Thursday, April 19, 2007


Bill Tieleman on B.C. Rail Trial news

18 April 2007, Bill wrote:

Thanks for your kind comments as always Mary - they are much appreciated at the end of an extremely long day!

I've filed two stories for Thursday's 24 hours newspaper - - and about 1300 words for on this fascinating first day of the defence disclosure application.

Sorry we didn't take calls on CKNW AM 980 tonight from 8:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. but got a lot of information out on the trial and background.

The case could be very interesting again Thursday with possible follow up on the "media monitoring" contract allegedly given by the BC Liberal Party to David Basi.

Unfortunately for me I will be unable to cover court Thursday or Friday due to previous work commitments but will be watching and back at it next week.

I want to see that "Media Monitoring" Contract allegedly given to Dave Basi by the B.C. Liberal Party. I wonder how Gary Mason feels about that, after writing his pooh-pooh Christmas story for The Globe and Mail about Basi and Virk. [See They played Gary Mason like a violin, 12/27/06 The Legislature Raids] - BC Mary.

And I want to see that 'Crown counsel report' on the the same contracts.

Presumably it is something the defense obtained by disclosure.

Further, if the BC Liberal party was doing aggressive 'media monitoring' in which, it was alleged, they were attempting to manipulate public opinion just which media organs, producers, hosts, editors, reporters and columnists were targetted?

Sorry Mary, the media monitoring stuff goes on all the time even with the ndp. Nothing new there. I don't see why you are taking a shot at Gary Mason over that. Even I can't find anything to complain about with that one. Why would defence lawyers raise this if it was such a bad thing?

See Sean Holman's place for recent specific examples he has just cited.

Thanks, Gazetteer. So I found this at Public Eye Online:

Public Eye has documented numerous attempts by administration and party officials - following Mr. Basi's firing and not connected to the aforementioned allegations - to sway public opinion through the use of radio shows and online opinion polls. For example, in January 2005, the premier's then Asia-Pacific trade and economic development director Prem Vinning used a different name other than his own when phoning in a question to a weekend Channel M call-in-show featuring Gordon Campbell. Then, in July, callers who sounded like Liberal organizers Dan Baxter, Brian Bonney and Mark Robertson phoned into a CKNW segment - again featuring Premier Campbell. And, last March, we caught Mr. Bonney encouraging supporters to skew the results of an online poll on The Tri-City News's Website.

Call me naive, but I can't believe anybody is ready to accept that kind of manipulation without question.

And I think we can safely say (according to an e.mail I received from him this morning) that Gary Mason was a little upset about something ... possibly about discovering that he had been played like a violin -- by a pro. Which would explain the look on Dave Basi's face in the photo illustrating Gary's sob-story.

So, yeah, I'd like to know more about "Media Monitoring" Contracts. Somehow it jangles against the concept of a free press, don't you think?
Mary, you are casting aspertions about things that have no relevancy to this issue. As a former communications person in the Harcourt government we had media monitoring contracts all the time to get the message out. Focus on the bc rail deal and the bombshells about cabinet ministers under investigation. To suggest that Gary Mason was played by a pro is sheer utter nonsense! Defence lawyers don't reveal things like this to make their clients look bad.

Why hasn't campbell attended question period for the last two days, thats important to note. Not some stupid media monitoring contract.

Thank you for sharing your views about media manipulation. Please keep on doing that.

I'll do the same.
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