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Bruce Dowbiggin

‘Why Is He On?”: We Went There With Toronto Mike

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Tolerance will reach such a level that intelligent people will be banned from thinking so as not to offend imbeciles— Dostoyevsky

We are continuing our trek across the continent, and so find ourselves in Toronto this week researching our next project, a contemporary history of The Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies at St. Michael’s College. Yes, a slight divergence from our new book Deal With It: The Greatest Trades In NHL History and How They Changed The Hockey World. Self-published, it should be out this month (if we can get the website to work).

Toronto also means a return visit with our friend Toronto Mike for his popular podcast TorontoMike’d. The quintessential antidote to corporate media, he operates out of his basement near Lake Ontario in the west end of Toronto. To describe him as prodigious understates the case. Our show this week— the fourth appearance for us— was No. 1464 for the show.

Mike sells his own advertising, produces other podcasts and generally has made himself a must-appear for people in Toronto’s media, film, TV and pop culture from the 1970s to the present. Our penultimate show as a Tony Bennett versus Frank Sinatra showdown with Steve Paikin of TVO. Yup.

The best part is that Mike will talk to anyone without inserting himself into the show, especially if the craic is good. We discussed that at length in Ep.1464 about the current media mania for demonizing people with whom we disagree.

The list of guests is a prodigious snapshot of a time and place, the time being now and the place being Toronto. In any event, this episode we talked for one hour, fifty minutes on a range of topics from Joe Flaherty, our Montreal Expos fandom, Shohei Ohtani, civil war battlefields, PEI’s fabulous East Pointers  and much more.

So for this week, Usual Suspects brings you an audio, not a print stroll through current events. Enjoy and subscribe to Mike or else we won’t get any more Palma Pasta lasagnas or beer from Great Lakes Brewery. Or future considerations from Ridley Funeral Home.

https://www.torontomike.com/2024/04/bruce-dowbiggin-toronto-miked-podcast-episode-1464/

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster  A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his new book with his son Evan, was voted the seventh-best professional hockey book of all time by bookauthority.org . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via brucedowbigginbooks.ca.

BRUCE DOWBIGGIN Award-winning Author and Broadcaster Bruce Dowbiggin's career is unmatched in Canada for its diversity and breadth of experience . He is currently the editor and publisher of Not The Public Broadcaster website and is also a contributor to SiriusXM Canada Talks. His new book Cap In Hand was released in the fall of 2018. Bruce's career has included successful stints in television, radio and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster for his work with CBC-TV, Mr. Dowbiggin is also the best-selling author of "Money Players" (finalist for the 2004 National Business Book Award) and two new books-- Ice Storm: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Vancouver Canucks Team Ever for Greystone Press and Grant Fuhr: Portrait of a Champion for Random House. His ground-breaking investigations into the life and times of Alan Eagleson led to his selection as the winner of the Gemini for Canada's top sportscaster in 1993 and again in 1996. This work earned him the reputation as one of Canada's top investigative journalists in any field. He was a featured columnist for the Calgary Herald (1998-2009) and the Globe & Mail (2009-2013) where his incisive style and wit on sports media and business won him many readers.

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Bruce Dowbiggin

Flight To The Right: Clever Is So Yesterday

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“Do you want to live in a country where those at the very top live lives of luxury, but must do so in gated communities behind ever higher fences, using private health care and airplanes because the public sphere is so degraded and the wrath of the vast majority of their less privileged compatriots burns so hot?”— Christia Freeland explains capital gains tax

These are trying times for Clevers like Freeland, the army of technocrats, intellectuals, media grandees and social engineers who re-fashioned the Western World in their own image since the cultural revolutions of the 1960s. For decades their fashionable notions on society have gradually replaced the discipline of inquiry with the stagecraft of political theatre. Talking down has replaced talking straight.

What makes a Clever? That would be an approach that favours clever over smart, novelty over fact, emotion over sober inquiry, writing cheques over righting wrongs. A Clever is a 24/7 devotee to the Saul Alinsky machinations of governing, not the governed. Looking around one can see their gormless faces everywhere from the PMO in Canada to the labyrinth of the EU to the Sunday morning news panels.

Their knowledge of political kabuki and the back channels of power is unsurpassed. While the public devotes a sliver of its attention to politics, the Clevers spend 24/7 thinking how to game the system. Their Malthusian enthusiasms mean they can’t appreciate the dynamism of the human imagination. It’s why #TrudeauIsDone fits in so well. He is replicated where ever a nice suit and an iron commitment to being clever is mandated.

