It's Boxing Day, and it's time for some boxing. In a sheer wordsmithery sense, that is.
Around noon on Christmas Day, journo-blogger Paul Wells made a post proporting to reveal a blog maintained by the Sheila-Copps-busting, Tony-Ianno-running senior executive in the Liberal party, Mike Klander. Said blog included such gems as a picture comparing Trinity-Spadina NDP candidate (and Jack Layton's wife) Olivia Chow to a dog, musing over what makes people "look gay," and insults hurled at Layton and at Stephen Harper. Why the past tense? Well, it seems the blog has been taken down, and can only be viewed in the google cache, minus the damning pictures. The post also talks about a Toronto Star reporter who faced Klander's wrath after the story was exposed.
After all the gaffes made by Martin Liberals thus far in this campaign, I believed them to be capable of just about any level of stupidity. So I sat back, grabbed some beer and some popcorn, and waited for the media onslaught via a google news search on "klander". And waited, and waited. As of the stroke of midnight on December 26th, the only hit has to do with a Duluth, Minnesota Target assistant store manager. That gives me pause.
In the comments on Calgary Grit's post on the topic, buckets of Buckets of Grewal fame shares my growing skepticism. He points out that the URLs are different on the blog itself and on the google cache, and also says:
Yes, google cache can show you that there used to be a blog at klander.blogspot.com.Other commenters go on to dismiss buckets' concern, even going so far as to suggest it might be a result of da drugs. Boxing ensues.
But we don't know who set up that blog and when the postings were made.
In theory, it's a great trick, no? Set up a blog in someone elses name. Make them look like an ass-hole. Then do a screen capture. Then delete the blog.
I haven't seen the Toronto Star story you mention yet: there is nothing at their site.
Honestly, I have no idea what to think at this point. Do I believe senior Liberals like Klander are capable of this sort of behaviour? Oh, yes. Do I believe some individual from one of the other parties is capable of setting up a fake blog to make it look like Klander did something on this level of awful? Sadly, that's also a yes. There are clearly more questions than answers here: If there's truth behind the Wells exposé, then why didn't even one mainstream media source pick it up over the course of Christmas Day? I realize that Christmas Day is the ultimate slow news day, but not even a tiny little mention? And yet if it isn't true, then why haven't we seen Mr. Klander broadcasting a denial all over kingdom come and threatening to sue the person who made him look like a complete jerk in front of God and the world?
Either way, though, heads are going to roll. And I suspect there will be more news on this when we wake up in the morning. Happy Boxing Day. Box away.
[Update: After finding the original Toronto Star article through Lexis-Nexis, buckets takes back his skepticism over in his other blog, Bouquets of Gray. Although there's no link to this on the Star's website, I have confirmed this through looking it up on Lexis-Nexis myself. This suggests that this is almost certainly real, but that no other media outlets picked up on it. Curiouser and curiouser.]
[Upperdate: Conservative blogger Stephen Taylor has sifted through Klander's ex-blog and summarized some of the worst of his posts. Taylor also has access to the so-called apology Klander posted before his entire blog was taken down. It read: It would appear that more people viewed my blog than the small circle of friends it was intented (sic) for. I apologize if anyone was offended by my comments...they were meant to be in jest. Anyway, I have removed my previous posts... Methinks Klander should be reminded that "I apologize if anyone was offended by my comments" is not actually an apology.]
[Upper-dupper-date: Angry in the Great White North has some more where Stephen left off.]
[Upper-dupper-date-date: Greg from Sinister Thoughts makes a connection between Klander and a 'Mike' who recently got a prominent mention in Warren Kinsella's blog, though he later discovers that it may have in fact been Mike Eizenga.]
[And another: Dr Dawg calls not only for Klander's resignation, but for his prosecution under section 319 of the Criminal Code of Canada.]
[Update the final: According to a few scattered, unlinkable comments in various conservative blogs, Sun columnist Charles Adler seems to have reported via his radio show Adler On Line that Mike Klander has resigned. This was confirmed by CBC Radio in their hourly news report moments ago (4:04PM Mountain Time on December 26th).]