Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Behold the infinite power of the press....

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Apparently, all we have to do is complain about something, and it's obliterated from the face of the earth. Well, not exactly, but the Free Press has performed at least one important public service in this campaign by whining.Last week, after being ambushed several times by a loud and incredibly cheery campaign theme song on the PC Manitoba web site, the author took the opportunity to complain to a senior campaign staffer. She told me to turn down the speakers on my computer. But then, the next day....No more song! Actually, the pleasant ditty has been removed and placed in the site's "multimedia" section. Apparently, we weren't the only ones to complain about it. Still, behold our AWESOME POWER!****I took some lumps from CBC honcho Cecil Rosner for my snotty comments about how the great and powerful Free Press is the only media outlet to assign reporters full time to all three major campaigns. Rosner correctly pointed out that CBC pays to staff reporters in Brandon, The Pas and Thompson. Not even the Free Press can say that. And although Rosner it does not make good economic sense for TV to staff every weekend, they have been making an effort to staff the first couple of weekends of the campaign.My earlier comments were an effort to focus on the tradition (outmoded?) of assigning reporters to follow leaders for the duration of the campaign. The FP is still the last outlet in Manitoba to do that. But credit for broader coverage is due, well, where credit is due. CBC does indeed get around.****They call the north "Orange Dog" country because the NDP dominate provincial politics there. But does that mean the Tories shouldn't visit northern ridings at all? I can't say for sure they WON'T visit the north, but I'm watching very carefully to see if the Tories do. In 2003, the Tories didn't go up north for a lot reasons, including the fact they had about $12 to run their campaign. But if you want to be premier, you ought to be visiting ridings you can win and ridings you can't win. Keep tuned.-30-

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About Dan Lett

Dan Lett came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school.

Despite the fact that he’s originally from Toronto and has a fatal attraction to the Maple Leafs, Winnipeggers let him stay.

In the following years, he has worked at bureaus covering every level of government – from city hall to the national bureau in Ottawa.

He has had bricks thrown at him in riots following the 1995 Quebec referendum, wrote stories that helped in part to free three wrongly convicted men, met Fidel Castro, interviewed three Philippine presidents, crossed several borders in Africa illegally, chased Somali pirates in a Canadian warship and had several guns pointed at him.

In other words, he’s had every experience a journalist could even hope for. He has also been fortunate enough to be a two-time nominee for a National Newspaper Award, winning in 2003 for investigations.

Other awards include the B’Nai Brith National Human Rights Media Award and nominee for the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism.

Now firmly rooted in Winnipeg, Dan visits Toronto often but no longer pines to live there.

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