Monday, November 22, 2010

Vaughn Palmer's Fever Swamp Cryptology Conspiracy Theory


Because I'm not an insider, I have absolutely no idea what's really going on behind the scenes in the upper echelons of the BC NDP.

And, because critical analysis of the non-horse race kind by folks who are not party-associated has been almost entirely lacking, I have not been able to generate an informed opinion about whether Carole James should stay or go as the BC NDP party leader.

I do, however, know that the NDP 'council' made up of party insiders voted overwhelmingly to support Ms. James over the weekend.

But here's the thing......

Party councils don't have to face an irate and fed-up public day after day after day.

And they sure as heckfire don't have to face the voting part of that irate public every four years or so.

And neither, not to put too fine a point on it, do British Columbia's (supposedly) elite proMedia pundits.

Which is why I found the following comment about the 13 apparently anti-Jamesian NDP MLAs from that most elite member of the proMedia punditocracy, the Vancouver Sun's Vaughn Palmer, bizarre in the extreme:

".....They are also, in combination, an amateurish and evasive lot, whose clumsy interactions with the news media Friday and Saturday left the impression that either they don't know what they are doing or aren't prepared to share their intentions with anyone other than their own cult-like supporters. Try to imagine a political party run by the cryptic, feverish folks who contribute to blogs and you'd have some sense of the challenge of making sense of the group and its agenda -- presuming it is a group and does have an agenda....."


There you have it.....

If you are amateurish and evasive when you interact with pro pundits who have proven, based on repeated past performance, that they will screw you over royally for no good reason at all, you are nothing but a crazy, secretive supporter of the great unwashed who lurk in the fever swamps. As a result, you have no business whatsoever getting uppity about anything because you will not get the support of the Dean and/or his loyal followers....errrrr....faculty.

Or, put another way, if you are not silky proMedia smooth you will never be taken seriously.


All of which has me wondering if Mr. Palmer would speak favourably of, say, Attila the Hun if the latter were to suddenly surface with a slick media strategy and a few hundred PAB-Bots in tow that could keep him and his supplied with the finest inside information at all times.

You know......

Finest-of-the-fine inside information that cryptic members of the fever swamps and the public know nothing of, and care even less about, because it does not affect them in their daily lives.

If you get my most pointed (not to mention feverish) drift.


Interestingly, perhaps because he had no vaunted editor looking over his shoulder given that the quote above was part of a post to his proMedia VSun 'Blog', Mr. Palmer appears (based on the comments) to have originally referred to the denizens of the swamps as 'boggers'.....Ha!



Grant G said...

I saw that boggers word yesterday Ross...I just clicked your link and the "bogger" word is gone..Edited out..

By the way, I had to look up Bogger...It`s a swamp vehicle, a marsh riding vehicle..

Anonymous said...

for the love of everything we hold dear, Vaughn is a blogger/bogger himself, courtesy of the those who hold the reins above his head and can clearly see people love the way, this blogger just went national,courtesy of the Globe and Mail... ;)

Dana said...

There are no reasons to take seriously anything published in either the Sun or Province.

They are *only* useful for discovering what the privileged are doing to attempt to protect themselves.

Full stop.

Norm Farrell said...

I'm trying to figure out who in the blog world hereabouts is 'cryptic', other than Ross occasionally, particularly with obscure music references.

I might attach 'fevered' to one or two at times but Vaughn hasn't felt passion for his subjects in years, perhaps other than when he cashes a cheque from Corus or for one of the speaking gigs that reward him for holding the correct views.

Funny is it not that the MSM only mentions blogging commentators to insult them, never to admit that they are providing alternative points of view that the pros don't approve. Some bloggers also have a record of pointing out mistakes made by writers like Palmer. He does not appreciate that attention.

Tony Martinson said...

I am mostly just fed up by snideness, no matter where it comes from. I don't mind commentators calling people on their own foolishness, but the air of smug superiority - and we get it from Palmer, Baldrey, Leyne, Good and even Holman (thankfully not from Willcocks) - is hard to stomach. The Palmer quote you cited is just the latest example of the 'they'resostupid' mentality that is not only disrespectful, but frankly debases the public dialogue.

paul said...

Thanks, Tony Martinson. I appreciate the comment.
I am actually a great Vaughn Palmer fan. When I'm out of touch for a while and come back to the province, I read Palmer's columns to find out what has happened. He's informed, smart and brings a great sense of decency and ethics to the work.
But every reader is entitled/required to judge bloggers and journalists alike based on their work.

Tony Martinson said...

Paul, I have no doubt that Palmer is all of those things. I actually think that most of the commentators we read in daily newspapers, see on TV and hear on radio, are pretty bright folks. That's kind of my point. I may disagree profoundly with them, but I would never make the kind of sneering comments that Palmer made or that Smyth or Leyne (or especially Fletcher) make. We'd all be better off if ideologically or political opposed individuals would be less inclined to think of their opposite as stupid, n'est pas?

paul said...

I agree entirely. Among other things the push to characterize those who disagree as stupid or malicious makes it much harder to build agreement where there is common ground and leads to destructively polarized politics.

G West said...

Y'know, a week ago I happened to be in the Fairfield Thrifty's store doing the family's weekly shopping.

My wife elbowed me as we came up to the checkout and pointed at a customer who was doing the same thing in the next lane.
'That's Vaughn Palmer isn't it?' she said.

And sure enough it was.

I watched the little fella corral his groceries from the cart onto the service belt and I noticed just exactly how uncomfortable and clumsy he looked. IN fact, he seemed to be utterly incapable of having even a casual conversation with the clerk who was checking out his groceries.

This in not a may who should talk about anyone being cryptic or amateurish.

This is a man who is extremely uncomfortable in his own skin.

This is a man perfectly capable of being snide and vindictive, someone who'd be entirely capable of pushing an agenda.

RossK said...

Thanks everybody.

I know Mr. Palmer does good work, and I know he works hard....It's just that there appears to be this creeping 'inside-the-beltway' kind of insular thing happening that I find very disturbing in a David Broderish kind of way...

And GW--

I dunno....If anybody watched me at the supermarket going back and forth trying to decide what kind of cereal to buy this particular time (sometimes it takes me 15 minutes to decide there is so much choice and sensory overload) they might be worried about what's going down and call somebody....And as for the checkout stand...Do you think I can ever remember which way the bloody debit card should be swiped or what our stupid membership number is (or even under which phone number it is registered).....Sheesh.