CORNWALL Ontario – I remember when Todd was a nice guy. I really do. At least on the surface, but choking on exhaust from other media seems to have got the worst of him or it’s been having to work with Rick Shaver for as long as he has now? That certainly can’t be easy.
Mr. Lihou plunged into what he called Frost vs Gilcig recently. Did Mr. Lihou do any investigative work either? Not really. Did he cover the stories? Not really.
Mr. Lihou refuses to refer to Cornwall Free News by name. He refuses to refer to myself as an editor. He calls the largest newspaper in this city a website or myself a website operator. He doesn’t realize that when he does that he reflects on his own company and frankly for the few people that read him, himself.
Yes, people like Rick Shaver, Gilles Latour, Bob Peters, and former Mayor Bob Kilger, and former Councilor Glen Grant, get a crack out of it, but then are those folks a long term bet for success?
Of course you have to define success. What is success to a journalist? For most of us it’s not about money because frankly there are jobs that pay far better without the grief and abuse we have to take when we’re doing our jobs right. Claude McIntosh, now has done this job longer than anyone in the community and now is on City Council has had his good days and bad over the years. He’s been called many an epitaph and earned many of them. He parlayed that into a high amount of votes and it surely wasn’t for his performance on the campaign trail as waxing about JFK went way above the heads of the handful that were ever in attendance.
Things took a turn for the bizarre Tuesday afternoon, when Frost issued what had to be the most intensely shared correspondence since the 10 Commandments, alleging sexual harassment on the part of Gilcig.
Frankly what Mr. Frost has been doing is hard news. You have a real estate guy who buys a hockey team to get elected. He trashes previous ownership in the process to make him look good when as someone with a BA who can crunch numbers knows that there wasn’t much more anyone could do to improve the bottom line (pardon the pun). Mr. Frost’s handling of the team, rolling down the budget for players, bringing in scantily clad women, and the the final insult to the people of Cornwall…
Dumping the team a few weeks after getting elected? Even the most fluoride addled brain can sniff that rat. Selling the team to an unemployed ems worker who has to borrow food money by loaning him the money for a lien on the poor guys home? Even Bob Kilger wouldn’t sink that low.
By jumping on that story and exposing facts we might very well have saved this season with Mr. Frost forced out and a new owner that doesn’t want to run for public office in. There are some players that are alleged to not have been paid for as many as four weeks and by Mr. Frost’s own admission he stiffed the team and fans on the final weekend by only paying the guys for one game instead of two because he was upset. He was fined by the league for missing last Sunday’s game. Did Mr. Lihou report that? Nope. ( The new team owner will be introduced at Saturday night’s game btw, bring a friend and show your support and love for Hockey in Cornwall!)
My mentor, Keith Beardsley, always said never get caught in the splash. Mr. Frost jumped into that puddle with both feet. Mr. Lihou’s coverage of that first chapter?
In my opinion there have been a few times when it seems that Mr. Lihou has practiced what’s known was rip and write, where a journalist regurgitates another writer’s piece. News is news. Ethical journalists actually will attribute. When CFN broke elements of Mr. Frost’s activities where was Mr. Lihou?
A sitting city councilor is embroiled in an alleged real estate fraud of nearly $1 Million dollars with a letter from his criminal, not civil attorney admitting that the money went poof and it’s not news?
Our newspaper thought long and hard about running with the material. We asked ourselves questions about news value, the public’s right to know, Gilcig’s right to privacy and Frost’s status as a city councillor/public figure.
Really Todd? Honest? I don’t think Mr. Lihou has cared much about my privacy or welfare at any level. His behavior during the election was the pinnacle of of hackness. When Mr. Frost for example announced he was running; not being a huge fan I sent another writer to give him equal exposure. I was not interviewed by Mr. Lihou or Adam Brazeau once. I was not asked for response to my competition. When I utterly destroyed Mr. Kilger in a one on one debate, to the point that the group hosting the event will not release the video Mr. Lihou wrote that it fizzled.
