Anonymous sources say…

The Toronto Star’s Susan Delacourt wrote an article a couple of days ago quoting an anonymous source that told her that a “trio” of Liberals were in high level talks with Conservatives to cross the floor over to the government benches.

OTTAWA–A Conservative government official said Monday there have been discussions with three Liberal MPs interested in crossing the floor to the Tory side over the past month.

Liberals immediately dismissed the talk as Conservative “mischief” and said it is the government that is on a raiding mission.

Then it all started to smell a bit funny and Ms. Delacourt published the following on her own blog:

Q. Is it possible that the Conservative source made up this story to make “mischief,” as Liberals allege?

A: Yes it is. But our usual practice is to “out” the source if we find out it was a deliberate lie, so stay tuned. Seasoned political people know that you only get to lie once to a reporter.

and then the next day we get this under Delacourt’s print by-line:

OTTAWA–The Prime Minister’s Office sought Tuesday to distance itself from reports coming from Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s office about possible defections of Liberal MPs to the Conservatives.

Dimitri Soudas, a PMO spokesperson, said there was no truth to claims made to the Star by Kenney’s communications director, Alykhan Velshi, about three Liberal MPs interested in crossing the floor to the Conservatives.

Nor could Soudas explain why he was “outing” Velshi on Tuesday afternoon as the source of the tip to the Star. Soudas went on to explain that only the PMO knows certain information and Velshi wouldn’t have had the kind of facts the Star was seeking.

Read that sentence a couple of times to see if it makes sense logically. “Nor could Soudas explain why he was “outing” Velshi on Tuesday afternoon as the source of the tip to the Star.”

First Ms. Delacourt suggested that she herself was on the verge of outing Velshi as the source. And that brings up an interesting question. Wasn’t she the one guarding the identity of Velshi as her tipster? We Conservatives may share one big evil hive mind according to some, but I’m not sure how Soudas was able to “out” Velshi as Delacourt’s source to Delacourt. How did Soudas come to know that it was Velshi that told Delacourt the tip?

Somebody should ask Soudas how he came to learn that Velshi was the tipster.

Comments

comments

  • Gabby in QC

    Wait a minute … Susan Delacourt’s story was published on Tues Oct 06 2009, but Don Martin had already hinted there might be someone crossing over in a column published on Sept. 30:
    http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Michael+Ignat
    “… Bond with caucus. This is a very speculative rumble, but at least one prominent MP has quietly mused to me about crossing the floor to join the Conservatives. Others complain their leader is deaf to their input and trivializes their value. …” [my bolding]

    Isn't it conceivable that Velshi either read Don Martin's column or heard the story from someone else, so the number of “at least one” grew to three?
    But then … how did it go from Velshi to Delacourt?
    Given Delacourt's experience and her customary skepticism of anything coming out of Conservative lips, why would she trust anything Velshi said to her – if indeed he did say anything to her – and run with it in her column?

    This is one more reason validating PM Harper's supposed strong rein on what members of the party say. I don't call it a hive mentality, I call it party discipline and staying on message.
    If you don't like that kind of discipline, sit as an independent, and don't accept a position with an MP who is required to abide by those rules.

    I wish some of the gossipy commères would learn to hold their tongue.
    But then … what would journalists have to write about, bloggers comment on, and commenters like me gripe about?

  • cantuc

    Now on ctv.ca , where 15 minutes ago the story was Martha Hall-Finlay and Ignegative talking about the informative advertising the conservatives were doing , now its gone and the story is Bureaucrats objected to gov't ad campaign: sources—http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20091008/govt_advertising_091008/20091008?hub=TopStoriesV2 Awhole bunch of anonymous unsubstantiated , unverified unknown unidentified ” sources ” and the original story and comments have vanished .

  • David

    Also from the same entry in Delacourt's blog;

    “Q: Is the Star picking on Ruby Dhalla?

    A: I see that Ms. Dhalla has posted on Twitter today that it's tough to be a female politician. Indeed it is. It is also difficult to balance on one leg, have a telephone conversation with the TV blaring and type on the blackberry while walking. Those examples are just as relevant to this story as Ms. Dhalla's gender. I believe she knows that the story could have been much worse, and we'll leave it at that. “

    The last sentence in this segment leads me to believe that Delacourt was saving Dhalla from further embarrassment. As far as I know this was never explored further.

    Anonymous sources had long been a thorn of the Liberal party;that is until recently when they no longer feel the need to be anonymous.

    There were clearly other rumours of Lib defectors. This story may not be finished.

