Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bill Tieleman responds to Alex G. Tsakumis' allegations

Alex G. Tsakumis, Erin Chutter, Bill Tieleman at Brian Mulroney book launch in 2007

I take no pleasure in responding to allegations posted on the blog of Alex G. Tsakumis today - no pleasure because Alex and I were once friends, until his behaviour ended that friendship suddenly several years ago.  I have no intention to go into the details.

In his post dated October 17, 2012 and titled "The Conspiracy Theorists in BC Know the BC NDP Numbers are Somewhat Soft: A Fear on the Left that the Right Will Unite" Alex makes a number of negative comments and casts several aspersions regarding my blog post on the BC Conservative Party's troubles and a previous column on that party's AGM.  Some posters on his blog do the same, along with his additional commentary.

I will not engage in a lengthy debate on the merits of the BC Conservative Party's dissidents, what role the BC Liberal Party or its members have played in these events or my motivation for discussing these issues.  

That I am a supporter of the BC NDP is hardly news and has always been well known.  In the blog item, I clearly indicated some would reject what I wrote because of that but they should debate the information presented.

Alex also writes that: "NOT ONCE, did Tieleman pay tribute to John vanDongen–who is, naturally, everyone’s hero." 

Completely wrong.  

I appreciate the work that Abbotsford-South MLA John van Dongen has done on the Basi-Virk/BC Rail case as an intervenor in Auditor General John Doyle's application for legal fee documents - and I have lauded him in my column and blog for that on September 18, even starting with a strong quote from van Dongen.  I attended at least part of every day of the BC Supreme Court hearing and spoke with van Dongen about it every day.

Later, after van Dongen quit the BC Conservatives and I was told he had been talking to BC Liberal MLAs Donna Barnett and Moira Stilwell, I called him up and interviewed him about it, as is only right, and reported his response.

I have not "gone quiet" on Basi-Virk - I've covered the case since day one on December 28, 2003, broken multiple stories, published a 10,000 word A-Z on Basi-Virk and will continue to report on it as I see fit and am able.  

But I won't take criticism like that from someone who not once attended a session of the Basi-Virk pre-trial hearings or the trial over all those years. 

Lastly, I do not disclose who my clients are any more than Alex discloses his clients or his sources of income or anyone else in the business world does.  

Nor do I need to "explain myself" to Alex G. Tsakumis.  Nor will I be posting anything on his blog.

UPDATE  7 p.m. - Alex G. Tsakumis tells me in an email that he attended seven pre-trial hearing days and one day of the trial - I accept his information and am happy to correct the record. 

UPDATE Thursday 7 p.m. - Alex G. Tsakumis has posted another article criticizing me.  I will refrain from much further commentary on it except to respond to this claim:

Tsakumis writes: 

"When I was still his colleague in 2009, three times in six months, while my column’s popularity at 24 Hours had easily eclipsed his, he took shots at me in his Tuesday column space. I went to my then editor and asked if we were a team or not. I don’t mind taking criticism, but for a colleague AND FRIEND to despicably group me together with climate change skeptics that allegedly were taking bribes from major oil companies, was beyond the pale. If it was anyone else alluding to that, I’d have immediately sued.

When he did it the last time, over my salient and factual positions against the lies told by his personal friend James Hoggan–a global warming doomsterist and climate change catastrophe propagandist, Tieleman attacked one last time.
That was it, I was on my way out the door–I immediately resigned as columnist–even though, the publisher begged me to find a way of staying. I wouldn’t without a published apology to me and my throng of readers. I wrote Tieleman three stinging, nasty emails–expletive laden and raw, telling him what a cheap shot artist I thought he was. (My then editor, I found out later was dating a PR consultant friend of Tieleman’s and Hoggan’s–thats why the cheap shot in Tieleman’s column was permitted). Your name, in this business, is everything and I wasn’t about to let someone, anyone, sully mine."

You can read the column I wrote here and decide for yourself but the only mention of Tsakumkis was as follows:

"James Hoggan’s new book Climate Cover-Up [Greystone Books] is a must-read for anyone concerned about the biggest, most pervasive effort ever at manipulating the media by some of the world’s largest and most powerful corporations.
Why, I’d even recommend it highly to my 24 hours colleague Alex Tsakumis, who has ripped Hoggan and CKNW AM 980 radio host Bill Good for two weeks straight about the issue for allegedly not providing “balance” on climate change.
[Disclosure – Hoggan and Good are friends of mine and I appear on Bill’s show every Monday – but Alex is a friend too.]"