His bias was clear, but it’s one thing to write it as opinion and another when it crosses over into news.
No, Mr. Lihou wrote his piece because it is the hottest news this week and that’s what we’re supposed to do . Write about news or about people that our viewers want to know about. And not just a single bland sentence. There’s a reason why the Seaway News has fallen behind CFN, the Freeholder, and even the Seeker; even with Bill Kingston (Bill still hasn’t answered if he’s been sucking employment insurance benefits while working for his new media entry) trying to send him extra traffic.
Mr. Lihou’s actions are even more sinister. When Mr. Frost released his sexual advance allegations none of the media ran (because of the grossly defamatory statements made) it so it was released on facebook. It was released in a boycott CFN/hate group of which he was a member in full. Only after it had gone viral locally did he run a blind piece not naming me knowing that many would connect the dots. That’s called slimy. It’s not called news.
We’re no fan of Gilcig’s ‘reporting’ style, and to be honest if I hear ‘Gonzo’ one more time I think I’m going to strangle a Muppet. That media style died years ago and clearly doesn’t translate into a successful business model in small cities.
And that paragraph in a nutshell exposes Mr. Lihou and his confreres. Firstly how do you not refer to a newspaper either by name or the term online newspaper and then use the term reporting? Secondly it’s not easy to practice Gonzo journalism. It’s not about stirring pots We still have to adhere to the laws of the land. We don’t “Make Stuff Up”. You actually have to have some character to make it work, something many like Mr. Lihou simply lack.
Success in media is always defined by market share. CFN owns the largest share of that in this city. Over half of Cornwall clicks at least once per month on CFN. If not for the Kilger boycott whose tentacles meander into the Chamber, Team Cornwall, and government agencies CFN would have more staff and probably be leading by an even wider gap as I’m working on a survival budget. Yet CFN has hung on as we enter our seventh year in February.
As journalists we have a responsibility to the public. To just fart out a tid bit of a story doesn’t work. People can get that on social media and usually far faster. There are rules we have to try and abide by and standards. While some may have protested Mr. Lihou writing about Frost vs Gilcig the fact is that it is news and is hot and that’s our job, no excuses necessary.
(Brock Frost’s Century 21 team description)
The fact that Mr. Lihou framed it that way instead of simply reporting as the Freeholder recently did, the essential chain and breakdown of Brock Frost and his antics, antics which are not new as he pulled some of his same behavior in Nicaragua and is something that all of Cornwall should be concerned about, especially our mayor and council as Mr. Frost will have access to important information, especially land and real estate information.
Our ongoing investigation is about to reveal even more revelations. It really isn’t Frost vs Gilcig. It’s simply a sad and desperate case of a lying and most likely fraudulent business man who duped some hockey fans into getting him elected to office attacking the media that exposed him. Did the Toronto Sun write Ford vs Writer when the former Toronto mayor played a similar card? If there’s been any vs it’s been Lihou vs Gilcig, no?
In this world we really don’t always have to agree with each other. We can disagree even. Journalists today, Gonzo or Traditional face many challenges from the nature of our business via Social media, to consolidation of ownership of media which can lose its independence in favor or corporate domination and the all mighty ad sale.
I received this message two days ago.
Hey Jamie, just quick message. I’m busy as hell, but I wanted to say great work on the recent Brock Frost articles. I see you obtained incredibly interesting papers concerning his past! Keep up the great investigative journalism. (from someone who would love to write about it… but can’t)
That’s our industry today. As hard as it is do we really need people like Todd Lihou attacking the rare few of us that still practice journalism and isn’t it time in Cornwall that this outlet gets its fair share of the pie in support?
Only you the viewer can decide that. When you make a local purchase does your vendor advertise and where? If you love CFN or if you hate CFN but want it to survive maybe it’s time to give them more feedback so we can help break this silly boycott that hurts our entire community.
Because frankly if we had resources equal to our market share this town would rock. Seaway TV would be live, and Cornwall would grow.
It’s up to you. It should never be up to people like Todd Lihou.
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