Sunday, August 06, 2006

Crocodile tears in the blogosphere

From today's Toronto Star:

Finally, there was the mess over his mother-in-law. Was she ill? Or wasn't she? Two weeks ago, the Star sought the views of the 11 leadership hopefuls on the Mideast, asking what they would have done differently than Harper and what, as PM, they would do now.

All commented. Only Ignatieff was unavailable.

When asked why, an Ignatieff spokesperson couldn't answer and said someone would call back later with a reason. Later that day, campaign director Ian Davey telephoned to say Ignatieff's mother-in-law was ill in Hungary.

"He's overseas — there's an illness in the family," said Davey, adding he wouldn't contact Ignatieff about a phone interview. Later, a high-placed source said Ignatieff was definitely on vacation.

Last week, however, back in Toronto, Ignatieff told the Star his mother-in-law was, in fact, not ill.

"There is no health crisis," he said. "There never was. Anybody who said there was, was not authorized to say that. I never purported to say that."

He apologized for the confusion.

So there you have it: the candidate in the awkward position of having to answer for a staffer — and a senior staffer at that.

"I'm entitled to a holiday, but I don't want at any point (to) set up obstacles, or false trails for you or anyone else," he said.
For any of you who read your way around the Liberal blogosphere, you've surely read lots and lots over the past while about the absence of Michael Ignatieff from events, media, etc, etc for most of the month of July. Many have criticized Ignatieff's absence as a rookie mistake and certainly his silence on questions about the Middle East during the crisis in Lebanon was surprising to many. As one blogger pointed out, there are 3.5 million land lines and 8.5 million cell phones in Hungary. Surely the Ignatieff campaign team could have "phoned a friend" when they needed comments.

Any criticism about Ignatieff's absence resulted in vicious retaliation from the Ignatieff folks on the blogosphere. When Calgary Grit posted a picture of Ignatieff on a milk carton and listed a mock top ten reasons for his disappearence for a constest started by another blogger prominent Ignatieff blogger TDH Strategies had the following to say:

Calgary Grit, Mr. "Bart Ramson" (how did you ever come up with that silly name, sir?), has taken it upon himself to make light of a deeply personal affair that Michael Ignatieff and his wife have had to endure in Hungary. In his logic, he believes that the above-linked post isn't "weighing in" on the issue, and that he is somehow going to wait before making his opinion known. Well, excuse me for being a little confused by that kind of a statement, considering that he and his brand of humour seem to be all over the affair.

If that is how CG chooses to conduct himself, then so be it. But regardless of who I support, my ideals will never allow me to make a joke out of someone else's tragedy, particularly when it comes to family. That is a line that I don't think anyone should cross.

Another blogger has written that "Where's Iggy? seems to have replaced Where's Waldo? as one of the more popular past times in the Liberal blogsphere over the past week or two." Well, I'd be more interested in starting another game this morning - namely, Where's Gerard Kennedy Going to Run? It could be in his home province of Ontario...although, he is now living temporarily in Quebec for the summer...but then again, he does have western roots in Manitoba and Alberta...heck, BC might even be an option. We'll all have to keep an eye on the next geographic flavour of the week that Mr. Kennedy chooses to pander to in order to find out. In fact, I'm considering starting a pool:

I'll put a bunch of ridings in the grid (I might have to expand it as the months progress), and TDH readers can puchase different squares for a designated amount. Winner takes all.

And to think of the kind of fun we all could have had if a member of Gerard's family had fallen deathly ill.

Absolutely disgusting.
Full of anger, some might say hate, the response came attacking not only the blogger who made a joke but also saying it was disgusting, and references to family members "fallen deathly ill". Then moving on to attack the leadership candidate supported by the blogger in question.

What a sham. I will quote again candidate Ignatieff who told the Star: "There is no health crisis, there never was. Anybody who said there was, was not authorized to say that. I never purported to say that."

I think TDH Strategies and other bloggers out there who have insulted and called the ethics and morals of other bloggers into questions need to offer some serious apologies. Now.


Anonymous said...

Dude, you really need TWO blogs. One for the liberal party, one for New Brunswick politics. Clearly you know your way around both, but the vast majority of canadians have no interest in the liberal party. Not that it shouldn't be out there, it just tends to 'weigh down' the central issue of New Brunswick politics and really only has a relation for a very small number of New Brunswickers.

Anonymous said...

Ignatieff should be better off remaining professor. Politics is not his cup of tea.

Liberals despite their current chaotic state remain the only alternative. Harper screwed himself on Middle East stand. Canadians are peacemaker and like neutral status. Harper being lapdog to Bush is not going to help him.

nbpolitico said...

anon at 12:55 - Maybe it should be called Politics from a New Brunswickers perspective, it is just a place for me to rant, primarily on NB politics but on Canadian politics as well

anon at 1:02 - I couldn't agree more

Anonymous said...

I am the anon above that you agree with. I wish to add that you have a very impressive blog. Very well reasoned out without being partial to any party. At least that is my impression of impartiality from this particular blog "Crocodile tears in the blogosphere".

Very refreshing point of view.

scott said...

It's hard to believe that Egghead couldn't communicate a single message with his senior campaign manager. Another reason to believe that Iggy is heavy on policy but light when it comes to politics. And you know as well I do that the latter wins the day.

Nice blog btw.

Spinks said...

nbpolitico, do whatever you want and write whatever you wish. It's YOUR blog. It may be somewhat partisan but hey, you're upfront about it and you appear to have a good grasp of reality. I haven't heard any 55-0 sweeps for the Liberal party here yet so that's always a good sign.

Anonymous said...

Spinks, talking about partisan! nobody is more partisan than you. You are so obvious being CONSERAVTIVE that it gets too much at times.

I find this blog more factual than politically coloured the way you are, sir. However it is your right to say what you believe in. Happy New Brunswick day.

Spinks said...

10:43, are you jamie?

Gee, I'm a pretty bad Conservative then for not voting for them. LOL.
There's a great difference between being a Liberal Party Supporter or a Conservative Party supporter and having liberal values or conservative values. Do I have conservative values? Absolutely, but so do lots of Liberals as do Conservatives have some liberal values. Our friend hosting this blog has been upfront that he/she supports the Liberal Party so you know what you're getting. Visit my blog and you'll get conservative values but not constant praise for the Tories. That's what I like about this blog. Our friend is clearly a Liberal Party supporter but not blind to the reality out there or so partisan that one thinks there is no place for other views, unlike so many other Liberal, Conservative or NDP blogs which exist out there. I say good job.

nbpolitico said...

Thanks all very much to everyone for the compliments. I appreciate it!!!