By Henry McRandall
The exposure by WRISEUP.COM of the conspiracy between rogue publisher John Cruikshank and rogue executive editor Michael Cooke of the allegedly “Liberal” and “liberal” Toronto Star that singhandedly assured the election of a Conservative majority federal government on May 2, 2011, should be enough to prompt the immediate dismissal of both of them.
After all, a covert undertaking by the devious pair that thwarted any possibility of the Liberal Party returning to power in Ottawa could well be construed as an act of gross misconduct on the part of the duo that runs the newsroom of Canada’s largest daily newspaper, which had been a major power in the Liberal Party for decades.
True, even if the Liberals had managed to hold on to the 36 Greater Toronto Area seats Cooke and Cruikshank covertly delivered to extreme-right-wing Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, they would still only have won 70 seats out of a total of 308 in Canada’s House of Commons and the party would still have wound up in third place. But combined with the 103 seats won by the social-democratic NDP, it would have been enough to give Canadians a left-leaning majority coalition and prevent the Tories from implementing a hidden agenda that is already causing serious damage to millions of poor, working-class and middle-class Canadians.
But will the directors of the Toronto Star, who purport to be diehard opponents of the Conservatives, have the integrity and the courage of their supposed convictions necessary to do the right thing and turf out this dangerous duo? Or will they be too embarrassed by their own failure to perform due diligence before putting this pair in charge of Canada’s largest newsroom?
I don’t know anywhere near as much about Cruikshank’s professional past as I do about Cooke’s. But even a minimal amount of due diligence would have revealed a history of slandering and sabotaging the work of better-qualified and better-performing peers in order to advance an ambition far greater than his journalistic talents justified, of misrepresentation of his professional qualifications, and even of falsifying Page One news reports in order to frame colleagues perceived as a possible threat to his fanciful ambitions.
Torstar’s so-called braintrust will probably choose instead to simply bury their heads in the sand and hope the whole matter will simply go away before it has a chance to undermine the Star’s credibility with its own readers. But that will not correct the calumny that this pair has committed. And if this dereliction of their duty to the Star’s readers does somehow come back to haunt them, they will probably simply and deceitfully proclaim that there was no viable alternative.
That, of course, would be a monstrous lie.
While not wishing to seem unduly immodest about my own professional qualifications, I must assert that I would be a much-more-than-viable replacement for Michael Cooke.
Before Cooke managed to engineer my illegal dismissal and illegal blacklisting as a journalist and publishing consultant after he perceived me as a threat to him during his days as the far-less-than-competent City Editor of The (Montreal) Gazette, I had spent about two decades occupying senior editing, writing and/or reporting positions at some of the largest and most respected newspapers in both Canada and the U.S.; I had redesigned two major daily newspapers and participated in the redesign of a third; I had held senior executive positions at major dailies in Philadelphia, Boston and New York; I had been probably one of the youngest editors ever employed by the august New York Times; I was fluently bilingual (which should be a job requirement for the executive editor of the largest daily newspaper in an officially bilingual country like Canada); and I had been a lifelong political and social activist pursuing the “social justice” to which the Star claims to be committed. Simple logic would dictate that I would be a more-than-viable replacement for Michael Cooke.
But the odds are far greater that I might someday win hundreds of millions of dollars in one of the massive American lotteries — for which I don’t even buy tickets — than that the Toronto Star would ever entertain the notion of hiring me to replace Cooke. That’s because when Cooke engineered my illegal blacklisting, the British-dominated foreign clique that ran the Star’s newsroom — and of which Cooke had been a part — was complicit in helping Cooke carry out his nefarious enterprise.
Its alleged commitment to social justice notwithstanding, the Toronto Star likely totally lacks the integrity, the courage or the simple belief in basic justice that might otherwise lead it to correct the awful injustice visited upon me by Michael Cooke and the predominantly British foreigners who once controlled its newsroom.
If the Star’s executive braintrust chooses now to continue to employ and to coddle Michael Cooke and John Cruikshank rather than do what is right, then they all deserve each other.
I have made a large number of Star heavyweights aware of this matter and they all know how to get in touch with me. But I would bet my bottom dollar against ever hearing from any of them.
After all, from the perspective of the huge capitalist corporation that publishes the Toronto Star, the devils you know are probably better than someone who could probably clean up their mess.
Will Torstar punish its rogue editors who engineered the Conservative election win?
By Henry McRandall