Thursday, December 06, 2007

Can You See the Difference?




Watching the coverage of the Schreiber affair is almost more fascinating than watching the proceedings themselves.

On one hand you have Don Newman meticulously recapping the the proceedings, putting it into context and objectively presenting the evidence. He states the facts, then paraphrases those facts in such a way that he creates a cohesive narrative. He reviews how the committee conducted itself and looks at the possible implications of what Mr. Schreiber says.

That is what I would call objective, interesting and professional reporting.

On the other hand, let's call it the right hand shall we, you have Mike Duffy doing everything in his power to discredit Schreiber and the proceedings before they had even started. I noticed this the other day too, but today's effort was really remarkable. In scrums with MP's he puts forward his own conclusions and looks to the Conservatives for agreement. In essence, feeding them talking points.

On his show later he makes a comment: "Can you believe that some people around here are actually taking this guy seriously?" Instead of reporting what happened at Committee, he gives us his impression of Schreiber and goes on to defend the Con's, both the PC's and the far more odious contemporary version of that party, by flippantly dismissing Schreiber at every turn.

I suppose there is no real surprise here, but I don't think that Duffy's loyalties have ever been quite this obvious. With L. Ian MacDonald (who is quite forthright about his loyalty), often by his side Duff, seems quite prepared to fully exonerate Mulroney before having heard from him.

I know Duff has been around a long time and knows many people but any pretense of impartiality in the future is laughable. Any reference to Duffy by conservative posters on this blog will be roundly chuckled at as having no credibility whatsoever and there is no loss of convincing proof of that.

As for the actual meeting today, it was interesting. Schreiber revealed that there seemed to be some scheme in the works to pass Airbus money to Mulroney through a lawyer in Switzerland. Schreiber testified that he was taken aback by such a proposition, put to him by Mulroney advisor Fred Doucet. He raised the issue with Frank Moores and was told to forget all about it. (Doucet has since denied that. So, there will be some he said, he said .) Doucet has apparently said that, "there was no funneling to to the former PM of Airbus money", paraphrased. He does not speak to the plan to perhaps do that.

So, did that scheme go forward or not? Schreiber doesn't know because he was now out of the loop. I'm not sure what other witnesses could be called to tell us who is telling the truth, but I hope that the Committee can come up with one.

Now, all of this is apparently meaningless according to Duffy, because Schreiber is simply not credible. To be honest, I don't know whether he is or not, but he seemed to be telling what he knew with some relief, gratified by the fact that it was finally out in the open.

Given how business was apparently done in the '80's, it's easy to be dismissive of a man like Schreiber but given that he is so at ease in speaking about it, it must have been pretty damn commonplace don't you think? Most people do not speak of easily of the past, even when it is uncomfortable in the present, unless in your mind it was just the way it was. Did Mr. Schreiber do everything on the up and up? I have no idea, but it does seem illogical to me to assume that everything he says is a lie. That the Con's suggested that Scheiber had committed perjury is curious. Indeed he signed a letter that he didn't fully endorse, but he believed that was his way out. Perjury? He did not do this under oath. He did this in an effort to finally push the Con's to bring this all to light. He believed Harper when he said he'd "clean" things up. Mr. Schreiber is an example of how Canadians were duped by this government, though he remains on a different end of a political spectrum than I do.

Curious that. It would seem that there are many conservatives who just do not know where to go now. From the ultra right to the good old PC'ers.
Interesting times.

The MP's did a better job today of obtaining information, imo. Most asked very straightforward questions. The Conservatives however were on their usual nasty war path, but the rest of the MP's
seemed more restrained and focused than last time. That seemed to yield more information.

It strikes me that Mr. Schreiber is an anachronism being judged through a contemporary lens. Four contemporary lenses in fact, as each party is interested in having Schreiber confirm their own conclusions.

A contemporary lens is not useful. I'm loathe to spend the kind of money required for an Inquiry but there seems to be an awful lot to pursue and that is a venue that can speak from the platform of history.

