Prime Time Crime


(Published in the Chilliwack Times week of Dec. 30, 2008)


No shortage of losers in '08


  By John Martin

Winners were in short supply for 2008 but the list of losers has never been more formidable. At the top of the list are the banking and auto sectors. These institutions have given new meaning to corporate welfare bums. If there was any justice left in the land they would be cited for aggressive panhandling and hauled off to debtor's prison. Instead, successful corporations and struggling taxpayers will be handed the bill; and much like the case of the airlines, will have to do it all over again in a couple years.

Big media also fared miserably these past 12 months. Already hard-pressed to fend off new formats of journalism and electronic information sources, the pro-Obama bias that dominated the U.S. election coverage was sickening. Of course Obama ran a better campaign and connected with the populace in a way his opponent never could. But what should have been a historic victory has been sullied by the shameless cheerleading and groveling exhibited by almost all the major media. The brutal treatment of the McCain campaign (especially attacking his running mate's children) was a low point in journalism. Meanwhile it was nothing but round the clock praise and kid glove treatment for the Democratic candidate. The fact there was more media interest in Joe the Plumber's tax returns and parking fines than Obama's cocaine use and posse of Chicago thugs and hoodlums is a commentary so sad it's the poorest display of journalism in a generation.

The biggest individual Canadian loser was clearly Stephane Dion. Never has a leader of the natural governing party been so thoroughly rejected by Canadian voters. The polls were still open in half the country as one prominent Liberal after another denounced Dion as the most incompetent, bumbling performer in a generation. Strangely enough though, while the unanimous consensus was that he was unfit to lead the Liberals and had to go, the party was quite comfortable that he was still adequate enough to be Canadians' Prime Minister for six months in a coalition government. The near impending reality of Prime Minster Dion so offended the country that Harper found himself closing in on the 50 per cent popularity range the next day. If anyone in the country still had an inkling of doubt that the Liberals stood for anything other than being in power, these past few weeks should have convinced them otherwise.

While there are lots of other losers to go around there's only one other that had such a lousy year as to join this elite crew of bottom feeders; that would be Canada's human rights commissions and tribunals. After years of residing under the public radar and quietly censoring anyone they disagree with, these institutions have finally come under scrutiny. Everyone from the Privacy Commissioner to the RCMP and Parliament spent the year investigating their sleazy activities. Ever defiant, they tried to silence Maclean's magazine and Mark Steyn; one of the finest commentators of this generation. They have gone after pastors, publishers and even a comedian for voicing unapproved opinions. Meanwhile they continue to condone and defend the most vile hatred and venom routinely articulated by some of the country's most hate-filled, radical Islamic mouthpieces. Mercifully, 2008 saw these star chambers, time and time again, exposed as the hypocritical, Orwellian, kangaroo courts that they are.

On the upside; how about those gas prices, eh?

Happy New Year!

John Martin is a Criminologist at the University College of the Fraser Valley and can be contacted at


Prime Time Crime

Contributing 2008