Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Smart Affair....The Media Closes Ranks

(Google-Cache Screen Shot Of The State-Of-Play, Monday Jan 23rd @ 9pm)


On Saturday, CBC British Columbia British Columbia's news division let it be known that it plans to ignore its own Ombudsman's ruling regarding the potential for its Legislative Bureau Chief, Mr. Stephen Smart, to be placed in a conflict of interest due to the fact that his wife is the Deputy Press Secretary for the Premier, Ms. Christy Clark.

And what did we hear from the rest of the proMedia on Monday?

Why, as many may have predicted after Messr's Good, Palmer and Baldrey ran up the 'Close Ranks, Immediately!' flag on Friday, it was nothing but....


In fact, the only proMedia type who had anything to say after the VSun's Andrea Woo reported that CBC-BC was going to tell their Ombudsman, Kirk Lapointe, to take a hike was Charlie Smith, who wrote two insightful analysis pieces here and here in the Georgia Strait.

But, then again, we already knew that Charlie, who has called out the proMedia for their cozy and potentially conflicty speaker fees in the past (as blogger Norman Farrell discusses here), is not a member of 'The Club'.


And, for the record, Andrew MacLeod's piece in The Tyee, while worth reading, does not count as it was written in the wake of Mr. Lapointe's ruling on Mr. Smart's potential for conflictyness but before CBC-BC told Mr. Lapointe to put his hikin' boots on.
And who knew that.....In addition to once being the VSun's editor that Mr. Lapointe is currently a blogger of sorts....For reals.
A couple of weeks ago I ran up a podcast wherein my central thesis was that, at the height of the darkest of dark days down south during the middle of the presidency of George Bush Jr., Left Blogistan was the only place to find vibrant analysis that actually mattered....Here and now, in Lotusland, especially now that Sean Holman's site is shuttered, I'm starting to feel that the blogs, with all their warts, are now fulfilling that niche almost completely (and I'm not just talking the left-side here, I am seeing good stuff from all points along the continuum)....Now, please, do not misunderstand me - I am not talking about reportage here, where the proMedia still leads by miles...Instead, I am talking about reasoned, in-depth, non-pablumized analysis of the reams of important material that is already in the public domain....OK?



G West said...

Do you have contact info for Johnny Michel?

Ian said...

Craig McInness' op-ed in the Sun this morning will burn your eyes. Reminds me of the Washington Times under Bush.

That it sits next to a probably Rebecca Scott written "Christy Clark" op-ed takes the cake.

My favourite quote is when he says "Contrary to popular opinion, journalists are not locked in a constant struggle to bring down the government of the day".

No way! Not coming from the Sun!

Actually, the best way to describe the Sun is "a paper that's been locked in a constant eleven year struggle to not bring down the government of the day."

A pathetic article in a pathetic paper.

spartikus said...

While I concur with the sentiments - the Sun is indeed a pathetic, pathetic newspaper - I do see rays of light in the local professional. While they continue to publish the execrable Wente (I'm not too fond of Gary Mason either), the Globe continues to put out good stuff in this observer's opinion. Example with good dig at Calgary Herald here.

Oh, you have to ignore the Editorial page too.

I'm sorta kinda trying to make a point but I'm not sure I fully believe LOL

RossK said...


No, I do not.



Aaaaarrghh, do I have to head over to read the apologia?.....I wrote this piece last night (monday) and was busy working all day (tuesday), so I'll get to it (maybe)....And, to your larger point...is it really their struggle 'not to bring down the government of the day' or are they actually doing their heckfire and brimstone darndest to 'prop up the government of the day'?



I don't disagree, about half the time (like with MHume's piece yesterday about the muzzling of Gov't scientists), but then the other half of the time even the best of them (JHunter, for example) will pull back and flirt with stenography as was the case with the KFalcon 'I can balance it' because I have read the tea leaves and I think the Americans are now Jammin' Econo or some such 'ignore NatGas prices at all costs!' thingy from yesterday.

Regardless, even if we agree that the Globe's Lotusland bureau is, on balance, a plus compared to the others round here (which isn't too hard, right?), in my opinion you still have to avoid, in addition to their OpEd pages, the work of their Gossip Columnist-In-Chief.

(or at least laugh your head off that the work of the latter - hit link above, for example)


G West said...

Too bad, this is one of the cases where, since I already complained to CBC about the fact they'd left Smart covering the legislature, I think it's time to send a personal note to the person who's apparently made the decision to keep him there - the Ombudsman notwithstanding.


BC Mary said...

Gotta say: my personal guess is that the big boys in the Federal government who write the annual cheque for our Public Broadcaster are letting this Smart issue simmer to their benefit.

What better way to subtly promote anger directly against the CBC which, as we all know, The Guy Who Keeps His Hair In The Fridge wants to destroy. Buskurd.

Soon (if we aren't supportive of CBC, already struggling under serial cutbacks) we'll have to take on the feds over the Steven Smart issue too. And clap our old friend (ha!) Kirk Lapointe on the back for the principled stand he has taken. THAT, in itself, tells the whole story -- from Kirk's impossible snarky days as Big-Time Editor of Vancouver Sun to (what I hope is) the real human who was chosen most recently by CBC to adjudicate a question of ethics. And came out on the side of ethics.

Because it's important.

Without the Public Broadcaster, we'd soon become the homeland of Rupert Murdoch's revitalized News of the World, somewhat to the far right of Republican-ville.