Okay, Game On, again: "Liberals question authenticity of Grewal tapes."
The Liberals are on the offensive over secretly-taped conversations between Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal and two senior members of the Liberal government.
Grewal claims he and his wife, Nina, were offered plum positions if they promised to support the Liberals in a budget confidence vote in May that could have toppled the government.
He says he has proof of that in taped recordings he made of conversations with Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and Tim Murphy, Prime Minister Paul Martin's chief of staff.
Transcripts and audio segments from those tapes were made public on Tuesday.
However, Martin denies any offer was made to Grewal. He is also questioning the authenticity of the tapes.
I hadn't been putting too much hope in the Grewal tapes story, nor following the details very closely after the initial news. Others
have been doing a better job - and, besides, I'd really become sort of despondent over what kind of scandal could actually rouse the disinterested centre again, if they were willing to forget all about Adscam allegations after a few days of different headlines.
That the tapes seem to be exactly what they were portrayed to be - clear, if carefully-worded and circumspect negotiations for rewarding voting with the government - is little surprise. What may boost the story's profile is Martin & Co.'s abject denial. I get the Ottawa Citizen
delivered, and usually pick it up from the hallway before sitting down to my computer; the headline is often a pretty good indicator of the general MSM zeitgeist for the day. Yesterday, that the tapes were released - and CTV's pointing out that they seemed to be genuine and damning - was relegated to a short piece on page A2. Today it's on the front page. The Big Lie - repetition of blanket denials - might usually work, but having waited until now to challenge the veracity of the tapes (and having previously admitted negotiations, but entirely at Grewal's behest) surely can't reflect well on the PM.
At least, that's what I'd assume, if everyone was still paying attention. Sigh.
This is only a glancing blow, as the overall battle goes. But that the Liberals are returning to playing defense seems to be a good sign. What are they afraid of, hmmm?