  • Name

    Ekos CBC poll is in if your wondering about the Liberal Party of Toronto they're on life support

  • terry1

    Harpers recent good numbers are because he is effectively portraying himself as a Liberal. Come campaign time all of that will disappear because he and the rest of the Reform side of the party won't be able to help themselves from showing who they really are. In the meantime, the goofy Right are seething and looking for an alternative.

  • David

    437,000 and counting…

  • Trod

    Or its because we've already got a Harper and there is no point to electing Michael “Harper-light” Ignatieff. :)

  • wilson

    Lib Anony sources at work again:

    'Bureaucrats objected to gov't ad campaign: sources'

    ''…While the story is being denied by both PCO and PMO, the extraordinary claim originates from several sources within the famously discreet Privy Council Office.

    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTV

    Well, even I can figure out who that anony source might be:

    'Ignatieff snags senior PCO bureaucrat as adviser'

    OTTAWA – Newly minted Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has snagged a senior adviser right out from under Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s nose.

    Sources confirmed late Tuesday that Kevin Chan, executive assistant and director to top federal bureaucrat Kevin Lynch, has joined Ignatieff’s team.

    As clerk of the Privy Council Office, Lynch directly advises the prime minister on policy, administrative and political matters. He is the link between the Prime Minister’s Office and the deputy ministers who run each government department.

    As Lynch’s right-hand man, Chan would presumably have had top secret clearance and access to all government confidential plans.
    http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/01/14/and-sometime

  • cantuc

    Don Martin fell out of a glass of cheap scotch and decided it's all Stephen Harpers fault that they use anonymous sources .
    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullco

  • terry1

    would rather have Harpo light, MI, because he would be $60BB lighter on our wallets :)

  • terry1

    wilson , don't you just love it when there are whistle blowers to undercut the extreme secrecy that abounds with the PMO. I know the public doesn't deserve to know anything(sic) but its sometimes fun to see how greedy and crooked those reformatories really

  • terry1

    1,406,946 and counting

  • Gabby in QC

    And now, from Not an Anonymous source
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-busine… (H/T National Newswatch)
    “… In another sign of strength, the economy created 92,000 full-time jobs in September, the largest amount in more than three years. The public sector led the job gains, along with construction and manufacturing. No provinces saw their jobless rate increase, and British Columbia led the way in job creation.
    “Yes, we have recovery,” said Douglas Porter, Bank of Montreal's deputy chief economist.”
    [my bolding]

  • terry1

    I note you didn't bold the fact “public sector” jobs led the growth. Now the dirty tories are apparently puffing up the civil service in order to look good.

    And just to bring you back to earth if that's possible here's more sobering and always more accurate ews than the G&M or any newspaper.

    http://www.rgemonitor.com/blog/roubini/

    “There is froth in markets — a significant amount of froth,” he said, but “the recovery is going to be so weak, there is no way the Fed can start raising interest rates anytime soon.” The U.S. unemployment rate, for example, “will certainly be well above 10%” for some time since “many of these lost jobs are gone forever,” he said.

    Roubini who has been dead on with his economic forecasts which obviously makes him anything but a dirty tory.

  • MrEd

    and this surprises you?

  • MrEd

    again with the 60 billion Terry1…give it a rest… it's about 40 billion higher than it would be if not for the Liberal insistance on proping up capitalism in Canada and buying a few extra years for a dieing auto industry. here's a tip…that money may be committed but it's not spent and it's not real…it's projected…projections will improve as the economy does…but you keep singing about it and we'll be sure to say you were right and we were wrong… and BTW…as expected, unemployment numbers from September and the rate of unemployment dropped again…

  • MrEd

    1348 comments and never anything positive to say anywhere….wow!!! You must be a happy guy

  • Gabby in QC

    And another thing … ;-)

    Does Don Martin re-read his own columns?
    http://www.calgaryherald.com/columnists/Everybo… (H/T National Newswatch)
    ” … Her [Ruby Dhalla's] implication in a Conservative-leaked story as one of three Liberals allegedly crossing the floor to join the government was particularly puzzling.
    There was apparently nothing to it, although the fact it was floated by an experienced and respected Toronto Star reporter makes you suspect a reliable wisp to the implausible whisper. Still, she was forced to stand before the caucus and pledge allegiance to what's left of the Ignatieff Liberal party, despite no credible evidence her loyalty was ever suspect.
    (By way of full disclosure, last week I wrote of hints of a floor-crossing by two other Liberal MPs, who confided their musings in fairly oblique ways, one inquiring to me about the process Belinda Stronach used to defect to the Liberals in 2005 — a curiosity I perhaps mistakenly linked to crossover interest. I digress.)” [my bolding]

