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

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The view from high elevation

Meeker on Media sets of another war of words, or, more specifically, War of That One Particular Word. Among the many battles in the war is an interesting mano a mano between Craig Westcott (The Business Post, etc.) and David Cochrane (CBC):

Craig Westcott from St. John's, Newfoundland writes: What is unfortunate is that the mainstream media, especially CBC, hasn't taken [the Premier] to task on this long pattern of coercion.

David Cochrane from St. Johns, Newfoundland writes: You are so right Westcott. We are all a pack of quivering little toadies afraid to ask the Great Leader (tm) any questions. If only you bothered to show up to a scrum or a new conference to show us how real journalists do their job. […] How is the view from your high horse? Does the thin air at that elevation make you light headed? I'm guessing it does.

Unfortunately for Cochrane, some of his comments, said in an obviously sarcastic tone, come a little too close, a little too often, to the truth.

On the day of Our Dear Infrastructure Announcement, one broadcast journalist (not Cochrane) filed the following fawning-to-the-point-of-embarrasing report, which is reproduced here verbatim, though with a few identifying details left out:

The Premier, flanked by Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy and Transportation Minister Trevor Taylor has announced some eight hundred million dollars in infrastructure spending to create jobs and counter any possible negative impact from the waning global economy. The Premier says despite the federal government’s attempt to suppress growth and prosperity by going against signed agreements, we WILL be masters of our own destiny and pump millions of dollars into lasting infrastructure spending, resulting in thousands of person-years in jobs. The Premier says every part of the province will benefit, with major investments in transportation, health, education, and municipal infrastructure. None of that of course includes the benefits that will accrue from projects like Hebron and Nalcor’s investment in the Lower Churchill Development.

[Emphasis added to reflect the reporter’s tone of voice.]

And this, on the same day that all the way across the Province and Labrador, the other end of this media announcement was about to generate rather more skeptical hard-news reporting, quotes from incredulous members of the general public, admissions from officials of the recycled nature of the announcments, and a markedly Premier-negative editorial.

There are more than a few regulars at the scrums, pressers, and avails who could re-learn, or even learn, a thing or two.


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