Rationally one would have thought these insubstantial people might have been stopped at the door of whatever academic hothouse cultured them. But no, their hopeless vacuity has spilled over into the political world. The years since 1968 have seen exponential growth in fashionistas from Trudeau 1 to Trudeau 2 who want tunas with good taste, not tunas that taste good.

In that they’ve been assisted by their brethren in the media and culture industries who likewise sprung from educational institutions that now quiver in fear of co-eds wearing keffiyehs. Through films, books and the churn of traditional media they glorified the marxist victimization cult. Because a distressed population is a vulnerable population, it keeps opposition at bay.  With the advent of hate speech and censorship laws, Clevers are now using the courts to protect themselves from criticism.

But their claim on ascendency has diminished significantly since 2020. YOC. Year of Our Covid. The year that the Clevers pushed all their roulette chips onto red. Trusting in charm and dumb luck, they used police and a snitch culture to subdue entire populations in their homes. Made them wear worthless masks. Closed children’s schools. Turned friends and family against each other employing the most crude intimidation in the name of Science®

Those objecting had their financial and democratic rights stripped (See: Trucker’s Convoy). You don’t like it? Here, try being locked incommunicado in a hotel for a few days.

But their luck ran out. The virus emergency petered out; most sentient humans saw what many had suspected. The Covid crisis was either manufactured or a bollocks from people of no substance but lots of power. As the mask literally dropped on Covid, desperate Clevers turned to other familiar narratives to distract a disbelieving population. According the CBC, CNN, MSNBC and the Washington Post their opponents were the “death of democracy”. Racists. Transphobes. The “Far Right”.

And— thank you, Israel— fascist colonizers.

But this time, polls show it hasn’t worked across the West. Inflation has opened their eyes. No one is impressed by Clever anymore. In Canada, Trudeau’s government would be crushed by the Conservatives in an election were it not for the NDP carbuncle on their back. In the U.S., all the lawfare thrown at the bumptious Donald J. Trump has only increased his polling. In France, Emmanuel Macron, the dauphin of refined inadequacy, has called a snap election to head off populist Marine LePen. In Belgium and Holland, conservatives are taking over governments from weepy entitlements leftists.

Clevers like Germany’s Olaf Scholz  and the Scandinavian leaders seem on the brink of being rejected in their country. In bankrupt Argentina libertarian Javier Miliel has taken a blowtorch to the progressive apparatus of state. Only the immutable EU and the now-worthless UN seem resistant to having their authority clipped. But even that might change if Trump is re-elected, despite efforts of the Blob in the government apparatus.

If looking for a tipping point, the Clevers’ embrace of murderous Hamas may have been the final straw. Coming on the heels of the Covid hustle, excusing the unspeakable snuff videos produced by Hamas and the demonstrating radicals in Canadian universities has been a loser for the Mao-worshipping set.

Even virulent antisemitism does not seem enough to rescue Hamas and Joe Biden from opponents. (Biden’s desperation to be an architect of “peace” in Gaza is palpable.) Biden is now threatening domestic opponents with F-15s. Freeland talks of barbarians at the gates of Revenue Canada. Euro Clevers summon up the spectre of Hitler.

But worse is to come for them. When this populist wave washes over them they may finally become the Irrelevants. We can only hope.

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster  A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. His new book Deal With It: The Trades That Stunned The NHL And Changed hockey is now available on Amazon. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his previous book with his son Evan, was voted the seventh-best professional hockey book of all time by bookauthority.org . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via brucedowbigginbooks.ca.

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Bruce Dowbiggin

Reverse Discrimination: The Bullying Of Caitlin Clark

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“@TheBabylonBee cheekily sums it up. “Caitlin Clark Canonized As Saint After Performing Miracle Of Making Women’s Basketball Watchable.” 

What a month or so it’s been for basketball star Caitlin Clark as she starts her WNBA career with the Indiana Something or Others. She’s had moments of triumph (30 points in a recent game). And a couple of duds. She’s also been roughed up physically with veteran players flagrantly fouling her, going out of their way to intimidate her physically. Initally, no foul was called on Chennedy Carter.

