Friday, April 18, 2014

Nigel Wright & Linda Frum in the Republican wayback machine

In a week that has featured ...

1) Nigel Wright let off the hook by the RCMP for bribing sitting legislator Senator Mike Duffy in spite of weeks of PMO discussions involving over a dozen senior party officials re buying Duffy's silence,    and 

2) Senator Linda Frum making the most idiotic and widely-mocked attack on Elections Canada over the Fair Elections Act to date, ie  that it is a conflict of interest for Elections Canada to both administer the vote during elections and encourage people to vote between elections, 

... it is fitting that Jay Watts III should dig up a piece of Canadian history that includes both Frum and Wright, as blogged by Brian Busby in a brilliant pair of blogposts that really should be savoured in their own right.

Seems in 1984, a rightwing Republican foundation confirmed it was funding several start-up campus publications in Canada among its 69 across North America. The Institute of Educational Affairs was set up by Irving Kristol, godfather of the US neoconservative movement, his fellow founding PNACer William Bennett, and William Simon, Reaganite, Richard Nixon's treasury secretary and board director of Halliburton Canada. It bankrolled : 

~ University of Toronto Magazine, founded by Nigel Wright - already working in Muldoon's PMO - and his friend and classmate Tony "Gazebo" Clement, and
~ McGill Magazine and editor Linda Frum, daughter of CBC's Barbara Frum and sister to David "Axis of Evil" Frum
~ Libertas at Queens, run by the son of the CEO at the Bank of Montreal. 
The original Canadian University Press article says 7 other clones of Libertas appeared across Canadian campuses that month, including articles of *unusual access* for campus papers - like an interview with George Bush.

Nigel Wright told the Montreal Gazette at the time that he had "no misgivings about applying for and accepting money from the Republican foundation".
The only advice he could recall receiving from the foundation was a circular "suggesting we publish nothing to do with the John Birch Society."
 Right-wing paper covertly funded from US , also published as Republicans fund Ontario & Quebec right wing newspaper :
"We were happy to have help and advice from the Americans," said Nigel Wright. 
In 1982 the IEA and American Spectator, a prominent conservative newspaper, held a seminar for college students interested in starting or maintaining conservative newspapers. More than 40 students attended to hear speakers such as the Spectator's R. Emett Tyrell Jr lecture on taste and strategy. 
"Don't print Klu Klux Klan literature," Tyrell advised. 
IEA Executive Director Phillip Marcus suggested: "If someone accuses you of being racist or sexist, accuse them back of McCarthy tactics." 
One person contacted who attended that conference but asked not to be identified said: "They told me that when I was ready to go ahead publishing, I shouldn't worry about the money. They said they'd take care of that."
From such smug little acorns are whole governments sprouted, along with their bent senators and chiefs of staff and covert bribes and Republican-style voter suppression bills.

Ap27 Update : While we don't know whether Linda Frum attended the 1982 RepucliCon newspaper start-up seminar that advised accusing opponents of McCarthy tactics, Jay Watts III discovered her doing exactly that in the Montreal Gazette in 1984.

6 comments: said...

Which ones in Québec? I'd love to know... (I believe you.)

Alison said...

Oh, lmerrette, my typo.
Should read : Republicans fund Ontario & Quebec right wing newspaper - no s. Fixed now.
I copied that alternate headline for the same 1984 article from a pdf and goofed. I'm guessing by Quebec they mean Frum's mag at McGill.

When I first discovered Busby's blog a couple of months ago, I really looked to find the names of the other unis but failed coz... 1984!
If I ever succeed, I'll let you know.

A few months later the Ubyssey ran an article about how the rightwing student papers were going broke without their US backers.

Here's a bit of background on what Institute of Educational Affairs evolved into, for anyone who happens to come looking.
The Alumni! Yikes!

"The Institute for Educational Affairs (IEA), an organization that provided grants to intellectual projects, began offering seed money to alternative student publications—which soon became publicly known as the Collegiate Network—in 1980. The Network continued to flourish under IEA's administration, which, by 1983, had added summer and year-long internships, and was distributing regular operating grants to student newspapers.

In 1990, the Madison Center for Educational Affairs, an organization then headed by William Bennett, Harvey Mansfield, and Alan Bloom, merged with IEA to sustain the growing number of conservative student publications which, at the time numbered 57. The Madison Center administered the Network until 1995, when the Collegiate Network moved from Washington, DC to Wilmington, Delaware. Since then the Intercollegiate Studies Institute has administered the CN."

mogs moglio said...

They get them at an early age and let them know money is no object as long as you perform and they have been performing ever since. Too bad they couldn't take that talent and put it to something useful like making Canada a better place instead of disemboweling it.

Money is the carrot on the stick for these folks. It must pay extremely well for life after politics.

Boris said...

Mogs, money only goes so far. These folks are fanatics, driven by a perverse ideology and freakish sense of entitlement. They really hate everyone else but their own.

Jay Watts said...

Montreal Gazette, Feb 7, 1984

Here's a funny Linda Frum addenda (move a little up and to the left on this article). It looks like she took that advise about accusing your accusers of McCarthy tactics to heart!

Alison said...

Jay Watts : Oh well done and thanks so much for coming here to let me know - I'm not a regular twitter lurker. Updating ....

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