Posts Tagged ‘Toronto Sun’

Peter Worthington (1927-2013)

May 13th, 2013

Back in 1964 my mother-in-law and father-in-law where young reporters at the Sherbrooke Record. When they got married, their wedding was given a front page picture, with a small special interest style piece on the inside. Sharing the front page was an article on the American involvement in Viet Nam. It predicted, with uncanny accuracy, the American presence growing exponentially in the region, and the difficulty the Americans would have winning Viet Nam.

worthingtonPeter Worthington understood the problem of Viet Nam right 3-4 years before those problems became obvious  to the rest of the western world. I never underestimated Peter Worthington’s ability and prescience after that. It was Worthington who was the first person I read who said Bill Clinton could be impeached over his testimony in the Paula Jones lawsuit.

Peter Worthington’s greatest claim to fame was standing in a basement parking lot in Dallas in November 1963. Lee Harvey Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby feet from Worthington, the only reporter on the scene. If that was all he would be remembered for, it would be a life well lived. But Worthington fought in World War II and Korea, was charged by the Trudeau government under the official secrets act (charges later dropped), and, when stationed in Moscow in the heart of the cold war, he played hockey for the Canadian Embassy hockey team, wearing the number 007 and making himself a target of the opposition Russian players.

Remarkably, he never received an order of Canada, an oversight that can’t possibly be because of his conservative beliefs.

Worthington died last night, age 86, in hospital in Toronto.

More on Peter Worthington at The Sun.

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Dress Like Mohammed Day?

September 10th, 2010
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I don’t believe in book burning, never have. Otherwise, I would have spent last weekend in the bookshops buying cheap copies of Handmaids Tale and The Edible Woman for our Saturday Night So Pastor Terry Jones and his Church of the Dove’s Qur’an burning don’t appeal to me. I think they are wrong, just as the people who want to build the New York City Mosque are wrong: just because it’s legal to do it, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

Yesterday I was listening to the radio, and they were discussing this issue. Most people seemed to sympathize, but disagree with Pastor Terry. Then one guy phones in: “We should all wear traditional Muslim dress on that day to express our support for the Muslim community.” This lunatic wants you to dress like a desert Bedouin on Sept 11th, to show support for the guys who flew the plane?

Then there’s John Hawkes, who’s letter was published in the Toronto Sun on Thursday:

What does this idiot think he will accomplish by burning a Qur’an? Pastor Terry Jones has a belly-full of hate and little else. He’s as bad an example of a Christian as any Islamic terrorist is a bad example of a Muslim.

Put another way, since you have that fire going, you might as well throw a few Chechen school-children on. And he’s calling someone else an idiot.

The problem isn’t some nut Pastor, it’s these moral equivocators, who see no difference in burning down a building with a thousand people inside and burning a Qur’an.

There will be no Muslim dress for me tomorrow, but I will be commemorating Sept 11 by joining Project 2,996. If you have a blog and a bit of time,why not write a tribute for a victim of 911.

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Toronto the Not in a Death Spiral

September 9th, 2010

“Back when my job was to sell Toronto,

spiral toronto

we used to have visitors just about every week from other cities in the world desperate to learn how to do the things we did best.”

…a big shot from Paris Metro wanted to see how we ran such a successful transit system, others who wanted to learn how to build a retractable-roof stadium and another group who marvelled at the CN Tower.

We had Russians who wanted to replicate our financial centre towers… another group…who wanted to examine the Stock Exchange, a third who was intrigued by our Keele Landfill and a police chief who wanted to know how we kept people from shooting each other.

… a group from Cincinatti who were amazed by our mixed-income co-op communities…

…we don’t do anything particularly well enough any more that any city official in his right mind would… come here to learn our secrets.

The last seven years of Miller leadership has not built a single thing for the city that is better…

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Liars, Damn Liars and (Green Party)Statisticians

August 3rd, 2010

Enjoyed this letter in today’s Toronto Sun from trained professional John Northey (edited because some of it is just silly):donato

…I have yet to see a single person with a statistical background (via degree or profession) in favour of the voluntary census. All surveys on this issue, which would become biased if the census were made voluntary, show a split among average Canadians on the issue – even though the majority have no statistical training and thus little knowledge of how vital the census is…

In other words how dare you, John Northey’s underling, question the use of imprisonment as a threat for refusing the pimply minions of bureaucracy’s desire for information. And don’t give me this “never had a… single person go to jail.”  Imprisonment is on the books, so it is under threat of imprisonment that you currently refuse the long form.

But really it’s all moot, since his argument is based on an unknown sample size of “person(s) with a statistical background,” who answered under no coercion. Therefore, we can conclude it is inaccurate and meaningless.

Interesting, as well, that Northey opens the letter with a shot at cartoonist Andy Donato’s presumed political affiliation:

Andy Donato’s July 30 political cartoon makes me wonder if he is now a Conservative staff member or shooting for one of those senate seats.

Yet he does not mention that he works for, or at least does work for the Green Party of Canada.

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Toronto Sun: We Need to Raise Taxes

April 19th, 2010

Talk about sinking to new lows. The Toronto Sun today goes where they would have mocked ten years ago. In their lead editorial, Paul Berton argues tax increases are necessary and coming:

Whatever the reasons, leaders are afraid to say what they know to be true: Taxes must rise, or services must be cut. Either one — and more likely both — is as inevitable as the setting sun.

