Monday, January 08, 2007

Conservative "media" ranking: Bourque, then Levant

Given the flurry of posts recently questioning the perceived Conservative leanings of online news aggregator/blogger/whatever Pierre Bourque (Olaf has another take) it was quite serendipitous I came across this passage in the Stephen Harper biography I'm currently reading by William Johnston, called Stephen Harper and the Future of Canada.

You'll remember the big scoop Ezra Levant of the Western Standard had during the last campaign, posting the full Liberal platform online before it was released by the party. The document of course came to Ezra courtesy the Conservative campaign, which got it from the infamous Liberal mole, no doubt.


The passage though indicates Ezra wasn't the Conservatives' first choice for a Conservative-friendly outlet to leak the platform to though:


The initial Conservative idea had been to leak the Liberal platform to Pierre Bourque's website, called Bourque Newswatch. That would conceal the fact that it was the Conservative Party that first received the leaked document from a mole. Bourque Newswatch was a popular Ottawa-based site which published political news and gossip, and it had on occasion published items the Conservatives wanted out in the blogshpere. But, when the war room finally got in hand the long awaited Liberal platform, no one could find Pierre Bourque to give him the scoop. In a last minute switch, they sent it instead to Ezra Levant's Western Standard; he was former communications director to Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day
.


Interesting, that. What does it say about how Conservative-friendly you consider your first choice to be when your second choice is Ezra Levant and the Western Standard?


Johnson's bio (recently updated post Harper PMship) is an interesting read btw, watch for a review soon.

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers

14 comments:

JDot said...

Dude are you alright, you paste this.

The initial Conservative idea had been to leak the Liberal platform to Pierre Bourque's website, called Bourque Newswatch. That would conceal the fact that it was the Conservative Party that first received the leaked document."

So they where going to leak it to a site to conceal the fact it was the cons. Which means it is liberal no.

They did not want to go to levent b/c people would no it came from a conservative. But if they went to Bourque it would look like a liberal. am I missing somthing.

I don't no you liberals are really starting to lose it man.

Nationalnewswatch.com is the only way to go. That Bourque site is garbage. And I don't even mean the content just the set-up.

eugene plawiuk said...

So there never was a mole just a dirty tricks operative is that what you are saying. Because it has been needed to be said since the whole mole issue was raised.

Dennis (Second Thoughts) said...

Look, I agree that Bourque's coverage of politics has tilted towards Conservatives, starting at some point at or before the last election campaign. It was obvious during the campaign, and has been so-so since.

However, what many Liberals now seem to be ignoring, thanks in part Cherniak the Manchurian Candidate, are two things:

a) Bourque has both personal and family ties to the Liberal party of Canada. Wikipedia can be your friend.

b) Bourque was at times Harper's worst enemy. Anyone remember Carol Jamieson? If you don't, look it up.

All this talk about Bourque is to discredit people who dare criticize Dion at this point.

Citoyen Dion is fair game, no matter how much it hurts you Libs to think so.

Anonymous said...

Bourque has had a "sponsorship" deal with the Federal and Ontario Tory party for a while now. This is the reason that Kinsella has decided to make it an insue of late (the Ontario deal with John Tory, that is).

He had a similar deal with Belinda when she ran for the Tory leadership and the BC Libs. He also has sponsorship deals with the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association and the Auto page for CanWest amongst others.

A Conservative said...

All of this talk about FAILED FEDERAL LIBERAL CANDIDATE Bourque being a Conservative is odd considering we conservatives have always hated his site for its pro-Liberal bias, although to be fair he was hardly pro-Liberal last election. Who was though? At least publicly.

Anyway, I vaguely recall reading a few dozen articles in Frank magazine on Bourque years ago indicating he is a Liberal from a longtime Liberal family. So I went to the internet search engine "Google" to see what I could find. Surprisingly, a search on "Pierre Bourque liberal" turned up oodles of information about Bourque! Crazy you would think!

From Wiki:

In March 1991, he was appointed to the councils of the city of Ottawa and the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton to fill a vacancy, but lost in the election of that November. He ran then for Parliament in the 1993 Canadian election as a Liberal candidate in the Montreal riding of Rosemont, and lost to Bloc Québécois candidate Benoît Tremblay.

AND this about his dad:

Mr. Bourque's financial fortunes have risen and fallen, often spectacularly, and often publicly as well.

He was born to politics, and stays attuned. More than 40 years ago, his father was a mayor of Ottawa. In the early 1990s his son, Pierre Jr., was an Ottawa city councillor.

In between times, Mr. Bourque was an active supporter of the Liberal Party, though without holding office himself. Ottawa city councillor Richard Cannings recalls Mr. Bourque was "extremely nice, extremely gentlemanly" in his dealings with city hall.