26 comments:

ottlib said...

I have always considered Mr. Duffy to be a bit out there from a journalistic point of view.

I remember that when Mr. Trudeau pass away, it was just a couple of years, almost to the day, after the death of his youngest son.

Mr. Duffy in his wisdom decided, on camera, to bring that fact up with Margaret Trudeau on the lawn of Parliament Hill. Needless to say her reaction was not pretty.

He apologized later but that event seems to sum up his style of journalism. Namely, a style that is a combination of Fox News and the National Inquirer.

As for the Conservatives and their supporters, it has been fun to watch their reactions. People like Mr. Duffy and Mr. MacDonald have been bending over backwards to state that this whole affair will not harm Mr. Mulroney or the current government.

If that is the case why do they feel the need to keep saying so?

This affair has only been going for a few weeks and the fear of the Conservatives is almost palpable. I wonder how they are going to feel as this affair continues to unfold.

Ron said...

WOW! I have been watching the coverage, along with the commentators from both networks and if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, analysis of what they are doing is beautiful. Don Newman has obviously been tasked with covering CBC's butt on this and is doing everything he can ensure Mulroney doesn't get a fair hearing. Duffy seem to be pointing out the fact that we have a person who has in sworn testimony, affidavites, letters and under questioning told upwards of 3 or 4 different stories and none of them the least bit similar. To date every accusation he makes is based on 2nd or 3rd hand info (i.e. someone told him Mulroney said Harper received the letter from Schriber well; Mulroney got money from some company and it was to be put through a Swiss lawyer -- no names, dates etc). This man has proven time and time again that he will do or say anything he thinks improves his chances of staying in Canada. He keeps going around and around dropping hints and NEVER offering the slightest bit of proof to any of it. The famous letter the opposition kept refering to was little more than a shake down and blackmail effort to which Mulroney never even responded (again from what Schriber said). Yet, the CBC reports this man's every accusation as if there is merit to it. That is what I mean by beauty (coverage) and the eye of the beholder. Hand Hockey Night in Canada to another network and turn out the lights.

ottlib said...

Ron:

Did you have the same sentiment on Tuesday when it appeared Mr. Scheiber cleared Mr. Mulroney on Airbus?

You see alot of Conservative supporters were all for believing Mr. Schreiber then. However, today he is suddenly untrustworthy and his testimony is not credible.

Personally, I do not trust his testimony. His motivations for testifying in front of this committee is extremely suspect so anything he says should not be taken at face value. However, I apply that to all of his testimony.

As well Ron, thank you for demonstrating my assertion in my first post about the palpable fear of Conservatives. They are hanging on every word this man says and spinning them like mad.

Quite a bit of effort, if you ask me, for the testimony of a man who is not credible.

Prairie Kid said...

I was watching CBC Newsworld 5 minutes ago. They showed a clip of Pat Martin asking Schrieber if he knew anything about Vic Toews and the Manitoba Government, obviously trying to tie Schrieber to Vic Toews. I also watched this live when Pat Martin questioned Schrieber. Schriebers answer was "no, I have no idea what you are talking about." Now here's the kicker. CBC Newsworld showed Pat Martin asking the question and then they cut to Schrieber with his hand on the side of his head nodding yes.

Nice editing. Talking about media manipulation. If the facts don't cut it, make them up.

The Right is Where its At said...

KNB:

This committee is a farce imo you can laugh all you want,but its a fact.Its all about trying to score political points nothing more and you know it. This is the reason why the opposition party forced this committee to take place.

Its not unbiased as it should be it can't be,because we have politicians on the committee. They all have their own agenda.

We have the Conservatives who are trying to tarnish the Liberals,the Liberals who are trying to tarnish the Conservatives,the NDP who are trying to tarnish the Conservatives and the Liberals and then we have the good old Bloc.
These people all enjoy parliamentary immunity along with Schreiber himself. Which means they could say anything they wish without consequence what a farce!! I wonder if you or anyone else who approves this committee to take place and continue with it if their names would come up on the committee what you and others would think about this farce. If innocent people should be hurt by this there is absolutely nothing they can do about it, but their reputation would be in the crapper isn't great. All for what political points what a farce.

