Monday, January 31, 2011

TGCTS cancelation set up by false allegations Mayor Sam Katz complained

On Thurday, August 12th, Red River College's then-Interim President and CEO Cathy Rushton, gave a heads-up to the Dean of Business Graham Thomson, and the Chair of the Creative Arts department Larry Partap. All 3 were also members of the board of KICK FM.

The college lawyer had just visited Rushton, concerned about a message carried by a former city hall employee now planted within RRC's administration.

The warning was from unidentified Active Transportation supporters that the College might be dragged into a courtroom if TGCTS persisted giving a voice to community concerns about the controversial bike lanes, and the messenger was "quite concerned about the effect this might have on our relationship with the City", which was spending $20 million on the projects.

Rushton wrote she had "explained the station is a separate entity", so the lawyer felt better about the potential liability issue.

Rushton, who was also Treasurer of KICK FM, went on to say:

"But my question is why we continue to have this guy on the air. He isn't a student and we have had any number of complaints about him from people whose opinions we care about."

One of those people, she claimed, was the biggest name possible at City Hall.

"I know Sam Katz called Jeff [former president Dr. Jeff Zabudsky] a couple of years ago about Mr Gold's attacks ... I'm not big on censorship at all but I think the CKIC Board needs to talk about our relationship with him. I'm not sure why we allow him to use the station as his soap box ... Although we know the station isn't the College, the public perceives it as ours."

The next day, the College lawyer wrote about the veiled threat to station manager Rick Baverstock, who agreed with the lawyer that nothing defamatory or slanderous had been broadcast on TGCTS.

Baverstock warned that "some parties may be trying to intimidate the radio station by approaching certain members of the College administration directly."

Baverstock outlined a 4 step complaint process, modeled on the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council method, and emphasized to the RRC lawyer, Thomson, Partap, Rushton and College Director of External Relations Twylla Krueger that:

"I need to be the first person who receives and responds to any complaint."

Six weeks later, another Red River College vice-president was engaged in discussions about the possible need for a parkade, and had sought some input from the Winnipeg Parking Authority. An official wrote back:

"I tried to be helpful and I think that RRC and the City have some new opportunities as a result. Ironically, it was your college radio station that put an end to that and so I'm moving on tomorrow."

Perplexed by the comment, VP Rob Olson forwarded the September 30th email from Dave Hill to Rushton and their fellow vice-president, Ken Webb (the boss of Graham Thomson and Larry Partap).

Rushton, (who that week had stepped aside for new president Stephanie Forsyth), repeated the claim about complaints from Mayor Katz:

"Interesting -- It must have been something that that guy Marty Gold who does a talk show on KICK-FM said. He is always ragging on the city and we have received complaints from Sam about him in the past."

Rushton had at that point, told at least 4 senior officials at Red River College, including two directly involved with her in the sudden cancellation of The Great Canadian Talk Show 5 weeks later, that Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz had complained to Red River College about Marty Gold and his radio program.

As with everybody involved with killing the Great Canadian Talk Show, Cathy Rushton shares a big problem; there exists no trace of any of these alleged complaints about the show or Marty Gold.

Starting with the official record within RRC:

And then we double-checked with the former president:

From: Jeff Zabudsky
Subject: RE: my FOI application for your records about The Great Canadian Talk Show

To: "'Marty Goldstein'"
Date: Wednesday, January 5, 2011, 10:22 AM

Hi Marty,

I can confirm for the record that I was never approached by Mayor Katz or anyone from his office about TGCTS.



Jeff Zabudsky, PhD

President and CEO

Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

And to make sure, we went directly to the alleged source, Sam Katz, who said in a letter just this past Friday:

" ... I would like to inform you emphatically that any statement to that effect is patently false ...

I would reiterate that I never in any such manner made complaint to Red River College and find any such allusions to that effect very disappointing

However, last fall, Cathy Rushton was not through badmouthing the radio show.

Coming next: Rushton's claim she was "not big on censorship" proves to be about as accurate as what she said about Sam Katz.


New: Link to my Winnipeg Sun tribute to Chuck Green
"The Zookeeper had left the building" Dated Feb 3/2011

Chuck Green, co-owner of the Osborne Village Inn aka "the Zoo/ Ozzies Lounge" passed away in his sleep on Friday, January 28th. He had battled diabetes for many years. Sad reaction from across Canada has been in evidence all over Facebook and emails.

Chuck was one of the biggest supporters of The Great Canadian Talk Show on 92.9 KICK FM, and of many of my other pursuits including providing a venue for our Canada Day Rough House Rasslin' events in 1994, 2004, 05 and 06 which were hugely successful.

He provided jobs and opportunities to many a musician, band promoter, wrestler, dancer, bouncer, and to my own children. He was the first person to send me an email affectionately calling me "Zaida" after my grandson was born.

As important as Yoram Hamizrachi was to my development in community activism and broadcasting in the 1980's, Chuck gave me a similar education in business and commerce in the 1990's, until I moved to the west coast to work as a documentary film producer and live event consultant.
He was an expert chef, a shrewd businessman, and a wise mentor.

As the son of Holocaust survivors, his strong support for Israel and the Jewish people was a frequent subject of conversations and emails that often found their way onto my radio program.

I cannot begin to enumerate the lessons I learned from Chuck about the Osborne Village neighborhood and Biz, the history of the music scene in the 70's and 80's in Winnipeg, how businesses in this city are hamstrung by government rather than helped, and about the bar, hotel, and promotion industry. He frequently sent me an insiders' view of issues like the Parking Authority trying to muscle into Osborne Village with their bogus survey this summer, the MLCC pricing monopoly, the provincial government charging GST off the top of VLT revenues.

