Monday, October 06, 2008

Deconstruction of a News Report

My morning alarm is set to the local CBC Radio station, because I don't like listening to tinny music through it, I always try to avoid listening to commercials, and the REH REH REH REH of the alarm scrapes against my soul like God's fingernails on some infernal chalkboard. That leaves CBC Radio.

The news report to which I awoke had all the grab of a "gotcha" moment against one of the local Conservative candidates for the federal election, Trevor Kennard. He used to play football with the local CFL club, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

I can't find the report online, so I will paraphrase it from memory.

Conservative candidate for Winnipeg South Centre, Trevor Kennard, is at the heart of a new controversy. A letter has emerged which he wrote to his school division after a public meeting in 1999. In it he accuses the school division of being more concerned with social engineering and pandering to minority interests than proper education. (At this point the story grabbed my interest; I'm waiting anxiously for the scandalous remarks.) Nobody at the meeting remembers Kennard specifically, but one attendee remembers meeting one man who "radiated hatred and homophobia." (Ah, so it's a homosexual thing... but no mention of what Kennard himself radiated. There's got to be more... do go on.) Kennard wrote that he insists the school board reverse the changes to the curriculum, even threatening to pull his children out of the school system and place them in private school. (Oh, the horror!) The school board chair indicated that she was proud that they did not reverse the changes, and that Kennard was upset that his letter was made a matter of the public record. The CBC has repeatedly tried, unsuccessfully, to reach Kennard for comment.

That is it.

Seriously, that was it. The most offensive thing they quoted was that he might - gasp - send his kids to private school.

Now maybe there is really something offensive in that letter; but since they quoted nothing else from it, I can't say. But if there were, I see no reason why the CBC wouldn't have made it their central storyline instead of this feigned outrage that somebody would dare to place demands on how his children are educated by a publicly funded institution.

I send my kids to private school, and I sit on its board, specifically so I can help pull the strings behind the scenes and ensure I'm comfortable with the direction the curriculum is pointing them. Any parent with serious objections to the anti-Christian messages taught in our public schools would do no less.

So my main question in this whole debate, which goes directly to the heart of Mr. Kennard's character, is did he make good his threat and remove his kids from the school when the board refused to budge? That's how I'd determine my vote. He made a promise - did he keep it?


  1. I think the random person "remembering" something from a meeting 10 years it totally bogus and CBC should be called on that, but if they have a copy of a letter written by Kennerd where he complains about anti-homophobia education and threatens to pull his kids out of school if they have to endure a 30 minute lesson where they learn that gaybashing and making fun of gay classmates is hurtful and wrong, than it is a legitimate story.

    And as a Conservative voter in this riding who was looking forward to sending Neville packing by voting for Kennerd along with my wife, I must say that this gives me pause since I am also the parent of a gay son and if Kennerd is against homophobia education that would be a deal breaker.

  2. James I understand your concern, but you are right where the manipulating CBC want you to be.
    Consider yourself used.
    I would be more concerned about:
    -A CBC reporter making headlines about a 10 year old here-say event.
    -A school board that releases parents letters for political reasons.
    What do you think about that?

  3. James, do you think the schools offer only "a 30 minute lesson where they learn that gaybashing and making fun of gay classmates is hurtful and wrong"? It's certainly not that little down here in the US, and I doubt it's that little in Canada.

  4. This story is a complete confabulation.

    I know for a fact that Trevor Kennerd was never at any school board meetings until this year.

    Not once...

    The letter presented as some sort of evidence was signed by at least a dozen other parents.

    The story was run in the Free Press in 1999 and no one ever spoke to Kennerd to ask him about it. Until today when the Ceeb jackals were hounding him that is.

    There will be no comment from him to the CBC because they are partisan hacks..

    You should request transcripts of the broadcast because the Ceeb online has sanitized the article.

  5. Well, hasn't this been an eventful day for my early-morning post on my humble little blog. My apologies for not jumping in sooner.

    First off, yes, I botched the spelling of Kennerd's surname. Sorry Trevor, no offense intended. The fact that I'm a son of Saskatchewan (read: Riders fan) is showing through, I'm afraid.

    Secondly, I have no idea what Kennerd's stance is on homosexual issues. I suspect that it's not as offensive as the CBC would have us infer, for if there were more substance to it, you can bet they'd have laid it out quite plainly.

    Thirdly, I speak from a very nuanced perspective on homosexuality (if you bother with that link, please do read the whole thing before you stop reading it), and would be extremely upset with anybody promoting a message of hate. That word - hate - is flung around with such reckless abandon these days that it has lost much of its depth. I defy anybody to ascribe it to me, against homosexuals. Against my junior high bullies though... that's hard thumb pressed down upon me, under which I struggle to free myself. But I digress.

    Fourthly (is that even a word?), a man owns his past. Truth does not change over time; wisdom, however, may come to a man and go away again, as the wind. But Kennerd should stick by whatever he signed, or else denounce his own foolishness if he has grown. This whole bollywoggle about ignoring the letter simply because it was written in the last century bothers me something fierce.

    My whole point with this post was that the CBC basically created its own scandal. They won't let us see the whole letter, and they quoted sources completely unidentifiable and possibly malevolent (I know what I heard, but I'll see if I can't land me a fat, juicy transcript to roast over the fire too).


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