Tsakumis quit 24 hours newspaper before he had read my column and before it was published.  

He did not contact me to ask what I had written in the column that evening.  I did not and do not have a "PR consultant friend" who was dating the editor.  

I do not recall taking "shots" at Tsakumis previously - certainly at that point he and I were still friends and he had not raised concerns with what I had written.

Again, I regret this situation but I will leave it to my readers to judge for themselves what happened.



Kevin said...

Hi Bill:

I make a point of reading all the non-MSM political material I can find, but I no longer read the blog authored by what the commenter above referred to as a worthless wanker. That comment is a disservice to wankers everywhere. The blogger referred to is much less than that.

The column you wrote is spot on. Anyone paying attention to BC politics can see that the right-wing money is desperately urging, cajoling and buying a united right. Buying in the sense of threatening to withhold funding. Van Dongen, for all his good work on BC Rail, has set his sail to catch whatever wind will lead to his re-election. His affiliation with the aforementioned troll diminishes any of the good work Van Dongen did, or may do.

Grant G said...

Hey Bill T....Has not the Amanda Todd tragedy taught certain adults anything?

El Bloatto Lashing out at you for what, being in the communication business, your party affiliation has never been in doubt, and.

Carole James will make an excellent Cabinet minister, NDP, a party united..

Lash out at Laila, lash at you, at me, names like delusional, pill popper, drunk, and more...And talk about wild yarns and fables..

Remember this, just days before the Vancouver civic election..

Indeed Bill T..You attended the trial everyday, as did Robin Mathews who gets nothing but ridicule from you know who too..

BC Mary and you, writing for years on BC Rail, writing while Von Dongen`s lips were sealed, and you know who`s lips were silent too..

Yes indeed, you didn`t get the luxury of a document dump, but you kept reporting on BC Rail anyway..

And then BC Rail was hijacked into his story, his research, his hardwork, when in fact almost every detail was already revealed by you, BC Mary and Robin Mathews..

Stay classy Bill...Avoid the sewer.

Good Day

Anonymous said...

Tsakumis is a BIG BULLY and he knows it. He can dish it out but, like most bullies, he CANNOT take it. For e.g., see the hissy fit he posted when some twitter users called him out on it.

Anonymous said...

AGT's rants never fail to amaze.

Hang in there guy, you're in good company.

Anonymous said...

Bill's rants never fail to amaze.

Rants from the left and rants from the right.

Do these two ever figure out positive outcomes or is it perpetually complaining about everything except the weather?

Geez, Bill..

and this repeated references to the sad story of Amanda Todd. Let her rest in peace people and stop using her as point example in opinion.

Carole James would have made a pretty good Premier if a few idiots in the NDP did not stab her in the back.

Adrian has too much on the labour left which is going to come back to him very soon after he closes the door on the Premier's Office the first day he gets to use it.

Anonymous said...

Carol James was stabbed in the back by the MSM before the BC NDP decided to choose a new leader. Carol James took a group of journalists (I use the term loosely) up in an airplane to look at the ecological damage the Independent Power Producers are doing to the environment on the mountains here in BC. It was windy so the reporters wound not look out the windows and see the damage that is being done. They slagged Carol James for taking them on such a rough plane ride and ignored the real issue, the damage the IPP's were doing to the environment as well as the high cost the energy is costing BC Hydro and its rate payers.
It was not the NDP that stabbed her in the back, it was the MSM that ignored the issues that she brought forward.

Grant G said...

Carole James had two cracks at an election win..Who gets three cracks?

Yes the media hated Carole James until she was deposed, then they(The Media) found the Carole love..

It`s a non-issue, Carole James is running in her riding, she will be a cabinet minister if the NDP win the election..

There is a difference, Carole James and the NDP WANT to make a social difference, a province where children, workers and family health come first, all families..

Education, health and a little social justice, do you realize that the HST by the time it`s gone will have cost BC consumers $4 billion dollars, $4 billion dollars to the corporate bottom line,....

