Centre of the Continent

Thoughts from the middle of North America

Archive for Bawdy

Layton & the Bawdy Politic

I’m going to begin with a twitter quote:

“@colbycosh: Layton was crusading against lap dances as a councillor; he called strip clubs “sexual assault parlours”1

Above is an example of the kind of thing that conservative tweeters have been posting and re-tweeting in reference to the Layton massage “scandal” in an effort to label him a hypocrite. (Mr. Cosh himself was not saying such a thing but this has been picked up and re-tweeted over and over.) I thought about this for a moment. At first it seems that this supports their cause and I was trying to figure out a response and then it hit me. This actually supports the NDP’s position. As of today, Jack Layton is the most trusted Leader in Canadian politics – numbers boosted since the story broke.2 That means that a good portion of Canadians just plain believe what he says and in what he stood for then.

“I went for a massage at a community clinic,” Layton told reporters after a rally in Burnaby, B.C. “The police advised it wasn’t the greatest place to be, so I left and I never went back.”3

Both Olivia Chow and Jack Layton have proclaimed Jack’s innocence. The more of the story comes out the more it makes sense. We know Jack rides his bike. We know he works out. The massage business was in his neighbourhood and on his way home. The only photo that has been produced of the location is a recent one and while it looks rough now, that’s no indication of what it looked like then. The name “Velvet Touch” is a little off but my wife is an RMT and we laugh at the names of clinics all the time. They tend to range from wishy-washy new age to mildly suggestive – and none that we know of offer anything other then legal services. (My wife just uses her name and works independently out of a chiropractor’s office.) This is the nature of the business; it requires touch and often the removal of clothing. In no way should these facts indicate anything other then legitimate therapy. There are quite a few “Velvet Touch” car washes out there – should we be concerned?

Canadians believe both Jack Layton’s statements now and that his position then was genuine. The notebook of a former vice officer just does not offer enough proof of wrongdoing for the story to continue to develop. The fact is this was never really secret. It was kept private and since there was no law broken, no charges and no arrest there was no reason for it to be otherwise. There’s a fairly anonymous reference to the story in a blog comment in 2006. People knew. And then there is this:

“@jonkay Lib muckraker gave me copy of Lib lawyers Oct 10/08 ATI request into “Project Rubdown”4

So there’s a couple of issues with this. Jonathan Kay (@jonkay) is a managing editor for the National Post and an author. The National Post is not known to be a bastion left support. If he saw no story and chose not to run with it what does that say? I’d also like to point out that the Sun story quoted the still mystery officer as being part of a “Project Cobra”. At very least this calls into question the officer’s memory. I searched for both and I can find references to “Project Rubdown” at least as far back as 2004. When I search for “Project Cobra” I can only get the recent Sun story5. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist but I can find no confirmation.

I don’t believe that journalists are to be held to the same standards as the law but to be responsible shouldn’t they at least confirm the facts with more then one source?

Especially if their one source may turn out to have been illegally obtained.


1Twitter feed of Colby Cosh – April 30, 2011 http://twitter.com/colbycosh

2NANOS Leadership Index Poll – April 30, 2011 – http://www.nanosresearch.com/main.asp

3CBC.ca, Apr 30, 2011 – http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/story/2011/04/30/cv-election-layton.html#

4Twitter feed of Jonathon Kay – May 1, 2011 – http://twitter.com/jonkay

5Toronto Sun, SAM PAZZANO – April 29, 2011 – http://www.torontosun.com/2011/04/29/suspected-bawdy-house-raided-in-project-cobra?sms_ss=facebook