Thank God that the Canadian people are not buying it if you believe the recent polls.

KNB I'm surprised at you not to change the subject,but early this year I think it was this past spring I'm not sure,when Peter MacKay may or may have not made remarks about Belinda Stronach you the rest of the left were all over him.But when NDP MP Irene Mathyssen made comments about Conservative MP James Moore in the House of Commons on Tuesday about a picture on his laptop not a word from you. So she apoligised by phone to MP James Moore not before the information went around the world, but of course what do you care its not like he is a humane being his just a Conservative right?

Anonymous said...

His nickname is "the puffster" and it doesn't just refer to his weight.

knb said...

Ottlib, I remember Duffy and the Margaret Trudeau incident.

He apologized later but that event seems to sum up his style of journalism. Namely, a style that is a combination of Fox News and the National Inquirer.

Indeed.

I wonder how they are going to feel as this affair continues to unfold.


Based on current commentary, un-flipping comfortable I imagine.

knb said...

ron, I said I would laugh and here I am, laughing out loud at how you looked, took, ate and digested all that your master fed you.

Too sad you.

There is no conversation here.

knb said...

prarie kid...I watched it live and I had no idea where Martin was going.

I suspect that most didn't, don't, and that is why the CBC edited that.

If you can tell us what that was about, pray do.

wilson said...

Ah, today we learn the Liberals members of the Ethics Committee tried to stop Mulroney from testifying.
Yip, did not want Mulroney to appear before committee.

What are Liberals afraid of?

Did they get wind that Mulroney has some damaging testimony?
Pat Martin to the rescue, he saved the day ,for Mulroney appears next week.

knb said:''He (Schreiber) believed Harper when he said he'd "clean" things up. Mr. Schreiber is an example of how Canadians were duped by this government..''

Do you even know KNB what Schreiber was referring to when he said that?
He was talking about the Liberal/RCMP conspiracy to extradite him. How he wanted an inquiry to expose Liberal sleaze, and he thought PMSH was the ticket, just because he was a fellow Conservative.

And Don Newman always has on Delacourt and Travers, can't get any more Lib partisan than that.

And no, Conservatives aren't worried, it wasn't our party that was involved with Schreider, see, like you said KNB,
this new Conservative party is nothing like the old PC party.

knb said...

John, I've not been here for a couple of days because we had a death in our family.

To your point on what Mathyssen did, I'm with you. I think it was disgusting and as much as I am not in favour of the current government, Moore would strike me as being a stalwart, but a good guy none the less.

What she did was ridiculous.

Libby Davies also apologised today...hey, the news is all about Schreiber, now is a good time to put apoligies forward. She admitted that the NDP maligned, (and indeed ruined) the hopes of a young Liberal hopeful during the last election.

I'm not sure how you dismount a horse that high. I do know that you look silly doing it.

Due to circumstances, I have not written, but you'll be surprised to know on this particular issue, we agree.

The Right is Where its At said...

KNB:

"John, I've not been here for a couple of days because we had a death in our family."

My sincer Condolences to you and your family I had no Idea I'm sorry.

sassy said...

KNB - I chuckled when I read your comment on Mike Duffy as, whenever I see him the question ... Why does he not just run for a seat under the Conservative banner - and be done with it? ... comes to mind.

knb said...

wilson, who tried to stop Mulroney from testifying?

Links, please.

Do you even know KNB what Schreiber was referring to when he said that?
He was talking about the Liberal/RCMP conspiracy to extradite him. How he wanted an inquiry to expose Liberal sleaze, and he thought PMSH was the ticket, just because he was a fellow Conservative.


Yes, duh I get it. Do I strike you as unintelligent?

I'm very curious about what happened in the Lib years. I hold Cotler in high regard, so I too want to know.