Berton, for those who don’t know, argued strenuously that we needed government to save us from the world burning up into fiery ball. He was literally one of those “the earth will be a burnt rock,” guys until six months ago.  It’s been a while since we’ve heard that nonsense from this fool, but apparently economics is still a subject Berton has a yet to prove how little he knows.

Here’s something to digest. One-third of every dollar earned, produced or extorted in this country, one-third of GDP, winds up in government coffers. That means every person, every business for every dollar they earn, they must produce approximately $1.40. That’s too much productivity being spent on non-productive activities.

The time has come for an extreme curtailing of what governments do, not an increase in what they cost. And if the Toronto Sun wants to be The Star lite, then the time has come for one less paper in Toronto.

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Toronto Sun Cover

January 14th, 2010

Rather, it is about cultural sensitivity, social responsibility and common sense.


Back when the Sun was refusing to print the Muhammad cartoons – still haven’t shown any even though a Muslim fanatic tried to murder one of the authors of the cartoons last week – they gave a self serving defense. It is available in it’s entirety here. At the time I said:

Remember this argument next time they run a front page with a picture of some poor guy running from a burning house in his underwear.

So this morning, I turn on The John Oakley Show show on The Home of the Leafs AM 640, and they are doing a segment on the today’s cover of the Sun. It is, according to the folks on Oakley, “news porn”. Frankly, it doesn’t bother me. But neither did the Muhammad cartoons. The question is, based on what I heard this morning, does this qualify as “cultural sensitivity, social responsibility and common sense”?

Based on the Sun’s own criteria, this is a questionable cover.

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Oh, The Irony

September 24th, 2009

Greg Weston was one of the journalists in the Parliamentary Gallery who got his nose particularly out of joint with the PMO when it got invaded by Conservatives. He has since calmed somewhat and seems to be offering fairer reportage. Today, he offers up a tidbit I never heard before, but which gave me a good laugh:

"Stop wasting my money!"

"Stop wasting my money!"

It has been almost 30 years since a flock of geese flying across Canadian television screens caused a national flap over taxpayers’ money being used for partisan political propaganda…

Liberal MP Bob Rae, then a member of the NDP, said at the time: “I will never be able to look at Canada geese in the same way again. I’ll see them as Liberals in disguise.”

Turns out Bob Rae was the Liberal in disguise, who knew?
Besides providing an easy swipe at Bob Rae, Weston makes an error of, if not fact then certainly, content. Writing of the Conservative’s “we’re spending your money so fast we hardly have time to count it,” ads. Here’s what he wrote:
Even right-wing commentator Gerry Nicholls decried the campaign as “an abuse of tax dollars,” describing the ads as “clearly partisan, clearly Conservative propaganda.”
Entirely true, Gerry Nicholls has been critical of these ads,. However, the way Weston writes this it suggests Nicholls is an otherwise compliant Conservative who never criticizes the Harper Tories, and that’s simply not the fact. In fact my friend Gerry is often criticized for speaking out against the Conservatives.

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Saturday Fluffernutter: Kanye West Goes Stupid; TIFF; The Jones Boys Ride Again?; Patrick Swayze (1952-2009)

September 19th, 2009
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All the fluffy news about those nutty celebrities.

fluffincolorIt takes a special kind of drunk to get kicked out of the MTV video awards, but Kanye West is not just a special kind of drunk, but a special kind of asshole. While Taylor Swift fluff2was accepting her award for best female video, West interrupted her acceptance speech to complain that Beyonce should have won the award. The cognac swilling douche-bag then was escorted out of the awards, possibly making him the first musician to be too drunk for the music industry.


How do you tell a real punk rocker from a fake punk rocker?

Real punk rockers don’t have their own line of clothing.


It’s that time of year here in Southern Ontario when the Toronto International Film Festival takes over the Arts pages of the newspapers. We don’t navel gaze or anything here in the “center of the universe,” but the next month will feature story after story of “celebrities” who deign to grace us with their presence, most of whom 99% of the population has never heard of. Case in point:  The Toronto Sun reported twice this week that Viggo Mortensen was seen about town with a Montreal Canadians sweater, causing the city of Toronto to say en masse, “who the f&%k is Viggo Mortensen?”


Jay Leno debuted his new Prime Time show this week, with massive ratings for Mondays inaugural show which featured Kanye West apologizing for being, well see above.  While initial rating where positive, critics where finding that while the show promised to be something new, the only thing different was the time slot. Otherwise it was a minor variation on the late night talk show.


Reports this week that Harrison Ford is thinking of riding the Indiana Jones pony one more time. Ford is reported to be working on a story with Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas and is prepared to “put on the costume again… if the script is good.” Funny, that didn’t stop him with the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Another report has Sean Connery looking to reprise his role as Ford’s father, Henry Jones.

fluffincolorPatrick Swayze (1952-2009) – Farewell to Patrick Swayze, star of the movies Ghost and Dirty dancing. Swayze passed on Monday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer at age 57.

In the long line of Hollywood movie stars/dancers, Swayze will find a place with some of the best, and certainly was the best of his generation.

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