Harper’s buds go for Miller
The National Citizens Coalition (NCC), a libertarian fan club and the former hobby of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, appears to be in the early stages of a new campaign to take down Mayor David Miller.
The group, whose quasi-anonymous billboards targeted then-NDP premier Bob Rae in the 1990s, has finally, more than a decade later, updated its anti-government strategy. It recently launched Put Toronto First, a flimsy, blogspot-style site criticizing City Hall’s tax policies and how it spends money.
So far, the content includes photos of “street teams” surveying people around the city. As evidence of the site’s research methods, two women “take it to the street” in Put Toronto First T-shirts, asking what are supposed to be average Torontonians to “weigh in.” There are also appeals for reader submissions, though there’s no evidence anyone has read the site, let alone written in.
In other words, it’s a user-fuelled site without users.
And like its parent organization’s shadowy financing, its unclear how much money has been wasted on this pathetic effort or who’s wasting it.
It’s rumoured that the NCC will now go back to its standby method to attack the mayor – a brick-and-mortar billboard.
C-10’s tenuous link
Aside from hyperlinks, the most popular style of link on the World Wide Web is the tenuous one. The practice of tying together a cause and effect that aren’t really related serves to confuse, propagate rumours and, most importantly, prove unprovable points.
The latest example is from Denis McGrath, a television writer who’s recently worked on CBC’s The Border.
On his blog, Dead Things On Sticks, McGrath pointed to an under-the-radar news story about Canada Border Services holding up footage from the film Love & Savagery. He linked this to the Bill C-10, now before the Senate.
Refutation came within hours. Globe and Mail theatre critic J. Kelly Nestruck came galloping onto McGrath’s site to inform him that withholding potentially pornographic material was a regular function of Border Services and had nothing to do with the yet-to-be-enacted bill that withdraws tax credits and demands repayment of government funding from Canadian-made films deemed indecent.
Instead of conceding, McGrath ignited a minor flame war. He labelled the critic “adorably naive” and demanded evidence. Nestruck struck back by mocking the writer on his own blog, Off The Fence.
Despite the compelling case against him, McGrath is maintaining his strong stance on a weak point. The link remains.
Joshua Errett is Online Editor for nowtoronto.com