Is there a trend here?
Look at things over the long term, and you start to see a pattern:
* Former Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney is accused of an improper relationship with German-Canadian businessman Karl-Heinz Schreiber in the 1990s and immediately alleges that it's a plot by the Liberals and the CBC, in part, to do him in. It takes about a decade to get past the blame-the-messenger business and have a public inquiry called into the whole affair.
* During a Commons committee hearing last fall into this controversy, a Liberal MP asks Mulroney if he has held meetings with then-Industry Minister Maxime Bernier to discuss the auction of wireless-telephone airwaves. This line of questioning gets totally sidetracked when a CBC reporter is accused of planting those questions with the Liberals. The CBC reporter is reassigned, the Conservatives cry victory and it isn't until months later we get past the blame-the-messenger business to learn there was some substance to the questioning (Globe and Mail article, requires subscription).
* This week, the RCMP raids the Conservative party headquarters and the government alleges a Liberal-CBC plot once again. Conservatives ask: how did the CBC get tipped to the presence of RCMP officers at the Albert St. building? They want to know: how did the Liberals get there with video cameras so quickly? (Dion and Liberal aides say they got the tip through sources close to their office televisions. They saw Susan Bonner's report and ran over, as we at the Star did too.)
Presumably, if the pattern holds, we'll get past this blame-the-messenger noise as well, to focus on the substance of the Conservative dispute with Elections Canada.
And a couple of other, related updates:
* We now know that the announcement of Gen. Rick Hillier's resignation was pushed up a day - it was supposed to come Wednesday, the general told CanWest columnist Don Martin, but it was evidently rushed out on Tuesday to push the raid to the sidelines of the news agenda. See Martin's interview with CBC Newsworld's Don Newman (video available for seven days after Tuesday's broadcast) for a bit of insight into how he ended up talking to Hillier in advance of the announcement. Kudos to the Conservatives if that was the plan - many newspapers, including the Star, played up the Hillier story at the expense of the story on the raid.
* Also on Tuesday night, as the wild news day wound down, CTV held a large, swanky party in Ottawa to mark 50 years of local broadcasting. It was a wildly successful party, with an open bar and A-list guests. The Prime Minister and a large group of Conservatives attended. It seems doubtful that a similar, CBC gathering would have the same kind of draw in Ottawa these days. Of course, it would also be inappropriate for the taxpayer-financed broadcaster to host a similarly lavish gathering.