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.
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.