He also recalls catching glimpses of the man's political power years ago, when Mr. Cannings was on the staff of a cabinet minister in the federal Liberal government under Pierre Trudeau.

"The minister (Mr. Cannings won't say which one) drove Pierre Bourque Sr. to Montreal ... and they came back in the chauffeured car and everything. At that time Mr. Bourque was offering my boss a Davidoff (cigar). My boss was a pretty gruff guy to most people, but he was really cosying up to Pierre Bourque.

"Pierre Bourque was a powerful, powerful force in his heyday. There's no doubt about that," Mr. Cannings says.


To the extent that Bourque has been less than flattering re: the Liberal Party of Canada and the douchebag mcguinty, well, it's because the Liberals suck. Don't give Bourque shit and expect him to sell it for you! Try sucking less and your boy Pierre will be there, ready to fluff. You can read the rest of Liberal Pierre Bourque's longtime affiliation with the LPC here:

http://www.google.ca/search?q=pierre+bourque+liberal&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

A BCer in Toronto said...

Bourque has both personal and family ties to the Liberal party of Canada.

He ran then for Parliament in the 1993 Canadian election as a Liberal candidate


You know who else once ran for the Liberals? Wajid Khan and David Emerson. Heck, even Harper used to be a Liberal member, and a big Trudeau fan too.

Anyway, I'm not saying I subscribe to the conspiracy theories that he's an ideological Conservative shill. I find the theory his motivations are monetary to be far more compelling, but who really knows.

He has consistently been ridiculously anti-Liberal though, not that I'm losing any sleep over it. I just thought the quoted passage was interesting in light of current blogsphere debates.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Euegene, I believe the mole leaked it, and other things, to the Cons who then passed it on to Ezra, as Bourque was unavailable. So says the book anyway.

leftdog said...

It's not so much that Pierre Bourque is supporting the 'Tories'. Liberal supporters have been missing the essence of why Pierre is ticked off at you.

As a Quebecer, he has not gotten over Adscam.

Until SOMEONE in the Liberal head office comes forward, acknowledges that Adscam was WRONG and commits that Liberals are going to take whatever internal measures are necessary to ensure that it NEVER happens again, you will not get a kind word from Mr, Bourque.

The fact that even after a lengthy leadership exercise and the selection of a new Leader, Liberal numbers ARE NOT going up dramatically, should tell you that Pierre is NOT the only one holding reservations with your Party.


(This same comment is cross posted over at The "What Do I Know Grit"

A BCer in Toronto said...

Is it possible, Left, that Pierre (and yourself) were on vacation during Paul Martin's national tv address, or his cross-country mad as hell tour? Because then you would be right, that would explain it.

Dennis (Second Thoughts) said...

Bourque's anti-Liberalism started with Paul Martin. Until then, he was as much of a Harper basher as anyone else. On his message boards, he told me that Harper was finished, and it was personal.

Just like Kinsella, Bourque is about playing constituencies against one another, even outside the Liberal party.

He hasn't always been "anti-Liberal." That he mocks "Citoyen Dion" I don't think is the result of any kind of payoff, which is the smear Cherniak tried to get away with, and looks like is succeeding to some degree.

leftdog said...

"Is it possible, Left, that Pierre (and yourself) were on vacation during Paul Martin's national tv address, or his cross-country mad as hell tour?"

My memory banks are not registering major mea culpa's from Martin. I think Liberals continue to minimize the impact Adscam had on the Canadian (especially in Quebec) psyche.

Dennis is correct, Pierre was rabidly anti Harper. Quebecers hung on every word of Gomery every day, every day. Bourque included.

Liberals can keep their heads in the sand on this if they want, you can keep shooting the messengers too BUT that doesn't change the fact that a big problem still exists.

Proof should be that you leadership exercise did not launch a rebound in the polls. Jason Cherniak would NEVER agree with what I am saying because some Liberals simply cannot see clearly because the partisan blinkers are on too tightly.

Bourque is a 'bellweather' of Liberal difficulties.

A BCer in Toronto said...

My memory banks are not registering major mea culpa's from Martin.

Well, I don't know what to tell you. I know carrots are good for eyesight, I'm not sure what you should eat to improve memory.

Anonymous said...

"Fish" is good for the memory and there's always something "fishy" going on in Harper's planning.

James Curran said...

And here is my response to said Leftdog on my blog.

That's rich. An adscam for an adscam.

That SOMEONE in the Liberal Party was Paul Martin. A REAL Prime Minister, who called a REAL inquiry, where REAL people testified, including two REAL Prime Ministers; where REAL people REALLY got convicted of crimes and REAL lawsuits ensued, thereby causing said REAL Prime Minister to LOSE the REAL election last year at this time, just after I REALLY said Bourque was bought and paid for by the conservatives.

REALLY. HERE. ON THIS BLOG. IN CANADA.

The What Do I Know Grit