    Geez, talk about deflecting blame.
    Martin now writes “Her [Ruby Dhalla's] implication in a Conservative-leaked story …”
    ? ! ?
    • Martin himself was the first to write about the crossing over rumour: “at least one prominent MP has quietly mused to me about crossing the floor to join the Conservatives …” (Sept. 30 column)
    • Martin takes a shot at Delacourt because she “floated … the implausible whisper.”
    Huh?
    He was the first one to write about it! (see above)
    • Now Martin slips in a floor-crossing by two other Liberal MPs in this latest column, but covers himself by saying he perhaps misinterpreted those MPs’ musings. (Oct. 9 column)

    It is columns like these that suggest much of what is written in Ottawa is based on the flimsiest of information and a lot of shallow musings.

  • Gabby in QC

    And now, from Not an Anonymous source
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-busine… (H/T National Newswatch)
    “… In another sign of strength, the economy created 92,000 full-time jobs in September, the largest amount in more than three years. The public sector led the job gains, along with construction and manufacturing. No provinces saw their jobless rate increase, and British Columbia led the way in job creation.
    “Yes, we have recovery,” said Douglas Porter, Bank of Montreal's deputy chief economist.”
    [my bolding]

  • terry1

    I note you didn't bold the fact “public sector” jobs led the growth. Now the dirty tories are apparently puffing up the civil service in order to look good.

    And just to bring you back to earth if that's possible here's more sobering and always more accurate ews than the G&M or any newspaper.

    http://www.rgemonitor.com/blog/roubini/

    “There is froth in markets — a significant amount of froth,” he said, but “the recovery is going to be so weak, there is no way the Fed can start raising interest rates anytime soon.” The U.S. unemployment rate, for example, “will certainly be well above 10%” for some time since “many of these lost jobs are gone forever,” he said.

    Roubini who has been dead on with his economic forecasts which obviously makes him anything but a dirty tory.

  • MrEd

    and this surprises you?

  • MrEd

    again with the 60 billion Terry1…give it a rest… it's about 40 billion higher than it would be if not for the Liberal insistance on proping up capitalism in Canada and buying a few extra years for a dieing auto industry. here's a tip…that money may be committed but it's not spent and it's not real…it's projected…projections will improve as the economy does…but you keep singing about it and we'll be sure to say you were right and we were wrong… and BTW…as expected, unemployment numbers from September and the rate of unemployment dropped again…

  • MrEd

    1348 comments and never anything positive to say anywhere….wow!!! You must be a happy guy… Oh wait… I know what you would have to say already…. You're positive 41% of Canadians across Canada and 46% in Ontario are wrong in supporting a Conservative gov't in the new poll numbers

  • Gabby in QC

    And another thing … ;-)

    Does Don Martin re-read his own columns?
    http://www.calgaryherald.com/columnists/Everybo… (H/T National Newswatch)
    ” … Her [Ruby Dhalla's] implication in a Conservative-leaked story as one of three Liberals allegedly crossing the floor to join the government was particularly puzzling.
    There was apparently nothing to it, although the fact it was floated by an experienced and respected Toronto Star reporter makes you suspect a reliable wisp to the implausible whisper. Still, she was forced to stand before the caucus and pledge allegiance to what's left of the Ignatieff Liberal party, despite no credible evidence her loyalty was ever suspect.
    (By way of full disclosure, last week I wrote of hints of a floor-crossing by two other Liberal MPs, who confided their musings in fairly oblique ways, one inquiring to me about the process Belinda Stronach used to defect to the Liberals in 2005 — a curiosity I perhaps mistakenly linked to crossover interest. I digress.)” [my bolding]

    Geez, talk about deflecting blame.
    Martin now writes “Her [Ruby Dhalla's] implication in a Conservative-leaked story …”
    ? ! ?
    • Martin himself was the first to write about the crossing over rumour: “at least one prominent MP has quietly mused to me about crossing the floor to join the Conservatives …” (Sept. 30 column)
    • Martin takes a shot at Delacourt because she “floated … the implausible whisper.”
    Huh?
    He was the first one to write about it! (see above)
    • Now Martin slips in a floor-crossing by two other Liberal MPs in this latest column, but covers himself by saying he perhaps misinterpreted those MPs’ musings. (Oct. 9 column)

    It is columns like these that suggest much of what is written in Ottawa is based on the flimsiest of information and a lot of shallow musings.