This is the mystery of the whole debacle isn't it?

I would just like to see the truth come out.

The point of this post is to suggest that some of us want the truth...others not so much... and that is what they are reporting, respectively.

knb said...

Thank you John. We have our differences, but in the end humanity should unite us, no?

The Right is Where its At said...

KNB:

"Thank you John. We have our differences, but in the end humanity should unite us, no?"

I totally agree with you on this. But that said I still say this committee is a farce,because they could easily destroy innocent people reputation without any consequence,because of the immunity that they enjoy and of course all of committee members have an agenda. This is why I don't agree.

What do you think about this?

Gayle said...

KNB - I think when it comes to this issue Duffy has lost any credibility he may have once had. It is kind of funny to listen to him argue with his guests, which often happens because most of them seem to disagree with him here. He is no longer questioning - he is openly editorializing.

It does not bother me too much because he is so very transparent.

PS -my condolences for you loss.

RuralSandi said...

Well, Wilson fell for what Duffy was trying to do. Shame on you.

The fact is - the Liberals wanted Mulroney to testify in January instead of right away when they've heard from others.

It was about the timing of his testimony - NOT what Duffy tried to portray.

Duffy and Taber, the wink, wink, nudge, nudge team have no respect for journalistic integrity. You know, I wouldn't be surprised if this caught up to Duffy at some point.

CTV have lost credibility for me.

wilson said...

You are right Sandi, Libs wanted Mulroney to testify in January, AFTER the terms of the inquiry were decided. my mistake

IMO Libs were afraid that after Mulroney testified in his own defence, the inquiry may be dropped due to lack of evidence that it would be in the PUBLIC INTEREST to proceed.

It became very evident yesterday that Schreiber wants an inquiry to clear his name (avoid extradition), not to persue political wrong doing.
Schreiber begged the courts to move his trial from Germany to Canada.

No KNB, I have never thought of you as unintellegent, nor have I called you anything except KNB.
Can you say the same?

burlivespipe said...

It is a bit of a circus, and the only witness to date is enjoying being the ring-master. If taken with many grains of salt, his 'evidence' is interesting, and not completely without merit.
It appears the CON crew is gladly deflecting the original central theme (altho the committee hasn't gone in that direction yet) which was 'Did Mulroney lie on the stand and take $ from Canadians in a settlement he didn't deserve?'
The CONs are hoping that gets lost in the wash - whether Karlheinz is lying 99% or 55% of the time doesn't matter. We know the former PM did many things to hide his involvement with this guy.
And Harper's refusal to stand in the house and say he did not talk with Mulroney about the cel phone issue -- letting Jim Prentice step up and walk around such a denial -- reeks of cover-up and cowardice. But that's their leader.

Scotian said...

Now why am I not surprised to hear that is how Duffy has been portraying it? He treats politics like a gossip show and clearly feels it is fine for him to place his personal/partisan views on what is going on at least on par with his guests if not more so, and that for me destroys his credibility as a political journalist regardless of who his preference is. One of the main reasons both I and my wife like Don Newman so much is because he is balanced, is fair, and does not editorialize up the whazoo like Duffy does for a specific party. To this day I could not tell you how Newman votes based on his work, and I have watched the man for literally decades now while Duffy is far too transparent in that regard and worse allows it to influence his reporting.

As to Schreiber's credibility, I remember that when he first claimed the payoff to Mulroney happened it was discounted because no one could believe Mulroney would be so foolish as to accept undisclosed cash from a lobbyist under any circumstances. Yet it turned out this was true as Mulroney five-six years after receiving the money finally declares it on his taxes (not exactly the pattern of someone who received the money in a legit manner unconcerned with it being found out about which makes Mulroney's claim of it being for legal/legitimate work done highly suspect) after spending years denying any such money was ever received by him from Schreiber for any reason whatsoever.