They never have enough. If you review the last 30 years you'll have no problem seeing why the bankruptcy and turn over rates have gone up 100 fold. Every change the various levels of government have made have always been in their favor with absolutely no regard for the well being of small business and the economy. They've made us tighten our belts over and over again while they give themselves raises and benefits again and again.

Working in the private sector doesn't come even close in comparison to working in the public sector. I would have been better off washing floors at the hospital for the past 30 years 5 days a week with every holiday either off or making double time. I'd be retiring far better off than the 30 years of working 7 days a week without counting the endless hours I've put in. The government has robbed us by changing the rules on an almost daily to their own benefit.

Chuck Green definitely believed in our manifesto 'YOU HAVE THE POWER':

"We need to do what they do in most third world countries. Have a revolution every 12 years or less and out with the old while in with the new. Not to say that the new are any better but at least the public have the opportunity to get even with the really bad ones".

Chuck's storytelling was legendary and so are the stories about him. I imitated him frequently on the air (and even more often off the air), and so did almost everyone who knew him.

He was able to connect with everyone from bikers to bankers, from rockers to punkers, and from cops to rounders. Chuck introduced me to many great people who became close and valued friends, including city Film Commissioner Kenny Boyce, Brandon Sun Managing Editor James O'Connor, and the late entertainment agent Rob Hoskin.

I am sure Hos and my Uncle Phil Cohen were there to greet him when he left this earth, asking if he brought some pickerel cheeks for the barbeque.

Chuck Green will be laid to rest on Tuesday morning at 10.30 AM, in a graveside service at the Rosh Pina Memorial Park, which is on North Main Street just past the Chief Peguis Bridge on the east side of the street.

Following the huge crowds that came out in 2009 to see Derek Miller play at the Zoo on Canada Day, after I managed the unprecedented double-header of interviewing Derek on 2 radio stations in 1 day to promote his music (Kick FM and CJOB) Chuck sent me this note:

I just wanted to thank you sincerely for having stepped in to help as soon as you had the means. You and I have had a strange relationship over the years but your heart has always been in the right place. You're a good friend and if there's anything that I can do for you please don't hesitate to ask.

Thank you for everything you did for me and my family, Chuck.

Baruch Dayan Emet.


PS - this message from Barb Judt, Executive Director of Osborne House:

Barbara Judt commented on The Great Canadian Talk Show's Wall post.
Barbara wrote

"Chuck was a super guy and understood the importance of supporting the community. We always had a great time with him at the biz meetings when I sat on the board. Our deepest heartfelt condolences to Ruth and their two children, his father Mr. Ernie Green, brothers Coleman, David, Ricki and all members of their families.

Rest in peace my friend. Much love, Barbara and Richard"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Margo Goodhand nailed coffin shut on TGCTS by doing drive-by on station manager Rick Baverstock

Margo Goodhand wanted to make sure she got a good night's sleep before another hard week of work as Editor of the Winnipeg Free Press.

So on Sunday night, November 7th, Margo sent yet another email to her new bff, Red River College President Stephanie Forsyth.

She hadn't gotten an email in response to her first one on October 22nd, in which Margo hysterically railed about how the College was "granting (Marty Gold) a daily podium for his rants ... on a student radio station which is training young journalists (and) is unconscionable" and "this had to be kept confidential for the time being".

"Thought I better let you know" that the secret attack on free speech was not kept confidential, and that someone was defending Marty Gold in emails to FP online editor, John White.

That someone was KICK FM station manager Rick Baverstock, and on Saturday November 6th, he had blown Margo's cover.

Forsyth's edict to kill The Great Canadian Talk Show had been delivered by her agents on the Board of Directors of the radio station, when they met with Baverstock the day before.

"Hey John, it's been an 'interesting' week around the radio ranch. The new College president received a call from Margo - evidently Marty criticized Melissa's work on-air - and now the new Prez wants to give Marty the boot. Like, soon."

White and Melissa Martin hosted the Free Press' own show on Kick FM on Wednesdays at 6 PM, right after The Great Canadian Talk Show, and Baverstock asked White :

"... if you have any ideas on how to prevent what is likely to be a strong blowback for the College and the Free Press. I fear this might cause more of a ruckus for all involved than Marty's broadcasts."

"Wow... you best deal with Margo directly on this. It's above my pay grade. Although, stopping the slanderous comments would likely be a smart move." replied White.

Baverstock's reply was to defend Gold's right to free speech -- and White made sure Margo found out about it.

"I've had people publicly critique my work negatively. I did not consider it slander. It's just someone's opinion. If you put your work "out there" you need to accept some criticism along the way and not resort to foot stomping and pouting when things don't go your way."

Margo got the stooge report from White and realized her fingerprints were all over the murder weapon, so she scrambled to wipe it clean:

"As you know, I didn't ask for Gold to be fired; I did want to bring the show to your attention for discussion" wrote Margo, as though she had left any doubt in her first email what she expected Forsyth to conclude from any discussion.
("there is no balance, no fairness, no accountability in Gold's barrage of criticism - all of the tenets of good journalism ... (he is) critical of all, accountable to no one"... "I wonder what your students are learning from this")

Then, to make sure she could rest easy, Margo Goodhand did a drive-by smear on the one person standing in the way of her goal to rid her newspaper of the scrutiny of a campus radio host, his guests, and talk-show callers from the community.

"But it's concerning that Gold's station manager would have so little education that he would consider Gold's opinions to be exempt from any Canadian laws or broadcast standards. That's obviously why Gold has been able to get away with what he's been doing for so many years."

