CFN – What an odd mix of circumstances this week has become. It’s one thing to get yanked out of a council chamber and prevented from doing my job over the most innocent of t shirts while a councilor is allowed to remain and still has not been charged for ripping up protest signs; but quite another to see some of my learned (ok, maybe some not so learned) colleagues chastising myself and CFN over the Mayor’s reluctance to delcare his conflict of interest; something he isn’t forced to do, but most likely is costing taxpayers thousands in legal fees and counting.
It’s a sticky wicket for the police. If they don’t charge Councilor Gardiner it looks like they are treating a politician kinder than say….a kid with a joint. If you can get charged and arrested for that in Cornwall surely this gross and purely clear act of mischief and damage under $5K should count too.
I get it though that the police have discretion. I have no issue with that too as it costs tax dollars tying cases up in court, but Councilor Gardiner did not come out Tuesday morning and sing Mea Culpa. He did not apologize to those whose signs he destroyed and simply spout that his love for Mayor Kilger drove him to a fit of rage that led him to destroy the signs. Or some such story. No, it’s been three days now with nary a word from the good councilor.
Of course even if the police do tender a charge the Crown has to agree to press the charge; but at least if the police charge Mr. Gardiner they can be clean in this mess. There are many people whose names end up on the police blotter who already would be charged for a small offence and surely we need to send a message that the police don’t play political favorites in our city and that nobody is above the law?
And then there are the other media. I’m getting used to being tarred and feathered by the media that chase us from behind. We probably have had more traffic in the last two days than the Seaway News gets in a month. Today, after already humiliating his paper by referring to the editor of the most read newspaper in this region; either print or digital, as “a man” “a man who runs a website”, etc in is coverage of my being yanked by police out of council over my t shirt, wrote an editorial or opinion piece.
A man (I refuse to publish his name for a couple of reasons: one, you already know who he is and two, I’m not about to give him any more publicity than he can conjure on his own) who operates a website was wearing what Mayor Bob Kilger deemed an offensive t-shirt.
Hmm… there’s that “a man” thing. Of course Todd Lihou does get credit. Corus radio thinks men can lactate so the Freeholder’s scribbler gets a bonus point.
I encountered the website operator Monday night, and used language I’m not particularly proud of – but still stand by – in letting him know what I thought about the unwarranted criticism we received. It was probably just as unprofessional as the t-shirt, maybe more, but in the heat of the moment I felt justified in standing up to him.
How does engaging me in f bombs count as standing up to me? I don’t get that, but then Todd has drank a lot of Cornwall water…the criticism he’s talking about I imagine was Seaway News getting shot again with the copy cat name. When Le Journal went from French only to a Bilingual paper; the Seaway News responded by going….bilingual. When CFN had a 100 Letter campaign about why Cornwall was amazing with over $5,000 in prizes to be given out they came out with something akingly similar that is going to give out 8 $25 restaurant vouchers.
Journalism graduates, and those who have been in this business long enough, know that you try to avoid reporting on yourself.
It’s not a problem specific to Cornwall. Some people, like me, think it falls into the “infotainment” category, where readers eagerly ask: “I wonder what they’ll say next?”
Now Todd knows I practice Gonzo Journalism.
Gonzo Journalism is a style of journalism that is written without claims of objectivity, often including the reporter as part of the story via a first-person narrative. The word “gonzo” is believed to be first used in 1970 to describe an article by Hunter S. Thompson, who later popularized the style. The term has since been applied to other subjective artistic endeavors.
Gonzo journalism involves an approach to accuracy through the reporting of personal experiences and emotions, as compared to traditional journalism, which favors a detached style and relies on facts or quotations that can be verified by third parties. Gonzo journalism disregards the strictly edited product favored by newspaper media and strives for a more personal approach; the personality of a piece is equally as important as the event the piece is on. Use of sarcasm, humor, exaggeration, and profanity is common.
