A great man once said, "Politics is inherently stupid." That great man was me.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

So in other words...

...As I've been saying all along, this had, pretty much, absolutely nothing to do with Ian Brodie.

Brodie gives an off-the-cuff (and off-the-record) remark about Clinton and NAFTA. A CTV reporter takes interest, speaks with Ambassador David Wilson, gets everything jumbled up, and ends up focusing on Obama's counterfeit NAFTA posturing instead. A report is then released to that effect, supposedly 'damaging' the Obama campaign because they've been caught in a lie.

And we also know that while all this was going on, the AP managed to obtain a diplomatic memo regarding Obama economic advisor Austan Goolsbee's contact with Canadian officials detailing that Obama was pontificating re: NAFTA for political posturing only. While it can certainly be argued that diplomatic leaks by govt's are bad form and can create embarrassing international incidents, you just can't pretend that the press doesn't have its eyes and ears in government departments. The press has its sources and moles and that's just how it is - no one should be surprised by that.

Obama's Campaign getting caught in a lie therefore has nothing to do with Ian Brodie at all, but everything to do with investigative journalism. The primary goal of every investigative journalist is to get the facts behind the story - if Obama's campaign was damaged, it was because reporters focused on the disconnect between what he was saying and what he really thinks, and cleverly managed to find out that he wasn't telling the truth.

Of course, all of this didn't stop the opposition from demanding Brodie's head on a platter, even though they knew he had nothing to do with the whole faux-fiasco from the start. But hold on - having been been proven dead-wrong in their initial round of blind of finger-pointing, the opposition has now decided throw a little more mud in the hope that it will opportunistically stick:

"NDP Leader Jack Layton said the report is another “black eye” for Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier, who has been gaffe-prone for months.

Layton said Bernier should be fired.....The New Democrat also said he’s not surprised that Brodie and Wilson were cleared.

'This was a report prepared by employees of Mr. Harper, about employees of Mr. Harper that concluded that nothing could be found that could be pinned on the employees of Mr. Harper in any definitive or final sense.'"

Mr. Layton makes this last statement in spite of the facts:

"...Harper called for an investigation in March after the so-called NAFTA-gate incident led to charges that Canada had interfered in the democratic process in the U.S.

He asked Kevin Lynch, the top federal public servant, to handle the probe but Lynch turned it over to a private Ottawa company, BMCI Investigations and Security Ltd."

Any individual even remotely following this story from the beginning could see it had nothing to do with Brodie and everything to do with the media and gov't bureaucracy (That's right, Navdeep).

Now - can we please stop having our time wasted by the endless reporting of one non-scandal after the next?

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