Along with the first email to Forsyth, Goodhand had attached her exchange with the Free Press lawyer, about how she had just finished educating herself by reading over the station licence and Canadian Broadcast Standards Council rules. But Margo didn't want to file complaints with the CRTC or CBSC or even the station. She had the ear of a "higher" power.

Rick Baverstock's education at Confederation College was honed by over 25 years of radio experience including managing a radio station on Vancouver Island and he is accomplished enough as a broadcaster to be featured in a display in the Paley Center For Media (formerly The Museum of TV and Radio in New York City).

His education taught him that if no complaints had been filed with the CRTC or CBSC, he had not let Gold "get away with" anything but exercising free speech, good reporting, and fair comment from the alternative media perspective.

No matter to Margo, as she hammered home the last nail with the help of her other bff, libel chill:

"My hope is to have the radio station adhere to the same journalistic standards that the rest of the media adhere to: principles of truthfulness, accuracy, fairness and public accountability. A radio talk show, of course, is entitled and expected to express opinions. But those opinions ultimately still have to be defensible in court - based on truth, privilege, fair comment or responsible communication."

The next afternoon, the Red River College lawyer drafted a termination notice that said "the Board wishes to ensure the students are exposed to high standards of journalism" and that "the Services of Marty Gold will no longer be required", and sent it to Forsyth and her representative on the Kick-FM board, RRC vice-president Cathy Rushton.

Within an hour, a revised version was being read, but not handed over, to Marty Gold by the RRC Dean of Business, Graham Thomson, in front of Baverstock and another witness, Bob Axford. Thomson was asked 3 times, if there were any complaints about the program, and 3 times Thomson said "no". He was asked what Margo Goodhand had to do with the cancelation, and he said "no comment".

The urgent rush to get Red River College to silence TGCTS, was rooted in Margo Goodhand's accusation that Melissa Martin had run crying to her about Marty Gold wrongly criticizing MM's non-reporting of complaints that the Ross Eadie civic election campaign was receiving illegal funding from the NDP.

Time then, for:

A Lesson in Journalism.

Let us apply Margo's standard for TGCTS -- "principles of truthfulness, accuracy, fairness and public accountability" -- to her own newspaper:

1) - Martin has confirmed that Goodhands' accusation was not truthful.

" I never “complained about Marty Gold” to Margo… that doesn’t even make sense. I only talked to her about anything related once, the first day I saw the Eadie thing going around on Twitter. This was maybe a week before I heard about it being on TGCTS, in that ballpark.

I was worried and wanted to explain the story to her in case she started getting letters making accusations about my ethics. It was a brief conversation but she reassured me that they trusted me and knew how seriously I took my work – that discussion was about ME.

I really don’t remember if there was “crying involved.” It’s possible, I’m a total crier, which everyone knows, haha."

2) - Martin's Twitter feed from the Mynarski ward forum proves the inaccuracy of her reporting, as she completely missed the Eadie admission of NDP financial support

DoubleEmMartin Melissa Martin
@riseandsprawl You did good. Eadie knew he was pushing it. Started the last leg of the race off interesting!
28 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply

DoubleEmMartin Melissa Martin
@stateofthecity haha. My apologies. I've usually experienced them as synonymous.
27 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply

DoubleEmMartin Melissa Martin
@stateofthecity I actually thought he nailed a lot of answers in debate... Info and specific ideas. Has to learn to respect debate though.
27 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply

DoubleEmMartin Melissa Martin
Wow. Ross Eadie at Mynarski kept going way over time... Refused to listen to mod Rob Galston reqs to give floor. Galston stormed out.Drama!
27 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply

kentonlarsen Kenton Larsen
by DoubleEmMartin
My mother went for a pedicure. Says they scraped her feet with a "pedophile." Something's gone horribly awry at Giselle's.
27 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply

DoubleEmMartin Melissa Martin
Mynarski candidate Trevor Mueller, on what mayor candidate he supports: "I support anyone who's actually going to do something" #wpgelection
27 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply

DoubleEmMartin Melissa Martin
@stateofthecity @policyfrog I love you guys! I promise I am smart about many things. Municipal issues are not ten of them.
27 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply

DoubleEmMartin Melissa Martin
@stateofthecity thx. I am taxation stupid so couldn't tell how that went down.
27 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply

DoubleEmMartin Melissa Martin
@stateofthecity eadie calls for tax based on land value only, not market assessment. Thoughts?
27 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply

DoubleEmMartin Melissa Martin
@stateofthecity jenny motkaluk has been reading your blog? She's repeating your prop-tax post word for word, heh.
27 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply

DoubleEmMartin Melissa Martin
@ChrisDca Motkaluk has some renown, if only yet for her pink campaign signs.
27 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply

DoubleEmMartin Melissa Martin
Motkaluk just showed up at Mynarski debate. This may be interesting. #winnipegvotes
27 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply

3) City hall reporter, Bartley Kives, got an email days later from an eyewitness with details about Eadie's admission of NDP financial support, but there has yet to be a syllable about it in the Free Press -- or about the officially filed complaints made with the Senior Elections Officer. So much for fairness.

4) Had anyone at the Winnipeg Free Press bothered to investigate the story the way TGCTS did, by speaking with at least 7 sources, and interviewing an eyewitness on-air -- which refutes Margo's dismissal of our journalism as "reporting third-hand knowledge" -- then maybe the public would be able to hold the Selinger NDP government accountable, for an election law so weak that SEO Marc Lemoine claimed it did not give him the ability to investigate Ross Eadie's statement and the resulting complaints.

