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Sunday, February 15, 2004

The Shoot-out at Cross Country Check Up

This afternoon, CBC's Cross Country Check Up and Paul Martin Junior's ventriloquists put Junior in the ring with Rex Murphy and a mob of indignant taxpayers. Murphy tries for a knockout - he baits the tantrum-prone plutocrat - he hopes Junior will stomp out of the program in mid-stream. With no preliminary sparing, Rex pummels Junior unmercifully, puts the boots to him, then turns him over to the taxpayers. Taxpayer after taxpayer scolds and insults and asks unanswerable questions. Junior fidgets, shifts his eyes, ah-ah-ah's, crimsons. Only five Martin shills get through Murphy's phone screeners. Martin repeats, time after time, "I want to get back to important matters, education and health (Has he forgotten about his many years as a director of Imperial Tobacco?)." "Postpone the next election," crys caller after caller. The scolds, insults, embarrassing questions keep coming. Martin tries to throw up meaningless smokescreens: "In Canada there are three levels of Government - Municipalities are best." "David Suzuki is a great guy." "The Auditor General does a tremendous job." "The Westray Mine disaster was an example of accountability [sic]." "My dad was a wonderful fellow". After two hours, Martin protests, "I welcome this kind of examination because people have got to know whether or not their Prime Minister is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook. If I knew anything, I'll resign" At the end, Martin refuses to shake Rex's hand.

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