Just imagine, I`m against the HST in the form it took, all that consumer tax going to big corporations, imagine if that $4 billion dollars went for the people, special ed, disabled, seniors care, but it didn`t, it went to $billion dollar corporations, nothing dropped in price and no one was hired..

Time for a change..

Mike Geoghegan said...

Hi Bill:

I had to block Alex from my facebook account because we got into a debate and when one of his friends posted Geoghegan 1 Tsakumis 0 he went straight into cyber psychosis. I lost all respect for him after that.


e.a.f. said...

I just hate this when some of my favorite bloggers are having a differance of opinion. At some level it is entertainig on another level, not so much. I see most people as having common goals, decent education, clean hospitals, no child poverty, etc. We may differ on how to get there but we have similar goals. I think the task at hand is dealing with the issues, not with each other.

You did just fine complementing the lieberals on the wine thing. It was about time the move was made. for the odd time they do something right it doesn't hurt any one or change their political affiliations to complement the other side.

How some one makes their money is no ones business. Most people have to make a living, & as I used to say when I worked, I do if for the most money possible unless it offends my personal principals or puts me in jail.

As to pictures, gee, there was a time in Canada when oppositing politicians did actually socialize outside of their work places. I don't think in this case pictures mean all that much.

I do enjoy your blogg, read it regularly. The catcha doesn't always work so that restricts my commenting but that maybe just as well.

Anonymous said...

AGT lives in fear of a repeat of 1996.

AGT's been playing a long con ever since the true and rightful heir of the BC Liberals got tossed on his tush.

Every once in a while AGT's True Self emerges in in a hateful spew of smarmy spittle as he shills for his chosen ideologues.

Ain't it so my Darlings?

Not anon DPL said...

Some folks manage to read blogs from all areas of political comment. My gosh I read stuff by Conrad Black now and again. Read the others sides stuff to see what they are thinking about. No different with some of us reading Alex T. The line up here has shifted from the bloggers comments on Alex T. to who loved Carol James the most, James was my MLA and I was quite happy to see the riding shift so I wouldn't have to vote for or against her.10 rodergai

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bill. Funny the AGT doesn't see his own "my way or the highway" act as bullying. Disagree with His Exulted Highness? Prepare for a verbal brow-beating or a tale of his boxing abilities. Sad little egotist. But there is hope - you have to delude yourself into thinking Harper is the second coming of Jesus and all will be good.

kootcoot said...

"How some one makes their money is no ones business."

I disagree, because when one considers how the Campbell/Clark Cabal and their organized criminal organization rob the people of B.C., it should be everyone's business, especially law enforcement. However in our banana republic of a province the purpose of the police is to provide cover for the real capos of organized crime, like Campbell and his cohorts.

No one needs to point out the sheer assholery of the blogger mentioned in the title of this post - he does a perfectly adequate job of illustrating it through his rude, insulting posts and sycophantic and imaginary commenters! I enjoy reading his rants, but realize it is impossible to engage him in rational discussion, his comment thread is for fawning and/or imaginary folks only!

He is interesting to read for an alternate view of history, though his is not as well done as Stephen King's recent time travel/history manipulation novel 11/22/63 - of course Mr. King states clearly out front that his work is fiction, and doesn't pretend otherwise.

But anyone who reads the King of Bloggers even sporadically must realize if he ain't dissing somebody, anyone from Vision, Grant, Laila, the dear late BC Mary, Robin, myself or virtually anyone to the left of Benny who made the trains run on time, he ain't posting. I take that back, because every now and then he dips into the super maudlin, for contrast I presume!

GeeBee007 said...

you sold out Bill - its time for you to man up or get out.

GeeBee007 said...

Bill - you sold out, its simple.

Nothing wrong in taking money for work performed....but taking money from the LIEberals - thats another thing.

Sorry man - you blew it.

Anonymous said...

Bill has done a great deal, for the people of BC.

We all know, Bill attended the Basi/Virk trial

Bill did a stupendous amount of work for us regarding, the fight HST BC. Bill put in hundreds of hours, of his own time.

If Bill feels the NDP, didn't get something right, he says so. Bill doesn't gloss anything over, to make the wrong look right.

kootcoot said...

Aren't some folks, including the "greasy weasel," conflating the BC liaR Party with the BCMA?

