In today’s Sun, on the front page, above the fold is a political story. There is never a political story on the front page, above the fold anymore, since all the big stories are about their good friends in government, the BC Liberal Party. And they haven’t been good.
For decades now the Sun has always been solidly behind whatever right wing party is in play at the time and in 1993, under the direction of Dennis Skulsky, the Sun became part of the BC Liberal militia, kind of their advance shock troops.
They are true believers, the kind of ardent followers who would print a double page spread the day after the ‘Hawaii incident’ in homage to their favourite Premier, evah. Even drunk, they loved him.
Then he left. And they became, like many BCers, not sure about his replacement. About Christy, Not sure? About the worst Premier in living memory? About a Premier who gives Vander Zalm a good name. Yes, not sure.
But they are sure about one thing. They still hate the NDP. So even as they report a minimum of Clark’s biggest misfires, consigning them to page 3 or even deeper in the obscurity of the Sun’s back pages, they give full play to any opportunity to report an apparent NDP transgression.
Hence today’s above the fold story: a full on made up piece of transcribed trash fresh from of the lips of the BC Liberal campaign chair MLA Bill Bennett.
Bennett claims, and the Sun writes, that the NDP broke the rules to create a caucus fund to pay for a partisan outreach program earning a condemnation from the Auditor General in his report on Legislative spending. To back it up they quote from a draft of the report.
It’s a full on smear, and Bennett know’s it. More importantly, the Vancouver Sun knows it.
The Sun knows that the Auditor withdrew his draft and they know why. The AG learned that the fund was set up on the advice of the Legislative comptroller, the guy hired to oversee Legislative accounts, and a guy who reports to Liberal Speaker Bill Barisoff.
The Sun also knows that the NDP went on its own accord to the Comptroller because they wanted to ensure that the fund followed all the rules. The Sun knows that the Comptroller, not the NDP, administered the fund.
And they know that the Comptroller signed off on the activities the fund was used for – translation services, writing in Chinese, commentaries, South Asian outreach, advertising, caucus advertising. All things the NDP Caucus is entitled to do. The Sun knows that no money was spent on any party activities.
How does the Sun know that the fund was completely on the up and up and the Comptroller signed off on it and administered it? Because, Vaughn Palmer wrote on it in their paper two months ago.
“The auditor general routinely circulates preliminary drafts of his reports to affected agencies” Palmer wrote about this report, adding, “and he routinely makes revisions in response to the feedback.”
In this case once the AG found out the Comptroller, not the NDP was responsible for the design and administration of the fund he removed any accusations and altered the body of the report to reflect the truth of the matter.
The final report came out today, as per Palmer’s description. The Liberal smear that appeared this morning above the fold is a lie.
Yellow journalism is the name for this. According to Wikipedia It’s a type of journalism “that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headline to sell more newspapers”.
Or in this case, to sell a corrupt government.