As does his boss Rick Shaver who courted me to sell CFN to Trans Con and be his editor before hiring Mr. Lihou. I rejected that offer and Mr. Lihou has um…well, when was the last time you read Seaway News? Their Canadian Alexa ranking online is a cool 32,000 on the nose as of this writing with only 77% of traffic coming from Canada and 63% of that traffic are bounces.
To put that in perspective the barely intelligible Seeker Chicks blow them out of the water.
CFN, which is one of the top 5 Online Independent Newspaper in all of Canada ranks out today at 3,984 with 94% Canadian traffic, a bounce rate of 20.8% and is the 6th OVERALL website in the City of Cornwall. That’s of all the sites in the world!
It’s why we try to stay out of the limelight while reporting news stories, and save the back-slapping for the opinion pages. When you blur opinion and news, you can create something dangerous, because some people may believe your opinion is a fact.
Many of us have been the target of criticism. When it is justified, we welcome the debate.
I would think that after reading Mr. Lihou’s work of literary fellatio it would be safe to say that he’s failed the principle’s of journalism. After all this is a man that walked by a group of protesters at City Hall without even asking what the protest was about, but had the focus to attack me with F Bombs and criticism of CFN and then suggest I was a bully. Last I thought was you stay away from Bullies. Maybe that’s why so few people read Seaway News?
Maybe Todd and Rick simply were jealous of the heat, as usual. And what is it with the Freeholder and Seaway News that typing the words Cornwall Free News or CFN burns their flesh so? We type their names and we probably had more traffic in the last two days (over 200,000 page views) than Seaway News gets in a month. I wished Seaway News happy 25th Birthday a few years ago because that was a tribute worthy. I link to them when I talk about them too or quote them as I’m doing right here so Todd can show Rick that at least a few people read his story and that Trans Con can see that perhaps they were a bit penny wise, pound foolish. After all I applied to work for them before starting CFN 🙂
We live in an age where mono-browed and mono-syllabic people take themselves and their tiny parts of the world far too seriously. We can all live together and prosper even if we don’t always agree. We can work together on things even if we’re competitors. This culture and attitude that the Free Holder, Corus Radio in Cornwall, and the Seaway News and assorted politicians live by is stone age and backwards. It’s time to evolve, change, and embrace the good that’s out there instead of living by cronyism and constantly lowering the bar.
All I and CFN have ever tried to do is celebrate the best of this city and when we’ve been allowed to do so we’ve all been pretty successful. The best year of Lift Off was the year we promoted it. The best year of the Cornwall Farmer’s Market, the same. This petty and ugly culture that’s far too pervasive destroys initiative and innovation. It drives away good people. It drives away our children.
Maybe the clique, the mayor, and the bad guys will beat CFN into death? Maybe I’ll be run out of town, or maybe I’ll just realize that I can work an awful lot less and make an awful lot more writing a sitcom about a family of Cannibals, and just give up on the City of Cornwall and the people that live here….of course that would mean turning my back on an awful lot of people who support us and have made us what CFN is and that would be very very wrong.
In the end who really would lose? During this week of Anti-Bullying isn’t it odd to see a mayor have a sitting down journalist dragged from his chair out of council by seven police officers over a picture of him on a milk carton?
To see journalistic midgets like Todd Lihou & Claude McIntosh rip away at something that’s grown organically, without any resources, and in spite of the cliques and powers that be for their appointed task masters?
I know I’m not the only one that doesn’t think it’s odd…. We all know who the bullies are in Cornwall. Now is the time to stand up to them and now is the time for them to be pulled down and stripped of their false power. If you want our amazing city to ever truly grow and thrive it’s the only real option.
At the end of the day dear viewer we must all focus on the real issue and that is of how Mayor Bob Kilger and his Council are flagrantly abusing our tax base to cover up scandal after scandal. In Camera meetings, passing what we will never know officially, and what seems to be blatant ignoring of the Municipal act except when it can be used to keep the editor of the largest newspaper in this city from doing his job in the council chamber.
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