Friday, April 22, 2016

Coyne's Sniveling Bullshit

No matter how often you may disagree with him, Andrew Coyne is not a complete idiot. He can, in fact, present himself as rather intelligent. But, when it comes to the Duffy verdict, he's taken leave of his senses and plunged headlong into petulance.

Coyne is, to use Nigel Wright's now famous word, "pissed" that Justice Charles Vaillancourt acquitted the Cavendish Cottager of all charges. Coyne's first sentence offers a window into what is to follow: "So it was all a dream."
Demonstrating that Coyne couldn't be bothered to read the reasons for judgment this unreliable scribe lashed out.

All of these things happened, and more. All that has changed is that a judge has decided that there was not proof beyond a reasonable doubt that any of them were crimes, or at least that there was not proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Duffy intended to commit any crimes.

No, sorry Andrew. I'll you'll tuck your editorial sophistry back from whence you extracted it and read the judgment you'll find that on count after count the judge found no need to decide the purported offences on reasonable doubt. He found there was nothing blameworthy in Duffy's conduct. Nothing at all, boyo.

That's not to say Justice Vaillancourt didn't find plenty of misconduct, skulduggery, underhandedness, dirty dealing. Not at all. Only he didn't find that in Mike Duffy but in Stephen Harper, Nigel Wright, Ray Novak, the Tory Senate leadership.

Coyne is so pathetically desperate to make his case, to pillory Mike Duffy presumably to ease the sting felt by our now discredited, disgraced former prime minister, that he simply invents specious "facts" that were not in evidence, even when it becomes necessary to ignore or mistake real facts that were in evidence, findings that were made by the presiding judge - who, remarkably, seems to have a somewhat better standing in judicial ranks than Mr. Justice Coyne himself.

The notion that Duffy was some unwilling victim of a plot to force him to accept being “made whole” for his expenses is not only contrary to common sense — the only price he faced for not taking the money was that he would not get the money — but to the evidentiary record. It was an explicit and repeated demand of his lawyer.

Coyne hasn't read the judgment. He hasn't read the testimony of the witnesses. He hasn't read the emails. The evidentiary record, apparently, is whatever Coyne would like it to be.

Duffy may have sincerely believed he did nothing wrong, and that may have made him unwilling to admit he had. But there is nothing in the record to indicate that he was averse to taking the cheque.

There is a great deal in the record that Duffy was averse to taking the cheque. Some of it comes out of the mouth of Nigel Wright. It's in the emails. Only in Coyne's alternate universe is there "nothing in the record."

Hard to say just what Coyne's problem is. Does he just resent Duffy? Is he furious that Duffy has now made it harder for other shills, perhaps Coyne himself, to get a cushy seat in the red chamber? Maybe he should see if he can get himself a job on the bench. I can see it now...


Anonymous said...

Coyne's pissed that Justice Vaillancourt dared to criticize the PMO and the man hiding behind it's "plausible deniability."

I find it interesting that Coyne concedes the possibility that Duffy "should never even have been charged," but doesn't follow up on that thought. How is it that Duffy was charged with taking a bribe but Wright skated on giving it? If that isn't further evidence of the politicization of the RCMP, I don't know what is.

It's clear to me that Harper would brook no dissent and wanted revenge on Duffy for messing up his plan and forcing him to fire Wright. I'm glad we finally got rid of that petty, vindictive coward.

Dana said...

I suspect a look back a few years would show that Coyne was one the journos whipping the Duffy horse the hardest. All he's doing now is shoring up his self-importance.

That plus he's an unapologetic asshole.

Dana said...

It strikes me that Coyne has become Canada's version of David Brooks of the NYT.

Promote a political ideology until it achieves power then become aghast at what it perpetrates then defend it when it loses power.

crf said...

When a journalist is presented with a complicated event like the Duffy affair, they often try to get all the known facts sorted in their head and then construct a narrative to weave them together into a coherent picture to present to the reading public. (That's their job.)

Coyne needs to take some time to tear down his understanding of Duffy, and rebuild it within the scaffold of what is now known. That would be a reasonable course of action. What isn't reasonable is toss out or ignore actual facts because they don't fit his precious constructed narrative.

The Duffy story is complicated, and there has always been large gaps in what was known. Nobody knows all the facts even now (as they have not emerged yet, and likely never will), and what facts we do know have been dribbling out for a number of years. We could have been privy to more of the story had the crown introduced more witnesses and evidence.

Coyne's problem is like that of an unreliable witness. He got a smattering of facts at the beginning of the affair, and filled in the gaps in what was known with his own (and other pundits') interpolations (and, if I am to be uncharitable, biases). As the evidence later accumulated, he is now having a having a hard time distinguishing what is known from had been (even reasonably) assumed, and then
reformulating his internal understanding of the affair, and finally revising the story he's telling to the public. Every pundit's narrative ought to have undergone revision as more facts emerged in the Duffy trial which conflicted with the pundit class's earlier interpolations.

the salamander said...

.. Coyne had a deadline to meet & that's what pooped out .. essentially his opinionation that day on Duffy, evidence & Law.. Kind of a shepherds pie of suspect ingredients he cooked up .. was a failure.. but was consumed anyway.. and there you are.. it the 'news'

His final paragraph could so easily have been written in a slightly different order.. very much as the Judge in the case suggested.. And if Coyne had moved the last paragraph to the beginning.. and stated it more like ..

- a secret payment was arranged within a complicated nefarious plot by a large group of public servants completely lacking ethics and within this conspiracy - forced upon a sitting legislator along with a concoction of fabricated scripted public statements... if that's not a crime .....

By the way, your summary of the actual evidence that Coyne failed to read or retain is astounding... ! Thanks !

Anonymous said...

Duffy was a crook. Harper was a crook. Wright was a crook. They all screwed the Canadian people. One law for the rich elites; another law for the majority.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Dana, I suspect you're at least somewhat right on the Coyne-Duffy problem. There are plenty of journalists who've never turned down an open bar or a free dinner. Their business is known for that sort of thing.

I think there's a bit of resentment when one of the herd gets a plum job like Duffy's and Wallin's. And then to see the trade sullied by them running wild once they get there - well that's gotta smart a bit.

In Duffy's case he seemed to go out of his way to lord it over the working journos. He was a bit nasty with them. Get out of my way, peons. That sort of thing but stupid and pointless. In a way he set himself up for the day when they could take their revenge.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ CRF - Chris, I had you figured for government or academia. Are you a journo? I ask because you seem to have a good grasp of the processes and foibles of the craft. Yes, many journalists do process facts and other information as you depict and, as you suggest, Coyne may have become comfortable in a mental scaffolding that no longer comports with known facts.

Why didn't I say that?

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Sal - you seem to align with CRF's views. I agree strongly with your views that there was a crime committed and one that was fairly apparent from the documents and the interviews the parties gave to the RCMP. That begs the question of why the investigators and especially their superiors didn't see it. Were they incompetent or did they choose to look the other way? Did they collude with the prime minister to facilitate a political show trial while taking the others off the hook? How will we ever know.

From the day that commissioner Paulson announced that Duffy was to be charged with high crimes and misdemeanours but Wright was blameless I understood that the "immaculate bribe" theory was being pursued because Wright had threatened that, if he was charged, he would tell all and taking Wright off the hook was therefore the only way to take the rest of the PMO and Mr. Harper off the same hook.

Ray Blessin said...

If Coyne were to read your post Mound, and the comments following, he would be completely unable to understand. He lives deep inside the corporate media propaganda system.

The Mound of Sound said...

Have we really come to that point, Ray?