See Me on YouTube

Here I am talking about my latest biography, Big Men Fear Me. Each nominee for the Ottawa Book Awards was asked for a short talk on their work. Don’t be distracted by the mis-spelling of George McCullagh’s name. And here’s my talk at Montreal’s beautiful little Atwater Library, where I end the show with a 1960s-style … Read more

Taking A Piece of Pie

Jonathan Pie has more self-awareness than many journalists. He knows much of what he reports is bullshit. Pie isn’t even a real person. Yes, there’s a guy in a suit and, if you prick him, he will bleed (and swear), but Pie is really a British comic named Tom Walker who used to not give … Read more


I first got hooked on the WE Charity issue when, after Jesse Brown posted his first major attack on the charity in early 2019, a friend posted on Twitter that the piece on Canadaland was a “nothingburger” smothered in Jesse Brown hype sauce. I had been unimpressed with Brown since I met him at an … Read more

Farewell, Charlie Angus. We’ll Clean Up the Damage You Caused

Sorry, Charlie, your time in Parliament is almost up. And that’s good news for Canadians. No, I’m not talking about the prospect of the NDP’s Bully in Chief losing his seat in the next election, whenever that may be. I’m referring to the fact that Charlie’s seat is likely to be eliminated altogether thanks to … Read more

The Fifth Estate’s Troubling Litigation History

This is a follow-up to my earlier posts about the Fifth Estate’s dubious coverage of WE Charity, a “kick ‘em when they’re down” exercise that happened after most of Canada’s mainstream media gleefully dismembered Canada’s most successful children’s charity. Journalists from the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and PostMedia made common cause with Charlie … Read more

The Trouble with Canadian Researched Non-Fiction

A while ago, I picked up a used copy of Jack Granatstein’s 1999 book, Who Killed Canadian History?, a book that was a little money-maker for Jack and a sad tale for those of us who write Canadian history books. When the book came out, a lot of historians and commentators thought Granatstein was a … Read more

The Fifth Estate and The Making of a Smear

An organization called Friends of We has posted YouTube videos taking apart The Fifth Estate’s false claim that WE Charity used latrines — washroom buildings — as part of its count of classrooms built in Kenya. They also show how The Fifth Estate made false claims that WE Charity was blocking them from visiting schools.  … Read more

Fundamental Law For Journalists

Here’s a primer on basic law for people who work in newsrooms. With chapters on legal research, the court system, civil law and procedure, criminal law, journalist protection, constitutional law and the making of statutes and regulations. Available from Irwin Law. I realized in law school that journalists often get law wrong because of myths … Read more

Circling the Drain, and Being Paid to Do It

Retch-inducing update: PostMedia and Toronto Star — which owns the KW Record, Hamilton Spectator and many small-town papers, are in merger talks., and it looks like a done deal. I thought this would happen in a few years. Things are worse than I thought.   n the 1990s, Reader’s Digest was the best selling magazine in Canada. … Read more