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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Colleen Klein source revealed

Today's Globe and Mail reveals the identity of one of the unnamed sources in our magazine's controversial story about Jim Dinning campaign operatives blaming Premier Ralph Klein's wife for his decision to stick around.

According to the Globe:

"Alan Hallman, Mr. Dinning's campaign manager, told The Globe and Mail yesterday that he was one of the sources quoted in the magazine's story, but he didn't make the racist comment about Ms. Klein.

A former campaign manager for the Premier, the long-time Tory insider said he has apologized to the Kleins about his comments.

However, Mr. Hallman said he doubts that anybody associated with the Dinning camp made the racist comment.

"That's not what Jim's campaign is about or is going to be about," he said, adding that Mr. Dinning has no problem with Mr. Klein sticking around for another few years. "We are in no hurry. Premier Klein is the best Premier that this province has ever seen."

This is important news for several reasons.

1. It demonstrates that, contrary to some of our wilder critics' accusations, our anonymous quotes were legitimate, and indeed from high-ranking FORKs, and that our news story was an important first look into a boiling battle between Klein and Dinning.

2. It shows that other journalists -- in this case, from the Globe -- could have and still can confirm our story with a little digging. The fact that it was a reporter for a Toronto-based paper, and not one of the local media outlets, begs the question: are Alberta's local media too well-trained by the premier's office? Are their publishers too reliant on provincial advertising budgets to be critical of the government? Are the reporters themselves too dependent on the premier's good graces to get their daily leaks? Have they avoided covering controversial topics that portray either the current premier or his heir apparent in a bad light?

3. The other media haven't yet flushed out our second source, the one who used the racial epithet. When they do, will he be subjected to the same noisy abuse that our magazine has been? After all, he said the words, we merely reported them. What was the true crime here -- that a Friend Of Ralph Klein used a racially-loaded term to describe Mrs. Klein, or that we dared to report it? I hope I don't have to keep reading Toronto papers to find out.

Posted by Ezra Levant on February 21, 2006 | Permalink


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Don't get me wrong- I love Ralph. He's personally responsible for the much better living conditions I have now than I did ten years ago. He's the only politician I know that deserves a pension- maybe even a bigger one than he's going to get.

But I think maybe Alberta's starting to think about him like America did the Kennedys, and that's a dangerous thing. He's great, but not perfect, and his recent performance is of a politician going to seed. Honest Albertans ought to be grateful to Ralph, it's true- but we also ought to be looking to the future and our own best interests, and that necessarily involves being critical of our politicians.

Speaking of which; Dinning has no problem with Klein sticking around for a few more years? I sure do. He hasn't done anything, and he's not going to do anything. He's done. Let's have an election, and maybe put someone in office who's willing to exercise provincial muscle in dealing with federal ministers.

Posted by: Tozetre | 2006-02-21 8:15:58 AM

I think it was a little suspicious that a racial attack on Mrs. Klein appeared in a piece by Dolfin--after all, he was fired for writing racist articles in the Herald. However, I do agree with EL that the local media gives Klein and the Conservatives a very, very easy ride. They treat the government with kidd gloves, and rarely criticize or dig deeply into scandals. Compare the scrutiny the Herald subjects City Hall to with the way it treats the Tories. It's night and day.

On another note, I wonder if Jim Dinning is going to be any different than Klein. Dinning is a Paul Martin waiting to happen--the parallels are uncanny. I don't think a thing will change if and when Dinning takes over. He has the same advisors as Klein, he's supported by the same people, he'll owe favours to the same camps. What will change? Zip.

Posted by: newsjunkie | 2006-02-21 8:33:39 AM

I think Klein viewed from the East has a very good reputation. People appreciate his way of talking his mind.

Posted by: Rémi houle | 2006-02-21 8:40:15 AM

Better than Peter Lougheed? Wow. These guys keep digging themselves deeper.

Posted by: Warren K | 2006-02-21 8:52:23 AM

What is racist about "just another Indian"? I have always used the phrase as the difference between Indians and Chiefs. At work I am "just another Indian" as I am sure not a chief.

Posted by: Ken | 2006-02-21 8:57:25 AM

Warren: I agree. He's only marginally better than Getty.

