Royal Canadian Mess Parade

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
April 5 2005 6:21 PM

Royal Canadian Mess Parade

An American blogger's role in exposing allegations of massive government fraud in Canada is the talk of the blogosphere, as is San Fransisco's proposal to regulate political bloggers. Conservative bloggers also heap scorn upon the newly-awarded Pulitzer Prize for photojournalism.

Royal Canadian mess parade: Last year, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin set up a commission to investigate allegations that his Liberal Party gave $100 million to Quebecois advertising agencies that funneled the money back to the party. (Read details here.) Last week, Justice John Gomery, the commission's head, temporarily banned the Canadian media from reporting on the testimony of ad executive Jean Brault; Gomery said that he was trying to protect Brault's right to a fair trial. Rumors abounded that Brault's evidence could topple the Liberal government and that the Liberals would try to call a snap election. Since April 2, conservative American blog Captain's Quarters has been leaking the details of Brault's testimony, claiming that Brault "revealed a massive pattern of corruption going to the highest levels of the Liberal party and government." Canadian officials announced that they may charge Canadian bloggers who link to CQ with contempt of court.

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"It's fairly obvious that Canadian publication bans simply don't apply outside of Canada. So is there any point to having a publication ban when we can easily get our news from outside the country?" asksRants of Issachar, the blog of a Canadian teacher. "Frankly, Canada is just a giant deep pit of greed. Moving to Europe is looking more and more like the only way to escape the stupidity of the Americas," sniffs techie Stephen Pierzchala on The Newest Industry. Pointing out that Gomery imposed the ban to protect the witnesses, Vancouver student Japnaam Singh huffs, "It's irritating when Americans try to portray Canada as some kind of third-world nation in which Justice Gomery implemented the publication ban because Paul Martin told him too."

"In the election that's coming the issue of the American blogger and his ragged band of Yankee-loving followers may very well take centre-stage," writes Canadian Liberal-hater Angry in the Great White North, who also notes that a journalist who attended the hearing has verified the accuracy of CQ's Captain Ed's information. Wretchard at conservative The Belmont Club believes that such blog-fueled scandals will force politicians to become honest: "There is a certain irony in the fact that the Gomery inquiry is dealing with a corrupt public relations ad campaign (Adscam) costing hundreds of millions of dollars that is now being done to death by a blog costing several hundred dollars."

Read more about the Canadian blogstorm on Technorati; conservative My Aisling has a roundup of blog posts here.

San Francisco blogulations: San Francisco may force political bloggers to "register with the city Ethics Commissionand report all blog-related costs that exceed $1,000 in the aggregate," writesPersonal Democracy Forum's Michael Bassik. He also notes that, "Blogs that mention candidates for local office that receive more than 500 hits will be forced to pay a registration fee and will be subject to website traffic audits, according to Chad Jacobs, a San Francisco City Attorney."

"If you blog for bucks on behalf of a candidate, you should disclose that. So should the candidate. I'm not going to hit the hysteria button. Not just yet," claims tech journalist Chris Nolan at Politics from Left to Right; today, she attends the city's hearing and says  that bloggers will likely not be affected by any new legislation. "How do they plan to track these blogs, most people never post their real name (I haven't). finally if you have read the suggested law (and trust me I am) it is a network of poorly worded loop holes, and bizarre ideas," scoffsKabasue's Little Blog, the blog of an IT professional. Writer Yoel Natan asserts, "San Francisco bloggers may have to do what the Canadian bloggers are doing now: using anonymous blogs outside of an area of jurisdiction in order to avoid onerous regulation and prosecution."

Read more about the proposed regulation.

Point and shoot: On Monday, the Associated Press won a Pulitzer for its photojournalism in Iraq. (Read about other Pulitzer winners here; see award-winning photos here.) Right-wing diva Michelle Malkin rounds up long-standing blogosphere criticism of a photo that shows insurgents killing Iraqi election workers.

"So the terrorists wanted to be photographed carrying out the murder, to sow more terror in Iraq and to demoralize American voters. That's why they tipped off the photographer, and that's why they dragged the two election workers from their car, so they could be shot in front of the AP's obliging camera," explainsrightist stalwartPower Line. "The photographer is an accessory to murder. And the Associated Press and Pulitzer jury are bereft of common decency," writesDepleted Uranium, the blog of a British entrepreneur.