Dr. Dawg

Sun and shade

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The Sun empire is unhappy with the Conservatives.

In an astonishing piece today by CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau, he reveals how the Sun folks were almost suckered by former Harper deputy chief of staff Patrick Muttart. Only the trained eye of savvy Kory Teneycke, we are told, saved the day.

Well, set aside the inevitably self-serving bits and concentrate on the substance. In brief, highly-placed Conservatives attempted to plant a fake story and even faker photograph to “prove” that Michael Ignatieff was on the front lines during the Iraq war, advising on military strategy with US forces in Kuwait. The photo, purportedly taken in a Kuwait forward base, showed an Iggy-like figure gussied up in American fatigues and brandishing a rifle.

Ignatieff, as we know, has recently been trying to walk back his involvement in George Dubya’s ill-fated adventure, and staggering a bit in the process.

The Sun has been making the most of Ignatieff’s recently-revealed role in the war as an advisor to the US military. But this was confined, it appears, to minimizing civilian casualties, hardly very harmful to the Liberal leader. The planted story would have damaged this narrative of a peaceful academic interested in saving lives.

The Sun, in any case, pulled back from the brink. The affair has allowed it to claim a fragment of journalistic integrity and establish a certain independence from the party it unabashedly serves. Of course, this noble stance is opportunistic in the extreme—has the Sun been caught up in this elaborate lie, it would have taken a massive credibility hit.

Péladeau, whose paper was very nearly duped, is rightly en crisse. But Iggy was indeed a hawk on Iraq, and he remains one on Afghanistan, sneeringly referring to those of us opposing the latter mission as “boy scouts.”

The story, therefore, is not without its ironic aspects. A warmonger attempts to portray himself latterly as a thoughtful and detached man of peace. Eager to expose Iggy’s historical comb-over, a right-wing newspaper that was gung-ho on the war itself is nearly suckered by a party whose leader regrets that we stayed out of it.

You kind of want everybody to win in a shootout like this. Meanwhile a new poll is the needed popcorn and beer for those of us enjoying the show.

[H/t BigCityLib]

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on April 27, 2011 10:00 AM.

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