Now doctors, tending to be richer than the average manager at MacDonalds, may tend to the political right, after all, conservatism in these folks minds is all about justifying greed as a virtue.......but that still doesn't make the Medical Association an actual part of the BC Liberal Party.

Doctor Day, the rabid cheerleader for privatization of healthcare and the BC Libs are obviously on the same page, but many in the medical professions are actually there because they are interested in "helping" people, believe it or not. The doctors in my little town have been virtually at war with the Inferior Health Authority and their masters in Victoria for over a decade now, and thanks to them I still don't have to travel two or more hours for anything more than an aspirin!
They love and are part of our community!

e.a.f. said...


when I wrote, its no ones business how someone makes their money, I was actually referring to AGT's comments regarding B.T. having a contract with the BCMA.

Of course I don't condon illegal activities or those that impinge on other peoples' rights. As I said I worked for the most money possible as long as it didn't offend my personal prinipals or put me in jail.

what most people choose to do for a living is quite different from what has gone on in B.C. regarding our railroad, child poverty, stupid meters, tolls, etc. Just for the record I don't adhere to the, I was just following orders, routine either.

Anonymous said...

Very disappointed with AGT on this; not a class act response even if he disagrees strongly. I feel that Ms. Yuile and Bill have behaved more professionally. Will be dropping AGT's blog as a result.

Anonymous said...

If the right wing under the Libs or CONS were so great, why are they lingering in loserland?

Grant G said...

Bill T..No explanation required, can`t you see the pattern..

The Straight Goods..Keeping it real..Laila yuile..House of infamy..The Tyee..BC Iconclast..The Conservative blogger Al Forseyth..

BC Mary`s site..Robin Mathews..How bad the record.....

The list is long as to who Alex has attacked, and in my opinion, without cause..

As for the BCMA...Am I wrong, since when did that organization morph into the BC Liberals?..

BC Cancer society, or any charity or any organization that receives money from the BC Government, or BCLC gaming grants are those too BC Liberal owned entities..

And really Bill, who else in the political bloggosphere does these things?..

No one..

I won`t even get into the stories that were lifted from, (without attribution) from The Straight Goods by a certain blogger..

Good Day..

Anonymous said...

I had no idea this Jackie Gleason wannabe even existed 'till about a year ago, and decided to challenge him. With 3 comments, I was blocked.
The man is thin skinned and is in the same realm as Mitt (flip flop) Romney. Hardly worth a second look.
I have long since forgotten this clown.

Anonymous said...

Intresting points.

First the MSM did not stab Carole James in the back. Jenny Kwan and a few others did (it was on TV to see).

Also some blog contributors are profusely thin skinned. They can dish it out like an entree, but can't take it.

As for BIll and the BCMA, he can do what he wants. It's business.

If Bill does the same thing under contract to the NDP government, then it is patronage and porkbarelling.

Anonymous said...

That is a lot of really negative stuff to process Bill. It is really a shame. Please don't take any of it to heart.

Anonymous said...

The point is "if you are paid by the devil you work for the devil".

Mistakes can be fixed.

Advocatus Dei said...

Mr. Tielman:

Don't feel bad about Alex Tsakumis ranting about you.

He ranted about me and my allegedly insane conspiracy theories about water exports - theories that are largely supported by documentation, third party witnesses, affidavit evidence and reasoned inferences from the facts.

Mr. Tsakumis even threatened to launch a lawsuit against me if I ever posted a comment on his pathetic little blog again. I suppose he is afraid of freedom of speech when it doesn't agree with him which is a trait one does not usually expect to encounter in a professional journalist.

I am not certain why he is so opposed the ideas expressed at the Water War Crimes web site.

His fear of those ideas may have something to do with the fact that he once worked for Elwood Veitch and Bill Vander Zalm who were involved in some of the questionable Social Credit shenanigans related to water exports.

His almost pathological hatred of Christy Clark may also be based in his background with those two political scoundrels from a very strange part of BC history that is not fully explained.

John Carten

Anonymous said...

Grant G:

Your statment regarding the BC Cancer Society and others who receive government money being "BC Liberal Owned entities".

Care to square that when grants are available after the NDP becomes government? What happens then? Do these charities become "owned" by the NDP?