As Margo wrote to Stephanie Forsyth on October 22nd:

" We're the big newsroom in town and deserve to be held to account for our many weaknesses... we believe in freedom of speech".

The Winnipeg Free Press, with its' vaunted journalism standards, did not report on the NDP civic election funding scandal, and attacked our right of freedom of speech to criticize the newspaper for failing to uphold their own standards under editor Margo Goodhand.

She asked for her attack to kept confidential, and then kneecapped Rick Baverstock to the College president for defending our reporting and work, when ultimately it was defensible in court - based on truth, privilege, fair comment or responsible communication.

Margo addressed the RRC Creative Communications class in a seminar, the day before she started her assault against free speech on KICK-FM.

One of the students took her to task for a story that morning in the Free Press that mocked the effort of journalism students to cover the civic election.

By the next day, Margo wanted to end student participation on The Great Canadian Talk Show, where discussions about the FP's biased stories against Mayor Sam Katz, MP Vic Toews, and about the newspapers' unrelenting support for the scam pet projects of millionaires like The Canadian Museum for Human Rights and The Friends of Upper Fort Garry, had found traction with the community.

Here are a mere handful of the other stories in 2010 where we exposed the errors, biases and incompetence of the Winnipeg Free Press:

* In March, the Free Press finally published a story about the threat of expropriations for the Disraeli bridge, 8 days after we interviewed a guest who raised the alarm and said his worries had been dismissed by the MSM including the FP:

New Disraeli bridge= expropriations: Free Press breaks 8 day old news, misses real story

* The Free Press gave lots of space to the official spin of Manitoba Hydro officials and refused to publish an open letter from the Hydro Whistleblower defending herself. But, the public got to hear her side for over an hour in an exclusive broadcast interview last April 1st on TGCTS:

* In July, when FP columnist Lindor Reynolds tried to stir up controversy at Mayor Sam Katz dating a younger woman, we called it as it was, a cheap shot and a gutter-level swipe. Lindor got calls from angry readers all day but it wasn't till one of our listeners expressed his disgust that she finally posted a meek apology online.

* Also in July, TGCTS took the Free Press to the woodshed for regurgitating Manitoba Public Insurances' happy assurance that they had received no criticism from the public for giving away a building they claimed was worth under $100,000. The story was 3 weeks late and failed to mention what the real value of the $1 Million giveaway was to an organization that recommended the building be given to themselves.

* Only after a lawsuit was filed in September did the the Free Press finally cover the debacle of the Assiniboine Avenue bike lane - yet the story ignored

1) how area businesses are cut off from deliveries,
2) the impact on a social service agency that serves clients in immediate crisis,
3) pollution from gridlocked rush-hour vehicles choking residents of Edmonton Street and the loss of transit service for hobbled seniors,
4) the dangers to pedestrians caused by cyclists using sidewalks and frustrated drivers careening about like mice trapped in a maze.

All of which were covered on the Great Canadian Talk Show by unpaid reporters in the field.

* In October, while the FP spun fake polls into news, we pointed out that Bartley Kives and the rest of Margo's election team were chasing stories that the alternative media had broken and were now big election issues.

Reporters at the Free Press look to Margo Goodhand as their role model.

In Wednesday's Editor's Bulletin, previewing the Thursday print stories, she wrote:

Why Matty mattered

Sportswriter Jack Matheson was an inspiration to Free Press columnist Gordon Sinclair Jr., and he explains why he never failed to tell Matty that when he ran into him around town. (For the record, I called Matheson ‘Cactus Jack’ yesterday, and I have a good reason for it. I’m an idiot. I was obviously thinking of Cactus Jack Wells.)

She'll find no argument here.

Still to come: Red River rep fabricates complaints to poison the KICK-FM Board against TGCTS.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Margo Goodhand lawyered up on the way to Stephanie Forsyth's House of Censorship

The phone call Winnipeg Free Press editor Margo Goodhand made to Stephanie Forsyth to have a chat about The Great Canadian Talk Show, was no spur of the moment act.

As the email Margo sent to the Red River College president to continue the attack on Kick-FM host Marty Gold proves, Margo had embarked on a trial run of her accusations and half-truths first.

Just trying to be helpful, no doubt, she sent proof that the self-righteousness of her crusade against scrutiny and accountability by campus radio, was sanctioned by a higher authority.

Not by FP publisher Bob Cox.
Not by owner Bob Silver.
But by their lawyer, who had received a (WRHA-surplus) brown envelope earlier that week, with "a few things" Goodhand collected over the weekend.

page 1

page 2

"a specious bio on Marty Gold" wrote the alleged journalist, who proceeded to claim "as far as we know, he's had no journalism training and never actually reported on the 'legislature and sports', ", urging counsel to "also note he considers one of his specialties "The Winnipeg Free Press". "

Careful readers will detect that Goodhand had no complaints about the radio show broadcasts, but was upset about the following blog posts in particular:

The Free Press business deal with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority,
Conflict of interest clear to all - except Free Press publisher Bob Cox

An open letter to Margo and Gordo
The desperate cheerleading by the two of you in today's newspaper for the pet projects of millionaires marks a watershed moment in the history of the Winnipeg Free Press.

Goodhand then wades into the waters of radio regulation. (As far as we know, she's had no training or actually worked in radio.)

Ignoring completely the mandate of campus radio to also train volunteers from, and provide programming for, the community-at-large, she zoned in on licence to train young journalists from RRC's Cre-Comm course.

"If they're learning anything from Mr. Gold's show, it's that they can be relentlessly hostile and accusatory without evidence".

