Lesson #52: Scandals and Gonzo

Senate suspends Brazeau, Wallin and Duffy.

Duffy’s lawyer says that emails between his client and the P.M.O. will be released to the RCMP.

Gonzo Journalism

If I was Harper, I’d be sweating…bullets, fucking bullets. If those emails implicate the P.M.O. (Prime Minister’s Office) in any kind of cover-up – real or intended – Harper is totally fucked, whether he knew about the supposed cover-up or not.

Same as the Nixon saga. If he didn’t know about events centred on the Watergate Hotel in D.C., he should have; and if he did, he at the very least condoned illegal activities.

Same thing with our friend, Stevie. If he didn’t know about the Nigel Wright cheque to Duffy until months after the fact as he has continually claimed, he definitely should have, given the fact that this cheque was written by his former chief of staff, the head, immediately after Harper, of the Prime Minister’s Office, and if he did know, he will be rightly portrayed and roundly condemned as a liar. I saw a cartoon today showing the embattled Rob Ford, still the Queen City mayor, smoking crack while his pants were burning. Absent the crack component from the cartoon and I give you our Prime Minister. Liar, liar, your pants are on fire.

But lying isn’t the worst of it for Harper if it turns out that he knew about the cheque. Criminal charges could result. So Harper is either a dupe or a lying felon. Some choice. Round and round and round she goes and where she stops nobody knows. The title of Stevie’s new book on hockey, The Great Game, seems to be an apt description for what has been transpiring in the nation’s capital these days.


In my book, they can all go fuck themselves (except Obama whose stock has sadly been falling recently due to the National Security Agency [N.S.A.] spying scandal – there’s that word again). They don’t think like me. They don’t look like me. They don’t behave like me. They don’t dress like me. Thanks to Hunter S. Thompson and the school of gonzo journalism.

Gonzo journalism, popularized by this relatively recently deceased journalist, relies on a non-objective style of writing, characterized by profanity, exaggeration, humour and sarcasm. The personality of the author takes precedence over the story being written. Personal experiences and emotions dominate the detached style characteristic of traditional journalism. (Wikipedia)

So if you feel uncomfortable with my writing style because you have difficulty putting into some category or other, now you have a way of classifying it.

Thompson, who wrote such books as Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, Songs of the Doomed, The Great Shark Hunt, and Hells Angels, and who is commonly thought to be the father of Gonzo journalism said this in Rolling Stone Magazine way back in 1973 about his writing style: “If I’d written the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people – including me – would have been rotting…in prison cells today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.” It seems to be a rare commodity in politics too.

So with that tangent behind us, let’s proceed with the Senate Scandal.

The suspensions of what I call ‘The Little Three’ – Duffy, Brazeau and Wallin – was definitely politically motivated and is not supported by the majority of Canadians according to a recent poll. What happened to the rule of law? No charges have ever been laid against Mike, Pat, and Pam, nor have they been convicted of a criminal offense related to the accusations against them, i.e. that they claimed expenses to which they were not legally entitled thereby committing fraud and breach of trust.

Harper wanted them gone. That’s it, that’s all.

Newspaper reading has become exciting over the past week or two what with the scandal in the Senate, the election of a new mayor in Montreal, the Rob Ford thing in Toronto (see yesterday’s JuicyLesson #51), the Charbonneau Commission investigating municipal government corruption, and our infamous values charter which is to be unveiled today in Quebec’s National Assembly under a new name twenty-four word name. (The length of its name has a ways to go to match the 110 word referendum question put to the people of Quebec in 1980 by the Parti Quebecois government of Rene Levesque.) I must admit to being somewhat frightened and put off by the charter; it is a divisive piece of proposed legislation and represents a fundamental attack on freedom of religion. As such, it is likely to be thrown out by the courts. Most fortunately too, may I add. Thanks.


Peace out.

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