So it is not like Mulroney's credibility on this issue is much better than Schreiber's if at all. Yes, I know all about the CPC talking point about how his testimony cannot be truthful because he wants to avoid extradition, by that logic though every person that makes a plea bargain has no credibility either, a POV not accepted by our justice system. That he has ulterior motives cannot be dismissed of course, but it equally can not be used to arbitrarily dismiss his claims either, especially not when he can provide contemporaneous documentation to support his claims.

Ultimately I don't know whether Schreiber's claims will be born out or not, but given that it now looks like the money Mulroney got originated from a company which gave it to Schreiber when the Mulroney government signed an intent to do business with document then there is a potential real problem alright for Mulroney. The fact that Thyssan (sp) did not in the end get to fill that contract does not change the fact that 4 million dollars was given to Schreiber on the intent signing alone and that it appears Schreiber took the 300k Mulroney got from that 4 million which would not have existed if the Mulroney government had not signed the intent agreement. That looks a lot like gaining reward from improper influence peddling even if it wasn't Airbus but instead Thyssan it came from.

What I am still waiting to see examined though is something I am really curious about, and that is the 1995 lawsuit of Mulroney's and whether he obtained 2.1million taxpayer dollars fraudulently, whether he perjured himself in testimony under oath as it now appears regarding his relationship to Schreiber, and in general whether he should be made to repay that money and possibly be charged with obtaining it under fraudulent circumstances. Now THAT will be interesting to watch IMHO.

Given what has already emerged in these hearings I think an Inquiry is all but inevitable now as well as necessary. There are too many grenades with their pins removed already out there not to. As to the coverage issue, there is a reason why I stopped watching Duffy's show, and it is because he is clearly using his position and show for advocacy and not reporting, and for a show that claims to be political journalism that is a disqualifying trait for me.

P.S. Sorry to hear about the death in your family, you have my condolences on it.

Anonymous said...

Wilson - none of the other journalist seem to have a problem with the Mulroney testifying in January - it's a non-story, non-issue.

So, why don't you stop going all over the blogosphere with your negativity - give it a rest.

wilson said...

Who cares what journalists want, anon.
A $30m taxpayer paid inquiry is about 'public interest' not giving journalists a jouicy story.

knb said...

I apologise for answering in such a general sense but that is all that time allows.

I think all of you made great points.

John, I have never suggested that this was the best venue. I think an enquiry is long over due and better it happen with the Con's in charge. Though I noticed their numbers fell today.

Burl, yes a bit of a circus, but we are seeing what went on.

Scotian, indeed. The payout is what we must get to.

Wilson, no I have not always been polite. I do become frustrated and perhaps lash out.

I think I have changed my tone and it is my intent to stay there.

To all, I really appreciate your comments. Life is a bit disjointed right now, so please forgive my answers.

I'm very grateful for all your condolences, I truly am.

Ryan said...

You know who is amazingly neutral in political debates, even though he's pretty politically right leaning? Rex Murphy. "The Duff" should take heed, methinks.

Dame said...

KNB says :there seemed to be some scheme in the works to pass Airbus money to Mulroney through a lawyer in Switzerland. Schreiber testified that he was taken aback by such a proposition, put to him by Mulroney advisor Fred Doucet. He raised the issue with Frank Moores and was told to forget all about it. (Doucet has since denied that. So, there will be some he said, he said .) Doucet has apparently said that, "there was no funneling to to the former PM of Airbus money", paraphrased. He does not speak to the plan to perhaps do that.

Well This part what needs further Digging..

WHo was in Charge For the "Airbus" account??Schreiber himself ??? Does he have a BINDER on that??
It seems to be a Different account then the one where the 300.000 came Down so I don't see it Schreiber Contradicts himself

Who is Mulroney's Swiss lawyer??
can Swiss accounts revealed??


Overall I think Schreiber "release" To Germany is even more dangerous for the Conservatives then keeping him here .. They would slice him Up

Anybody who downplays all this and Yawns is a Fool. It is Dirty it is Political it is unstoppable storm until Schreiber is alive ..