Margo then fumes to the lawyer "the day he went after Melissa Martin really was the last straw."

"My dearest wish would be to have him issue a full and fulsome apology to Melissa,
for saying that she willfully ignored a comment from a city councillor candidate because of some political bias. I'd like him to say "I wasn't there myself, I was reporting third-hand knowledge that has proved not to be true, and in the process I not only defamed Ms. Martin and the Free Press, I practiced the lowest kind of journalism, of innuendo and ignorance. Um, that's the wish, anyway."

Margo is about to have her wish evaporate before her eyes.

We discovered an email Ms. Martin sent to a reader of Anybody Want A Peanut, who posted it in the comments underneath blogger Cherenkov's review of our Dec. 7th live event -- where we exposed Margo's role in the cancellation before we ever got ahold of Margo's missives to Stephanie.

Sam said...
I sent an e-mail to Melissa Martin asking her if this story was true and this was her response. Do we believe her?

"It depends on how you define “truth,” I suppose.

I didn’t report accusations about Eadie engaging in, basically, election fraud. That’s true.
the long story short of that is because the only evidence I, and several other reporters far more talented and experienced than I, could find came from an individual with a vested personal interest in seeing Ross Eadie lose the election… and this person would not go on the record.
One of those "experienced reporters" wouldn't have been her colleague Bartley Kives, would it?

The same Bartley K. who received a VERY on-the-record email from an eyewitness on September 30th, asking where she could file an official complaint ? He never did give her an answer to that question.

The same BK, who along with the devine MM, didn't bother to call Mynarski election panel moderator Rob Galston asking what he heard standing 5 feet away from Eadie? (TGCTS spoke to Galston, and he tells us no other reporter ever has called him to ask).

Apparently neither former band reviewer tried to track down this eyewitness from the New Winnipeg forum either:

Re: 2010 Winnipeg Civic Election

Postby Northender on Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:43 am

Yes, he said he needed the backing of the NDP to finance his campaign.

In the email, Ms. Martin then proceeds to show her confusion between her job of reporting election complaints, with the job of the Senior Electoral Officer.

We can’t put serious allegations in the paper unless we have strong evidence to support them.

The stronger the allegation, the stronger the evidence needed, for obvious reasons.
Presumably, Ross Eadie's own words, from his own mouth, wasn't evidence enough for the fine young reporter (and the Free Press certainly didn't require any evidence in December when Evan Maud made up a story about police brutality that was splashed across their pages.)

The next comment from Melissa M, is surely one Margo wishes had stayed a secret:

"People are free to draw their own conclusions about the truth behind the accusation, and chalk the lack of a story up to a failure in my investigating, which I would consider to be fair."

She then offers up a weak defence that exposes her own bias :

But it is not truthful to assert or imply that I deliberately didn’t write the story for any purpose other than my failure to find evidence, not for a story I could put my name on, put in the paper, and sleep at night knowing that I did the right thing.
"Doing the right thing" for the newspaper when River Heights Councillor John Orlikow flung accusations about dirty election tricks like the provincial Conservatives forming fake lobby groups to help challenger Michael Kowalson, was to frame the story as, 'Candidate complains about opponent'.

When it came to Mynarski ward, the NDP candidate admitted he could not afford to run without the help of the New Democratic Party, and opponents and witnesses came forward on the internet and in emails. Yet the newspaper of record ignored the evidence and couldn't grasp the obvious when the story never appeared in their pages.

Bloggers and listeners of TGCTS noticed the huge contradiction in the Free Press and other media outlet's reporting practices, between accusations going from left to right, and vice-versa.

Some accusations, it seems, the newspaper could just publish with no "investigation", but a serious one from multiple witnesses about the ruling NDP possibly breaking their own election finance law a year after being exposed for cheating in the 1999 provincial election, somehow could not even be wedged on page 2 between the Our Mistakes and the humour column.

But that's Margo's department, isn't it?

Melissa Martin admitted she did, in fact, deliberately ignore a comment from Ross Eadie that led to not only an email to the Free Press city hall reporter, and at least 4 complaints to the Senior Electoral official Marc Lemoine that we know of.

We have also learned that the outrage that sent Margo into a frenzied attack on the only broadcast outlet that reported on the Ross Eadie election complaints, had nothing to do with TGCTS or a complaint from Melissa Martin.

A copy of an email has found its way to our inbox, in which Melissa Martin stated:

I never “complained about Marty Gold” to Margo… that doesn’t even make sense. I only talked to her about anything related once, the first day I saw the Eadie thing going around on Twitter. This was maybe a week before I heard about it being on TGCTS, in that ballpark.

So why did she run to Margo, if it had nothing to do with anything Marty Gold said, you ask?

I was worried and wanted to explain the story to her in case she started getting letters making accusations about my ethics. It was a brief conversation but she reassured me that they trusted me and knew how seriously I took my work – that discussion was about ME.

I really don’t remember if there was “crying involved.” It’s possible, I’m a total crier, which everyone knows, haha.


Yet Margo told her lawyer that TGCTS was guilty of "the lowest kind of journalism, of innuendo and ignorance" --- and then sent it on to Stephanie Forsyth after telling her on the phone we had made Melissa Martin cry by criticizing her non-reporting of the Ross Eadie election funding scandal.

And the lawyer, upon reviewing Margo Goodhand's "case" against TGCTS, wrote her back saying:

"I would expect that he (and others like him) will try to make a gong show out of a lawsuit or demand letter. They will hold it up as a badge of honour and use it to mock the Free Press."

