Six in the Morning: Don’t Click The Last Link First

6-in-the-morning1 MASSIVE BANK COMPLAINS ABOUT LOST OIL COMPANY REVENUES I feel like I’ve been saying this for years, which is especially depressing because I’m only 24, but maybe this is why it’s a really, really bad idea to try and hinge your entire economy and most of your government policy on the withdrawal and sale of resources that fluctuate wildly in price, availability, and social acceptability? Like, if the construction of a single pipeline in a foreign nation is a make-or-break deal for your budget, then holy shit, maybe it’s time you learned the word “foresight.”

2 FLORIDA: WHERE “WHAT IS THIS WATER STUFF?” IS AN ACTUAL QUESTION Remember how Orson Welles caused mass panic with his War of the Worlds radio programme? This is sort of like that, if Orson Welles was a morning DJ, and if instead of people being confused by the presentation of a fictional program on a relatively new medium of mass communication they were upset by science words and forgot that it was April Fool’s Day.

3 MIXED MARTIAL CON ARTIST A Saskatoon man won MMA bouts while on worker’s compensation.

4 BEFORE YOU GET THE WRONG IDEA This NPR piece on America’s disability claims crisis has been around for a little over a week, but man, is it ever worth reading. (Also, layout dork alert: NPR really, really gets how to make a webpage read like a particularly excellent magazine.)

5 EVRAZ PLACE WORKERS MIGHT STRIKE Unfortunately, we don’t really know much more than that. I’m just wondering aloud here, but do you think that when daily papers cover potential strike action, is there any kind of obligation to actually provide context for each party’s claims, or is it just enough to say “here’s the union, here’s the bosses, here’s someone affected by the strike, cool, job done”? And we wonder why private unions’ stock has fallen so much in the last few decades.

6 CHRIS WARE IS NOW ON TUMBLR Goodbye to your productivity today, especially if your name is Stephen Whitworth.

Author: John Cameron

John Cameron is a freelance journalist and occasional writer from Regina, Saskatchewan. He was the editor-in-chief of the Carillon, the University of Regina student newspaper, from 2010 to 2012. You can find more of his work in the Trash folder of several prominent national magazine editors' inboxes.

17 thoughts on “Six in the Morning: Don’t Click The Last Link First”

  1. I.m surprised (no, not really) that you missed the Leader Post story on the expensive (for CUPE and the RDLC) campaign for public school board last fall that resulted in one elected candidate – who, by the way, doesn’t live where she ran.

  2. Chose not to blog about it! (The piece in question is here, for anyone else reading the comments: http://bit.ly/ZzTvjm) The lede makes it look like an expensive election, but the reality is that one mayoral candidate spent more in his campaign than every single candidate in the entire school board election combined, and that the money CUPE and the RLDC spent on the election could not be scrounged together to create one single job or anything. It’s cool that you want me to automatically reblog a Unions Bad Money Havers story though, Barb.

  3. That would be “lead”; 2 wrongs don’t make a right (nor does evading the topic make good blogging); and I’m wondering, since you guys are all for democracy, why the issues of interest-group funding of candidates , especially parachute candidates, hasn’t struck a chord with you. Oh, right: it’s a matter of whose ox is being gored.

  4. Dear Matthew: you’ll note that “lede” is described as an alternative spelling, to differentiate from the metal. As the context above was clear, there was no need for the alternative.
    Other folks have commented on the dogblog’s failure to mention one news story or another in the past, but are they called obnoxious or confrontational? No. I guess people are still sensitive about yet another failed campaign.

  5. John Re #4: I thought, “Yeah right NPR has an impressive webpage. I’ll be the judge of that.” But holy shit. That was a fantastic online reading experience.

  6. Barb: What’s the rule? Don’t assume a grand conspiracy when incompetence and laziness are more likely culprits.

    And if there’s somebody to grief here, it’s me not John.

    The responsibility for pouring over campaign funding and blogging about it usually falls to me because I’m the kind of sucker who tends to do that shit. And this election I didn’t cover school board stuff at all because there aren’t enough hours in the day. And nobody else had the time to take it on either. (We’d be talking a lot of unpaid hours of research and writing.)

    And yeah, sure, maybe someone could’ve posted something about that L-P story during one of our daily aggregat-o-thons but shit, six links to cover all the news? Yeah important and semi-important and important-to-some-but-maybe-not-so-important stuff is going to get missed.

    And besides, I think the real story from this election, as with last, is how utterly ineffectual union backing is, while construction and developer money almost always goes to a winner.

    I didn’t look at the school board numbers, but I did make a few preliminary notes on the council election.

    Regina and District Labour Coucil backed four candidates: John Klein and Heather McIntyre ($1,000 each), Shawn Fraser and Susan Birley ($250 each). Shawn was the only one to win. And so for RDLC to back a winner they had to back both lead candidates in a ward.

