It would appear that the Dean of the legislative press gallery, Vaughn Palmer, was taken aback as he watched ('from the sidelines') an exchange between opposition leader John Horgan and the Province's Michael Smyth:
...Horgan has been mostly cool and methodical since assuming the New Democratic Party leadership last year. But he confesses to having a quick temper and sometimes in the past he’s lost it when dealing with reporters on what he regards as unfair coverage.
Witness what happened Monday when the scrum moved on to asking him about that bit of political performance art the B.C. Liberals staged in the legislature last week on the hydroelectric dam at Site C on the Peace River.
Horgan was not in the house for the debate on the motion — which the NDP opposed — claiming he had business elsewhere. Nor was he present the following day when Premier Christy Clark taunted the Opposition by rattling off a long list of similar projects the party had also opposed.
So the reporters’ questions were valid. But, as I watched from the sidelines, Horgan betrayed increasing exasperation as each one, no matter how politely phrased, came his way.
What did Horgan think of the premier’s pitch for Site C? “If I could read her mind I would be horrified,” he returned. “If you are just playing a game, which is what she is doing, then you are wasting time and you are wasting energy.”
Did Horgan dispute the premier’s list of projects his party opposed?
“What’s to dispute? Mike,” he fired back at Mike Smyth, the Province columnist. “I appear to be responsible for every sin of every New Democrat who’s walked the earth and she’s not responsible for what came out of her mouth yesterday.”
Horgan named projects he did support, including two mines and adding new turbines on the existing Revelstoke and Mica dams.
“This isn’t an ideological divide,” he continued. “It’s her making politics and mischief and I know that suits well with your column and go ahead.”
Voice rising, the NDP leader challenged the columnist to write about Hydro repeatedly missing the mark in forecasting energy needs. “Don’t you think that is more interesting to readers of your column?”...
Mr. Palmer then goes on state that challenging a journalist to 'change the subject' is rarely an 'effective technique in news management'.
To which I reply, most emphatically....
And/or who gives a flying fiddle-faddle.
Because, I for one, do want Mess'rs Palmer and Smyth and their ilk to actually do their bloody jobs and write about the substance of these matters rather than the faux-swordplay of Ms. Clark and her minions that is taking place on bedding sprinkled with sparkle pony toe nail clippings that litters the fainting couch where no journalist shall ever be called out by a 'prickly' politician.
I want them to find out, as Merv Adey asked on the Twittmachine this morning, what the actual business case for Site C is?
I want them to find out why, exactly, that case, and others of import not being put before the BCUC?
And, while we're at it, what, exactly, will our Hydro rates be over the next five years as our future obligations to the very finest of the fine folks holding all those IPP contracts approach $100 billion?
Why do I want the proMedia club members to actually write about stuff that matters?
Because stuff that matters actually does.
To all British Columbians, whether they know it or not.
(and how can they know it if folks like Palmer, Smyth and Baldrey et al. don't tell them about it)
The 'Club'?....Ian Reid, back when he was still kickin' and givin' 'em a lickin', wrote about it awhile back.