Will Margo publish an Our Mistake to apologize for her hysterical attack on TGCTS ? For, in her own words to Stephanie Forsyth,

"when there is no balance, no fairness, no accountability in (a) barrage of criticism - all the tenets of good journalism --it becomes an issue."

Margo, meet Chuck Barris.

Still to come: Margo wasn't done with her pen pal yet.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Emails Prove Red River College President Stephanie Forsyth Directed TGCTS Cancellation Cover-Up

After 10 years leading Northwest Community Colleges in the wilderness of Northern BC, Stephanie Forsyth packed her bags and moved to the big city of Winnipeg, to assume duties as President of Red River College on September 27th.

Barely 3 weeks later, on October 22nd, the editor of the big city paper, Margo Goodhand, left a message for her, and Forsyth called her back. Hours later, Goodhand itemized why she had called, and it wasn't because she was with the Welcome Wagon.

Graham Thomson, the Dean of Business for RRC and an ex-officio member of the Kick-FM Board, was told to get the goods on Marty Gold so Forsyth could deliver the file to the College lawyer so he could build a case to get the show knocked off the airwaves.

Thomson's task was complicated by the fact there were no complaints on file, but even if there had been,

" I don't think the College has the technical ability to remove him from the air, the station is a separate entity... this could be done without too much trouble, either through a chat with Rick, or more formally, through a board directive. "

The secretary passed his comment to Forsyth and helpfully explained the College had a voting member on the radio station Board, RRC vice-president Cathy Rushton.

Rushton served as Treasurer of Kick-FM's parent non-profit, Cre-Comm Inc. As the station does not have it's own bank account and relies on RRC to pay the bills and the station manager, Rushton had the clout to deliver the head of Marty Gold, as demanded by Margo Goodhand.

There was only one roadblock: there were rules for how to handle complaints.

A "chat with Rick" would result in Thomson being told that Margo had put it in writing like everyone else and she had to specify the date and time of the broadcast and the comments in question.

Forsyth's agents had to figure out a way to remove Marty Gold from the air without violating Goodhands' request her complaint "has to be kept confidential".

So, for 17 days RRC officials on the Kick-FM Board contorted themselves until they developed a tall tale they could try to sell.

And for help, they turned to the College's lawyer, who on November 8th drafted a termination notice on behalf of the "separate entity", Kick-FM.

The notice had to be approved before the ax fell; and so it was sent by the lawyer, NOT to the Kick-FM Board chairman, not to the station manager (who is supposedly solely responsible for programming decisions) -- but to Stephanie Forsyth, President of Red River College.

Email to Forsyth Nov. 8 2.32 PM

The lawyer did his best to echo Margo Goodhand's complaint to Forsyth that the show breached "all of the tenets of good journalism" when it critiqued the newspapers errors, biases, slants, cheap shots and almost daily "Our Mistake".

The concept that "The Board" had made the decision to change the emphasis of programming was replaced by something called "the Executive Committee" being responsible. "Consultation with radio station stakeholders" disappeared, as did "high standards of journalism".

Finally, the story took a subtle change, from a contract dispute ("The services of Marty Gold will no longer been required") to a mere format change ("The Executive Committee also wishes to give students the opportunity to hone their craft during prime airtime

The lawyer sent the final version to Thomson twenty minutes later, and before the hands on the clock reached 3.30 PM, Thomson was busy denying the College had received a complaint or that the Free Press had been involved.

The eruption of outrage from listeners and supporters caught the executioners by surprise. College PR experts were enlisted to design a fuller explanation of the supposed format change, for publication on the www.Kick.FM website.

And once again, before the station was allowed to speak, Stephanie Forsyth had to approve the script.

Keep the following emails in mind whenever you hear Red River College say, "the station is separate from the College and we don't run the station."

{ 2 page email for her approval.}

page 2

College PR spinners polished the deception as best they could, and the draft statement was sent up the chain of command on Nov. 9th until Cathy Rushton exclaimed:

"Just talked to Stephanie. She liked it - her only suggested change is to reorder the list of who makes up the Board to put the general community first and perhaps the student body next. With those changes we can go ahead and get it up on the station's website. Thanks!"

The statement was published on the Kick website -- but don't bother searching for it because it has been removed. Right after Annual General Meeting on December 9th, when the Board heard from members of the public asking for the show to be reinstated and challenging the logic of the decision.

Her job as an editor complete, Forsyth had no doubt believed Thomson's earliest assurance The Great Canadian Talk Show could be removed from the air "without too much trouble".

Forsyth had denied she was a micromanager to the Terrace Standard in an exit interview from NWCC.

"But Forsyth did describe as “unfair” suggestions she is a micromanager, zeroing in on issues and situations.

“With new people it’s critical they get my guidance until they’ve got it,” said Forsyth. “But then I’ll leave you alone and you only need to come to me if you need my help.

Margo Goodhand came to Stephanie Forsyth when she needed help, but before the dirty deed was done, Margo was wiping her fingerprints off the crime scene.

That's next.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Red River College emails prove FP editor Margo Goodhand prompted cancellation of TGCTS

One of the hallmarks of The Great Canadian Talk Show was our Lessons In Journalism, in which the listening audience and student broadcasters would have facts laid before them about reporting in Winnipeg and beyond.

Not infrequently, the Winnipeg Free Press was placed under the microscope as we would examine the reported details of their stories, compare against the reports in other media (including bloggers), and the unreported facts already known to us and others.

We would establish the biases, slants, and selective quotes published, and hold the Free Press to account.

Free Press editor Margo Goodhand has lectured others, notably conservative politicians, for being thin-skinned about being criticized.

But, there is no one with thinner skin than professional journalists.