Exactly what cite do you have that says any charity is "BC Liberal owned"?

Anonymous said...

Grant G:

You mentioned Carole James got two cracks at an election win. You asked who gets three cracks?

There was Dave Barrett (after his short lived term as Premier). He went on to try again in 1975, 1979 and 1983, and lost each time.

The media did not do Carole James in, Jenny Kwan and a few others did within the NDP.

What the NDP wants and what they will be able to accomplish are two different things may end up being different.

Don't expect the NDP to be able to magically erase all instances of poverty, provide everything for families based on NDP goals.

It simply isn't going to happen.

There was poverty and the DTES was a mess when the NDP was in power, and there will be poverty and the DTES will still be a mess when the NDP assumes power after next year's election.

and "working people"? Give it a rest. Anyone who works for a paycheque is a working person, be it the small store owner, the accountant, the construction worker, the sales person, the bank manager, the engineer, bus driver, even the non union medical lab technician who handles stool samples.

Bill Tieleman said...

Apologies for some delays in posting your comments - seems to be a glitch in my email system.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think AGT just lost about three thousand hits (and a few comments)due to his ego. I really enjoyed hia 'contributions' to the Basi/Virk/BCRail fiasco, but that seems to have waned lately.
So, guess I'll have to go elsewhere for my info. Since he's branded me as a 'lefty', I guess it might as well be here.
Yea, about those so caled 'hits', I guess about half of them are responding to his Challenger/ challenged friends. So long Alex.

Anonymous said...

It's sad that when AGT was just calling Christy Clark a bitch on a daily basis, New Democrats thought that was dandy. They hung out on his blog and said go Alex go.

Now that he is foaming at the mouth about a fellow New Democrat, they have finally woken up to the fact that he is a despicable bully who shouldn't be given the time of day.

Some things should be beyond the pale regardless of political affiliation.

Ron1 said...

You are wise not to get caught up in pissing match with Alex.

He seem to beleive that he can discern the motives and ethics of all who he encounters.

But he does not like to have his own motives and ethics questioned but is quick to judge others.

Turning the other cheek - and refusing to react to bullies - always drives them even madder!

Please continue your valuable work on behalf of BCers who seek a socially just, environmentally sound, and economically sustainable province.-

Anonymous said...

lI posted on the frogs blog,told him that holding my breath for the rest of the bc rail post was not an option he kept saying it's with my lawyers and kept promising week after week any information that opertunist gave us was widely available and given to us years ahead of that fool,I've said it before and here I'll say it again that guy is a trojan horse.

Anonymous said...

Tsakumis insults those who don`t agree with him. It`s his blog-but I don`t bother with anything other than looking at it. No more comments.
Keep up the good wok Bill.

Adrian B. said...

Sad to see all this Bill. Although Tsakumis is a known quantity, people shouldn't be shocked to learn that he's rather mercurial. And it's hard to take his argument very seriously as there's a glaring contradiction in alleging that you're a NDP partisan for what you said in that post, and at the same time you're also somehow secretly a Liberal partisan because of BCMA. These claims are mutually exclusive. And your speculations about the Patton photo are no different than what folks like Mike Smyth have raised which means Tsakumis' whole narrative about this being some sort of convoluted and tendentious Dipper agenda therefore completely collapses.

Frankly, given the actual substance of Tsakumis' attack I think this is more about him having had been annoyed with you on a couple issues for some time, like your role in the James wars, and that has finally manifested itself in his post. That said, if Tsakumis was an intrepid journalist a few days ago on files like BC Rail then it would be still be the case today even if he happened to vociferously lambast somebody (and was in the wrong about it).

RS said...

Keeping score.
As of 6:21 Sunday October 21:
Tsakumis - 181
Tieleman - 36

Just sayin'.

DPL said...

Since when is the BCMA a Liberal Association? I doubt that Alex T. getting dumped by 24 hours was a decision made by Bill Tielman, so it looks like he is striking at someone he used to work with.

Working people have to eat and get work where they can as long as they feel the outfit looking for a communications guy is not a BC Liberal plant. I doubt as well that Bill is suddenly a BC LIberal supporter.

Anonymous said...

Dear Adrian B.

The substance of the claim made by tsakumis is that a person who is paid by a known lobby group cannot be taken as unbiased.