The League response to all this has been tepid refusal to rein in the veterans. NBA commissioner Adam Silver glibly called it a “welcome to the league” moment. (Clark says no hard feelings.) Most of which has played out in front of sellout crowds in a league that has papered more houses than a dry waller. “Confused WNBA Player Asks What This Huge Crowd Of People Is Doing At Game

And now women’s basketball’s young pole star has been left off the U.S. Olympic basketball team for Paris this July. You’d almost think the stars of the WNBA— a secondary sporting league at best propped up by the NBA— resent her being in their midst. That they fear she’ll break up the cozy LGBTQ/ BLM clubhouse they have going on. But we predicted as much in an April column entitled Now Comes The Complicated Part when her college career ended.

“The most interesting reaction may come from the women already in the WNBA. The intrusion of a white, conservative, straight Catholic woman in their midst won’t sit well in a league where women of that description have been made to feel unwelcome in many dressing rooms. She’ll need a tough hide to survive the resentment of other players who see themselves as the stars and Clark as a product of white privilege.”

That resentment has been naked and ugly from many who see themselves eclipsed by Clark’s obvious drawing power— and by their own inability to break the glass ceiling. “As we have written on multiple occasions, women’s sports has been in search of a marketable messiah to change it  from an ESPN liberal hype to mainstream. For too many in the audience— including women— the image of these sports has become too political. As the gender revolt took hold, fans were turned off by the strident lesbian soccer player Megan Rapinoe and WNBA star Britney Griner who turned every game into a referendum on the latest #BLM talking points. 

“There was a resistance to their defiance and the craven submission of corporate voices infatuated by DEI praise. To some, players on opposing hockey terms marrying each other was jarring. But Clark seems to be breaking the mold. The advertising world will beat a path to her door despite the second consecutive defeat in the Women’s Final. She’ll be honoured with woman athlete of the year and more.”

And, apparently, she’ll be resented for it. Days ago stories claimed that a Clark fan harassed Chicago star Carter and other players when they got off their team bus and outside their hotel. Wonder why? Oh yeah, Carter levelled Clark with the cheap shot.) That stirred the pot until it was revealed that— holy Jussi Smollett— it was all made up. (Must be something about Chicago.)

If you needed more evidence that Clark is living rent-free in the brains of these prima donnas, the rebellion by the veterans of the Olympic basketball team tells you all you need to know. It’s a scene reminiscent of the played-out Rapinoe getting a spot on the U.S. National Women’s team in place of a younger player to placate the team’s “equilibrium”.

WNBA star Cheryl Reeve explained the Clark snub. “I’ve never been in the trenches with her. Not even at a USA Basketball camp. Asking a coach to integrate someone she has no history with, at tournament with highest stakes, is a lot. A lot a lot.” Similar noises came from other resentful players. Which is so much twaddle.

First, Team USA hasn’t lost an Olympic match since 1996. So the twelfth spot is hardly a game changer. Second, you could hire Joyce Behar to coach this team, and they wouldn’t lose. Third, Clark has played on USA FIBA teams winning gold in 2017, 2019, and 2021 with MVP honours . She won Nike Elite national championship during high school. Named Iowa Gatorade player of the year twice. She’s got the resumé.

But she doesn’t tick the right cultural boxes for the WNBA players and their political allies. That’s what happens when players coddled by ESPN and the Title IX zealots call the shots. Noted humanist and hooper Barack Obama made lots of noise about women athletes getting equal pay as their due, but he’s gone mute when black stars acted nasty toward a white athlete.

There’s no question that, having made tin gods of the WNBA players for political purposes, few in authority want to check that privilege. “Women’s basketball decision-makers are not dumb,” writes black journalist Jason Whitlock on X to explain the silence. “They’ve been bullied by the BLM-LGBTQIA+Silent P Alphabet Mafia bigots.” Adds Clay Travis, “Women’s basketball hates its fans and doesn’t want to grow their game. That’s the only conclusion you can draw from their treatment of Clark. She would quadruple their (Olympic) viewership by herself. No brainer.”

To say nothing of the USA jerseys she’d sell. But the political water carriers don’t care. They would return the WNBA to what it’s always been, a subsidized pet project for the progressives in media and government. Perhaps the most on-the-nose indicator about the WNBA’s image is that Toronto is getting a team in the league. It’s a non-binary marriage made in progressive heaven.

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster  A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. His new book Deal With It: The Trades That Stunned The NHL And Changed hockey is now available on Amazon. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his previous book with his son Evan, was voted the seventh-best professional hockey book of all time by bookauthority.org . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via brucedowbigginbooks.ca.

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