This Fall, TGCTS took the Free Press to task for their failure to report on the public admission of city council candidate Ross Eadie, that he could not afford to run in Mynarski ward without the financial support of the New Democratic Party. That is a breach of the campaign finance law which bans election contributions by political parties.

Despite the fact about 10 witnesses had come forward to say they were present and heard what Eadie said, the Winnipeg Free Press reporter covering the meeting refused to do a story, and when criticized, she went crying to Margo Goodhand, her editor, to vent her bruised ego.

And Margo, like an avenging angel, targeted The Great Canadian Talk Show to her new bff, Stephanie Forsyth who had just arrived as President of Red River College, where Kick-FM is housed.

Here is a copy of the email of Friday, October 22, 2010 at 2.58 PM entitled "Hi Stephanie":

Her message, was clear: kill the show.

And to get the message across, she-not-so subtly mentioned the Free Press lawyer and the spectre of a lawsuit. In the media business, this is called libel chill.

And if anybody else tried to pull it on a media outlet, journalists would go ballistic.

Margo Goodhand suffered a surprise episode of amnesia when the National Post came a-calling, after The Great Canadian Talk Show was axed at the behest of Forsyth.

In an email to the National Post, Ms. Goodhand said: “I’ve never met Mr. Gold, I’ve never actually heard his college radio show, and I don’t know why it was cancelled.”
What Margo never expected, was that this 2 page email from Stephanie's office would ever surface:

(page 2)

The link was direct.

Stephanie got a complaint from her bff Margo, and the Dean of Business, Graham Thomson, who is the RRC watchman on the Kick-FM board, immediately told the secretary he would find a way to kill the show "without too much trouble."

But there was one problem. There had NEVER been any complaints forwarded by Red River College to Kick-FM about what was broadcast on The Great Canadian Talk Show.

For Margo Goodhand, the surfacing of this email thread is a BIG problem. It seems she is still suffering from amnesia, for when she was quizzed by Red River College's Student Newspaper, The Projector, she had this recollection:

"It's been falsely reported that the Free Press 'forced' the talk show off the air, or [...] was 'involved' with the show's cancellation. This is simply not true. I know of no one at the paper who has ever suggested that Mr. Gold's show be taken off the air." (Dead air: KICK-FM cancels The Great Canadian Talk Show, Nov. 22, 2010)

With that, she delivered her own version of reality to the student newspaper and forgot her own lecture to Manitoba MP Vic Toews.

"Have you any idea how foolish you look?"

Coming up: Stephanie Forsyth micro-manages the execution order and the obituary for The Great Canadian Talk Show.

RELATED: "So it would seem it is not only the NDP bullying KICK FM, but the Winnipeg Free Press editor whining to the new Red River College President, and Stephanie Forsyth bullies KICK FM.

What is this, a golden triangle? Ménage à trois? Conspiracy to silence freedom of speech, expression, and effectively, an entire community."

** AND **

Reread this post from November 17th with the emails from listeners who instinctively KNEW pressure from outside forces had been at play to control the Board and stifle free speech on Kick-FM.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Reach for the Top 2011: Red River College vs. Kick-FM

When I was growing up in Winnipeg, one of the major accomplishments in our community was to appear on the CBC-TV series 'Reach For the Top'.

The program, hosted by the genial, dulcet-toned, legendary broadcaster Bill Guest, pitted Manitoba high schools in academic competition. Questions about science, history, math, pop culture and of course, the short snappers.

Teams of mostly high school seniors (Grade 12) vied to win their 'flight finals' and move onto the Provincials. The judge was my high school principal, the brilliant and wry-humoured Bernie Melman.

In the 3 channel (not counting French) TV universe, to be seen on the show as a teen, was an enormous accomplishment and brought pride to our community and families.

The lapel pin students earned was illustrated with two hands outstretched around the flame of a torch of knowledge.

Around the rim, encircling those hands, was the inscription:

For Achievement And Excellence

I still have my pin.

In the next few weeks, the modern version of RFTT will be played out. Online.

The questions were already asked, by Red River College students and alumni, and by Kick-FM listeners and advertisers.

In the modern version, instead of responding to questions with true answers, the competitors will answer with fibs. Misleading statements. Outright lies.

The answers are already submitted -- in writing.

The public will be the judge. And bloggers and members of the mainstream media across Canada will no doubt report on the results.

Pride will be the last emotion that will be felt by the community and families of those involved, when the answers are revealed.

First category: Denial by a newspaper editor.

related post:
The NDP's new pet project: bullying KICK FM

Monday, January 10, 2011

EXCLUSIVE: Premier Selinger cries to Stephanie Forsyth: Shut up yet another critic on Kick-FM

Listeners of 'The Kenny Show on 92.9 Kick-FM' were stunned to learn the NDP government went straight to Red River College President Stephanie Forsyth in December, and asked her to interfere with freedom of speech on the campus radio station.

And Forsyth, no stranger to kow-towing to the demands of the thin-skinned elite she courts as Manitoba's newest "practitioner" of advanced education, assigned the corporate counsel of the College to the task and kept station manager Rick Baverstock in the dark for as long as possible, in a failed attempt to reprise of the execution of The Great Canadian Talk Show in November.

HEAR THE SHOW: Discussion of the emails starts about 15 minutes in; the phone message left for the NDP in return is around the 85 minute mark.

The complaint stemmed from a live on-air call to the office of Greg Selinger MLA, aka the unelected Premier of Manitoba, after his St. Boniface constituency office phone number was advertised in the Red River campus newspaper, The Projector.