I see a big problem with being too familiar with elected politicians. By calling him Ralph instead of Mr. Klein, or Premier Klein, you begin to think of him as your friend not your elected representative. This makes you more likely to give him a pass instead of complaining when he does something you really don't agree with.

I have family in the east, and I have to dissagree with Remi. They think he's a buffoon. When we call him Ralph it only helps strenghthen their opinion.

Posted by: dan | 2006-02-21 9:14:50 AM

Ken, I feel sad for you that you don't know what's so obviously racist about the statement "just another Indian." But then again, look what website I'm on. And if you use this racist remark at work, remind me never to apply for a job at Husky Energy.

Posted by: Robert | 2006-02-21 9:20:34 AM

speaking of Klein..

"EDMONTON (CP) - Ralph Klein says he wouldn't be Alberta's premier today and he could be dead by now if he'd kept up his heavy drinking. The premier swore off the bottle in 2001 after a night on the town which ended with him swearing at men at a homeless shelter and throwing money at them. But in year-end media interviews this week he acknowledged he continues to have the odd drink. "I probably would have died of liver disease," Klein said in one such interview with The Canadian Press. "It's not only unhealthy, but it's politically unhealthy. Mentally unhealthy." Klein conceded he has had a few drinks in the last year, but there have been differing accounts of how often and how much. After his encounter at the homeless shelter, Klein admitted that boozing had taken a toll on his ability to carry out his duties as premier. "I do know I have a problem, and I do know I'm going to deal with it," he said at the time as tears rolled down his cheeks. "I am going to go as long as I possibly can and hopefully end this journey without having another drink . . . one day at a time." Klein also said then that he had considered resigning. "When you get up and you are feeling rotten and you wonder, 'Gee, I feel this badly, do I really want to get on and do the work of the day,' you bring yourself around to do it, but it is a lot better to do it with an absolutely clear head."

Klein admitted he drank the equivalent of a bottle of wine every day." this is all true? you really believe him??? His decades of alcohol did not cause any brain damage now too? How come also very few other people can give up drinking alcoholic that easy now too? His still often odd behavior, emotional outburst is not associated with his alcohol problem?

Posted by: Canadian | 2006-02-21 9:21:07 AM

Hold on there Robert

Husky Energy is a very ethnically diverse and lovely company. They're also my best client, so lighten up.

Posted by: dan | 2006-02-21 9:26:52 AM

Alcoholics and the Bashing of the others

Like I have clearly said " some are too jolly with booze, drugs but do all keep it all, all out of politics, the governments."

Prime Minister Paul Martin looked at a red wine while visiting a winery in Beamsville, Ont. Sunday. Mind you this is not what real Professing Christians tend to do especially on Sunday.. and this is not a rare occasion for the PM Paul Martin who has been giving out free beer too . Even on Sunday during the federal lection capaign in Ontario the Liberal PM Paul Martin was promoting alcoholic wine, sadly professing to be a Christian too but a clearly real loser, unchristian, immoral, persons he really was wanting to win reelection at any costs visible too.

"Janke's petition reads, in part: "As parents, we resent being insulted so your party can score some cheap political points. We are asking you, Mr. Prime Minister: Do you agree with your aides and believe that parents would choose beer over over [sic] their kids?" Apparently deciding that the issue needed to be leavened with some humour, Mercer wrote on his blog that he's had enough of the anti-beer rhetoric, and has created a petition and web address of his own, beernotkids.com. ,"In the stampede to condemn Scott and his comments about child care policy I have noticed a very real and very ugly sentiment sneaking into the national discourse. I am talking of course, about an anti-beer agenda," Mercer wrote on his blog. ( CBC's Rick Mercer is another false US basher) " Clearly the alcoholics now are on the defensive, they just can't live with out their alcohol too, and that is what makes them immoral persons and alcoholics. They also do need professional pastoral help. I have clearly that some of the people especially some of the leaders in Canada who wrongfully bash the US and the US President are clearly also alcoholics, for they are filled with the wrong evil spirit, and thus they hate the good Christians particularly the abstainers.. for these bashers still feel guilty about their alcoholic consumption underneath. Clearly these People who still do personally lack good works of their own, lack self confidence, immorally rather do resort to the bashing others to divert the negative reality of dealing first rightfully with themselves, and thus there is really no difference between Paul Martin or R Mercer bashing the US in comparison to the president of Iran bashing Israel, the latter is just a more extreme version of the false diversionary bashing.

