BC Rail

Mostly fools

When asked the population of England, Scottish historian and essayist Thomas Carlyle gave as his answer,

Thirty millions, mostly fools.

If asked about British Columbia’s population, Time Colonist writer Les Leyne would say,

4.6 millions, mostly fools.

That would explain a pair of columns by Leyne that could establish a new low for lazy reporting — not an easy feat after 11 years mindless subservience to BC Liberal propaganda. Leyne merely expounds government issued talking points and makes no effort to consider validity of the message. His flaw is so fundamental that it can only be deliberate.

Legislative press gallery reporters ought to bring a neutral point of view to their work, reporting all sides of any story with fairness, disinterest and healthy skepticism toward vested interests. Factual and balanced commentary would be the result. Like too many of his colleagues, Leyne aims to please the Liberal government and the vested interests that continue to support Premier Photo-Op.

In Are van Dongen’s BC Rail questions real?, Ian Reid provided proof that Leyne’s journalistic ethics had gone absent when he wrote defensive puff pieces for the troubled Liberal leader:

Yesterday Premier Clark emerged from her bunker to add to Bond’s lies. According to Times Colonist columnist Les Leyne “Clark on Tuesday said she’s cooperated with every investigation and 40,000 pages of documentation have been released and “not a single one suggested I have done anything wrong.”

That’s a straight out lie. The government hasn’t publicly released 40,000 pages of anything.”

Readers might want Les Leyne to explain why he repeats outright lies voiced by Premier Photo-Op, particularly when the facts are so easily determined. Mark Hume and Justine Hunter, writing at The Globe and Mail, present Auditor-General takes government to court over BC Rail case, an example of factual and balanced reporting that is as good as Leyne’s recent work is bad.

Les Leyne has been covering the Legislature since 1985. Like a number of his fellow press gallery members, he’s been too long on this political beat where BC Liberals and friends have routinely worked to co-opt reporters. They’ve been successful, using schmoozy relationships, special access to people and background information and arrangement of supplemental earning opportunities for journalists and or their family members.

Les Leyne’s son works as a “public affairs/government relations research analyst.” A free Northern Insight subscription to any reader who can identify which party employs Andrew Leyne.

Categories: BC Rail, Globe and Mail

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8 replies »

  1. The sad fact is the main stream media have been co-opted by the right of centre political parties and now have become all but party organs. Those not supporting the owner/party line are soon sent elsewhere.

    It now seems that the major political reporters with BC news organizations have personal or financial relationships with the ruling BC Liberal Party. The result is just not biased reporting, but pure one sided government oriented reporting. The MSN and its reporters have ceased being news reporters, but now become expert propagandists.

    Bill boring, Palmer, Baldry, Leyne, Smart, etc. are nothing more than Goebbelesque propagandists, spewing lie after lie, so often, that the lies have now become truth.

    The newspapers have become purveyors of lies and the electronic media has morphed into a Tokyo Rose, Lord Ha, Ha propagandists.

    George Orwell would have approved.


  2. Geoff Plant has launched a defense of the Basi-Virk deal on his blog. To his credit, he has allowed and pubished some sharp questions from reader/bloggers. I was unable to post, probably because I'm technically deficient, so here's mine.

    Mr. Plant, if it was in the taxpayer interest to put an end to a costly trial, why was the Prosecution reprimanded by Justice Bennett for delays and the failure to meet “basic disclosure requirements” on moe than one occasion. If the motivation was to save the taxpayer money in the long run, why was the run so very, very long?


  3. norm great post.

    the victoria press gallery should be called the victoria propaganda gallery.

    i am looking forward to the day that the public wakes up and demands change

    also it is ironic that ms clark is advocating for an munincaple auditor general while her goverment is trying to obstruct the provincial auditor general



  4. There's something about Leyne's smirky little columns that puts me off even more than those of all other corporate shills posing as reporters and journalists in this corrupted mess of a province.


  5. Truth…propaganda…spin…all the same, deceit. If there is illigality in this government. Find it, arrest the perpetraitors, try them and jail them. This must be done, in order to restore “some kind” of respect to the provincial government, aa an entity. Not the Liberals mind you…the machine we “call” government.

    Failure to due so, renders this institution irrelevant. As a governing body, its reason to exist, in this present state, is questionable. If a fundamental return to ethics and values, is not possible, get rid of the institution, as the enormous cost, to maintain a playground for “over paid” criminals is far to high a price.

    Revolutions hold “regimes” in check. The ” Arab spring” showed us that most people in the world, want responsible government.

    A “means must be found”, to reign in the illigality and criminal activity, in BC's provincial government.


  6. Geoff Plant,because he is above spouting partisan flapdoodle, has launched a defense of the Basi-Virk fiasco. Apparently, Mr Plant views the termination of the BC Rail trial as being in 'the taxpayer interest'. A parsimonious measure to save money (and well, sure, which relieved cabinet ministers of the chore of having to testify under oath.) All this accomplished by making egregiously offensive 'deals'.

    How does this new thinking work? Imagine Mr. Plant's economic theology during the Capone Era. 'Stop the trial! No money! Let him go! Hot damn! Look at the savings!'

    How quickly we forget. Mr Plant earned the solitary distinction of being the only attorney general in BC history ever to be censured by the BC Law Society. For? Cuts to legal aid. From then onwards BC's Justice System has been gutted to protect the Holy Budget.

    Lucky us. Now child abusers, and countless others, never face trial and walk free, because (among other excuses) costs (of translation!) trump the province's duty to put lawbreakers in jail. That's Justice is it?

    And while we're on the subject of sparing the public from excessive debt – do tell us Geoff, how does saddling the province with $42 BILLION in Hydro debt (hidden from public view until the Auditor General found it) – help taxpayers? Was that amount too small to merit your attention?


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