (in principle) proposition would be understandably big news. He’s a captain of industry and a big believer in good government, as well as good governance.
Mr. Brown’s book (which I highly recommend as it’s a very good read, even if it’s, at least, revisionist on Gordon Campbell’s tenure as Premier) has set the political world aflame with devastating criticisms of Christy Clark’s time as Premier (for his clear-eyed prose, Martyn Brown should be commended).
Though, I harken back to June the 24th. of this year–not even two months ago, when I dropped this bombshell. Remember? This was, of course, David Basi’s 2003 memo, wherein he claimed Christy Clark was intimately involved in a BC Rail information highway between herself and Erik Bornmann, Brian Kieran and the rest of the Pilothouse boys. Bornmann’s former secretary confirmed this for me well-over a year ago. Countless documents from the trial support this contention. And yet Sara the Gum from the Premier’s Office, bypassing the signature of Basi’s lawyer at the bottom of the memo, even went so far as to suggest the memo was “purported” and “fabricated.”
But the media were all over it. Jon McComb had me on for an exclusive interview. The Province’s Mike Smyth covered it. Oh yes, as did someone else.
I want you to read the following–very, very carefully. And then read it a second time. I’ll explain below.
“Uh Dave uhhh I got a lot of time for both guys but Dave has made a number of allegations and assertions over the years that have never been substantiated have never been proven or have been proven wrong he has been basically his credibility I think is obviously shaken severely by the fact that court in court he admitted to lying and to fraud so the credibility of that person [Basi] obviously is under a cloud and so anything he says in regards to BC Rail right now having experienced a lot of the things that he said over the years I have to take with a giant grain of salt so when when a memo written by him emerges um where he [Basi] purports to make to say something happened considering his track record on this, as a journalist, I have to put that up against a very skeptical lens and say well just because he[Basi] said something happened given the track record here I’d have to say that it does not mean that that particular assertion actually occurred and so as a journalist and certainly as someone who um plays a role on Global’s ‘News Hour’ in determining what I report I’m just not going to put that out there, I’m not going to put my name to it I don’t think it’s I don’t think it’s a story if you want to call it that that stands up purely on the basis of what Dave Basi has to say and I know that you mentioned a number of other journalists came to the same conclusion. I talked to a lot of reporters yesterday it’s an interesting issue and again kudos to Alex for for keeping this story alive but uh from our point of view, and I am not the only one a lot of senior political journalists came to the same conclusion that just because David Basi said something does not mean that it’s true and given his track record and his lack of credibility that the courts have established uh it rings even less true.”
For those of you beginning to smile and have already caught on, kudos.
This is a statement from CKNW’s ‘Cutting Edge of the Ledge’, uttered,by none other than Keith Baldrey, Senior Political Reporter and Victoria Bureau Chief for Global British Columbia. Keith, a long-time good friend of Christy Clark, went well-beyond trying to discredit the Basi memo, he actually spun that the courts “have established” that Basi is a liar.
Unfortunately, the biggest lie in that statement was Baldrey’s own assertion that the courts established anything. Quite to the contrary, Basi and Virk’s legal team won an unprecedented number of pre-trial disclosure motions, based often, on the credibility of Basi and Virk’s contentions.
And isn’t it interesting how he admits to interfering in allowing otherwise newsworthy stories to see the light of day? Think about that the next time you’re watching Gailus or Hope at six o’clock. Nice one, Keith. How to assail your own credibility in one easy lesson–and that of YOUR team.
The bigger picture here, is that the mainstream press went gaga over the Basi memo. And after the (Vaughn) Palmer and Baldrey tag-team to discredit the memo, the press all but dropped the issue again.
So, for all intents and purposes, Basi has no credibility, even though when he wrote the memo, he was king of the hill, literally.
But what have they done now, this week, when I revealed the Kieran-Bornmann memo? Nothing, Not a peep, except from ONE, solitary, courageous community paper reporter in Parksville. Where is the illustrious Keith Baldrey now? Brian Kieran is one of his colleagues in the Victoria pack of front porch perma-summer, self-sedated dogs, that literally don’t take bathroom breaks unless by unanimous decree. Is Baldrey’s silence code for Kieran being a liar, too? Because the RCMP didn’t think so. Along with Bornmann, they hung the entire trial on such testimony!!! What’s your excuse now, Keith? What about your pals? Erik Bornmann is a respected lawyer today. He’s no longer a briber of public officials. Their memo, from roughly the same time period as Basi’s, confirms much of Basi’s assertions and even goes further–showing Christy to have been running interference and exerting influence–possible crimes, INSIDE THE CABINET ROOM–something she claims NEVER happened.
She stood in the Legislature YOU COVERED and said so. Your pal Vaughn wrote about it!
Well then, where are the hell are rest of you in the MSM in this God-forsaken province? You want us to pay to read you online, as well as at the doorstep. You bitch about any legitimate criticisms. You routinely take advertising money from government to feather-bed your corporatist bailiwicks. When challenged, you attack the challenger instead of the challenge. The whine is often deafening. Well? What’s today’s excuse? Tell me!!!
Do not EVER AGAIN complain about criticisms from the public or blogs. You’ve earned it in spades–and then some.
IF DAVID BASI HAS NO CREDIBILITY, THOUGH YOU COVERED HIS HANDY WORK, WHY THEN ARE YOU NOT COVERING THE EXACT SAME KIND OF A MEMO WRITTEN BY ONE OF YOUR OWN, AND HIS ACCOMPLICE??? THEY HAVE CREDIBILITY AND WERE NEVER “CONVICTED” OF ANYTHING!!!
I’ll tell you why: Because your sorry lack of journalistic ethics and terminal laziness are as bare as Prince Harry’s ass.