Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Will Martin's Release Finally End the Media Circus?

Or will the government's efforts be rebuked again?

If recent history has taught us anything, it's that Canadians in legal trouble can bail themselves out by attracting a large enough media circus.

Recent history has also shown us that they need not always be honest about their situation, either. Brenda Martin and her supporters politicized her predicament by claiming the government had "abandoned" her and not done enough to help her -- claims that were proven to be false.

Now, the Brenda Martin case has come to a sad conclusion a Mexican court has found her guilty of knowingly accepting fraudulently-obtained funds, despite an alleged lack of evidence (her lawyer, Guillermo Cruz, says as much).

Regardless of whether or not Martin is guilty of her alleged crime -- and given the equally-sad state of Mexican "justice", there's an excellent chance she is innocent, and merely being hung out to dry so the system can save face -- there is little question that she and the terminally dishonest Liberal party hacks who have been milking her story for all the political gain they can manage are guilty of concocting a media circus around false pretenses.

Now Secretary of State for Multiculturalism Jason Kenney is riding off to Mexico to prod the release of Martin into the custody of the Canadian justice system along, and now another Canadian family has decided to try their luck at the media circus game, too.

This particular case swirls around Jimmy Chen Jian Yuan, who is currently imprisoned in China while being tried on a four-year-old $2 million fraud case.

Predictably, Chen's family is insisting that the government hasn't done enough to help him, despite the fact that, unlike Martin, he has been formally charged in China, has been tried, and is now awaiting a verdict.

Given the way in which details trickled out of the Martin case painfully slowly (and all too often were simply disregarded once it became apparent they didn't fit the standard politicized narrative), judgment will be reserved on the Chen case here.

Chen may be as innocent as his family insists, and as abandoned by the Canadian government. Or, as with Brenda Martin, there may be more to the story. Only time will reveal the details of this particular case.

However, one has yet to see if Brenda Martin's return to Canada -- and inevitably almost immediate release from Canadian custody -- will put an end to the partisan media circus that has surrounded the entire sorry affair.

One thing remains certain: only the in hands of a pack of unrepentantly dishonest Liberal spin doctors could the Conservative government -- which had done almost everything possible to ensure Martin's fair treatment -- be cast as the villain in this case over the irredeemably corrupt Mexican justice system.

Will Martin's return to Canada end the media circus? Only time will tell. But with the real masterminds of the media circus apparent -- Liberal MP Dan McTeague and former Prime Minister Paul Martin -- one has to suspect that will be rather unlikely.

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