The liberals needed to clarify firstly how important the families are in Canada rather.. not just the gays.. still do too.

Posted by: Paul | 2006-02-21 9:29:15 AM

How misleading. The controversy over comments about Colleen Klein related specifically to the "just another Indian" slur and your headline suggests that the source for that comment has now been outed.

Just more sensationalism from Levant as he strives to remain in the spotlight.

Posted by: catnip | 2006-02-21 9:36:30 AM

Ezra : I notice Don Martin could not pass up giving WS a subliminal back hand in his latest mumbling about Colleen Klein's "critics". It appears Don is not a "Dinning man". From the lack of info on the "indian" quote I assume Don is still as unconnected in Alberta politics as he if in federal politics ;-)

Keep up reporting the truth...you know you're over the target when you are taking flack.

Posted by: WLMackenzie redux | 2006-02-21 9:55:20 AM

Hold on there Dan.

The point I was trying to make with Ken is that he uses a racist slur to self-describe at work. You seemed to have missed that.

And you can't really objectively defend a company who are your "best client." While I really could care less about Husky Energy, they're admittedly NOT diverse, according to their own 2005 diversity report:

"Very little information is available on the participation of Aboriginal peoples, visible minorities and persons with disabilities in the Husky Energy, or White Rose Project, labour force."

"Very little information" means no statistics and therefore no proof of employment diversity aside from the employment of White men and women.


Posted by: Robert | 2006-02-21 10:10:04 AM

I'm sorry my attempt at humor failed.

Posted by: dan | 2006-02-21 10:17:23 AM

Like I have rightfully said the great Basher and Abuser of others, of the poor and needy persons, the alcoholics, the eastern Bums too himself cannot take it when he or his loved one is bashed. Klein he is reaping what he sowed upon the others

Posted by: Paul | 2006-02-21 11:17:24 AM

Robert, who the hell do you think is working on the White Rose project? Yeah, that's right, Newfies. Like I said in a different post, when I leave my profession I will be just another Newfie. As I sit right now though, ass-lickers only say that about me behind my back, thinking if they were to say it to my face that they are insulting me when the opposite would be true. I'm sure your not one of those who look down your nose while uttering "Newf."

Posted by: Lemmytowner | 2006-02-21 11:35:45 AM


It's interesting that you defend the nameless sources as being legitimate in this blog, citing that the Globe and Mail found out one of them. However, the source that made the racist comment is not revealed. I'd like to point out that in your Feb. 15 blog titled FORKS vs. Colleen, you wrote that the Premier's office tried to "cash in" on the publicity (re: racist Muslim cartoons) by having "one of Colleen's aboriginal charities to have a press conference protesting...against us!" I'd like you to know that I am the person who brought the article to the attention of some of my colleagues and asked them to help me make a very public statement about racism in your magazine. I am in no way associated with the Premier and Mrs. Klein. I was not approached by the premier's office. I am an independent communications consultant that works very hard to promote positive Aboriginal stories and have made it one of my goals in life to fight racism in the media. We, as Aboriginal leaders, held the news conference under the umbrella of the Aboriginal Human Rights Commission. We came together from several different organizations to take a stand against racism. The result would have been the same if writer Ric Dolphin had been talking about a convenience store clerk, a taxi driver, a doctor...or the premier's wife.

Get your facts straight before making statements.