Tskumis then rambles. The ramblings are not the substance.

In truth if Tielman is paid by a lobby group then his positions should be concidered suspect. An honest man will let us know. A leagal man does not have to let us know

Anonymous said...


Wiht the NDP there is not going to be a socially just, environmentally sound, and economically sustainable province, 100% not even half that.

You're dreaming an environmentalist's together with an anti-poverty advocate's dream where everyone is making at least $18.00 an hour, the sky is as clear and sharp as it was 250,000 years ago, and the finances are as balanced as a scientist's scale.

Anonymous said...

To RS Keeping score

I just did my own unscientific count of Mr. T's blog at 184 replies and recorded 40 of those 184 "replies" as being his own replies to others' comments.

More than that, Mr. T's numbers are always suspect because I think some of his replies are his various alter egos talking to him.

Anonymous said...

Does the same thing occur here?

But you're right. It is unscientific.

He does get into the conversation which Bill does not.

Kevin said...

And, the replies are uniformly attacking those who disagree and fellating those regulars who pump that idiot's tires

Grant G said...

The El Bloatted one can`t stop Bill T, he`s foaming at the mouth, today he put out his third post(hate speech) attacking you and everyone else in sight.

One needs a rabies shot just to read his angry words.

Funny though, he defends Harper and never says a discouraging word about.

Internet spying bills, abortion push, religious dogma from the federal cabinet, the FIPPA secret treasonous agreement, cuts to coast guards, radar stations, name calling and threats from Joe Oliver..Jason Kenney.

How do you spell..


Anonymous said...

How does one spell hypocrite?

B.. C.. N.. D.. P...

Anonymous said...

Until AGT pulls his head out of, let's call it, Harperfantasyland, he has boom all credibility.No objectivity, just quiet cheerleading. Sad, because he can be a good read, but he's an epic failure and shows the same crap he whines about.

Anonymous said...

Haven't seen any objectivity here either.

Not anon DPL said...

Time to change the record as anon is doing her / his bit to dump on the NDP.

Anonymous said...

and so DPL figures everything to do with the NDP is 100% perfect in everyone's mind.

So DPL, what is wrong with being critical of the NDP? Are they some kind of "no go"? Something not be critical of?

They are already being hypocrites as NDP back room hacks are starting to line up for lucrative lobbying positions.

Sounds hypocritical since you and others were complaining exactly that coming from the BC Liberals.

There's going to be far more hypocrisy coming from the NDP, you can bet your oldest edition of The Democrat on that one.

Grant G said...

Federal cons condone civil disobedience when it comes to their religious dogma, a womans body belongs to Government, that is indeed Stephen Harper`s beliefs..

Yes indeed, give medals to repeat law breakers currently serving time in jail.

Remember that Harper when we block Enbridge through people power or civil disobedience.

What did Bay street hedge fund manager Joe Oliver call us?

Radicals, environmental terrorists...

That is why El Bloatto is a hypocrite..

John Cummins is Herman Munster and leader of the God Squad but Harper is a Saint..


Unknown said...

So Bill are you going to be sending Alex flowers for giving you all this nonstop publicity and attention on his blog, with its vast readership and the hits spilled over to here? And wow, according to Alex you're the hidden hand behind every major political event that's ever happened in British Columbia. That's very flattering of him to say--and just in time too: tickets are still available for the Tyee's Masterclass Series with Bill Tieleman, buy now while supplies last!

Anonymous said...

Well Bill here does have a rather lengthy record.

Glen Clark, Adrian Dix, Geoff Meggs, probably Mike Harcourt
many others.

civic and federal..

He's an NDPer's NDPer.

Anonymous said...

Tsakumis knows a fair bit about BC politics and does some good stuff. But this doesn't take away from the fact that he is an egotistical blowhard who blusters and browbeats people and then throws a fit when someone disagrees with him and gives him a browbeating.

Then when you continue to present solid evidence that destroys his position (which he can't support with any evidence..he just states his opinion and calls anyone disagreeing an idiot) he silences the poster by blocking them from his blog. He can't stand been shown to be wrong on something. It show's a distinct lack of maturity and class. He's like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum. Too bad because the stuff he has done to expose the useless christy clark has been good.