Saturday, February 07, 2009

Farce As Art...

In political blogging, as in anything else, there are good weeks and there are bad weeks.

When one specializes, as Kinsella does, in not-so-thinly veiled drive-by smears, bad weeks tend to be very, very bad weeks.

Kinsella's bad week began a few days early when his infamous "BBQ cat" remarks transcended the typical blogosphere controversy into the mainstream media.

That forced Kinsella to pony up this sincere (if worried) looking apology to the Chinese Canadian community.

In the days since, however, Kinsella has grasped at any possible straw to deflect attention to the wholesale discrediting of his mantle as one of Canada's foremost racism fighters.

On Wednesday Kinsella published a post claiming that numerous high-profile Conservative bloggers haven't donated to the Conservative party. Moreover, Kinsella insists that some of them are secretly recieving money from the Tories.

Kinsella insisted that Pierre Bourque, Stephen Taylor, Kate McMillan, Ezra Levant, Steve Janke, Craig Smith, Jarrett Plonka, Damian Penny, Gerry Nicholls and Victor Wong haven't donated any money to the Conservative party.

There are serious problems with Kinsella's post, however.

For one thing, as Raphael Alexander notes, the post isn't even correct.

As it turns out, Stephen Taylor has donated money to the Tories. He just donated less money than is required to be divulged to Elections Canada:
"I did in fact donate to the Conservative Party in 2008. Warren, you don’t appreciate that cheques for less than $200 are not publicly disclosed by Elections Canada. I suppose that Warren thinks that folks that write cheques for less than $200 aren’t 'putting their money where their mouth is'. I suppose Warren might say that only those that cut big cheques are allowed to have a voice!"
Taylor isn't alone amongst the bloggers that Kinsella has apparently smeared.

Victor Wong seemed positively bemused by the allegations:
"“As for this 'covertly paid' business, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of it. I certainly don’t get paid for blogging; and I suspect that few Blogging Tories (if any) make any sort of cash from writing on their own site. (It is somewhat reassuring, however, to know that somebody thinks I’m getting paid for the stuff I write.)"
As Damien Penny notes, based on what Penny's had to say about the federal budget, if he were really a paid hack for the Conservative party he'd probably have to return the cheque:
"…I can’t speak for anyone else on this list, but I have never been paid a cent by the Conservative Party (you’ve probably noticed how enthusiastic I’ve been about the recent Conservative budget), nor do I receive any blogging material from the Party or the PMO (unless spam e-mails count)."
Kinsella recently warned Tim Powers while appearing on CTV's Power Play that he has a very good lawyer, and recently claimed that the two of them have never lost a case.

If Kinsella wishes to maintain that distinction, he may want to avoid making comments that can be proven libelous with little more than a voided cheque.

A day later, Kinsella indulged himself in some art criticism, as he took the opportunity to skewer Borque over one of his paintings.

(If Kinsella were really qualified to criticize art as any kind of an expert, he'd probably recognize Borque's work as fusing abstract impressionism with minimalism. Whether or not Kinsella himself actually likes it is up to himself to decide.)

Kinsella's behaviour has proven to be so bizarre recently that it was even used against Michael Ignatieff in the House of Commons this week.

As far as farce goes, Warren Kinsella has made an art of it this week. One would have to think that Kinsella's sincerest hopes are that Canadians will have forgotten about his racist comments about Chinese Canadians.

Whether he has been this fortunate is one thing. Whether or not he should be so fortunate is another entirely.

Other bloggers writing about this topic:

Russ Campbell - "Liberal Mouthpiece Smears Blogging Tories"


  1. This is something I've been meaning to ask you about.

    Based on your comments on the Nexus, you're obviously not too fond of Warren Kinsella.

    If that's the case, why do you have him listed as one of the Machine Shop Blogs?

  2. When Kinsella was blogging as a non-partisan his work was quite good and balanced.

    I've been considering removing him from the blogroll. I haven't decided yet.


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