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After APTN’s broadcast last week, Kevin Annett’s career as a fraud is pretty-much over now. They did an excellent piece on Annett, exposed many of his lies, and interviewed some of his victims. I helped with this story- sharing my research with APTN’s Todd Lamirande back in July. My favourite part of the story was when Frank Miller explained how the bones that Annett said he “discovered” smelled like rotting flesh- despite the fact they were supposed to be over 50 years old. Annett is a very sick man.
It took a very long time for people from the Toronto Media Co-Op (TMC) and Rabble.ca to accept the fact Annett is a con-artist. This is probably because of embarrassment- both publications promoted Annett’s cause in the past. But, now that the truth is out there, it appears that people from both publications have been back-peddling. That said, neither have published a retraction- that would be the honourable thing to do, so we shouldn’t expect it from them…
Rabble.ca, founded by Judy Rebick has a significant amount of information promoting Annett on their website. Is this is a curious coincidence? I ask that because Rebick promoted Annett’s book last year. Her close colleague at Ryerson University, Winnie Ng did too. I posted a video of Ryerson’s Lynn Lavallee reading a letter singing praise over Annett’s ‘work’.
Rabble’s Krystalline Kraus (who is close with Rebick) was also involved in promoting Annett’s scam. She published an article promoting Annett’s book signing- the article was full of (obviously unresearched) praise. If you still have doubts about Kraus’ lack of professionalism- the following line from her article says it all:
“Last April he performed an exorcism rite in St. Peter’s Square, which was followed 12 hours later by a tornado – almost unprecedented in that time and place – which devastated central Rome and the Vatican.”
Yep, Kraus actually published an article in Rabble stating that Annett performed an exorcism that caused damage to the Vatican! You can’t make this kind of stuff up folks…
TMC’s coverage wasn’t much better but, at least, they avoided discussing magical exorcisms- still, it was pretty dismal. Their reporter, Megan Kinch, interviewed Annett when he came to Occupy Toronto. Despite the fact he was walking around waving bones around in his hands (vital evidence if the story was true) completely bypassed her ‘journalistic’ radar. Rather than question him on how it was both disrespectful and reckless for Annett to be waving around the bones, she instead threw softball questions at him- not one single critical question was asked.
Kevin Annett was a topic of discussion on the Occupy/Decolonize Toronto Facebook page on Sunday. It was an interesting conversation- the truth has been exposed, and the rats are busy trying to scurry off of the ship. The problem is that they only seem to be further exposing themselves.
Darryl Richardson of TMC made the first interesting comment- apparently, he claims to be the person who invited Annett to speak at Occupy Toronto:
Interesting, isn’t it? What sort of a ‘journalist’ would listen to someone tell a story like this without their bullshit meter going off on full? A reporter for TMC obviously…
Considering how Darryl and TMC both claim to be knowledgeable and supporting of indigenous people, his answer is beyond ridiculous- most people I know who read this feel that Richardson was trying to weasel out of a tight space. Because, what sort of a journalist would think this way? Didn’t Richardson watch Poltergeist? If he did, he’d understand that indigenous people are very serious about respecting the bones of their ancestors.
Also, any journalist worth their salt would later call the women at Kanata and ask them if waving around the bones was acceptable- wouldn’t they? Personally, the moment I saw that video, I took my findings to an indigenous woman who was involved- that’s part of what got the ball rolling to get Annett kicked out of Kanata. But, obviously, respecting the memories of lost children wasn’t so important to Richardson.
Krystalline Kraus joined the conversation with an equally revealing set of posts:
Okay, so on the surface, it seems that Kraus had a more sensible reaction to Annett waving around the bones. That said, what she is saying doesn’t calculate. If she thought that Annett was “waving around the bones like a crazy man” then why didn’t she say something? And, considering she self-identifies as an “intrepid reporter”, why didn’t she dig into the issue later and write a story about this abuse?
Also notice how she starts trying to steer the conversation to lower the pressure on Richardson saying “Did you feel pressured?”. I have the same question for Kraus- did she feel pressured not to expose the fraud in fear of upsetting Judy Rebick?
Next, Richardson chimes in with another very revealing statement- it seems he may have trapped himself in a lie:
This is interesting on several issues. First, after I edited and re-published this video on YouTube, Richardson claimed to be the copyright owner and filed a complaint with them against me. So, was Richardson lying to YouTube? Well, perhaps not…
Rabble.ca re-published the audio track of the video on December 28, 2011 (long after Kraus stated she thought something was wrong with Annett). In it, Dan Kellar (of Alex Hundert’s violent anarchist group [email protected]) states that Richardson did, indeed, film the video. So, which is it? We’ll probably never know- either way, it’s all very telling of the quality of reporting one finds with Rabble and TMC. Caveat lector…
So, were Rabble & TMC part of the problem? I’d say so- both gave enthusiastic support to Kevin Annett’s fraud, both had reporters who saw (in-person) Annett irresponsibly waving the bones around, and both totally neglected to investigate afterwards. This is rather embarrassing, don’t you think?
But, it’s over now, so who cares- right?
Well, it isn’t quite over. First, Annett’s fraud is still creating great division with the people of the Six Nations- there are still people there who believe that Annett was telling the truth. And, next, Annett is still conning people off of the reserve- he’s still regularly broadcasting videos and lying about the situation. And, just last week, Annett’s partner announced this story was true on a Global TV broadcast on PressTV.
If you search TMC on Google, you will still find 85 pages that cover Kevin Annett. And, if you search Rabble.ca, you will find a whopping 675 results. Annett is still at-large, telling his lies to people- the fact that all these links exist (without any retractions) is only helping him further his fraud.
This is a disgrace. Considering how much damage Annett has done to indigenous communities- why haven’t they written a retraction yet? Isn’t it important to them to protect others from Annett. Both Rabble and TMC claim to be advocates for Canada’s indigenous people- but, from their response to the Annett affair, it appears to me that it is more important to them to ‘save face’ than to protect the people who they claim to support.
Canadian indigenous people should pay attention to what’s happening here. It seems to me that Rabble & TMC aren’t necessarily working on their behalf- rather, they appear to be happy that Annett has caused all of this division in Kanata. Perhaps I’m wrong about this- but, their lack of a retraction is rather troubling…