Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Horgan Speaks...If This Is 'Prickly', Bring More Pears Such As These By The Bushelful Please.


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.



North Van's Grumps said...

In five years I'll be doa

Anonymous said...

Spin theory- not the science type but politics in BC?

"Ratepayers are already on the hook for $31 billion [$56 billion as of March 2015] in energy agreements to the likes of"

Anonymous said...

Whenever Ms. Clark or one of her ministers is having a bad week, Vaughn Palmer comes to the rescue with one of his NDP attack columns,drudging up issues from the nineties or subtle personal attacks through selective language innuendo. But when Ms. Clark demonstrates certain behavior, she is portrayed as feisty, clever, and a brilliant political strategist.His most recent column is enough to grow prickles on a bowling ball and itself proof that the MSM is in the pocket of the B.C. Liberals.

Anonymous said...

Reporters is no longer a term to be used, perhaps conduits is more suited to what they do.
So when they were needed to bring ridicule to the NDP fast ferry project they were there, now with the BC Ferry cable ferry fiasco under the Liberal's watch, not much said, no ranting, no front pages, no in depth digging into the cost and what will happen if the cable ferry doesn't work as planned.
Is Ritchie Bros lined up to sell it after it sits at the SeaSpan dock for a couple of years?
Want the news, go to the Blogs, want the ads go to the old time newspaper reporters, the irrelevant club.

ron wilton said...

I believe the 'business case' for site C without BCUC 'interference' is integral to the common denominator in the TPP.

While trying to make sense out of the inclusion of a tiny country like Brunei, population (410,000) and the absence of China and India I find that all the players either want or have natural gas.

BC is apparently 'blessed' with limitless supplies of same and if the players could somehow get access at reasonable long term prices then BC of course, given our penchant for potlach, would be well positioned if they had ample power available to liquify the stuff (as our preemy blurted out in her first explanation of the need for site C).

Couple this this with her furtive associations with harper and her uncharacteristic quietude on the benefits of TPP to BC leads me to believe that we have once again been hoodwinked by the harpercons and their bedmates in BC.

Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

novel idea use low priced cng to generate electricity at burrard thermal.

cable ferry sold to Fiji in a few years when replaced with a cng and or lithium polymer battery system ship?

Norm Farrell said...

Let's be forthright. There was a reason that many of us express concern about "journalists" taking favours and rewards from the people and groups directly affected by their coverage. The latter include appearance and speaker fees and the former include exclusive access to government documents, ministers, bureaucrats and political operatives.

To keep those benefits flowing, Press Gallery recipients must deliver the goods. Some do that unabashedly, others contrive to appear virginal. One practice is the sham critique, a specialty of the Dean. It is like a fight choreographed for the movie screens. Punches are thrown to land short of the mark or with little force and effect. All carefully contrived to look real.

I've heard that senior members of the Press Gallery apply pressure on the occasional newbies who happen along. There is an expectation that reporting and analysis will conform to conventions established by the old hands.

What is needed more than anything in political reporting is a commitment to long accepted standards of journalism, including independence and freedom from conflicts of interest. What we need less is time spent by jaded veterans hanging out near Government and Belleville Streets waiting for the sound of a whistle.

Anonymous said...


apparently the Mother Core has anointed the Liberals.

Thanks Liz.

James King, Victoria said...

Nice column Ross - I remember the last time the NDP had a leader who wasn't afraid to call a spade a shovel was in the 1970s...In fact, I can remember he was actually kicked out of the legislature more than once for saying things not all that different from what Horgan said to Mikey....I think it's long past time for some more plain speaking and not a little anger.

Eleanor Gregory said...

There was a time when I expected the Dean to be objective and fair. I recall him telling me that he was hard on everyone. Maybe hard, but not hard equally. I had planned to maintain my subscription to the VSun until the Dean retired, but maybe now I should chuck it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

12 min audio rebuttal

Lew said...

Palmer writes, “Pressing a journalist to change the subject is rarely an effective technique in news management.”

Unless, as is obvious hereabouts, the pressing is done by the journalist’s employer or business customer. Right Vaughn?

In any case, Mr. Horgan wasn’t talking to a journalist; he was talking to Mike Smyth.

motorcycleguy said...

bears repeating........."Mr. Horgan wasn’t talking to a journalist; he was talking to Mike Smyth"

e.a.f. said...

good on Horgan! to bad we didn't get to see the exchange and its too bad the political reporters don't take his advise.

who actually reads them. They are simply, in my opinion, shrills for the ?B.C. Lieberals.

glad you reported on the exchange or we would never have heard about it.

Scotty on denman said...

Right on Lew! Good one!

Anon 10:14, ferry will have to be outfitted with engines---so far, the cables have failed to work properly, and rumour has it that the hull (yes, the whole hull!) needs redesigning because the cables trail way out behind it---how they're threaded through---before sinking down to the bottom (as they were designed to do in order not to present a navigation hazard to other vessels frequenting Baynes Sound, the sheltered passage to Cortenay and Comox Harbours). But, if we still have the BC Liberals by the time Fiji gets this "cable-ferry," it'll probably be replaced with something equally as efficacious, like nuclear-powered balloons.

John Horgan's the man! These reporters need and deserve a good slap.

Thanx Ross!

Scotty on denman said...

Excuse me, Courtenay, it's Courtenay.

Anonymous said...

And today VP writes a cover piece for his old buddy Bob Plecas in which he SLAMS Representative for Children and Youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond... for doing her job.

Anonymous said...

It is election season on both sides of the 49th (is it ever NOT election season in the US?) and Paul Krugman has a topical piece out today...

It’s All Benghazi

Anonymous said...

Horgan should have every sitting NDP member carry A copy of Norm Farrell's last piece on the BC Hydro debacle and pass it over to these so called MSM reporters and tell them this is what real research and reporting looks like. In fact paper the damn legislature with it.

RossK said...

Thanks Everybody!

Have been climbing in and out of the cigar tube the last couple of days, so I missed out on a great comment thread.


Anon-A-Couple Above--

Sometimes I think Mr. Krugman is inside my head.



I agree.



Anonymous said...

and VP's Saturday column is a worn version of 'they-all-do-it' but does distinguish itself with the backhanded Harperman defense in which calling Stephen Harper a "pathological psychopath" is characterized as Harper derangement syndrome (not sure if HDS is listed in DSM-5 and I can't find a Canadian federal scientist who is willing to comment).

RossK said...


You mean Canada still has...


(and nice one with the DSM-5 reference...Anything in there about that 'Journalist Reality Avoidance (at all costs) Affliction?)


North Van's Grumps said...

Even Mother nature is getting in on the Act of voting strategically for either the NDP or the Liberals. I'll have none of that! 99% of the time our Sumac Tree is Green. The other parties are all splash and dash for the last couple of weeks and they're gone. We're voting for Claire Martin.