Posted by: Kim Ziervogel | 2006-02-21 11:58:30 AM

If the 'Ladies Intolerant League of Canada' and their main financier M. Strong continue to have such a egregious stinking(STRONG) influence in the way the 'state' stooge's' tell us how to live, we will all be living in a cold, concrete cells, with NO access to grass (of any kind, including the grass we walk on!) M. Strong and Company want the globe free of humans - except 'the chosen ones', they want your land, your guns, your children, your soul. The premise 'they' work from is this: if people are 'allowed' any freedom at all they(people) will demand more choices and choice erodes absolute control, absolutely. To gain control, you must erode freedom gradually (otherwise people revolt and that is messy and expensive; it is much easier and more effective to use the stealth approach. First step - limit freedom of speech (make it criminal to say things, don't allow the 'great unwashed' to solve their own problems; they might start feeling independent), next, tell property owners what they can and cannot do on their own land ( MAKE owners ban cigarette smoking, MAKE owners save wetlands for birds - let them ALL sell out at a loss - the goal is for everyone to be dependant on the Global Masters and landowners are yappy and independent), next get babies into indoctrination nurseries so they will have the 'values' of a state robot. Drinking ANY stimulant is on the 'hit list' - they will be banning Milk and beer for you - not for 'them', of course, but milk belongs to cows and caffeine makes people 'feel good' VERY DANGEROUS if you want absolute control. When silly servants of the state are given any credibility enforcing stupid laws by the very people who PAY the former, then we are in BIG trouble. The 'mob mentality' will lynch ringleaders who protest (by crippling the anti state-control 'yappers' economically, first and then marginalizing the yappers socially, then by putting the 'yappers' in nut houses and giving them 'treatments' to get their thinking right.) It is all on the plate , folks, if you don't defend ALL Freedom, you condone your own and all others future slavery. BTW 'yapper' is a Solzhenitsyn word for people like himself in the former USSR.

Posted by: jema54j | 2006-02-21 12:47:20 PM

Robert said "Ken, I feel sad for you that you don't know what's so obviously racist about the statement "just another Indian." But then again, look what website I'm on. And if you use this racist remark at work, remind me never to apply for a job at Husky Energy."

I'm sure Ken is heartened by your expression of sorrow on his behalf, but you neglected to identify what, exactly, was the 'racist' thing that happened. Given the context, I find the statement totally innocuous, race-wise, although it is a rather biting personal dig at Colleen Klein's values. You apparantly feel otherwise, and while I don't need or want your pity or your insults, I would very much like an explanation of exactly what the 'racist' thing that happened is.

Posted by: Jon | 2006-02-21 5:04:14 PM

Robert - What I'm really interested in is your implied by your comments on the Husky diversity report that employers should be more conscious of race, gender and creed rather than qualification and job suitability? Or that, as there was a lack of statistics, that management should be tracking this type of personal information (which would only cost the company money and possible lawsuits) to figure out how wonderuflly diverse they are? Or perhaps, just to right this terrible wrong, government quotas should be imposed (....sorry Mr. Smith, your company is short two requisute purple people. The fine is a million dollars).

Seriously. Husky is a *business*, and as such its main concern should be *profit*. Bringing that into a thread notionally about accurate press reporting on government infighting, and when to publish a quote if it might be (gasp for effect) offensive, is silly.

But you knew that, right?

Posted by: Prometheus | 2006-02-21 6:50:21 PM

...i'm holding on there, but how much longer, I gotta go soon man...or the poop will hit the fan.

Something like calling a Metis an Indian.

Well depends on which side of the fan you're on as they aren't the same.

Posted by: tomax | 2006-02-21 9:44:16 PM

Jema54j - now you're just depressing me. I try not to think about these eventualities...

Posted by: Prometheus | 2006-02-22 1:21:38 AM

Hey Kim: I want YOU to know that because special interest spin monkeys like yourself have misused the term "racism" as an intimidating tool in so many fallacious vindictive media witch hunts, it has become essentially meaningless.

The minority victimhood industry's reactionary theatrics and on going wisper campaign to paint the WS as "racist" is to me far more disgusting and unCanadian than any off color remarks Klein's pals make about his wife.

Where I come from, if a special interest needs media PR propagandists....er.. uh.. sorry, "communications specialists", there is some public unacceptability or agenda in that organization that is being smoke screened.

For your own professional illumination, I and most people, place credibility in news sources that have repeatedly proven to be conduits of the truth regardeless of the consequence. I trust a free unintimidated editor more so than the talking heads of the fact-convoluting industry....er...uh sorry, I mean "special interest communications" industry.

You do yourself and your clients no favor by pointing fingers and crying "racism" everytime our free press reports factually on something you take exception to. When you "cry wolf" enough you lose public credibility....and as it stands now, I'm so jaded with the whole racist witch hunt industry their deceitful bleating means less than zero. If Canada is a "racist" nation, then 2 suns rise in the west and set in the east.

Posted by: WLMackenzie redux | 2006-02-22 7:47:18 AM

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