"Over the holiday break, I said , let's try to improve the show. I emailed Rick to find out if there were any emails about problems, do I talk too fast, I want people's opinion."

"I saw one of the most shocking email chains in my life - it originated from the Government of Manitoba. It was (about) the most harmless message ever, they came after me!" exclaimed Spirited Kenny, reminding listeners he had made similar calls in the past to the offices of Mayor Sam Katz and Coun. Jenny Gerbasi, among others.

" The (constituency office) number was in an ad wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We were doing the same. My tax dollars pay for it. It's our responsibility, we're his bosses. It's our role in democracy... It's called the Charter of Rights, not the Charter of what the NDP want you to do."

A longtime Kick volunteer, and former producer and co-host of The Great Canadian Talk Show, Kenny pointed out that the complaint sent by Selinger's press secretary Jay Branch manufactured a false quote about the stadium, despite Branch possessing an audio of the phone message and a transcript of the call.

Branch wrote, in an email directed to Forsyth via her secretary:

Kenny” went on at length (In a tone dripping with sarcasm) about how “his children would enjoy paying for Mr. Selinger’s football stadium’’ and whether Mr. Selinger looked better with or without glasses."

While reading the email on the air Sunday, Kenny discovered the deception.

"I never said 'Mr. Selinger's stadium'. He misrepresented what I said to everyone (who received the email at Red River College) ! "

( Readers can compare the allegation of 'lengthy sarcasm' with the official transcript provided by Jay Branch, the Director of Cabinet Communications, to the College:

"Hello this is Kenny from the Kenny show at 92.9 Kick FM. I would just like to say Merry Christmas and have a happy New Year. Great job with the stadium. I’m sure that my kids will love paying it off. And I wish you all the luck in the New Year." he then went on with his in-studio sidekicks about Selinger's eyewear.

The total extent of the comments on the stadium: Two sentences. )

Branch continued:

"Personally I don’t care what “Kenny” talks about on KICK FM, but I would appreciate it if someone could have a chat with him regarding calling the premier’s office."

After sending the transcript to the College lawyer, Branch added:

" I'm merely asking that "Kenny" not call Greg Selinger's constituency office unless he has a constituency-related issue to discuss."

Kenny immediately raised serious questions about the true meaning of Selinger's messenger.

"Why is Jay Branch returning emails about the constituency office? Branch is with The Government. Does this sound like the NDP is trying to take away my right of free speech?... this is the force of intimidation", asserted Kenny, calling Selinger "The Macbeth of Manitoba".

"The King is dead, he's seeing ghosts, he's lashing out. They can't handle the criticism, they're scared", he insisted, asking listeners to consider "what if the Government leaned on the funder of where you volunteer? I see the writing is on the wall".

Kenny compared the NDP tactic of going directly to Forsyth with a manufactured complaint, to the backdoor channel used to silence The Great Canadian Talk Show.

"Instead of respecting our right to call his constituency office, Selinger did not respect my rights... The best friend of the Winnipeg Free Press, the NDP, ran to Forsyth like she was their mama. No one needs to have a chat with me ... everyone knows complaints go through Rick."

Well-trained in the alternative media, Kenny demonstrated how to stand up for freedom of speech to the bullies on Broadway.

"I'm doing what a good commanding officer does when he's ambushed - he punches back !" trying two phone numbers before finally leaving a phone message, while on air, for Branch where the problem started - Selinger's MLA office on Enfield Crescent.

As he explained in an email sent to Branch late Sunday night:

"A technical issue has prevented our uploading the audio of today's program, which included my attempt to reach you via your CabComm number. Maybe you should leave the answering machine on during the weekends, so I don't have to call Greg Selingers' MLA office to leave messages for you. Perhaps you can have a chat with the Premier so he can do the same, as I tried to leave the message for you at the Premier's Office when the call to your office failed.

As I stated in the phone message to you earlier, I will let you know when the audio of today's program is uploaded to YouTube...

Despite your having an audio copy of the Christmas message I left on the answering machine at Mr. Selinger's constituency office phone on December 19th, you deliberately concocted a quote regarding what I said for him about the football stadium.

In conjunction with your depiction of my tone as "dripping with sarcasm", you deliberately attempted to discredit me in your email to the College President.

Your suggestion they "have a chat with" me was a clear sign to Forsyth or her agents (ie their corporate counsel), that the Premier himself would "appreciate it" if the College intimidated the radio station they fund into censoring the volunteers from the community such as myself, who practice freedom of expression on CKIC-FM.

Even after getting the transcript the next day, you did not correct the misinformation that you originally sent (to the College secretary). Instead it was passed on directly to the College lawyer. Nor did the lawyer challenge the concocted quote either.

I am challenging you for inventing that quote, and you owe me an apology."

After asking a series of questions about the lead-up to his email to Forsyth, Kenny set out a number of steps he expected to be immediately followed by Branch, including "a writen apology from you for distorting the content and nature of the phone message ... to officials at Red River College", to be delivered to the station manager by 2 PM on Friday.


Welcome to our new readers from British Columbia, Alberta, Brandon, Ontario, Virginia, Arizona, Washington State, Australia, and Tel Aviv.

Some previous blog posts about the cancelation of TGCTS and the backlash against RRC:

The students tell the truth about how they learned valuable skills and got course credit -- and how the conduct of the College officials concerns them:

EXCLUSIVE: Red River College social work students barred from key job placements due to RRC dishonesty ...

Forsyth hears from an outraged alumnus about the value of freedom of speech

and as it turned out,
Discovered: Previous failed attempt to intimidate Red River College into silencing TGCTS...

Later this week: More emails to Red River College uncovered !