Thursday, April 07, 2005

CQ rattles Canadian Liberals

NYT reports An American blogger has suddenly emerged as a force in Canadian politics.

Edward Morrissey, a 42-year-old Minneapolis area call-center manager who runs a Web log, or blog, called Captain's Quarters as a hobby, last Saturday began posting allegations of corruption that reached the highest levels of the Canadian Liberal Party. The postings violate a publication ban instituted a few days earlier by a federal judge, Justice John Gomery, who is leading an investigation into accusations of money laundering and kickbacks in a government program from the 1990's that was aimed at undermining Quebec separatists.

The scandal, which involves government payments of up to $85 million to a handful of Montreal advertising firms for little or no work, has dominated national politics for a year and led to the Liberals losing their majority in the House of Commons last June....

Mr. Morrissey said his blog had been flooded since Canadian CTV television first reported on its existence and contents Sunday night, and that he was now getting 400,000 hits a day.

"This is a historic moment for blogs," Mr. Morrissey said in a telephone interview. "The point of having free speech and a free press is to have people informed. These information bans are self-defeating for free societies. The politicians know, the media knows, but the Canadian voters are left in the dark and that's a backwards way of doing things."

Mr. Morrissey characterized himself as a libertarian conservative who had written extensively on his blog about Federal Election Commission regulations, free speech and foreign affairs.

Captain Ed blogged One complaint that Americans receive from Canadians, and deservedly so, is how little our media covers Canadian issues, leaving Americans poorly informed of the affairs of our northern neighbors. I don't believe it to be deliberate, but in an effort to cover global hot spots, our media gives Canada short shrift. I wondered when I started writing about Adscam when the American media would pick up on the story, if at all, since it held the real possibility of toppling the government.

Ironically, the tremendous interest from Canada in this blog has caught the notice of American media and put Adscam in our newspapers. Yesterday and this morning, several articles appeared around the country, including an interview I did with the New York Times which went out on their wire service to newspapers all over.

An Active Mind blogged The mainstream American media has picked up the Gomery story (New York Times, American Spectator) which basically renders the publication ban useless as now just about anyone who can use Google can easily find all the info that is required to circumvent the ban. It will be interesting to see if Gomery lifts the ban now that Brault and Guite's trials have been pushed out a month.

DustMyBroom has a very large number of links

FlapsBlog blogged A few days ago we published a very long list of blogs who were either ignoring or flaunting the publication ban of the Canadian Adscam scandel. Now, it is time for a round-up of opinion and commentary pieces both here and in Canada while we await the latest news from the inquiry as to the fate of the publication ban.

The Big Trunk blogged In its own backyard the Minneapolis Star Tribune narrowly avoided being scooped by the Times: "Eagan blogger fans Canadian scandal." The Star Tribune demonstrates its superior attention to the local scene by correctly identifying the relevant municipality in the headline, and its superiority over the St. Paul Pioneer Press by discovering the story.

Orrin Judd blogged Shouldn't the scandal itself be the bigger story?

I am glad that American Bloggers were able to assist their Canadian brethren by posting things they were not allowed to post.

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