Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Dean Of What, Exactly?


In his report on the first day of the new legislative session, the V Sun's Vaughn Palmer went through a litany of apparent 'he said/she said' arguments raised by the government and the opposition regarding the shortcomings of the Justice system in the province.

Then, suddenly, without commenting seriously on the government's internal audit that identified systemic funding issues in Justice and that was most definitely NOT generated by the opposition, Mr. Palmer suddenly changed directions...

....Those lines (of debate) carried over onto the next topic for question period, the pending release of a lengthy (143 findings, 176 recommendations) report from Ombudsperson Kim Carter on failings of care programs for seniors....


With a pivot like that you might think that Mr. Palmer was getting ready to give us a facts-based opinion on what is actually in the Ombudsman's report and maybe, just maybe, even tell us if he thinks that the Campbell/Clark government has done a good, bad or indifferent job on the seniors program 'file' for the last 11 years.


You might even wonder if Mr. Palmer might be getting set to offer an opinion, given that he was on the beat back then, about whether or not he thinks that the systemic problems we have in seniors care in the here and now really do have something to do with what the NDP did 15, or even 20, years ago.

But, alas, nothing like that came to the pass.

Instead, here is how the 'Dean' of the legislative press gallery finished his column:

"..."For 11 years - 11 years - these people have been providing services to seniors in this province, and in that time we've heard story after story of horrible situations happening to seniors, and yes, it does have to stop," railed Opposition critic Katrine Conroy.

Health Minister Mike de Jong had a passable comeback to that one. He'd been touring care facilities, noting when they were first brought into service. "There are a lot of plaques that date from the 1950s. There are a lot of plaques that date from the last 10 years. Do you know what I can't find? I can't find many plaques from the 1990s, because there wasn't much done in the 1990s."

By then the two sides were into well-rehearsed routine. Opposition reminds government of failings in the past decade. Government recalls those of the decade before. NDP says Liberals have had plenty of time to fix things. Libs challenge New Democrats to say what they'd do better and how they'd pay for it.

It was only day one. I shudder to think how many times they'll be travelling over that same well-worn ground before the session is over."

Personally, I shudder at all the he 'said/she said' enabling that the puffed-up punditry will propagate before the session is over.

I mean, why do columnists like Mr. Palmer, and those that follow his lead, refuse to look hard at an issue and then tell us what they really think rather than always hedging before pulling back as a prelude to focussing on the trivial?

In other words, why do they not just tell us what they really think, either way, once in a while?

After all, we're big - we can handle it.

Unlike Mr. Palmer, Ian Reid lays out a patch of facts, comes to a conclusion, and then gives us his opinion about the senior care in this province...Now, Ian is clearly a partisan on this issue, and you may not agree with his opinion, but it is hard to argue with the facts he, and dare I suggest it the Ombudsperson, have laid out...
Oh, and in case you missed it, Ian is promising a post soon on something else that the proMedia refuses to give us an honest opinion on....Which is all about a subject that really explains the ridiculousness of the claim by the Campbell Clark government 'we have no money to help old folks (or anybody else) in this province......OK?



Anonymous said...

"In other words, why do they not just tell us what they really think, either way, once in a while?"

Wish washy douche baggery is all you're gonna get unless they are slammin' the dippers.
If the dippers do get back in though, you can expect a whole new style of concerted journalism then.

It's a different world now Ross nothin left but to sing songs of the doomed or ...

Anonymous said...

The corporate marching orders. Same with CKNW. Don't you think he wants to continue to have a paycheck?

Certainly this can't be the first time you've seen Vaughan Palmer's stories start out like they might take on the Liberal government, really question their actions, their motives, their lack of action on something, then suddenly in a new paragraph switch to, at the very least, a neutral position, but most times a reminder of the NDP in years past, anything but take on the government, especially now that they have gotten so low in the polls.

There is nothing new with this.