"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A tale of two moving violations

Since Cellphonegate first blew up three weeks ago, the carefully-choreographed VOCM callers, the anonymous or pseudonymous internet commenters, and Peter Whittle, who naturally has no connections at all to the other two, have been using a similar argument to try and downplay it:
The Premier of British Columbia got less attention for a DUI in Hawaii a
few years ago.

Of course, such an argument really does nothing to mitigate the inherent political and personal problem that a Premier, with a growing reputation for being arrogant and considering himself everyone else's rules, and whose government is trying to convince the rest of Canada to adopt the same cellphone law, is faced with.

So what if Gordon Campbell did something worse? It doesn't make what Danny did any better.

And that argument — that poor Danny is getting a worse ride than Gordon Campbell — would still be flawed even if it were true, which it is not.

Punching the Boolean search phrase:
"Danny Williams" AND (cellphone OR "Cell phone")
into a couple of handy-dandy media search tools, yields 68 hits, from across Newfoundland and Labrador, the country, and around the world, in the past 22 days since the first media report (not including the VOCM call that triggered it all.)

Now plugging in
"Gordon Campbell" AND (DUI OR impaired OR "under the influence" OR Drunk)
and you get 2170 hits — and that's without accounting for duplicates such as wire stories which appeared more or less simultaneously in multiple news outlets. And yes, this is over the same 22-day span of time following Campbell's Hawaii arrest being made public on January 10, 2003.

So, if you're keeping track, Liz, you'll note that Gordon Campbell, and quite rightfully so, got 32 times the media saturation Danny did, and a mug-shot to boot.

Conversely, Danny Williams, quite rightfully, got just 1/32 — a half of a half of a half of a half of a half — of the degree of media humiliation that Campbell did in the first three weeks of his driving scandal.

Nice try, though.


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