Amateur Hour at the Ontario NDP. Leak at your own risk.



As an official opposition, the NDP really don’t know what they are doing. They did rule this province once and have been elected as politicians for decades; so there is no excuse for their colossal fuckery of leading a trail of huge, radioactive breadcrumbs straight to the computer of their leaker:

Ontario NDP’s improper redaction led Ford government to leaker: Sources

Oy yoi yoi.

This is how n00bs function: they get a piece of dirt, vogue and posture in front of rolling cameras filled with ego and bad acting skills, forget the basics of trying to protect people who are going out on a limb, fuck up the message, and watch as the government fires the leaker, gets the OPP unleashed on said amateur leaker, and then no one talks about the scoop, but of your nincompoopity as you conveniently try to dodge the questions, proving you are no better than the man in charge.

The leaker was naive. The NDP were oblivious and self-serving. The Ford regime had no choice but to come down hard, and it helps greatly that this fuck up happened so early into the Tories’s tenure: because the trail was coloured with loud neon green bread crumbs, they can see how to fortify their defences, and the other potential blabbermouths are going to know that the NDP are not professionals, and they won’t give them goodies to spew for press conferences.

This thwarted headache is now a gift to Ford.

When I worked as a journalist, I tried to avoid using anonymous sources as a general rule. There often is a good, but not noble reason for someone wanting to go incognito. If their identity is made public, someone is going to blab what this person is really up to. I preferred getting information, and then going off to independently verify things through some more open and forthcoming channels. My job is to give facts in context, but I am not going to tell you what to think of those facts.

When I was asked to write the companion book to the documentary OutFoxed, I was presented with three anonymous sources, but I wasn’t told their identities, which posed a dilemma for me. The book has to reflect the documentary, and I had no say over a canned movie not of my making. The vast majority of the interviews were not anonymous, but some very important details came from those three sources.

I have a rule: I need to verify information to my satisfaction, and I have to know who I am dealing with. It is not as if I expect perfection from sources or else they are completely tainted, but if you weigh your facts and sources, eventually the scale will tip one way and you can use the intel, or it tips the other way, and you know the intel not true — and then you have to find out why you were told an untruth and what it is hiding, meaning there is more to the story, or just a completely different story than the one you were given.

It is like being Anubis, and figuring out if you are going to feed Ammit and unleash him to the person who tried to con you.


So, I could not add anyone that wasn’t interviewed for the film (whether or not they were featured in it) to replace the three anonymous sources.

But I then took each interview and in very short order, managed to figure out the identities of all three.

And I could also verify what they said, meaning what I used was good intel. People can chose to use their own scale and dismiss an anonymous source, but the book didn’t pin everything on those three sources, either. There were the memos, other sources, and the breakdown of the actual transcripts, among other things. I offered a huge buffet of facts, you want to skip three dishes, you have hundreds of other options to choose from.

But I shouldn’t have been able to figure out who they were, or as fast I as did. If you are using anonymous sources, they have to stay anonymous. With Watergate, Deep Throat’s identity was safe for decades.

In the gossip, surveillance-happy Beltway filled with operatives, lawyers, journalists, politicians, and lobbyists.

This was extraordinary, but fair to the source who gave enough information to take down a president, but not enough was revealed to figure out who he was.

But Bob Woodward is an actual journalist. So is Carl Bernstein.

And this was back in the day when the Washington Post was a real newspaper.

But the NDP bungled this badly. It reminds me of the “Eyewitness Ed'“ episode of the cartoon The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley.

All Horwath forgot to do was don an Astroboy hairdo and play the triangle…