    And, incidentally, CUPE 397 backed Eric Anderson, another Ward 3 candidate.

    And that’s it for significant labour contributions at the council level.

    At the mayoral level, as with Fiacco’s last election, the candidate with the developer backing won.

    Fougere had $5,000 donations from PCL Construction (you might remember them as the company that built the Plaza) and Mitchell Developments. And many of his other contributors were developers or construction firms. (Granite Developments, Royalty Developments, Bison Properties, Greenview Developments, Wappel Construction Co, Westland Ventures — Wait? $500 from Westland Ventures??? They tore down affordable housing at 1755 Hamilton and council just voted to let them build a surface parking lot there!! CONSPIRACY!!!!*)\

    Of course, considering he was head of the construction association prior to being mayor it shouldn’t surprise anyone that his main contacts would be from that community.

    (Fougere also received $2,500 from Golf’s Steakhouse. I didn’t check this closely so this might be completely wrong, but my impression was that Golf’s has had a pretty good track record for backing winners. Better than organized labour in Saskatchewan, anyway.)

    Meanwhile, second-place finisher Marion Donnelly received no donations over $1,500. And the only $1,500 donation she had came in two chunks from Nicor Developments.

    Meka Okochi mostly self-funded his run and had no developer, real estate or labour support above the reporting threshold.

    Considering how small the Donnelly and Okochi war chests, and considering how grassroots their support, it’s extremely impressive how well they did against a well-funded, well-connected candidate who was essentially an incumbent (he had the support of a popular outgoing mayor and he was a long-time councillor).

    So… anyway… considering all that, the fact that labour backed one candidate at the school board level doesn’t set off any alarm bells for me.

    Well, no alarm bells louder than all the other alarm bells I hear everyday.

    ——————————–
    * FTR, no, I do not think a $500 contribution from Westland Ventures counts as a conspiracy. But it does go to show that if you ride a hobby horse into a spreadsheet of numbers you’ll inevitably find something suspicious.

  7. Also, “lede” isn’t a mistake. It’s a bit of obnoxious jargon used by journo types to refer to the lead paragraph of a story when they want to come off like smart ass journo types. I don’t use it because I don’t want anyone to confuse me with a journalist.

  8. “Lede” is a relatively modern invention but I like its fairly specific, if sort of arbitrary, use. Lord knows you can’t really mistake it for another part of the story.

    Also – the meme here is that unions spending their money on any candidates at all, let alone losing candidates, is a misuse of union money, presumably because not every union member would vote for the candidate in question, or something. It’s always amazing, to me, how nobody ever makes the argument that the labour force of a given company cannot be guaranteed to vote in complete lockstep, ergo, companies donating money to political campaigns are irresponsible. But I didn’t make that claim, personally, because I’m not convinced that that is the problem with money in electoral politics.

  9. Kiss playing Regina in July didn’t make the Top 6? Just wait till all them eager 40 and 50 somethings find out they’re only playing material from their three most-recent albums, half of it sitting down and on acoustic!

  10. Thanks, Paul; I was originally going to say, in my comment above (darn it, no numbers to refer to), that the use of “lede” was pretentious to say the least, but I thought that that would be too confrontational and obnoxious…By the way, it’s “poring”.
    As to your explanation re: election coverage, time and resources are only part of the picture; partisan interest fills out the rest.
    I did take the time to look at the school board figures, and contrary to your statement above, organised labour, as in RDLC and CUPE, supported four of the Real Renewal-endorsed slate of candidates (Joel Sandor, April Bourgeois, Lauren Numrich, and Kathleen O’Reilly), with Heather Lau being supported by CUPE. Sandor, Numrich and O’Reilly were running in subdivisions where they do not live.
    Part of the problem with organised labour’s support of slates of candidates, at least in Regina, is the revenge factor. In the civic election where the Coalition for a Citizen-Friendly Regina ran candidates, it was made very clear by some union spokespeople that the intention was to give the Mayor and councillors a drubbing over the drawn-out and contentious contract negotiations. In 2012, revenge was being sought for the downsizing of classroom assistants. The voting public would rather not support a backlash agenda.
    Speaking of the CCFR, it’s interesting that John Warnock, in a comment on the Save Our Connaught Facebook site, seems to think that the CCFR failed because the NDP refused to support an organisation which included members of the Green Party.

  11. I’m strongly in favour of both “lede” and Barb pointing out typos. It’s fun when she gets one wrong. Doesn’t happen very often.

  12. I’ve seen “lede” quite a bit, in reference to print journalism. “Burying the lede” is a common term and I’m surprised Ms. Saylor hasn’t encountered it before.

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