The sorry state of the Fourth Estate
Danny Williams' main failing, one from which most of the others derive, is that he casts aspersions onto others that they have bad intentions or character flaws which, whether they possess them or not, Williams himself possesses.
In simple terms: he projects.
Two of the most glaring recent examples are his accusation that Stephen Harper is intent on “punishing” the province for political reasons:
“I don’t think that’s the way a prime minister should operate. If he thinks he’s punishing us by giving funds to New Brunswick, I’m not going to play that game. The childishness doesn’t become a prime minister.”And his constant, repetitive (great talking points, Liz!) accusation about how the opposition is
“negative”, “non-constructive”, “mudslinging”, engaged in “innuendo” and “personal attacks”.As for the first aspersion, the Normore Affair blew that one out of the water, despite Danny’s protestations to the contrary:
“This is not the way we operate. There’s not a question of any district paying at all for not being a government seat,” Williams said, adding that he was “very annoyed.”It should, and could, have already been easily blown out of the water by a critical look at his government’s own spending record. As noted before, this is the Williams Administration’s very partisan pattern for one major program, the Provincial Roads Improvement Program, and the district-by-district breakdown for 2007:
“It hasn’t been the pattern or the policy of this government to punish districts. I saw too much of that during the years when I wasn’t in politics and just standing back as an observer,” he offered.
Remember the Labradore dictum: NOT(X) = X.
When Danny says, “This is not the way we operate. There’s not a question of any district paying at all for not being a government seat... It hasn’t been the pattern or the policy of this government to punish districts,” it is almost worth taking to the bank that it IS the way “we” operate, it is the way districts “pay”, and it has been the pattern of the government to “punish”.
Both of these Danny double-standards — accusing the federal government of meting out political punishment, when his own government openly engages in the practice, and accusing others of mudslinging when he is the late undefeated champion slinger of mud, inside the House and out — were encapsulated nicely in an NTV report from the dying days of the campaign:
Danny encountered what the NTV reporter described as "one dissenter who accused the Premier of favouring Tory districts road reporters"
WILLIAMS: Are you kiddin'? We're after spending $66-million —Right then and there, in any real democracy, with any real journalists present; perhaps in response to any real war-room Crackberry messages from a real opposition campaign, but hopefully the real journalists would figure out things for themselves; questions would immediately be flagged by said real journalists:
DISSENTER: Sure you have, where at though —
WILLIAMS: — $66-million —
DISSENTER: — in your own districts.
WILLIAMS: — no no no no no no no —
DISSENTER: Jesus, Joey Smallwood before he died, he —
WILLIAMS: You're obviously a big Liberal, because —
DISSENTER: No, I'm not a big Liberal, don't talk so foolish
WILLIAMS: — there's nothing further from the truth.
DISSENTER: You're so far back in the ****ing woods you can't even —
WILLIAMS: — $66-million —
DISSENTER: — see the tops of the tall trees.
WILLIAMS: Mark your "X" for "Eddiot"! Good luck to ya.
DISSENTER: Good luck to ya', you're a bigger bluff than Santy Claus.
WILLIAMS: And he wears red, too!
WILLIAMS SUPPORTERS: Right on, Danny! Right on, Danny!
Hmmm... I wonder, is there any truth to the man’s accusation that the Premier favours government districts in road funding? And “Eddiot”? Whatever became of the Premier’s deeply-held concerns about “negative, non-constructive, mudslinging, innuendo, personal attacks”.
In that one clip, Our Dear Premier blatantly lied — denying, with seven no’s, the easily factually-rebuttable accusation of partisan favouritism — and engaged in exactly the type of behaviour that he supposedly disparages when it is engaged in by others, towards himself.
It is disgraceful enough that Our Dear Premier engages in such lies and hypocrisy.
It is far more disgraceful that no faces for TV, no voices for radio, and no ink-stained wretches ever seem to call the lying hypocrite out on it. Not even in the middle, or at the tail end, of an election campaign.