Today’s Morning File led off with a victory lap in which Editor Tim Bousquet proclaimed that, “as I predicted, [the Tuft's Cove spill] was much larger than originally reported.” I call B.S....

Presumption of innocence is taking a drubbing in Cape Breton this month as social media warriors, egged on by the Chronicle Herald, campaign against the driver of a car that struck and killed 17-year-old Joneil Hanna of North Sydney following a Leitches Creek prom party both young men attended....

I have vented previously, here and here, about the quiet acquiescence of municipal and provincial leaders to the destruction of Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation. Why haven't the Premier, the Minister of Economic Development, the Leader of the Opposition, and other provincial leaders spoken out against the elimination of an institution, enshrined in an Act of Parliament, whose dismantling will cost Cape Breton tens of millions of dollars a year for the foreseeable future? Cape Breton is still part of Nova Scotia, after all. My purpose in this post is not to belabour the point, but to direct readers' attention to a striking...

The New York Times this morning published a correction of a story it ran 161 years ago, on January 20, 1853: The Times does take its responsibility for factual accuracy seriously. This whimsical correction of two, 161-year-old spelling errors was one of nine corrections it published today. Five years ago, at the urging of Contrarian and Provincial Court Judge Anne Derrick, the Times corrected its obituary of Donald Marshall Jr. The original version of the Times obit had incorrectly described the circumstances surrounding the killing of Sandy Seale, the 16-year-old boy whom Marshall was falsely convicted of murdering. For all they criticize...

Two years ago, I pointed to an admiring account of Nova Scotia's unorthodox online business and politics journal, AllNovaScotia.com, on the website of Harvard's prestigious Nieman Foundation for Journalism. Halifax freelancer Tim Currie described how a "tightly paywalled, social-media-ignoring, anti-copy-paste, gossipy news site became a dominant force in Nova Scotia." Last month, Kelly Toughill, director of the King's Journalism School in Halifax, fleshed out the story in an 18-page "case study" submitted to the equally prestigious Columbia University School of Journalism. From the abstract: This case tells the story of a small, online publication in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which has confounded the...

See if this sounds familiar: (1)  A teenage girl becomes involved in sexual activity that most grownups, regardless of their own sexual behaviour as teens, find shocking and horrific. (2)  The girl’s parent or parents learn of the activity and are utterly devastated. (3)  A family crisis ensues, with outcomes that can range from good to horrendous. (4)  In their struggle to process shocking new information about the child they love, the distraught parent or parents construct a frame to explain and cope with this cognitive dissonance. (5)  The frame invariably posits the existence of a large but hitherto unacknowledged social problem that explains how...

[caption id="attachment_13208" align="aligncenter" width="550"] A Washington, DC, city bus[/caption] Briefly, because I can't say it better than these people did, please check out the links below for eloquent arguments about the value of Edward Snowden's lawbreaking, and the Obama administration's pernicious folly in persecuting him. On the last day of October, from his exile in Russia, Snowden wrote a letter seeking clemency. On the first day of January, a New York Times editorial endorsed his request. Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and...

Every Christmas since 1993, British Television's Channel 4 asks a noteworthy figure to record an "alternative" to starchy pieties of Her Majesty's annual Christmas message to her subjects. This year, Channel 4 tapped whistleblower Edward Snowden. From his temporary asylum in Russia, Snowden sounded a pithy, 1 minute, 43 second, warning about the dangers of government spying: A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves — an unrecorded, unanalysed thought...